What's The [Data] Point? is a podcast from Gotham Gazette and Citizens Budget Commission looking at important issues in New York policy and government. GG, which is published by Citizens Union Foundation, and CBC are both watchdogs dedicated to analyzing and explaining New York public policy and holding government accountable. The podcast will touch on a variety of issues that have significant impact to the everyday lives of New Yorkers as well as the workings of city and state government. It is hosted by Ben Max of Gotham Gazette and Maria Doulis of Citizens Budget Commission, and produced by JaVon Rice of GG and Kevin Medina of CBC, with special guests on some episodes. Each episode is titled with a significant data point that helps frame the discussion.
The podcast launched in June of 2017; find and listen to episodes through the links below, and/or download them wherever you get your podcasts (iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play, etc). And, let us know what you think! We're on Twitter @TweetBenMax & @GothamGazette & @MariaDoulis & @cbcny.
What's the Data Point? Episode 31 - $418 million — Ben Max of GG, Maria Doulis, & Dana Rubinstein of Politico New York discuss the city-state disputes over the MTA, as well as other related topics, including congestion pricing, de Blasio's transit agenda, and more.
What's the Data Point? Episode 30 - $72.4 billion — Ben Max of GG, Maria Doulis, & CBC's health policy advisor, Charles Brecher, discuss news out of Washington, D.C. that is important to New York, as well as a variety of healthcare-related issues facing New York State and City.
What's the Data Point? Episode 29 - $88.7 — Ben Max of GG, Maria Doulis of CBC, & Mara Gay of the Wall Street Journal discuss the Mayor's budgeting practices and look ahead to the key policy and budget issues of the next few months.
What's the Data Point? Episode 28 - $14.3 billion — Listen to State Budget Director Robert Mujica and New York City First Deputy Mayor Dean Fuleihan speak at a live Citizens Budget Commission event where they discuss the implications of the federal tax reform on the city and state.
What's the Data Point? Episode 27 - $168.2 billion — Maria Doulis & Dave Friedfel of CBC discuss the Governor's Executive Budget for Fiscal Year 2018-2019, which includes topics of budget growth, Medicaid, school aid, economic development, and proposals dealing with the changes in the federal tax law.
What's the Data Point? Episode 26 - $3.2 billion — Ben Max of GG, Maria Doulis of CBC, & James Patchett of the Economic Development Corporation to respond to a new Citizens Budget Commission report and discuss the City's development strategy, tax breaks, NYC Ferry, and the BQX streetcar project.
What's the Data Point? Episode 25 - 374 — Ben Max of GG, Maria Doulis of CBC, & Laura Nahmias of Politico New York recap the first week of 2018, discussing Governor Andrew Cuomo's State of the State's agenda, Mayor Bill de Blasio's re-inauguration and future, and the new City Council Speaker Corey Johnson.
What's The Data Point? Episode 24 - 2.7% — Ben Max of GG, Maria Doulis of CBC, & Alex Heil of the Port Authority discuss his economic forecasts for the Port Authority region.
What's The Data Point? Episode 23 - 1996 — Ben Max of GG, Carol Kellermann of CBC, & Chris Jones of the Regional Plan Association discuss its latest comprehensive 25-year regional plan to help the tri-state area plan for the present and the future.
What's The Data Point? Episode 22 - 10 — Ben Max of GG, Carol Kellermann of CBC, & CUNY Institute for State and Local Governance's executive director Michael Jacobson discuss the crisis at Rikers and the plan to expand borough-based jail facilities.
What's The Data Point? Episode 21 - $26 billion — Ben Max of GG, Carol Kellermann of CBC, & former New York City finance commissioner Martha Stark discuss the property tax system, its problems, the lawsuit against the city and state, and possible solutions.
What's The Data Point? Episode 20 - 44 days — Ben Max of GG, Carol Kellermann of CBC, & City Council Member Dan Garodnick discuss his time in office and a variety of issues that he has worked on and is continuing to work on his final days in office.
What's The Data Point? Episode 19 - $67 billion — Ben Max of GG, Carol Kellermann of CBC, & Jay Kriegel of Related Companies and Americans Against Double Taxation discuss State and Local Taxes or SALT, for short.
What's the [DATA] Point? Episode 18 - 348 and 74 — Ben Max of GG, Carol Kellermann, Riley Edwards, & Tim Sullivan of CBC discuss the effectiveness of LDC, IDAs, & BIDs in New York City
What's the [DATA] Point? Episode 17 - $95 billion — Ben Max of GG, Carol Kellermann of CBC, & Thad Calabrese, a discuss the current value of all of the future retiree benefits, except pensions, already earned by current retirees and current workers of New York City
What’s The [DATA] Point? Episode 16 - 1936 — Listen to Gerald Benjamin, a distinguished scholar from SUNY New Paltz and proponent of calling a convention, discuss the controversial topic that has many in New York focused on either securing approval or voting it down. He sat down with Ben Max of GG and Carol Kellermann of CBC.
What's the [DATA] Point? Ep 15 - 60+ — Listen to an excerpt from a live Citizens Budget Commission event where two experts discussed government debt and financing, including lessons learned from Detroit and Puerto Rico that may help New York City.
What’s The [DATA] Point? Ep 14 - 4 — Ben Max of GG & Greg David of Crain’s New York discuss his recent in-depth article on Mayor Bill de Blasio and de Blasio's record as mayor.
What's the [DATA] point? Ep 13 - 95 — Ben Max of GG, Carol Kellerman of CBC & City Council Member Julissa Ferreras-Copeland discuss why the soon-to-be former Council member decided against running for reelection, despite being the leading contender to become the next City Council Speaker.
What's the [DATA] point? Ep 12 - 77,651 — Listen to excerpts of a speech the city's housing commissioner, Maria Torres-Springer, gave at a Citizens Budget Commission event on Wednesday, September 20, followed by 15 minutes of Q-and-A with the commissioner. 7206
What's the [DATA] point? Ep 11 - $66 billion — In this back-to-school episode, Ben Max of GG and Dave Friedfel and Riley Edwards of CBC discuss the amount New York school districts receive in revenue and myths about school overcrowding.
What's the [DATA] point? Ep 10 - 30% — Ben Max of GG, Carol Kellerman of CBC, & guest Deputy Mayor Richard Buery discuss the city's goals for awarding contracts to minority- and women-owned businesses and how Buery is leading the effort to reach those goals.
What's the [DATA] point? Ep 9 - $1.5 Billion — August 16, 2017 — Ben Max of GG, Maria Doulis of CBC, & guest Alex Matthiessen, President of Blue Marble Project and Campaign Director for Move New York, discuss the "congestion pricing" plan that aims to help repair and improve the city's mass transit, roads and bridges, while reducing traffic and creating more equity in tolling around the city.
What's the [DATA] point? Ep 8 - $17 Billion — August 10, 2017 — Ben Max of GG, Maria Doulis of CBC, & guest Shola Olatoye, chair and CEO of the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA), the country's largest public housing authority, with over 400,000 people residing in its thousands of units across the city.
What's the [DATA] point? Ep 7 - 2008 — August 3, 2017 — Ben Max of GG, Maria Doulis of CBC, & guest John Breit, a CBC Trustee, PhD Physicist, and former risk adviser to Merrill Lynch and the New York City Comptroller’s Office for the pension funds.
What's the [DATA] point? Ep 6 - 100,000 — July 27, 2017 — Ben Max of GG, Maria Doulis of CBC, & guest Alicia Glen, Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development discussed the rezoning of East Midtown, the de Blasio administration's new jobs plan, and the recent tweaks to the administration's housing plan.
What's the [DATA] point? Ep 5 - 30 Days — July 13, 2017 — Ben Max of GG, Maria Doulis of CBC, & guest Jamison Dague, director of infrastructure studies at Citizens Budget Commission discuss issues facing the city's subway system, recent announcements made by Governor Andrew Cuomo that relate to the MTA, CBC analysis of transit system problems, and what to watch for as the MTA enters its summer "state of emergency."
What's The [Data] Point? Ep 4 - $32.5 billion — July 6, 2017 — Ben Max of GG, Maria Doulis of CBC, & guest Janno Lieber, new Chief Development Officer at the MTA discuss the state of the subways, MTA management and budgeting, major projects the MTA is undertaking and balancing them with upgrading and repairing the current subway system.
What's The [Data] Point? Ep 3 - $780 million — June 29, 2017 — Ben Max of GG, Maria Doulis of CBC, & guest Comptroller Tom DiNapoli discuss the lack of reform in Albany after the bid-rigging scandal in the Governor Cuomo's economic development programs that will see several of the governor's associates and donors on trial this fall.
What's the [DATA] point? Ep 2 - 44% — June 22, 2017 — Ben Max of GG, Maria Doulis of CBC, & guest Alyssa Katz of the Daily News editorial board discuss New Yorkers' satisfaction with city services, quality of life in the city, and more, based on results from CBC's survey of New Yorkers.
What's the [DATA] point? Ep 1 - $85.2 Billion — June 9, 2017 — Ben Max of GG and Maria Doulis of CBC launch the What's The [Data] Point? podcast with a breakdown of the recently-passed city budget for fiscal year 2018, which begins July 1, 2017. What you need to know!