Gotham Gazette

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Chirlane McCray

Chirlane McCray

  • Taking Mental Health Care in New York City to the Next Level

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    Mental health first responders via B-HEARD


    Last week, the New York City Council voted to amend the City Charter to establish the Mayor’s Office of Community Mental Health as a permanent part of our city government. The vote comes at a critical time – as New Yorkers continue to feel the long-lasting mental health consequences of the pandemic.

    The vote is also the culmination of years of work. In the wake of decades of state and federal neglect that left too many people without the mental healthcare they need, New York City became

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  • Exercising Mental Fitness as We Move Forward with Our Covid Recovery

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    New York City (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    In Southern California, three generations of a family gathered their separate households under one roof to weather the pandemic -- and liked it so much they decided to make it permanent. On the Upper West Side of Manhattan, students organized to buy groceries and essentials for the housebound. And as the virus surged, a nationwide ...

  • City's Timeline for Brooklyn Shirley Chisholm Statue, Promised for 2020, Still Unclear

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    The 2018 She Built NYC announcement of a Shirley Chisholm statue (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)


    At the height of the pandemic last year, as the city was forced to shut down, all design and construction projects were frozen including an initiative to build monuments of famous women from New York’s history. The first of those monuments, honoring Shirley Chisholm, the first Black woman to become a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, was intended to be built by the end of 2020. But, while the design process has resumed, there seems

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  • Mayor's Fund Provides $62 Million in Relief to Immigrants, Food to Health Care Workers

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    Mayor de Blasio announces Mayor's Fund fundraising (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    One year after the de Blasio administration established the COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund to support some of the individuals and businesses most acutely impacted by the pandemic, the Mayor's Fund to Advance New York City has spent approximately $62 million on programs ranging from one-time payments to undocumented immigrants to grants for survivors of domestic violence. Though a significant sum was raised and moved out the door to key causes, some signature programs,

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  • 7 Months Later, No Sign of De Blasio's Promised 'Racial Justice and Reconciliation Commission'

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    Mayor de Blasio painting a Black Lives Matter mural (photo: Ed Reed/Mayor's Office)


    After weeks of mass demonstrations last June calling out police violence against Black people, New York city and state officials responded by passing and signing legislation for police reform and accountability that had seemed indefinitely stalled, ordering investigations into the policing of the protests themselves, and painting murals as a sign of government solidarity with its people.

    One of the commitments made by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio was to establish a

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  • City's Black and Hispanic Youth Face Dire Need for Mental Health Care

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    Students back in school amid a pandemic (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    The COVID-19 pandemic has had profound effects for children across New York City and State, as well as their families, like the loss of a loved one, economic distress, food insecurity, and the shutdown of school buildings, switch to remote learning, and lack of in-person social connections.

    During the first five months of the pandemic, an estimated 4,200 of 4 million children in the state lost a parent or caregiver to coronavirus, a rate of more than one out of every 1,000, according to a

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  • Keeping Apart, Staying Connected, and Giving Thanks on This Very Different Thanksgiving

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    Chirlane McCray, the author, thanking health care workers (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    This Thanksgiving will be unlike any other. The empty chairs at our tables are a stark reminder of lives lost, personal caution we must take, and the advisories to limit travel to control the spread of the coronavirus. Amid the rising virus toll and deep divisions symbolized by an electoral map of red states and blue states we still crave connection.

    New Yorkers have something in common with those in every single state: the

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  • Saving Lives from Domestic Violence

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    City Hall in purple (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)


    One survivor used the word “red” in telephone calls with her best friend when she and her children were in trouble. A family living with an abuser placed a photo in a window visible from the street – when the photo was not visible it meant they were in trouble. Another survivor signaled for help with a special knock on the wall shared with a next-door neighbor.

    As a domestic violence survivor said in “When Staying Home Isn’t Safe,” one of

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  • City's Shirley Chisholm Monument Won't Go Up This Year as Planned

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    A rendering of the planned Shirley Chisholm monument (photo: women.nyc)


    The building of the first monument in a city initiative to honor famous women from New York City’s history and correct a long-standing gender imbalance in monuments across the city has been delayed, Gotham Gazette has learned. City officials are pointing to the shutdown stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic as the reason that the monument of Brooklyn's Shirley Chisholm, who became the first black woman elected to the House of Representatives in 1968, will not be completed by the end of this year

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  • ThriveNYC Looks to Turn Corner with New Outcome-Focused Data

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    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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  • Looking Back at Mayor David Dinkins, 30 Years After His Historic 1989 Win

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    Former Mayor David Dinkins (photo: Ed Reed/Mayor's Office)


     On the night of November 7, 1989, then-Manhattan Borough President David Dinkins made history. With election night returns coming in, it became clear that Dinkins had narrowly defeated then-U.S. Attorney Rudy Giuliani and would become the first black mayor of New York City. It was the culmination of an arduous election cycle for Dinkins, having beaten incumbent Mayor Ed Koch in the Democratic primary two months earlier.

    Now, with the 30th anniversary of that momentous election, ...

  • De Blasio’s Promised ‘Comprehensive Strategy’ for City Response to People in Mental Health Crisis is Well Behind Schedule

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    Community Access members rally at City Hall (photo: @ca_nyc)


    A task force empaneled by Mayor Bill de Blasio to recommend how city government, particularly the police department, can better respond to emotionally disturbed people in crisis has yet to release its report, about 10 months after its work was to be concluded.

    Calls from community leaders and activists have grown, but the “NYC Crisis Prevention and Response Task Force” remains largely silent, leading advocates and elected officials to wonder why the issue isn’t a higher priority for a city that has

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  • ‘Nobody Should Enter the Criminal Justice System for Something Related to Mental Illness’

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    Chirlane McCray on Rikers Island (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    A rising number of 911 calls to report emotionally disturbed persons, several fatal encounters between police officers and people with serious mental illness, and an increasing percentage of seriously mentally ill people among those detained in city jails have all raised questions about how New York City and State provide care for those suffering from the most serious mental illnesses.

    These questions and concerns don’t have easy answers. The city’s public

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  • ThriveNYC to Implement New Performance Tracking System Focused on Outcomes

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    Chirlane McCray (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    Following repeated criticism about spending hundreds of millions of dollars with unclear outcomes, ThriveNYC, First Lady Chirlane McCray’s signature mental health initiative, is now publishing nearly 100 metrics to track the performance of dozens of programs that have been launched in the last three years.

    The metrics, provided to

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  • Charter Revision Commission Urged to Consider Tighter Donation Rules for City-Affiliated Nonprofits

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    Mayor de Blasio & the Mayor's Fund (photo: Edwin J. Torres/Mayoral Photo Office)


    A government reform group is urging Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Charter Revision Commission to explore stronger restrictions on donations to nonprofits affiliated with city agencies, building on a raft of laws passed through the New York City Council and signed by the mayor in 2016, which are set to go into effect next year.

    Reinvent Albany, an organization focused on government transparency and accountability, is advocating for greater disclosure

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  • Now ‘Resetting,’ Chirlane McCray’s $850 Million Mental Health Program Has A Lot Riding On It

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    Chirlane McCray, with Bill de Blasio looking on (photo: Benjamin Kanter/Mayor's Office)


    On a sunny Wednesday morning in November 2015, more than 30 of New York City’s top public officials gathered together in East Harlem. They stood shoulder-to-shoulder and tiered in three rows on the ground floor of the City University of New York’s school of social work. An audience of hospital administrators, business leaders, mental health advocates and journalists watched from folded seats.

    Chirlane McCray, wife of New York City Mayor Bill de

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  • Max & Murphy Podcast: First Lady Chirlane McCray

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    Ben Max, left, of Gotham Gazette, and Jarrett Murphy, right, of City Limits


    March 26, 2018 - Max & Murphy Podcast: New York City First Lady Chirlane McCray

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    New York City First Lady Chirlane McCray is leading the city's ThriveNYC mental health care plan and its many component programs, serving as Chair of the Mayor's Fund to Advance New York City, and providing guidance as her

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  • Part of ThriveNYC, NYCHA Trains Staff in Mental Health First Aid

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    NYCHA community gathering at Queensbridge (Pete Mikoleski/NYCHA flickr) 


    At a recent training session, just over 35 New York City Housing Authority staff members assembled at the authority’s downtown offices last Thursday. The course, which included eight topics, was part of the city’s ThriveNYC mental health care plan, one piece of which is 2,000 NYCHA employees receiving mental health care training so that they can more carefully and helpfully interact with public housing residents who may be experiencing mental health challenges.

    The eight

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  • Max Politics Podcast

    Max Politics


    "Max Politics" is a podcast hosted by Ben Max of Gotham Gazette. Some episodes first air on WBAI radio, Wednesdays from 5 to 6 p.m. Segments of the show are posted to Max Politics podcast streams wherever you get podcasts and to the Gotham Gazette website, both on this page and individual episode pages. 

    Find episodes through the links below, and subscribe to "Max Politics" wherever you get your podcasts: iTunes, ...

  • 'New York Values' in Historical Perspective

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    Ted Cruz (photo: @SenTedCruz)


    Stereotyping New York in political debate
    In a Republican presidential debate in January, Senator Ted Cruz tried to score points, saying of Donald Trump, "Donald comes from New York and he represents New York values." Cruz went on to say that "everyone in the country knows exactly what New York values are and I've got to say they're not Iowa values or New Hampshire values." New Yorkers are "socially liberal and pro-abortion and pro-gay marriage and focus on money and the media," he said.

    Cruz repeated the message, with variations,

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  • As Council Begins Oversight, McCray Reports Progress in Mental Health Roadmap Implementation

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    Chirlane McCray & Richard Buery testify (photo: William Alatriste)

     


     

    At a Jan. 28 oversight hearing held by the Committee on Mental Health, First Lady Chirlane McCray testified before the City Council for the first time, updating the Council on the city’s progress implementing its new

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  • The Week Ahead in New York Politics, October 5

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    New York City Hall


    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    This week will include a focus on what the city can do to stop gas-related explosions after another such explosion occurred this weekend, this time in Borough Park; education politics and policy, as the pro-charter, anti-de Blasio group Families for Excellent Schools will hold a large rally; a continuation of negotiation and criticism between city and state entities over MTA funding; and more.

    Oh, and it's the

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  • Amid Federal Brinksmanship, New York City Officials Redouble Support for Planned Parenthood

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    NYC First Lady Chirlane McCray at a Planned Parenthood rally (photo: @Chirlane) 


    In the face of federal debate and brinksmanship over funding for Planned Parenthood, many in New York City have doubled down on support for the women's health care organization.

    In the past month, the city has seen the...

  • The Week That Was in New York Politics, September 7-11

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    photo: Stanley Kubrick via Museum of the City of New York


    Gotham Gazette's Week in Review, Friday September 11

    PHOTOS OF THE WEEK:NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton surveys Times Square, via @CommissBratton; Mayor de Blasio & First Lady McCray greet a family on the first day

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  • McCray Set to Unveil ‘Mental Health Roadmap,' Signature De Blasio Plan

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    Chirlane McCray hosts a mental health roundtable (all photos: the Mayor's Office via flickr


    Over the past several months, New York City First Lady Chirlane McCray has had conversations with many of the city’s service providers, non-profit organizations, and long-time advocates for mental health care provision. In preparation to unveil a “roadmap” addressing the “mental health crisis in New York City,” McCray has spoken with a

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