Gotham Gazette

The Place for New York Policy and politics

Bill de Blasio

Bill de Blasio

  • 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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  • de blasio coronavirus

    Mayor de Blasio delivers a coronavirus briefing (photo: Ed Reed/Mayor's Office)


    An employee at 100 Church Street in Lower Manhattan, where a number of city agency offices are located, tested positive for COVID-19 earlier this week. Mayor Bill de Blasio has not disclosed the revelation publicly, even as city employees and members of the public continue to conduct business there.

    The information that a building occupant tested positive for the novel coronavirus came to city agencies from both City Hall and the building's management company,

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  • aging execu budget

    Department for the Aging Commissioner Cortés-Vázquez (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    “We’re going to protect our senior centers,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said Monday during his latest briefing on the spread of the new coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, adding that city health department officials are visiting all of the city’s 600 such centers to ensure proper protocols amid the virus outbreak that has now led to 20 confirmed cases in the city, with more expected.

    According to the federal ...

  • navy yards we

    Mayor de Blasio makes an announcement (photo: Edwin J. Torres/Mayoral Photo Office)


    What was ostensibly meant to be a City Council hearing on the proposed preliminary budget for the Department of City Planning on Tuesday turned into a debate about the de Blasio administration’s approach to neighborhood rezonings. Several Council members expressed their displeasure with rapid gentrification and resident displacement, and what they believe are the city’s insufficient efforts to stop those trends while at times exacerbating them through rezonings, while Mayor

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  • commvoicesheard

    City Council Speaker Corey Johnson (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    New York City doesn’t have a comprehensive plan for the future. There is no single guiding document that determines how housing will be built over the next decade, for example, overlaid with a strategy for meeting infrastructure needs like transit options and school seats, with unifying visions for social services and economic development. But such planning should exist, according to City Council Speaker Corey Johnson, who is making several moves toward the type of planning that has mostly

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  • first lady deputy mayors comm

    Chirlane McCray, leader of ThriveNYC (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    First Lady Chirlane McCray’s signature mental health initiative ThriveNYC has faced withering criticism for spending hundreds of millions of dollars with few concrete results to show for it. But amid increasing scrutiny the de Blasio administration is seeking to put those concerns to rest as the Office of ThriveNYC for the first time releases detailed data tracking the outcomes of dozens of programs that have been launched under the Thrive

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