Gotham Gazette

The Place for New York Policy and politics

Bill de Blasio

Bill de Blasio

  • council cojo hearing

    Council Members Dromm & Gibson with Speaker Johnson in between (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    The City Council held its first hearing on Mayor Bill de Blasio’s $95.3 billion preliminary budget on Monday, calling on the administration to find more agency efficiencies and savings and to fund the Council’s own priorities, while also asking for a contingency plan should potential state budget cuts and cost-shifts go through this year.

    The mayor’s budget proposal this year increases spending by $2.5 billion over last year’s adopted budget,

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  • cm preliminary

    De Blasio and the City Council talk budget (photo: William Alatriste/City Council)


    The New York City Council will on Monday begin its public examination of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s $95.3 billion preliminary budget proposal for the 2021 fiscal year, which begins July 1. As in previous budget cycles, the Council and budget watchdogs are pushing the mayor to find more savings in city operations and sock away more money for fiscal emergencies.

    First with Monday’s overall discussion of de Blasio’s budget plans -- both the $95.3 billion annual operating budget and

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  • NYPD body cameras

    Mayor de Blasio checks out an NYPD body camera (photo: Rob Bennett/Mayor's Office)


    A new report by the city’s Civilian Complaint Review Board shows body-worn cameras have helped the police watchdog close hundreds of misconduct cases by substantially improving its ability to prove and disprove allegations. While CCRB officials believe the technology has become an indispensable tool, it has also presented new challenges for the agency as it seeks greater transparency from the NYPD.

    The report, released Thursday, is the first of its kind on the

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  • fleet week brigen

    Former veterans commissioner Loree Sutton (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    Loree Sutton knows Mayor Bill de Blasio well, having been hired by him as commissioner of the New York City Department of Veterans’ Services, and she’s now running to succeed him on a platform of bringing a very different leadership style atop city government.

    “I saw things to continue to deteriorate in our city, the quality of life and all that we see around us in the city, I kept looking for who is the common-sense candidate, the passionate pragmatist, the person that

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  • city oversight hearing

    (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    The Department of Investigation, an independent city agency that monitors and investigates government corruption, waste, and mismanagement, has yet to complete thousands of background checks on workers currently employed in city government. At a hearing of the City Council’s Committee on Oversight and Investigations on Monday, DOI Commissioner Margaret Garnett sought to explain why the agency had fallen behind and assured Council members that the problem would not carry on into the future.

    As of Friday,

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  • dot taxi bike lane

    Image via NYC TLC training video


    Cyclist deaths plagued New York City last year; 2019 had the highest recorded number of such deaths in the last 20 years, and many street safety and cycling advocates have made an effort to raise awareness about the problem and

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  • wes moore robin hood poverty

    Wes Moore of Robin Hood Foundation (photo: Robin Hood)


    Not nearly every New Yorker has benefited from the unprecedented economic expansion that the city has experienced in the last decade since the Great Recession. While official city and federal measures show that employment is high and the poverty rate has continued to decline over the years, a new report from the Robin Hood Foundation and its partners shows that the reality is far more insidious than other numbers may indicate.

    According to the report, half of city residents observed

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  • whats the data point


    What's The [Data] Point? Episode 89 -- 2020 - De Blasio, Cuomo, & The Year Ahead, with Alyssa Katz & Laura Nahmias [You can download What's The [Data] Point? wherever you get your podcasts, including on iTunes]

    ak ln wtdp89Six weeks into the new year, Mayor de Blasio (now in his 7th year as mayor) and Governor Cuomo (in his 10th year as governor) have now given budget presentations and

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  • his 7 sotc

    (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    February 12, 2020 - Max & Murphy Podcast: De Blasio's 2020 Agenda

    PodcastMax & Murphy discussed Mayor de Blasio's "Save Our City" State of the City theme and the outline of his agenda as it relates to his time in office so far.

    Listen to the conversation and let us know what you think -- we're on Twitter @TweetBenMaxand

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  • attends sec brief

    the Mayor, the NYPD & cameras (photo: Edwin J. Torres/Mayor's Office)


    In response to an increase in reported anti-Semitic hate crimes and violent attacks, New York City and State are simultaneously implementing a permanent increase in surveillance in several predominantly Orthodox Jewish communities.

    The new surveillance technology -- including 100 new NYPD cameras and state-funded cameras and license plate readers -- comes after high-profile attacks in Jersey City and Monsey in the final weeks of 2019 and a multi-year increase in reported hate

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  • budget hearing jfc

    (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    Mayor Bill de Blasio made his annual trip to Albany on Monday to testify before the state Legislature on Governor Andrew Cuomo’s executive budget proposal, which is $178 billion for the 2021 fiscal year, and urged lawmakers to help prevent what he called nearly $1.4 billion in potential funding “cuts” to the city that could result largely from a proposed overhaul of the state Medicaid program.

    Testifying before the joint fiscal committees of the State Senate and Assembly over the course of

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  • corey jphnson participate

    Council Speaker Johnson at a food pantry (photo: John McCarten/CityCouncil)


    The City Council is expected to pass a package of food policy legislation on Tuesday, central components of an agenda laid out by Speaker Corey Johnson last August to strengthen relevant governance and food policy planning, while combating inequality and waste in the food supply chain.

    One bill, sponsored by Council Member Vanessa Gibson, would require the Mayor’s Office of Food Policy to develop a ten-year plan to address food access and build a sustainable

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  • seventh address

    (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    Mayor Bill de Blasio, now in his seventh year in office, unveiled his “blueprint to save our city” at his annual State of the City speech on Thursday.

    Echoing a similar message from his State of the City speech last year, the mayor sought to highlight the anxiety and uncertainty among New Yorkers who feel the unending pressures of living here, whether it be the cost of doing business, providing a good life for children, worrying about the effects of climate change, or just simply paying the

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  • 2 cm lander

    Mayor de Blasio & First Lady McCray participate in participatory budgeting (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    The New York City Civic Engagement Commission, established through a charter amendment approved by voters in 2018, is tasked with crafting a new citywide participatory budgeting program modeled after the City Council’s efforts to engage New Yorkers in funding local projects. A plan is required to be in place by July 1, the start of the next city fiscal year.

    But Mayor Bill de Blasio’s $95.3 billion preliminary budget proposal for next fiscal

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  • fiscal city hall

    Mayor de Blasio presents a budget (photo: Ed Reed/Mayor's Office)


    On January 20, Mayor de Blasio presented his $95.3 billion preliminary budget for the 2021 fiscal year that begins on July 1 as well as updated data on the budget for the current fiscal year. He noted that the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and city agencies had found enough cost savings to completely offset the “new needs” spending included in the preliminary plan. The

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  • m b ncb

    (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    A long-awaited report from the city’s Advisory Commission on Property Tax Reform was released Thursday, outlining recommendations for potentially drastic changes to the way residential properties are taxed across the five boroughs.

    The report, which contains ten recommendations to update and add equity to New York’s vast property tax system, comes after months of delay and almost a year after the commission, created by Mayor Bill de Blasio and City Council Speaker Corey Johnson, completed its mandated public

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  • ban refugee remarks

    (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)


    Our nation has long been a beacon of hope for those fleeing their home country due to violence and persecution based on their race, nationality, religion, political beliefs, or membership in a social group. With resettlement as a refugee’s last option for safety, we have welcomed them and supported their successful integration in the United States for nearly 40 years with the establishment of the Refugee Resettlement Program.

    Under the Trump administration, however, this country’s proud tradition of

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  • comptroller universal

    Comptroller Scott Stringer (photo: @NYCComptroller)


    New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer on Wednesday again took aim at perhaps the most pressing issue facing New Yorkers: housing affordability, and while repeatedly criticizing Mayor Bill de Blasio’s approach, unveiled a new plan headlined by a “universal affordable housing” proposal to require income-targeted units in every new development across the five boroughs.

    Stringer, a fellow Democrat who hopes to succeed the term-limited de Blasio by winning next year’s mayoral election, is also

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  • de Blasio anti-semitism hate crimes

    Mayor de Blasio, Deborah Lauter, & others (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    The past few years have seen a rise in hate crimes nationwide, and the trend has been the same in New York State and New York City, where the NYPD just reported a 20% increase in hate crimes, most of them anti-Semitic, in 2019 compared to 2018.

    There were 428 reported hate crimes in New York City in 2019, 234 of them anti-Semitic, with the vast majority of those incidents of graffiti, including drawn swastikas, according to NYPD data. But

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  • dept corr joseph ponte island

    Mayor de Blasio on Rikers Island (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    In the wake of a series of damning reports showing a rise of violence and use of force in city jails -- even as the inmate population has plummeted and city government has significantly increased its spending on the Department of Correction -- lawmakers are looking at ways to address the problem, beginning with court-mandated reforms, which seem to have fallen by the wayside.

    The City Council’s Committee on Criminal Justice will be holding an oversight

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  • mayors 88 winter

    (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)


    It’s been nearly a year since the New York City Council passed a law allowing elected officials to create ‘legal defense trusts’ to raise money to pay off legal fees arising from potential criminal or civil investigations. The law was shepherded through at breakneck speed, going from introduction to passage within just six weeks, and its intended immediate beneficiary was Mayor Bill de Blasio, who had accumulated more than $3 million in legal fees from dual investigations into his administration and fundraising

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  • rise hate cr

    (photo: Mayor's office)


    January 22, 2020 - Max & Murphy Podcast: How the City is Addressing a Rise in Hate Crimes

    deborahDeborah Lauter, executive director of the city's new Office for the Prevention of Hate Crimes, joined the show to discuss the rise of hate crimes, especially anti-Semitic hate crimes, what the city is doing about it, and what her new office plans to do long-term to address the

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  • antonio rey wbai

    Council Member Reynoso (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    January 15, 2020 - Max & Murphy Podcast: The Bushwick Rezoning Hits an Impasse

    antonio rey wbai150City Council Member Antonio Reynoso joined the show to discuss the controversy over the possible rezoning of part of Bushwick, plans for which have hit an impasse, with Reynoso and others backing one plan and the de Blasio administration in

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  • mayor exec blue

    (photo: Edwin J. Torres/ Mayoral Photo Office)


    Mayor Bill de Blasio on Thursday released a $95.3 billion preliminary budget proposal for the 2021 fiscal year, which begins July 1, increasing planned spending by about $2.5 billion or 2.7% over the city budget that was adopted last year.

    The growth in spending is lower than previous budget increases the mayor has proposed and an uptick from the $94.3 billion that the city projects to spend by the end of the current fiscal year, according to budget modification documents released in November. The city budget

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  • Cuomo legislative leaders

    Gov. Cuomo and other state leaders (photo: Darren McGee, Governor's Office)


    In the opening days of the 2020 state legislative session, debate continues to rage over whether to revisit major changes to the bail system made last year and key Albany policy-makers have been staking out initial positions in a reignited conversation that could lead to revising the reforms.

    The three top decision-makers -- Governor Andrew Cuomo, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, and Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, all Democrats -- have each taken a

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