Gotham Gazette

The Place for New York Policy and politics

Bill de Blasio

Bill de Blasio

  • covid 19 climate

    Mayor de Blasio aboard the ferry (photo: Benjamin Kanter/Mayoral Photo Office)


    The coronavirus pandemic has led to plummeting ridership across the city’s various transit systems, posing an existential threat to the future of mass transit as the state and the city begin to cut costs and service. Among them, the New York City ferry, a signature initiative of Mayor Bill de Blasio, has seen far fewer commuters and a reduced schedule, but unlike a long list of other programs, the city does not plan to decrease its budget or scrap an expansion that is slated to take place this

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  • joint ind board

    The future is renewable, the author writes (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    On this 50th anniversary of Earth Day—Wednesday, April 22, 2020—, the world is in crisis. An unbearable number of lives lost each day. Livelihoods disappearing or threatened. And the uncertainty of what might come next is disrupting communities. Our infrastructure is strained to the brink and our most marginalized communities are bearing a disproportionate brunt of the pain. I’m of course talking about the ongoing devastation of the COVID-19 pandemic.

    The tragedy is that these

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  • exec order plastic

    Mayor de Blasio at a garbage facility (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    Even as the global COVID-19 shutdown produces fortuitous environmental benefits such as cleaner air due to a huge decline in travel, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is cynically using the pandemic to justify backtracking on pollution standards

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  • hunger food pantry

    De Blasio visits a food pantry in Brooklyn (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)


    As the coronavirus crisis was unfolding in New York City last month, Mayor Bill de Blasio named his sanitation commissioner, Kathryn Garcia, as the new “food czar” to lead the implementation of a massive effort to ensure New Yorkers don’t go hungry. With the city already home to over a million “food insecure” people, the scale of the need accelerated quickly as hundreds of thousands of New

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  • mayor budget fiscal

    Mayor de Blasio at a prior budget briefing (photo: Benjamin Kanter/Mayoral Photo Office)


    With the sobering reality presented by the coronavirus pandemic that has shut down major sectors of New York City’s economy, Mayor Bill de Blasio on Thursday released a significantly pared down $89.3 billion executive budget proposal for the 2021 fiscal year, a staggering $6 billion drop from his preliminary budget plan put forth in January. To do so, the mayor identified dozens of cuts and spending reassessments across city agencies, from modifying school programs to keeping the

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  • mbdb housing pres dev

    Mayor de Blasio at a supportive housing site (photo: Demetrius Freeman/Mayor's Office)


    As our great city faces its most challenging crisis in the past 100 years, it has revealed to all of us how the city has radically changed in the past few decades.

    The virus has now put a spotlight on the critical shortage of hospital beds and medical equipment like ventilators. In fact New York City ICU bed capacity ranks in the bottom quarter nationally. If you have lived in the city for over 40 years, as I have, you likely recall how many hospitals have

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  • de Blasio city budget coronavirus executive

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


    For his first six years in office, Mayor Bill de Blasio enjoyed the fruits of a booming economy and massively increased the size and cost of city government. But this week, he will present his executive budget proposal for the 2021 fiscal year facing a possible $6 billion revenue shortfall, hundreds of millions in cuts and cost shifts from the state, and almost complete uncertainty about the future as the coronavirus outbreak continues with New York

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  • fiscal year prelim

    Mayor de Blasio gives a budget presentation (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    As Mayor Bill de Blasio desperately searches for solutions to the city’s financial woes caused by the coronavirus outbreak, lawmakers and fiscal watchdogs are advocating for legislation that, had it been approved years ago, would have helped the city better weather just such a storm by allowing it to create a dedicated fund for fiscal emergencies.

    In January, de Blasio had proposed a $95.3 billion budget for the next fiscal year, which begins July 1, that was a more

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  • mabdb covid

    (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    Mayor de Blasio faced a short-answer, timed test: whether and when to close New York City's public schools. It was not an easy question. But his delay in answering and failure to adequately prepare has been costly in lives and learning. We continue to pay the price.

    Even where the coronavirus outbreak was less severe and despite ambiguous advice from the CDC, district after district, state after state, had already decided to close their schools. But de Blasio hung on, ignoring dire warnings of community spread from his own

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  • 1 mbd rides cityhall

    (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    Two months after Mayor Bill de Blasio made his nominations for two empty seats on the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) Board, Governor Andrew Cuomo has yet to send those nominations to the State Senate for its approval. The inaction continues to leave half of de Blasio’s four seats empty as the Board makes major decisions impacting virtually everyone who lives or works in New York City.

    The MTA Board is composed of 17 voting members, whose decisions have broad impacts on the

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  • 5 mbdb management

    Mayor de Blasio, a ventilator, and two doctors (photo: Ed Reed/Mayor's Office)


    As government officials anticipate a wave of coronavirus patients overwhelming the New York City hospital system within days or weeks, the question of how racial disparities in health care will impact who dies of COVID-19 and the disaster's long-term public health fallout loom large and, as yet, unaddressed.

    Differences in access to quality care for African-Americans and other people of color are ...

  • Cuomo state budget presentation

    Gov. Cuomo's budget presentation (photo: Darren McGee/Governor's Office)


    Governor Andrew Cuomo and the state Legislature came to an agreement this past week on a $177 billion budget for the 2021 fiscal year, amid uncertainty about the state’s economy that has been devastated by the coronavirus outbreak.

    The slightly late budget was given final approval by legislators in the early hours of Friday morning, a couple of days after the April 1 start of the fiscal year, and Cuomo signed the pieces he needed to by end of day Friday. And

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  • how mayoral

    Three of the leading 2021 mayoral candidates (photo: Gotham Gazette)


    It took merely three weeks from the first case of the coronavirus being confirmed in the city to thousands of New Yorkers testing positive for the virus. The scale of the outbreak has presented an emergency of a scope that the city has perhaps never before faced. The aftermath of the crisis will be felt well into the future and in 2022, the effects it will have on the city’s people, its economy, and its politics will be inherited by whoever takes the helm at City Hall.

    Next year, Mayor Bill de Blasio will in

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  • 2 mxm mdbcovid600

    Chancellor Carranza and Mayor de Blasio (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)


    April 1, 2020 - Max & Murphy Podcast: Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza on the City's Shift to Remote Learning

    wbai robert carranzaNew York City Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza joined the show to discuss the city's shift to remote learning amid the coronavirus crisis.

    Listen to the

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  • speaker co jo covid update

    Mayor & Speaker at a coronavirus briefing (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    Governor Andrew Cuomo on Sunday gave New York City officials a 24-hour deadline to provide plans for enforcing social distancing in public spaces as the coronavirus continues to rage through the city and the governor said there was too much group activity in the five boroughs under his “pause” orders. Mayor Bill de Blasio has since announced some of the measures his administration is taking but his approach differs from what the New York City Council under Speaker Corey

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  • 2 covid census

    Census organizing efforts before coronavirus (photo: @JulieMenin)


    Officials at the city, state, and federal levels had for years planned varying efforts to conduct a robust outreach campaign this year for the 2020 Census, to ensure an accurate count of New York’s population that will determine the level of federal funding the state receives and its representation in Congress. But the coronavirus outbreak has upended those plans, which relied heavily on person-to-person contact, especially in the hardest-to-count communities, and officials are beginning to course

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  • internet access

    Students at laptops (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)


    March 25, 2020 - Max & Murphy Podcast: Remote Learning Begins for the City's 1 Million Students

    The coronavirus outbreak led Mayor Bill de Blasio to close the city's schools and direct the Department of Education to shift to "remote learning" for its 1 million-plus students. Alex Zimmerman, an education reporter from from Chalkbeat NY, joined the show to discuss the shift to remote learning, how it's gone in its first days, and the larger picture for the

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  • briefing novel covid

    (photo: Don Pollard/Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo)


    As New Yorkers find themselves at the country’s epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic, a majority of them are worried that they do not have the financial resources to survive if the current situation lasts more than a few months, according to a new poll. And in this time of uncertainty and anxiety, the poll found that more New Yorkers are looking to Governor Andrew Cuomo to shepherd them out of the crisis than Mayor Bill de Blasio. 

    The poll, of 807 registered New York City voters, was

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  • cycling covid

    Coronavirus has created a new cycling world (photo: NYC Department of Transportation)


    New York City has seen a spike in cycling since the beginning of the confirmed coronavirus outbreak here. With most New Yorkers staying off the subway to avoid the spread of the virus, some have sought new ways of getting around, whether to their jobs (before and, for fewer commuters, since the near-shutdown order from the governor) or to make essential trips for groceries or exercise. And there are, of course, those who use bikes for their work, with food delivery expected to spike

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  • action network mayor

    Mayor de Blasio serves food (photo: Benjamin Kanter/Mayoral Photo Office)


    As the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, has spread in New York, people have begun buying food off the shelves of local supermarkets to prepare for prolonged periods of isolation in the face of the virus. Public schools and senior centers are closing, many of which provide vulnerable New York City residents with food and meals, and tens of thousands of people appear to have already been laid off from their jobs, all leaving New Yorkers increasingly worried about food

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  • gov cuomoo 3way

    Gov. Cuomo gives dire warnings about hospital capacity (photo: Darren McGee/Governor's Office)


    City and state officials have been saying for over a week that as the spread of coronavirus continues New York's hospitals will not be able to provide life-saving treatment for everyone who needs it. One of the most immediate needs is ventilators, which are required to save the most critical COVID-19 patients and are already in short supply in New York City hospitals. With the note of alarm reaching a fever pitch in recent days, public health officials have not made

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  • protect launch project

    (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Sunday that all senior centers in the city will be closing in an effort to reduce the spread of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, to vulnerable populations.

    “We will be closing our senior centers, ending all programming there with the exception of activities related to food. We will turn them into feeding centers, again, focused on grab-and-go, meaning pickup of meals for those seniors for whom that works,” de Blasio said during ...

  • de Blasio Cuomo budget coronavirus

    Major challenges now & ahead for Mayor & Governor (photo: Rob Bennett/Mayor's Office)


    New York has weathered financial storms before, including after the 2008 recession and the September terror attacks in 2001. But the COVID-19 pandemic threatens to eclipse the scope of both those emergencies. The fiscal impact on the economy is impossible to predict with any certainty but suffice it to say, it will put a major dent in the city’s and state’s budgets for the coming fiscal year.

    In January, Governor Andrew Cuomo ...

  • voter reg day

    The city focused on student voter registration (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    As fears of the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) mounted, but before Mayor Bill de Blasio made the monumental decision to close the city’s schools for at least five weeks, New York City government held its second annual Civics Week to encourage civic participation and voter registration among students.

    After a new law passed last year to allow it, the city focused this year’s Civics Week on pre-registering 16- and 17-year-olds to vote, beginning with such a voter registration

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  • 4 mbdb holds

    Wrestling with government during a pandemic (photo: Ed Reed/Mayor's Office)


    Governor Andrew Cuomo suspended aspects of the state's Open Meetings Law with an executive order Friday, as officials grapple with how to keep government running during a pandemic without jeopardizing public health or sacrificing accountability.

    As state and city officials continue to prepare for the long haul of coronavirus (COVID-19) management, and as most public events are postponed to limit the virus’ reach, one emerging question is how government agencies will continue to hold

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