Gotham Gazette

The Place for New York Policy and politics

coronavirus

coronavirus

  • De Blasio Administration Opposes Council Bill to Create 'City Restart Officer'

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    Mayor de Blasio at City Hall (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    Brooklyn City Council Member Laurie Cumbo, a Democrat and the Council’s Majority Leader, wants to establish a new position in city government to oversee the reopening of city government after the coronavirus shutdown. Her bill (Intro. 1950) would create and require the position of “City Restart

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  • New Yorkers Must Break Free From Our Stockholm Syndrome

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    (photo: Don Pollard- Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo)


    When it became clear to Jan-Erik Olsson that he wouldn’t be able to flee the bank he was attempting to rob, he decided to take hostages. For six days in August of 1973, the four hostages and their captor got to know each other, and once rescued, the hostages not only refused to testify against Jan-Erik, they actually raised money for his defense. This bizarre phenomenon, where “hostages develop a psychological alliance with their captors” is now known as Stockholm Syndrome.

    As coronavirus lockdown

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  • Surveillance and the City: Contact Tracing, the NYPD’s Newest Spy Tool?

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    Mayor and NYPD officials (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)


    In recent days, city and state officials have rushed to stand up an army of contact tracers, public health officials who will reach out to every COVID-19 patient in the state, asking intimate details about every person they’ve come into contact with for the past two weeks. In the hands of public health officials, this data will save lives. But if we let this same information fall into the hands of the police, it won’t just undermine our most important rights, it will set back the efforts to combat

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  • Mayor's Office Misses Deadlines for City Council Budget Cut Request and Comptroller Coronavirus Probe

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    De Blasio briefs City Council members (photo: William Alatriste/City Council)


    With three weeks to go before the budget for the next fiscal year is due, the City Council is putting pressure on Mayor Bill de Blasio to spell out planned cuts to city agencies to fill a $9 billion projected budget gap. But the administration missed a Monday deadline set by the Council to propose new cuts, balancing the budget in a way that reprioritizes social services and investment in youth and education.

    The COVID-19 pandemic is taking a massive

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  • Challenges, Uncertainty Abound for CUNY System and Its Students, Faculty and Staff

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    A CUNY campus in the Bronx (photo: Bronx Community College)


    CUNY, New York City's public university system, is facing a crisis within a crisis, as it looks at expected budget cuts while supporting students, many of whom come from disadvantaged backgrounds, through a pandemic and its fallout, including vanishing economic opportunity.

    Intended as a pathway to upward mobility for city residents, many of its students are from the same populations most severely hit by the pandemic and face some of the most immediate difficulties posed by COVID-19 -- food,

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  • How 2021 Mayoral Candidates Have Responded to the Coronavirus Fallout and Cries for Police Reform

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    New York City Hall (photo: Benjamin Kanter/Mayor's Office)


    New York City has slowly turned the tide of the COVID-19 pandemic and has just begun the first phase of reopening its economy. But despite the last few weeks of success in curtailing the public health crisis, Mayor Bill de Blasio’s leadership has left many frustrated and looking elsewhere. He has been criticized for providing too little clarity and few plans to the public about various health, social, and economic pieces of the city’s larger recovery puzzle, often proving reactive

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  • Ensuring Domestic Violence Survivors Have the Resources They Need

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    Purple lights for domestic violence awareness (photo: Kevin P. Coughlin/Governor's Office)


    Over the past three months, our lives have come to depend almost entirely on technology. Canceled your wedding? Get married on Zoom! Want to introduce a new baby to the family? FaceTime them. Technology has allowed us to stay virtually connected when we are more physically disconnected than ever due to COVID-19.

    But for domestic violence survivors, technology can be a double-edged sword. It can connect them to help, but it can also become a dangerous tool

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  • De Blasio Offers No Transit Plans as City Heads Toward 'Reopening'

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


    New York City is set to begin a phased “reopening” on Monday, June 8, as indicators show significant progress in tackling the COVID-19 pandemic. But as many New Yorkers start heading back to work, Mayor Bill de Blasio has offered no solutions to balance city residents’ need for transportation, maintaining public health by preventing new coronavirus infections, and preventing all-out gridlock if too many New Yorkers turn to cars.

    About 5.4 million people rode the New York City subway

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  • After the Apex, Nurses Look Over the Uncertain Coronavirus Horizon

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    Nurses remain on the front lines of the coronavirus crisis (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    During the COVID-19 pandemic, New Yorkers can be split between the people who have been patients in or staffed hospitals, where wards were likened to war zones, and those living and working everywhere else. 

    In the first weeks of the crisis, as the city braced for the "apex" in the number of coronavirus hospitalizations, nurses perhaps more than anyone else became the de facto front lines of the pandemic and a symbol of the immense societal effort to

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  • I Survived COVID-19; It Proved the Queens Hospital Crisis

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    Council Member Costa Constantinides (photo: New York City Council)


    The whole thing happened so fast. One minute my son and I are playing video games and the next he and my wife, who struggles with diabetes and is in renal failure, rush out the door to her mother’s apartment. So much has changed for my family and our community in the weeks since my fever first hit 102 degrees. However, throughout this experience, one thing remains shockingly clear: we need more hospitals in Queens and to reimagine how people access health care in the World’s

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  • 2021 Comptroller Candidates Offer Different Ideas for Addressing City's Fiscal Woes

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    The city's economy & budget are in free-fall (photo: Benjamin Kanter/Mayor's Office)


    New York City’s fiscal woes are worsening by the day as the COVID-19 pandemic has deprived the city of much needed tax revenue while likely forcing severe budget cuts that could be compounded by reductions in state aid. Though there is broad agreement that the best solution can only come in the form of a federal bailout, various other strategies and contingencies are being debated. And several of the candidates seeking to become the city’s next chief fiscal

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  • NYCHA in the Time of COVID-19 and Beyond

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    A NYCHA tower looms over a city in crisis (photo: Kevin P. Coughlin/Governor's Office)


    In late April, Mayor de Blasio announced a plan to deepen the city’s response to COVID-19 at NYCHA public housing. The plan includes distributing face coverings and gloves to all residents, enrolling all NYCHA senior buildings in the city’s food delivery program, and providing free tablets and internet service for 10,000 senior residents.

    It’s long been clear that

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  • In Our Covid Recovery, A Return to Humanity

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    (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    The COVID-19 pandemic has taken so much from us all – over 100,000 lives taken too soon; months spent alone; businesses shuttered forever; and birthdays, proms, goodbyes, graduations, ball games, firsts and lasts missed. It must mean something, but only we can give it meaning through our actions, preparation, kind gestures, and deep love of all that we took for granted, including our shared connection. We have an opportunity to ensure all that we lost was not in vain. As a nation, as a people, we have a solemn

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  • De Blasio Delay Plus Pandemic Means Property Tax Reform Appears Off the Table This Year

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    Mayor de Blasio's slow-play on property tax reform has now been compounded (photo: Edwin J. Torres/ Mayor's Offie)


    The start of the year 2020 offered what many believed to be the most promising steps in decades to revamping New York's confusing and unfair property tax system. In January, an advisory commission established by Mayor Bill de Blasio and the New York City Council, which was tasked with comprehensively assessing and reevaluating the property tax system, released a set of recommendations. While coming much later than many had

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  • The Case for Touchless Interface Technologies in a Post-COVID-19 World

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    Facial recognition could be useful in the post-coronavirus world (photo: Security Industry Association)


    As a native New Yorker, I am saddened that New York has been hardest hit by the COVID-19 virus. The very way of life for New Yorkers – close living and working conditions, reliance on a round-the-clock crowded mass transit system, a vibrant restaurant and bar scene, movie and live performance theaters, national and international transportation hubs, sporting facilities with tens of thousands of seats and over a million children in the

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  • Max & Murphy Podcast: State Senator Brian Benjamin on Rescuing New York's Finances & More

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    State Senator Brian Benjamin (photo: New York Senate)


    May 27, 2020 - Max & Murphy Podcast: State Senator Brian Benjamin on Rescuing New York's Finances & More

    State Senator Brian Benjamin joined the show to discuss the New York State and City fiscal crises brought about by the COVID-19 outbreak and its fallout. Benjamin, who represents parts of Upper Manhattan and chairs the Senate revenue and budget committee, talked about the city saving, borrowing, and looking for other solutions,

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  • Max & Murphy Podcast: State Senator Gustavo Rivera on New York's Health Care Response to COVID-19

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    State Senator Gustavo Rivera (photo: New York Senate)


    May 27, 2020 - Max & Murphy Podcast: State Senator Gustavo Rivera on New York's Health Care Response to COVID-19

    State Senator Gustavo RiveraState Senator Gustavo Rivera returned to the show to discuss how New York is responding to the coronavirus crisis, and the status of the New York Health Act, a bill he

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  • With No Relief from Washington in Sight and Billions in Budget Cuts Looming, What Can New York State Do?

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    Gov. Cuomo delivers a budget address (photo: Darren McGee/Governor's Office)


    Despite pleas from New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and state and local government leaders across the nation for major new federal help for budgets devastated by the COVID-19 recession, there is still no clear path to Washington acting quickly to provide financial relief. 

    Although on May 15 the House of Representatives, with its Democratic majority, passed a $3 trillion aid bill for the country that included $1 trillion for state and local governments, President

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  • Enough Talk, Time to Give FDNY EMS Their Due

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    Mayor de Blasio visits with EMS (photo: Ed Reed/Mayor's Office)


    The coronavirus pandemic has compelled us to take stock of the racial and socioeconomic inequities that have burdened our city’s more than 5 million New Yorkers of color for generations. These obstacles to their upward mobility exist not only in health care, education, and housing but within our own municipal workforce.

    The most glaring among them happens to also be one of particularly cruel irony given COVID-19’s onslaught on the city’s 9-1-1 system and related services: the unequal pay

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  • Front-Line Workers Must Prove They Contracted Coronavirus on the Job to Receive Workers' Comp

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    Nurses at the frontlines of the coronavirus battle (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    Nine weeks after Governor Andrew Cuomo closed all but essential businesses and services, many of the state’s essential workers are now finding themselves struggling with their employers and insurance companies for injury benefits related to COVID-19, and for those who die, their survivors are left to pick up the mantle.

    Infected front-line staff, from health-care workers to grocery store clerks, are being asked to prove they contracted the virus on the job in order to

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  • Human Services Workers are Essential Workers: It’s Time for the City to Treat Us That Way

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    Workers at Project Hospitality move meals (photo: Ed Reed/Mayor's Office)


    Like health care workers, first responders, grocery workers, delivery workers, and more, human services workers are essential workers during COVID-19 and beyond. We are always essential.

    We serve the most vulnerable where they are and according to what they need. We help seniors get meals and medications delivered and staff residential facilities, homeless shelters, and food banks.

    We provide home care to at-risk communities, keeping them from overwhelming hospitals. We help

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  • CUNY Faces Massive Potential Shakeup Due to City and State Budget Cuts

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    CUNY Graduates (photo: Ed Reed/Mayor's Office)


    As CUNY braces for tens of millions of dollars of potential city and state cuts to its budget, hundreds of its most vulnerable employees are bracing for pink slips. 

    Colleges across the sprawling, citywide public university system have announced contingency plans to drastically reduce course offerings, adjunct professors and other part-time employees ahead of expected budget shortfalls, leaving many unsure of their positions for the upcoming semester.

    Manhattan’s John Jay College of Criminal Justice,

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  • Keep Subways Closed Overnight to Expedite System Modernization

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    Governor Cuomo discusses subways during coronavirus (photo: governor's office)


    The MTA’s recent institution of overnight closure of the subways has attracted a tremendous amount of attention and criticism from advocates for homeless people and many transit advocates. MTA Chair Pat Foye has sought to reassure critics by emphasizing that it is a temporary measure that will end when the pandemic emergency is over. The closure seems to be an attempt to assure transit workers that the MTA is taking their safety seriously and the public that the trains are safe and will not become de

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  • To Avert Massive Housing Crisis, We Need a Government Solution for Property Owners and Renters; Here’s a Roadmap

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    There's a looming housing crisis we must avoid (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    The anxiety and concern driving the “cancel rent” movement is real and justified, but giving rent relief to those who don’t need it makes no sense. Something must be done for struggling renters, but those requesting relief should be asked to provide financial information backing up their request and those that need it should receive it.

    However, canceling rent without subsidizing the lost rental income to property owners will only make matters worse. Without rental

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  • Muddled, Shifting Messages from De Blasio on Essential Metrics as City Nears 'Reopening'

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    Mayor de Blasio during a recent coronavirus briefing (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    New York City’s response to the coronavirus outbreak has been a battle on shifting sands. As information about the disease and officials’ recognition of its threat evolved over time, so did the government approach, from initially continuing business as usual well after the first cases in the city were confirmed to a statewide shutdown of sorts and strict social distancing guidelines that have now been in place in New York City for over two

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