Gotham Gazette

The Place for New York Policy and politics

coronavirus

coronavirus

  • CUNY and New York City Could Recover Together, or the Public University System Could Be Left Behind

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    CUNY Chancellor Matos Rodriguez and students, pre-pandemic (photo: City University of New York)


    College seniors who graduated this June faced a very different economic landscape from the one they saw at the beginning of the school year. A global pandemic shattered the job market, and many industries — including the performing arts, entertainment, restaurants, and hospitality and tourism — were in complete freefall after government-mandated closures. 

    The widespread financial strain that saw unemployment in New York City skyrocket from 4% to well over 20%

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  • Time for the Big Banks to Reinvest in New York City

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    Eric Adams at a Brooklyn business (photo: @BKBoroHall)


    At the height of the pandemic New York City did the unthinkable in the city that never sleeps: it closed up shop. To stop the spread and protect lives, we shut down everything—including the tens of thousands of small businesses that are the backbone of our local economy.

    The sacrifice was immense. New Yorkers gave up their livelihoods and put their American dreams on hold. Some lost everything.

    It did not have to be this way. One good thing that Washington did during the crisis was to fund a lifeline for small

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  • New York City Covid Spending Tops $4 Billion, Virtually All Covered by Federal Funds

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    Mayor de Blasio inspects school cleaning (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)


    The COVID-19 pandemic has cost more than $4 billion in direct New York City expenses through mid-October, almost all of which the city expects to pay for with federal dollars.

    Of the total spending, $4.08 billion has been registered in contracts, according to a report from City Comptroller Scott Stringer. Almost two-thirds of that

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  • For Next Steps in City's 'Green New Deal' and Covid Recovery, Coalition Offers Plan for 100,000 Climate Jobs

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    An NYC Green New Deal announcement (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography)


    Though the coronavirus pandemic has caused widespread devastation for New York, it has hurt some communities more than others. New Yorkers of color have been more likely to die from the virus and, despite making up a larger share of so-called essential workers, have been more likely to lose their jobs because of the outbreak’s economic recession.

    With the city still in the process of a somewhat halting “reopening” and attempting to rebuild its struggling economy, a coalition of

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  • Throughout Shifting Education Experiences, New York is Failing Immigrant Families

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    A student reporting to school (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)


    From English-only robo calls and critical emails to online-only surveys and a dearth of information in community media outlets, immigrant families have been left out of remote learning in New York, and they are confused and deeply concerned. 

    COVID-19 forced schools across the nation and in New York State to close in mid-March, quickly exacerbating pre-existing inequities in New York’s education system through the transition to remote learning. For New York’s

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  • Stringer Plan Calls for Revamping City Workforce Development, Including Free Community College

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    CUNY grads (photo: Edwin J. Torres/Mayoral Photography Office)


    New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer proposed a plan Wednesday to revamp the city's workforce development strategy, including by making CUNY community colleges tuition-free and expanding job training opportunities for people at career crossroads.

    The pandemic has decimated jobs in New York City -- with unemployment at roughly 16%, though some estimates say the “real” figure is much higher -- and shifted forecasts about the future of industries across the board. Advocates and policymakers are looking for ways to

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  • Members of De Blasio's Small Business Advisory Council Frustrated by Lack of Communication, Progress

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    Mayor de Blasio gets ice cream (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)


    An advisory council created by Mayor Bill de Blasio to speak on behalf of the city’s small businesses hasn’t convened in months and some of its members say their concerns aren’t being heard as the city charts a stunted recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

    In April, de Blasio announced the creation of several task forces to help lead the city’s recovery efforts, including advisory councils dedicated to specific sectors such as large and small businesses, health care, education,

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  • Without Random Testing, New York City and State Address Covid Outbreaks with Blinders

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    Mayor de Blasio gets tested (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography)


    As New York City public health officials try to get a handle on a series of COVID-19 “hot spots,” they lack the tools to know exactly how the voluntary testing data they collect skews the true prevalence of the virus, both in communities of concern and city-wide. In the absence of randomized testing, public health officials rely on the results of voluntary testing, an especially challenging process given new evidence some New Yorkers are organizing to game the system against that weakness.

    New York's

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  • New York City Schools Need a Trauma-Informed Approach to Student Behavior

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    Students return to schools (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    Black, brown, and indigenous students are suspended from school more than any racial or ethnic groups in the United States. This disproportionality exacerbates educational inequities. By controlling misbehavior, rather than correcting it, excessive school discipline has lifelong negative impacts on well-being, academic, and professional success. 

    The long-term consequences of racially-biased discipline in schools will be even more devastating in a school year as unique and

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  • 'I Don't Trust What The Department of Education Is Saying': Parents of Color Choose All-Remote Learning at Higher Rates

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    Remote learning in action (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    Confidence in the New York City Department of Education and other local leaders is low for Yalena Figueroa, a Hispanic mother of two public school students learning remotely this school year from Astoria, Queens.

    Figueroa wanted to send her fifth-grader and ninth-grader back to school, especially her teenager starting at a new high school. However, due to the concerns raised by teachers and news outlets, she said remote learning was a no-brainer for her. Both Figueroa

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  • Affordable Housing is the Key to New York’s Recovery

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    Housing is essential to the city's recovery (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    As we begin yet another month of the pandemic, New Yorkers are alarmed at the acute rent crisis crippling our city. While statewide executive orders temporarily postponing evictions help for the moment, unemployed tenants are building up unpaid rent debt that they will struggle to pay even after they begin working again. And even before COVID-19, more than half of city renters were paying more than a third of their income in rent, and a third of city renters paid more than half

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  • Rebuilding A Stronger, Healthier New York Through Science

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    Mapping community concerns that science can help address


    Any true New Yorker knows the question is not if New York City will rebuild from COVID-19, but how and when. In order to genuinely build back a better, more sustainable, equitable, and resilient city there has never been more need for effective partnerships between communities, government, and experts. 

    Science for New York aims to overcome these challenges on a local scale in New York City. We are scientists who volunteer our skills to translate technical and analytical

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  • The Mayor and Governor Must Save Community Nonprofits to Save Lives and Livelihoods

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    Essential workers need help (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    The COVID-19 pandemic is not just a medical problem—it's a social one. As everyone knows, it is caused by the new coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2. But it is fueled by inequity. Black and Latino New Yorkers have been twice as likely to die from COVID-19 as their white neighbors because of a raft of social factors: People of color are more likely to live in

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  • How CUNY Has Started Its New Online Semester

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    (photo: @CUNYedu)


    A month into the City University of New York’s fall semester, the COVID-19 pandemic, budget cuts, a drop in student enrollment, and anxiety remain the hallmarks of an uncertain new period in the history of the nation’s largest public urban university system. CUNY has chosen to remain almost entirely virtual this semester, with fewer than 2 percent of the fall semester’s 50,000 classes occurring in person.  

    Preliminary figures show CUNY’s enrollment dropping by roughly 4.4% since last fall, according to a CUNY spokesperson who

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  • Max & Murphy Podcast: Principals Union President Mark Cannizzaro on Reopening New York City Schools & a Vote of 'No Confidence' in the Mayor

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    CSA President Mark Cannizzaro (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)


    September 30, 2020 - Max & Murphy Podcast: Principals Union President Mark Cannizzaro on Reopening New York City Schools

    Mark Cannizzaro, the president of the Council of School Supervisors and Administrators, joined the show to discuss the reopening of New York City schools, what principals still need, and his union's vote of 'no confidence' in Mayor Bill de Blasio and Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza.

    Listen to the conversation and let us know what you

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  • Max & Murphy Podcast: Borough President Gale Brewer on Manhattan's Future

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    Manhattan BP Gale Brewer (photo: William Alatriste/City Council)


    September 30, 2020 - Max & Murphy Podcast: Borough President Gale Brewer on Manhattan's Future & More

    Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer joined the show to discuss her borough's future, housing and homelessness, and more.

    Listen to the conversation and let us know what you think -- we're on Twitter @TweetBenMaxand @JarrettMurphy. You can listen to the show through the

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  • To Tackle Covid and Climate Change, Invest in a Five-Borough MTA

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    Governor Cuomo talks subways (photo: governor's office)


    A city on the precipice of financial collapse. A federal government unwilling to provide help. Thousands of jobs and vital programs on the line. This was the situation in New York City in 1975, but this description is not far off from the picture in 2020.

    Though the causes of these two crises were different, the effect will most likely be the same: massive budget cuts, especially to new projects. During the 1970s, the MTA was implementing plans to expand the subway system, including building the

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  • When Can New Yorkers Expect General Election Results? City and State Officials Give Different Answers

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    New Yorkers soon head to the polls (photo: Edwin J. Torres/Mayoral Photo Office)


    The 2020 general election results in New York City may not be known until mid-December, six weeks after Election Day, according to Michael Ryan, the executive director of the New York City Board of Elections.

    Ryan told members of the New York City Council Friday that New Yorkers could expect election results between December 8 and 15, around the same length of time it took in the primaries but ages beyond the unofficial results New Yorkers have come to expect on election

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  • A Critical But Too Often Ignored Piece to New York City’s Economic Recovery

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    A resource fair (photo: Edwin J. Torres/ mayoral Photography Office)


    Getting people back to work safely after the record-breaking job losses seen during the pandemic is on everyone’s mind. While this will require a multi-faceted approach, the frontline workforce field, i.e. the professionals responsible for training and connecting marginalized jobseekers with employers

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  • Business Association Calls on Mayor to Launch 'Open Stores' Program to Help City's Struggling Retail Sector

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    Mayor de Blasio at a press conference (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)


    Though New York City has begun a slow march towards economic recovery, many small businesses, including retailers deemed non-essential, are still struggling to stay afloat as sales have decreased and customers are reluctant to return. While a great deal of focus has been on the city’s extensive restaurant industry, other small businesses are seeking a lifeline from city government. In a letter sent on Wednesday to Mayor Bill de Blasio and the City Council, the

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  • Max & Murphy Podcast: New York City's Choppy School Reopening

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    Mayor de Blasio & Chancellor Carranza visit a school (photo: Ed Reed/Mayor's Office)


    September 23, 2020 - Max & Murphy Podcast: New York City's Choppy School Reopening

    Reema Amin, reporter for from education-focused publication Chalkbeat New York, joined the show to discuss New York City's choppy and limited reopening of in-person school, questions around all-remote and blended learning, and much more.

    Listen to the conversation and let us know what you think --

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  • Max & Murphy Podcast: Senator Gianaris on Next Steps in New York's Recovery

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    State Senator Michael Gianaris (photo: Senator Michael Gianaris' office)


    September 23, 2020 - Max & Murphy Podcast: Senator Gianaris on Next Steps in New York's Recovery

    State Senator Michael Gianaris of Queens joined the show to discuss next steps in reopening the New York economy, how the State Senate Democratic majority is thinking about addressing the state and city fiscal crises, and more.

    Listen to the conversation and let us know what you think -- we're on Twitter ...

  • 4 Steps to Fix the City’s Ongoing School Reopening Failures

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    Mayor and Chancellor on first day of school (photo: Ed Reed/Mayor's Office)


    This city continues to fail us as we attempt to begin the school year safely. Not utilizing any of the months since March to make a safe, equitable reopening plan is unacceptable, and the constant changes to the plan are throwing the lives of many families and educators into complete disarray. It’s time to chart a better path.

    Each week brings daily changes as leadership continually pulls the rug out from under students, parents, and educators. Late last Tuesday evening, the night before

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  • New York Has An Incarceration Problem. Letting People Go Is The Answer

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    Governor Cuomo at a correctional facility (photo: governor's office)


    The killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Daniel Prude, and scores of Black Americans have once again put a spotlight on the brutality of policing in this country. But policing is only one part of a criminal legal system that was founded on dehumanizing and oppressing Black people. There are countless Black lives, including those of Kalief Browder, Layleen Polanco, Benjamin Smalls, and Lulu Benson-Seay, that have been taken away in jails, prisons, and detention centers across New York. Now is the time to

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  • Covid Must Change How We Handle Rikers and the Future of Jails in New York City

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    Council Member Carline Rivera, the author (photo: Emil Cohen/City Council)


    Like most New Yorkers who lived through the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, I am still reeling from the trauma and chaos we experienced this spring. But until I set foot on Rikers Island last week, I had an incomplete understanding of what the true horrors of COVID-19 were for some of our most vulnerable New Yorkers.

    At the height of the pandemic, Rikers saw an infection ...