Gotham Gazette

The Place for New York Policy and politics

Bill de Blasio

Bill de Blasio

  • de Blasio Schumer federal coronavirus

    Mayor de Blasio & Senator Schumer (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    As the coronavirus crisis drains city coffers with an enormous level of emergency government spending and the mandated shutdown of the economy has led tax revenues to plummet, New York City faces an estimated $8.7 billion budget gap. Mayor Bill de Blasio has said the hole is dire and the extent to which the city will be shored up to weather the storm depends largely on what it will receive in federal aid.

    While lobbying and negotiations continue that question

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  • maybdb arrival

    Could the reinvigoration of the New York economy come from public works? (photo: Ed Reed/Mayor's Office)


    Somewhere around a million New Yorkers are out of jobs and billions in tax revenue has evaporated as New York City bears the brunt of possibly the worst disaster in its history. The coronavirus has been devastating the city’s people, their way of life, and their livelihoods. As elected officials and experts look to the future, when the pandemic eventually subsides, they must plot a path out of the crises that will remain.

    New Yorkers will need jobs, and

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  • maybdb covid food

    Mayor de Blasio working with federal reinforcements (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    New York City has already spent just over $1.4 billion on its response to the coronavirus pandemic, the mayor’s office told Gotham Gazette on Thursday. That sum roughly matches what the federal government has sent the city government in direct aid through multiple 'stimulus' packages.

    With New York City the epicenter of the outbreak in the United States, an all-of-government response and a massive outlay of funds has been necessary. As of Thursday, May 7, the city reported

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  • covid19 mayor

    Mayor de Blasio & Speaker Johnson (photo: Ed Reed/Mayor's Office)


    With the city facing a severe budget crunch because of the coronavirus pandemic, Mayor Bill de Blasio’s executive budget proposal released last month cut $6 billion in planned spending, tapped $4 billion from reserves and delayed major capital investments to future years when another mayor will be in office. On Wednesday, about eight weeks before a deal must be reached between the two sides, the City Council held a virtual hearing on the mayor’s spending plan. Council members questioned de Blasio administration

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  • may adv placement

    Mayor de Blasio has major school decisions to make (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    We’re looking at a possible school re-opening this September. I can’t wait to go back. Remote learning is better than nothing, but it’s no substitute for a live classroom. In a live classroom, I can see what students are doing. I can check their work in real time and quickly offer tips for improvement. I can urge students away from sleeping or fiddling with electronic devices.

    Now I’m reduced to looking at a bunch of avatars. Who knows what the kids are doing behind them?

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  • hold ty rally

    Tens of thousands of young New Yorkers rely on SYEP (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    When I first heard of the New York City Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP) two years ago, I had just turned 14. I was so excited because that Fall I would enter high school and my family needed money to help pay for my uniform, school supplies, and books. Like a lot of New York families, money was already tight, so the prospect of getting a job where I could help my parents even just a little was an incredible opportunity.

    Over the last two summers, SYEP has been a great experience

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  • Cuomo de Blasio coronavirus

    Cuomo and de Blasio at a March briefing (photo: Don Pollard/Governor's Office)


    This guest column is part of Citizens Union Speakers, a regular series of op-eds written by members of

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  • city council riv ad amp sa rose

    Council Member Helen Rosenthal, second from right, and other Council members (photo: Emil Cohen/City Council)


    With New Yorkers sheltering at home during the coronavirus outbreak, advocates, experts, and elected officials are worried that domestic violence incidents could spike across the city but go unreported as victims find it nearly impossible to escape their abusers. On Friday, the New York City Council will hold a digital hearing to glean some clarity on the situation, particularly about how the de Blasio

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  • man bx skyline

    New York City building projects are on the chopping block (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    The coronavirus fallout has created a severe cash crunch for New York City, forcing Mayor Bill de Blasio to slash his proposed operating budget for the next fiscal year by $6 billion, with more cuts likely before adoption. At the same time, the city’s cash flow problems mean that its capital plan, a four-year, $67.2 billion agenda that pays for crucial, long-term infrastructure like schools and roads, will also need modification and could mean some major changes to

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  • wartime budg

    Mayor de Blasio is facing difficult budget choices (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    Mayor de Blasio called the Executive Budget he presented on April 16 a “wartime budget.” With New York City’s economy shut down virtually overnight and without a clear path or timeline to reopening, that is definitely what the circumstances require. But, we don’t quite have one yet.

    Estimates of cumulative city revenue losses from the city’s budget office and outside fiscal monitors range from $7 billion to $15 billion for this and next fiscal year, but there is no

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  • city council hearing

    Mayor de Blasio visits health care workers (photo: Ed Reed/Mayor's Office)


    Though the coronavirus pandemic has ravaged New York City, causing more than 17,000 deaths and untold devastation on the lives of residents, the impact has been worse for communities of color where existing disparities in economic status and access to health care have only been exacerbated. On Thursday, the New York City Council will hold a remote oversight hearing to examine those disparities, their causes, and the steps that Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration is taking to

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  • 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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