Gotham Gazette

The Place for New York Policy and politics

 

coronavirus

coronavirus

  • cm helen rosenthal local girl

    Council Member Helen Rosenthal, the author (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    To address the coronavirus crisis and save lives, New York City government and New Yorkers are mobilizing in ways never seen before. The City swiftly sent an unprecedented message to our human services sector -- the 250,000-plus employees who provide housing access, child and elder care, shelters, emergency food relief, mental health counseling, and disaster response. These workers -- traditionally undervalued, underpaid, and unappreciated -- were told that

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  • bk nycha sheepshead

    Construction and the coronavirus recession provoke key questions (photo: Demetrius Freeman/Mayor's Office)


    As the coronavirus crisis continues to hit New York harder than any other state in the nation, Governor Cuomo, Senate Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins, and Assembly Speaker Heastie have undoubtedly answered the call and stepped up in a big way to protect New Yorkers and address statewide needs.

    But as they consider ongoing negotiations over the state budget – amid a partial shutdown of New York’s massive construction industry – state

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  • Cuomo budget hole coronavirus

    Gov. Cuomo and the Legislature must budget thoughtfully (photo: Governor's Office, 2011)


    This week the New York State Legislature is supposed to adopt a budget for the 2020-21 fiscal year that begins Wednesday, April 1. Legislators are facing an unparalleled challenge: the coronavirus has caused the bottom to very suddenly fall out of the state’s economy and therefore, its revenue. Without restaurants and stores open, there can be very little sales tax collected; hundreds of thousands of employees laid off means no personal income tax

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  • cuomo train tunnel MTA subway shutdown

    Gov. Cuomo should close the subways, the author writes (photo: Governor's Office)


    New York City is the epicenter of the coronavirus crisis in the United States. State and city authorities are pleading with residents to stay home, shelter in place, and maintain distance from fellow New Yorkers to slow the wave of cases crashing into the city’s healthcare facilities.

    Yet, public transportation was running on the standard weekday schedule as of Monday morning. With subway ridership down ridership down 87%, the...

  • Robert Carroll State Assembly

    Assemblymember Carroll, the author (photo: New York State Assembly)


    In a few days the New York State Legislature will pass a new state budget. In a normal year, this is the most consequential task the Legislature does. In a crisis year, it may be the last thing we do.

    What we do now could help New Yorkers weather the storm. Unfortunately the discussions we are having, which are few, are emphasizing the wrong issues.

    To understand New York’s politics, one must understand that New York’s budget is not just dollars and cents, but also a

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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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  • bloom sofl

    New York must take learn key leassons as it moves ahead (Photo: Spencer T Tucker/Mayor's Office)


    Though it feels like an eternity, it was only about a year ago that Amazon walked away from plans to build a second headquarters in Long Island City. The online juggernaut was scared out of town by a short-sighted public debate that centered on legitimate concerns about gentrification and displacement but underplayed future-looking arguments about economic growth. At the time ...

  • greene corr
    Gov. Cuomo visits a correctional facility (photo: governor's office)


    Last week, the inevitable happened: the first cases of COVID-19 in Rikers Island jails and upstate prisons were confirmed.

    We are on the precipice of a public health catastrophe in New York’s jails, prisons, and communities most impacted by mass criminalization and incarceration. COVID-19 can spread like wildfire through the state’s jails and prisons, where social distancing is all but impossible.

    Much of this is preventable.

    Right now, access to the basics, like soap and water, is

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  • workers push for benefits

    32BJ SEIU workers rally for job protections (photo: Jeff Reed/City Council)


    The coronavirus pandemic has made it clear that there are a host of vital service jobs that are essential to keeping people safe under extreme conditions. Among them are the workers at our nation’s airports, who have been on the frontlines of the COVID-19 outbreak from the start.

    Reports of possible infections at John F. Kennedy International Airport and other hubs are increasing. Many of the 40,000 airport workers in the New York area are members of my union,

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  • mark levine district

    Council Member Levine gets a flu shot (photo: Jeff Reed/City Council)


    March 25, 2020 - Max & Murphy Podcast: The City's Developing Public Health Response to Coronavirus

    mark levinewbai150City Council Member Mark Levine, chair of the Council's health committee, joined the show to discuss the city's developing response to the coronavirus outbreak.

    Listen to the

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  • power105angie

    emergency supplies at a local firehouse (photo: Edwin J. Torres/Mayor's Office)


    As the city and state are on pause and most people are shut in, many (including me) are stunned and anguished about the sudden shutdown of the city’s economy. Restaurants, bars, and personal services are the grout that holds our neighborhoods together. We are heartbroken about all the waiters, cooks, bartenders, manicurists, personal trainers, and others who are now unemployed; many of these people who give character to our lives are now in dire financial straits. The same is true for

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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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  • bellevue hos

    (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    What happens when a historic pandemic collides with an unprecedented housing crisis? The inextricable link between housing and health is now more apparent than ever as doctors both care for critically ill patients with the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, and simultaneously scramble to make plans for the most vulnerable in our society who simply have no place to isolate.

    Only a few weeks into this crisis, we have seen numerous patients recuperating from COVID-19 who linger for days in the hospital because of their need for

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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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  • num limited senate

    A near-empty chamber conducts Senate business (photo: NY Senate Media Services)


    As New York has become the country’s epicenter of the global coronavirus pandemic, Governor Andrew Cuomo has stepped onto the national stage as New York's (and the region's) captain, coordinating the state's response to the outbreak with a profusion of executive orders and fireside chats from the State Capitol, streamed daily and with PowerPoint.

    The governor has signed 11 executive orders, suspending dozens of laws, as he, his top aides, and public health officials

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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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  • car free open streets

    Car free day 2019 (photo: Jeff Reed/City Council)


    The COVID-19 pandemic is posing an unprecedented challenge to New Yorkers. As we face this surreal moment together, we are also learning what it means to practice “social distancing” — and, inevitably, it has not gone perfectly. Case in point: we have taken to city parks in astonishing numbers, creating crowds and density that risk spreading the very virus we’re trying to fight.

    Is it possible for New Yorkers to maintain a safe distance and “...

  • myabdb

    Keeping people in their homes is of the essence, the author writes (photo Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office


    The federal response to the economic crisis just over a decade ago swiftly bailed out banks and other financial institutions, but left far too many struggling families in the lurch. It was too little, too late. This was devastatingly true for black families, whose home-ownership rates dropped from 50% to 42%, representing an enormous loss of generational wealth.

    We must respond differently this time to ensure that homeowners hold onto their homes and apartment building

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  • mta subway vintage

    Subway ridership has plunged during the coronavirus outbreak (photo: Marc A. Hermann/MTA NYCT)


    Patrick Foye, the chair of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and therefore the leader of the city’s subway and bus systems, sent a letter to the local Congressional delegation on March 17 stating that the MTA faced financial calamity and seeking $4 billion in federal aid.

    The MTA’s

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  • city hall domestic violence awareness

    City Hall lit up purple for domestic violence awareness (photo: Ed Reed/Mayor's Office)


    As New Yorkers shelter at home to avoid exposure to COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus that has put the city largely at a standstill, concerns are growing among that victims of domestic violence may be particularly affected if they are unable to escape an abusive home.

    Time and again, studies have ...

  • sochie bail reform

    Sochie Nnaemeka, the author (photo: @sochiesays)


    In moments of crisis, we see what our leaders value. Over the past week, coronavirus has spread to Rikers Island. Our state should be focused on keeping detained New Yorkers and correctional workers safe and healthy. Instead, elected officials may roll back bail reforms in response to fear-mongering by opponents of the new law. If our leaders in Albany choose to reduce the number of people eligible to await their trial from home, the jail population could grow during a dangerous pandemic. We must put human safety over

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  • mayor covid

    social distancing amid coronavirus is key (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)


    New Yorkers have a particular way of showing solidarity. After the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, resuming normal life was an act of bravery. We would not be derailed. We would carry on. As tragedies have struck other cities and countries, the language of solidarity, arguably the language of coping, has stayed the same. In essence, we come together, try to restore a sense of normalcy, and move forward.

    The rapid spread of the new coronavirus, COVID-19, has rattled the

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  • ebike leg

    The push for legalizing e-bikes continues (photo: @nily)


    Right now, our colleagues in Albany can deliver immediate justice and help keep New York fed and moving during a time of crisis. They must legalize electric-bikes in the state budget being finalized right now.

    As part of the effort to slow the spread of COVID-19, the de Blasio and Cuomo administrations announced this week that restaurants, bars, and cafes would close for dine-in customers, but that take-out and delivery would remain available. This move made it clear that New York City’s food delivery workers,

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