Gotham Gazette

The Place for New York Policy and politics

Bill de Blasio

Bill de Blasio

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    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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    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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    (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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    (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 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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    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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    (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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    (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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    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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    (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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    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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  • may townhall residents

    (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photo Office)


    As Mayor Bill de Blasio enters his seventh year in office, on the heels of a failed presidential bid and at a time when his political clout appears at its nadir, he faces many major challenges and big decisions ahead.

    2020, the next-to-last year of his second and final term, begins with a focus on public safety, including recent spikes in anti-Semitic hate crimes, murders, and byciclist fatalities, as well as how the city is adjusting to new state-mandated bail reforms that the mayor has

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  • announcement scores

    (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    The students in the New York City public schools are doing better -- so much so that the improvements offer Mayor Bill de Blasio a real opportunity for a legacy. The mayor still has two more years to go and two more budgets to invest in kids.

    Mayor de Blasio and Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza announced in November

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    (photo: William Alatriste/City Council)


    January 1, 2019 - Max & Murphy Podcast: 2020 Vision - Previewing the Year Ahead in New York Politics

    PodcastJeff Mays of the New York Times, Dana Rubinstein of Politico New York, and Brendan Lyons of the Albany Times Union joined the show to preview 2020 in New York politics, with the first segment focused on New York City politics, Mayor de Blasio, and more, and the second segment

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    (photo: Mayoral Photography Office)


    1. Will Donald Trump be removed from office? Will he win a second term as president? What will be the results of any known or unknown investigations into Trump world, from Congress to New York Attorney General Letitia James to the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York or elsewhere?

    2. How will Mike Bloomberg fare in the 2020 presidential race? What impact will he have on the race (even if he isn’t the Democratic nominee)?

    3. Who will key New York Democratic

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  • availability presser questions

    Mayor de Blasio (photo: Demetrius Freeman/Mayor's Office)


    Reforming New York’s property tax system has for decades confounded mayors, legislatures, and governors who have struggled with (or avoided) the technical and political consequences of changing a long-standing system commonly described as outdated and irrational. When Mayor Bill de Blasio finishes his second term at the end of 2021, there is a chance he will be leaving office in the same boat.

    With the ...

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    (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    December 25, 2019 - Max & Murphy Podcast: The Top 10 Stories of 2019 in New York Politics

    PodcastThe hosts break down the 10 biggest stories of 2019 in New York politics, from all-Democratic control in Albany to Mayor de Blasio's short-lived presidential campaign, from a federal monitor for NYCHA to a 'transformative' year at the MTA, Corey Johnson's quest to 'break

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    (photo: governor's office)


    The 2019 legislative session in Albany was, as Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins described it, “[T]he most historic and productive legislative session in New York State history, period.” The Democratic-controlled Legislature notched up a long list of victories, including many progressive bills that had languished under prior Republican leadership in the state Senate. But there remained unfinished business, imperfect new laws, and pressing concerns that have carried forward and will define the legislative calendar in 2020, which

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    (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    It is taking more time than promised for the city’s property tax reform commission to come out with its initial and final reports with recommendations for changes to the antiquated and unfair system, a delay that threatens to undermine the de Blasio administration’s footing in Albany, where many of the changes would need to be made.

    The Advisory Commission on Property Tax Reform, created by Mayor Bill de Blasio and City Council Speaker Corey Johnson in 2018, was expected to issue a preliminary report with

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    SI BP James Oddo, right, with Mayor de Blasio (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    James Oddo, the outspoken Republican Staten Island Borough President, doesn’t want to talk about President Donald Trump or the contentious congressional race heating up in his borough, and says he won’t run for mayor of New York City or any other elected office ever again. But none of that’s to say that the zip is coming off Oddo’s trademark chin-music political fastball.

    “The bureaucracy is too big and and the reality is but for one time—during Rudy

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    Christine Quinn (photo: William Alatriste/City Council)


    Christine Quinn is frustrated. Quinn, formerly the Speaker of the New York City Council and currently the CEO of Win, a nonprofit that is the largest provider of shelter and permanent supportive housing to families in New York, believes much more can be done to support homeless New Yorkers.

    The city continues to grapple with an immense homelessness crisis, with more than 60,000 people in city shelters each night, roughly 3,000 people living on the streets or in the subways, and several

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    Mayor de Blasio & NYPD Commissioner Shea (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    Hate crimes in the city have skyrocketed over the last three years, to the point that the City Council passed a bill to create an Office of Hate Crime Prevention and Mayor Bill de Blasio on Wednesday announced the creation of a new unit in the NYPD to tackle the problem. But, as the number of complaints about incidents of hate have risen, arrest rates are generally flat at just over 40%, even as the mayor and NYPD commissioner say they are “consistently” capturing those responsible at a “high

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    Mayor de Blasio & PC Shea (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    Just a week on the job, new NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea appeared at a solemn press conference in Brooklyn on Thursday, where he addressed the Jersey City murders of two people with ties to Williamsburg as well as the Manhattan murder of an 18-year-old Barnard student. The killings are emblematic of a rise in hate crimes, particularly anti-Semitic ones, and an increase this year in murders in New York City, though those numbers remain near record lows.

    He was in Williamsburg

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    (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    “To be the fairest big city, you need a fair tax system. For too long, New York City taxpayers have had to grapple with a property tax system that is too opaque, too complex, and just feels unfair,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said in May 2018 after announcing the creation of a commission to examine the issue. “New Yorkers need property tax reform, and this advisory commission will put us on the road to achieve it,” he said.

    When the New York City Advisory Commission on Property Tax Reform releases its

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