Gotham Gazette

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City Budget

City Budget

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    Human Services Nonprofits provide essential staff and programming to the city (photo: William Alatriste/City Council)


    Social service organizations in recent days have been scrambling for clarity from government officials on how they will continue to get paid as they carry out essential city services for the most vulnerable populations and take up positions on the frontlines of public health, safety, and crisis management amid the coronavirus outbreak.

    On Tuesday, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that he was designated roughly 40,000 workers from human services

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    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 ...

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    NYCHA is on the brink (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    Despite significant attention from Mayor Bill de Blasio and some from Governor Andrew Cuomo, the New York City Housing Authority, public housing home to more than 400,000 New Yorkers, continues to crumble. While both the mayor and governor, as well as many others, point to federal disinvestment in NYCHA, dissatisfied elected officials say that initial drafts of next fiscal year’s state and city budgets aren’t sufficiently addressing the problem.

    As they push for more funding to

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    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 ...

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    NYPD officers (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)


    The Civilian Complaint Review Board will be increasing its capacity to investigate police misconduct thanks to a City Charter amendment approved by voters last fall, agency officials explained on Wednesday.

    At one in a series of City Council hearings on Mayor Bill de Blasio’s $95.3 billion preliminary budget, CCRB Chair Fred Davie and Executive Director Jonathan Darche said the city plans to add 17 additional staff members to the currently 206-person agency to meet a new formulaic mandate now written

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    Council Members Dromm & Gibson with Speaker Johnson in between (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    The City Council held its first hearing on Mayor Bill de Blasio’s $95.3 billion preliminary budget on Monday, calling on the administration to find more agency efficiencies and savings and to fund the Council’s own priorities, while also asking for a contingency plan should potential state budget cuts and cost-shifts go through this year.

    The mayor’s budget proposal this year increases spending by $2.5 billion over last year’s adopted budget,

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    De Blasio and the City Council talk budget (photo: William Alatriste/City Council)


    The New York City Council will on Monday begin its public examination of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s $95.3 billion preliminary budget proposal for the 2021 fiscal year, which begins July 1. As in previous budget cycles, the Council and budget watchdogs are pushing the mayor to find more savings in city operations and sock away more money for fiscal emergencies.

    First with Monday’s overall discussion of de Blasio’s budget plans -- both the $95.3 billion annual operating budget and

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    Eric Adams, Susan Lerner, and Alicka Ampry-Samuel, right (photo: @AlickaASamuel41)


    A push is now underway to ensure voters are educated about the new ranked choice voting system New York City will be adopting for some elections starting in 2021, and it is being driven by Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, a top contender in the mayoral race where the new format will first be tested.

    At a press conference Wednesday in front of New York City Board of Elections headquarters in Lower Manhattan, Adams, along with Brooklyn City Council Member Alicka

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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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    What's The [Data] Point? Episode 87 -- 7 days: Budget Season Begins, with CBC President Andrew Rein [You can download What's The [Data] Point? wherever you get your podcasts, including on iTunes]

    artworks 000672422038 af4432 t500x500It's been seven days since the start of the new budget season, which commenced this year with the New York City Preliminary Budget released

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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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  • 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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    Mayor de Blasio with Census Director Julie Menin and others (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    As the U.S. Census Bureau prepares to send out questionnaires for the decennial population count beginning in March, city officials are working to make sure that New York City residents respond en masse. On Friday, the city is announcing a list of 155 organizations that will receive some part of a $19-million funding pot to conduct outreach in hard-to-count communities and populations across the city.

    The city’s Complete Count Fund makes up nearly half the $40 million

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    Mayor de Blasio gives a budget presentation (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photo Office)


    It is an axiom of media relations that when you don’t want something to get a lot of attention, you make it public at a time when few will be paying attention. So, the Friday before last week’s Thanksgiving holiday, when reporters and news consumers were getting ready to greet family, cook and/or travel, both Governor Cuomo and the Mayor de Blasio announced unsettling budget reports.

    The governor released ...

  • whats the data point


    What's The [Data] Point? Episode 84 -- $15 billion, Deputy Mayor Dean Fuleihan [You can download What's The [Data] Point? wherever you get your podcasts, including on iTunes]

    wtdp dean fuleihan2$15 billion is the CBC's estimate of the three-year revenue shortfall for New York City government in a recession. First Deputy Mayor Dean Fuleihan joined CBC President Andrew Rein for a

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    (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photo Office)


    With voter approval of a city charter amendment to pursue the creation of a budgetary “rainy day fund” in New York City, de Blasio administration officials are now looking to change state laws so that the city can actually start one.

    “We’re going to have to work together to make this happen,” said First Deputy Mayor Dean Fuleihan at a breakfast event hosted by the Citizens Budget Commission Wednesday morning, just a few hours after polls closed on Tuesday night.

    Voters had overwhelmingly approved an amendment to the

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  • senate bill complement

    Senator Benjamin at Thursday's press conference (photo: @BrianKavanaghNY)


    New York State Senator Brian Benjamin, a Manhattan Democrat who is exploring a possible 2021 run for city comptroller, introduced a bill on Thursday that would allow New York City to create a “rainy day fund” to weather fiscal emergencies.

    Currently, the city lacks the authority to set aside revenue in such a dedicated pot, one result of the city’s fiscal crisis of the 1970s. But a question on this year’s general election ballot in the city could change the City Charter to

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    Rikers Island (photo via Lippman Commission report)


    Late last week, the New York City Council approved the de Blasio administration’s plan to build four new borough-based jails to replace the detention complex on Rikers Island. The plan hinges on a continued reduction in the city jail population, in large part brought on by state and city criminal justice reforms and changes in city policing. Various aspects of the costs, and potential savings, involved in shuttering the Rikers jails and opening the four new ones – from

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    (photo: Demetrius Freeman/Mayoral Photography Office)


    The New York Times recently published a two-column editorial advocating that the city’s emergency medical technicians (EMTs) and paramedics be paid close to or as much as its firefighters. Far easier for the Times to virtue-posture by supporting more pay for hard-working, largely of color EMTs than to address how the increased expense should be funded or how to remedy the astonishing imbalance in resources

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    Carl Weisbrod, left, and Gail Benjamin


    A series of proposals on the ballot before New Yorkers this fall is meant to revisit city political power dynamics established after the 1989 Charter Revision Commission, which 30 years ago reshaped New York City government into its current form. That is what Gail Benjamin and Carl Weisbrod, two leaders of the 2019 Charter Revision Commission, said during a Wednesday morning discussion hosted by the Association for a Better New York and Citizens Union at the New School.

    From the early voting period of October 26

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  • govcuomoprogre

    (photo: the governor's office)


    MTA officials acknowledged at their June 2019 board meetings that the agency is borrowing money to be repaid through a New York State law that promised to have the State of New York provide the MTA $7.3 billion once the authority had exhausted its own funds on spending for the current five-year capital program.

    The 2016 state law was merely an “IOU," there had been no specific source of funds identified for how the state would pay the money, nor has there been any plan developed since enactment in the state budget that

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    Mayor de Blasio (photo: Rob Bennett/Mayor Bill de Blasio


    This is the third and final part of a three-part series on New York City's antiquated and unfair property tax system, its complications and inequities, the underway task of reforming it, and prospects for the future.

    Read part one - Taking on the Difficult Task - here.

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    Council Member Ritchie Torres (photo: Jeff Reed/City Council)


    Bronx City Council Member Ritchie Torres is touting $3 million in city funding he secured for a residential complex that falls outside the Council district he represents, but within the Congressional district where he’s seeking votes.

    The money will go to Concourse Village, Inc., a nearly 1,900-unit housing cooperative located in the south Bronx, over a mile away from the border of Torres’ district. The second-term Democratic Council member is running for Congress in the primary that will

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  • 2 cm r espinal ground

    Mayor de Blasio & others break ground for a new East New York school (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    Some days, it can be hard for Arthur Goldstein to walk down the hallway of Francis Lewis High School in Queens, where he teaches English as a second language. Goldstein’s school is one of 25 overcrowded schools in the 26th school district, and has a utilization rate of 207 percent, according to a 2018 Department of Education ...