Gotham Gazette

The Place for New York Policy and politics

 

Corey Johnson

Corey Johnson

  • Rikers Island inmate detainee

    (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    In an historic vote last month, the New York City Council approved the plan to close the Rikers Island jail complex and replace it with four borough-based jails by 2026. When the Council voted through the plan, estimated at $8.7 billion in new construction costs, it also announced, with Mayor Bill de Blasio, a $391-million package of citywide and community investments in criminal justice reforms and initiatives to responsibly accelerate the reduction of the city’s jail population.

    For city officials, one

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  • cm king do

    Council Member Andy King (photo: William Alatriste/City Council)


    The New York City Council voted on Monday to suspend Bronx Council Member Andy King for 30 days without pay and imposed several other disciplinary measures following repeated ethics violations by King that were recently substantiated by the Council’s ethics committee.

    King, a Democrat, was the subject of a monthslong investigation by the Council’s Committee on Standards and Ethics, the Office of General Counsel, and outside prosecutor Carrie Cohen, who found that the Council member engaged in a

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  • council finance dromm johnson mbdblasio fiscal budget

    (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photo Office)


    Mayor Bill de Blasio and other top city officials have remained mostly quiet about their positions on a set of proposed changes to city government and elections, which are set to go before voters when early voting begins on Saturday. The five “yes” or “no” ballot questions include 19 distinct proposals from the 2019 Charter Revision Commission, whose members were appointed by the mayor, comptroller, public advocate, City Council speaker, and five borough

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  • jack hts bus

    (photo: @Charter2019NYC)


    Just seven people trickled in from the rain to attend the information session in the Lower Gallery of the Bronx Museum of the Arts last Wednesday night. Despite the low turnout, the small group has the potential to reach dozens or even hundreds more people because most of those who attended represented organizations. They had come to the museum that night to gather information to bring back to their members about the proposals that will be on this year’s ballot, whereby voters will approve or disapprove 19 changes to New York City governance and

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  • rikers island jails via lippman report

    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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  • city council co jo keynote address

    Speaker Johnson (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson is advancing his legislation to create a master plan for city streets, promising Thursday that the Council will vote on the bill this month.

    Johnson, a Democrat from Manhattan, first proposed the idea of creating a five-year plan for the city’s

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  • De Blasio close Rikers

    De Blasio, Johnson, Ayala & others at Rikers announcement (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    The plan to close the Rikers Island jails and replace them with four borough-based facilities has sped through the city’s land use process and is awaiting approval from the New York City Council, prompting both support and rebukes from criminal justice reform activists and those who prefer to keep most city detainees on the island. If it passes at the scheduled October 17 vote, full implementation of the plan will fall in the hands of a future mayor, perhaps two,

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  • corey johnson delivers

    Speaker Johnson at food policy speech (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    The City Council is set to consider a number of bills related to food policy at a hearing Wednesday, including a proposal to codify an Office of Food Policy, a month after Council Speaker Corey Johnson unveiled an expansive food equity plan with the creation of the office at its center.

    The Council’s Committees on General Welfare, Economic Development, and Education will meet at City

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  • mayor bdb public

    (photo: Edward Reed/Mayor's office)


    While city officials and elections administrators clash over what changes the Board of Elections should make to improve operations and the voting experience, one widely-supported option the city could pursue sits on the back-burner.

    A municipal poll workers program would allow the Board of Elections to hire Election Day poll workers from a pool of city employees, significantly reducing the hiring and training burdens for administrators and helping to ensure poll sites are more effectively

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  • joint comm hearing regarding issues

    NYC BOE Executive Director Michael Ryan (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    After each election cycle, New York elected officials, government insiders, and interested members of the press and public gather at City Hall and in other hearing rooms for a bit of political theater. The protagonist is the electorate, or the democratic process, itself; the one cast as villain is Michael Ryan, the executive director of the New York City Board of Elections, who is there to respond to questions about how voting went that year.

    “Mr. Ryan,

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  • maydbd coord off

    (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    The New York City Council’s effort to reduce the criminalization of low-level, non-violent offenses through legislation passed in 2016 has continued to further achieve its aims for the third year in a row, as the NYPD makes fewer arrests and hands out fewer criminal summonses, opting instead for civil fines. But there remain concerns about racial disparities in law enforcement, as an overwhelming number of citations are handed out to black and Latino New Yorkers.

    In 2016, the Council under former

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  • city council mmv sbs bishop

    (photo: William Alatriste/City Council)


    When shops and restaurants that you love and depend on close it can be heartbreaking; I know from personal experience. My Upper West Side neighborhood has been seen as the epicenter of what some call a “small business crisis” in New York City, and we have certainly seen our share of lost community icons and long-shuttered storefronts, but a new report shows there is no citywide crisis and lawmakers should be very careful as they consider remedies to what problems do exist.

    Earlier this month

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  • childrens museum cojo

    Speaker Johnson, the author, at a construction site (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    Opportunity Zones, which were part of the 2017 federal tax package, have the potential to improve low-income communities. But the way they are currently structured, they will only benefit neighborhoods already in the midst of building booms and gentrification.

    Here is how they are supposed to work: Investors get tax breaks if they invest in businesses and property development in low-income communities. In New York City, investors are eligible to save

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  • gov and may deb pro

    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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  • maybdb rem

    (photo: Edwin J. Torres/ Mayor's Office)


    This is part two of a three-part series. Read part one - Taking on the Difficult Task - here. (Skip to part three - The City's Bottom Line - here.)

    Elected officials and their critics alike have decried the complexity and inequality of the state’s property tax system.

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  • 48433082297 f0af3fb88d z

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


    City Council Speaker Corey Johnson on Thursday announced a plan to address hunger and the lack of equitable access to fresh food in New York City, laying out a package of legislative proposals that the Council will consider over the next year.

    Food insecurity — the absence of or insufficient access to affordable, nutritious food  — affected nearly 1 million New Yorkers as of 2017, according to a new City Council report that Johnson released at Cypress Elementary School in East New York. The school

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  • mayor deblasio clears

    Mayor de Blasio shovels snow outside one of his two Brooklyn houses (photo: Rob Bennett/Mayor's Office)


    This is part one of a three-part series. Skip to part two - Deep and Complex Inequities - here.

    In May 2018, after years of criticism that New York City’s property tax system lacks equity, Mayor Bill de Blasio and City Council Speaker Corey Johnson announced they would empanel a commission of “blue

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  • proposes mybdbd become

    (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)


    As he campaigns for president, Mayor Bill de Blasio has repeatedly said that “this year” the city will pass a mandate that most businesses provide employees with two weeks of paid personal time each year, but the City Council, which would have to pass such legislation, has not committed to the timeline the mayor is touting.

    De Blasio first announced his support for paid personal leave and said it would get done “this year” in his January ...

  • first lady chirl mcc first

    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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  • taxi medallion drivers rally city hall

    Council Members Levine & Rivera & drivers rally at City Hall (photo: Jeff Reed)


    City Council Speaker Corey Johnson asked what sounded like a simple question: should the Taxi & Limousine Commission apologize for its role in the taxi medallion debt crisis, in which thousands of taxi owner-drivers have been trapped in predatory loans unchecked by city and state watchdogs?

    Jeffrey Roth, nominated by Mayor Bill de Blasio to lead the TLC, failed to give a direct “yes” or “no.” Johnson asked

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  • Corey Johnson

    Council Speaker Corey Johnson (photo: Emil Cohen/City Council)


    City Council Speaker Corey Johnson’s expected mayoral campaign is based in part on a big small-dollar gamble.

    When Johnson announced in January that he was exploring a bid for mayor – he hasn’t made it official yet – he set a $250 limit on all campaign contributions, far below the maximum possible limit of $5,100. And though the latest campaign finance disclosures show him outpacing his three likely Democratic primary opponents in the number of donations he

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  • 1 cm r torres lib

    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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  • bx6 select bus inter ave

    Mayor de Blasio rides the bus (photo: Edwin J. Torres/Mayor's Office)


    Elected officials, advocates, and especially riders agree: the city’s bus system is broken.

    That consensus was reached in recent years as bus speeds slowed to a crawl and the system hemorrhaged ridership. Various advocacy groups and elected officials have put forth studies and plans, and the entities with actual control -- the state-run Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) and the New York City Mayor’s Office -- have taken steps toward improving the situation, though

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  • scott stringer bill de blasio bernie sanders inaugural ceremonies

    Comptroller Scott Stringer (photo: Edwin J. Torres/Mayor's Office)


    New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer has made no secret of his plans to run for mayor in 2021, when both he and Mayor Bill de Blasio will be term-limited out of their current positions. And the outline of his mayoral policy platform is already hiding in plain sight.

    After briefly entering the 2013 mayoral campaign before shifting to a first successful run for comptroller, Stringer has spent a long

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  • city council cojo work train

    Speaker Johnson on the train (photo: City Council's office)


    Imagine a New York where cars no longer rule the road, and pedestrians and cyclists reclaim dominance of the city’s public space. While a New York where cars don’t dominate the streets may seem like a fantasy, to City Council Speaker Corey Johnson, it is the future.

    In recent months, Johnson -- a Manhattan Democrat in his second year leading the 51-member City Council -- has gone full bore touting the idea of “breaking car culture,” or prioritizing pedestrians, cyclists,

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