Gotham Gazette

The Place for New York Policy and politics

coronavirus

coronavirus

  • Hey New York, Let’s Have a (Vaccine) Party

    raifman barhart op

    A vaccine block party in Rochester (photo: Rachel Barnhart)


    On a recent Saturday in Rochester, New York, dozens of people lined up to get vaccinated against COVID-19 at a neighborhood festival. The event featured the opening of a new playground, free lunch from food trucks, and $100 gift cards for receiving a first dose of the vaccine. To celebrate the approval of child vaccines and of boosters, we can have national and state Block Party Weekends for children and their caregivers. These fun events can play a key role in reaching the one-third of

    ...
  • Exercising Mental Fitness as We Move Forward with Our Covid Recovery

    sunset wside firstlady

    New York City (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    In Southern California, three generations of a family gathered their separate households under one roof to weather the pandemic -- and liked it so much they decided to make it permanent. On the Upper West Side of Manhattan, students organized to buy groceries and essentials for the housebound. And as the virus surged, a nationwide ...

  • Rewriting the History of 2020 Crime

    4 holds media avail

    NYPD Commissioner Shea & Mayor de Blasio (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    We’re seeing history rewritten before our eyes, the heartbreaking death toll of 2020 turned into another political talking point. This time, it’s not COVID-19 fatalities, but the grotesque murders and other violent crimes that impacted so many last year. But while those crimes are all too painfully real, the narrative around this once-in-a-lifetime crime spike is completely fake, and it’s an insult to the memory of those we lost.

    Even before

    ...
  • Covid Vaccination and the New York City Recovery

    jimbr theatre

    New York's recovery is happening (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    New York City was the epicenter of the deadly COVID-19 pandemic as it began in the United States. It recorded its first death from the disease on March 1, 2020. The city’s economy also suffered a massive setback during the lockdown in the early months of the pandemic.

    A full job recovery is still several years away and the major problems that predated covid and persisted through it — poverty, homelessness, affordable housing, unemployment and under-employment — are

    ...
  • Max Politics Podcast: City Council Member Carlina Rivera on Hospitals Oversight, Running for Speaker, & More

    carlina rivera hh

    City Council Member Carlina Rivera (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    October 1, 2021 - Max Politics Podcast: City Council Member Carlina Rivera on Hospitals Oversight & More

    City Council Member Carlina Rivera, a Manhattan Democrat who chairs the Council's Committee on Hospitals, joined the show to discuss two recent hearings she chaired, including one on the city's covid vaccine program, her upcoming legislative priorities, her bid to become the next City Council Speaker, and more.

    Listen to the

    ...
  • Advocates and Journalists Push Hochul to Release Troves of Covid Data

    covid 19 room

    Gov. Hochul (photo: Mike Groll/Office of Governor Kathy Hochul)


    A coalition of advocacy groups is pushing Governor Kathy Hochul to release over 100 datasets related to the coronavirus pandemic in New York that they believe the state is keeping. The groups say that information can be used by scientists, journalists, and advocates to better understand the virus, its impact on public health, and the state's response.

    In a ...

  • New Poverty Data Shows Effects of Federal Relief, Prompts Calls for Continued Aid

    federal aid nyc poverty

    Federal relief arriving (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    Despite the coronavirus causing mass death, displacement, and unemployment last year, federal relief staved off the worst of its socio-economic effects and prevented a massive spike in poverty, new Census data revealed this past week.

    While incomes did decline and the national poverty rate increased marginally in 2020, a more expansive poverty measure that accounts for the effect of government programs showed a decrease as millions of people were kept from falling into poverty and

    ...
  • De Blasio Outlines Spending Plan for $5.9 Billion in Direct Federal Pandemic Aid

    phd hold elec

    Mayor de Blasio's 'recovery budget' was helped by federal aid (photo: Ed Reed/Mayor's Office)


    Since the March passage of the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan, the nation's most recent pandemic-era stimulus package, de Blasio administration officials have been crafting a plan to use close to $5.9 billion in direct federal funding to New York City government.

    A new report from the de Blasio administration, required by the federal stimulus

    ...
  • Adults Need to Grow Up If We Want to Keep Our Kids Safe

    schools chance porter

    Back to school (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)


    We’ve all seen the news lately. It’s rife with images of chaotic school board meetings and rallies starring adults engaged in tantrums, which we would never tolerate from our children. Every parent wants what they believe is best for their children. However, if we want them to get back to school safely, the adults in the metaphorical room need to stop fighting and adhere to public health guidelines.

    As health care professionals, our message is that children should safely

    ...
  • Report Takes Closer Look at Low-Income New Yorkers' Concerns About Long-Term Covid Impacts

    1 low income long term covid

    New Yorkers lined up for food (photo: Emil Cohen/City Council)


    Newly-released survey data confirms lower-income New Yorkers were far more worried about the long-term effects of the pandemic and its economic fallout than their moderate- and higher-income counterparts after the pandemic's first and most devastating peak last spring.

    According to a study conducted by Community Service Society -- a nonprofit advocating for

    ...
  • The Major Problems with New York City’s School Reopening Plan

    chancellor rising off

    Mayor de Blasio and school kids (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    Despite New York City Department of Education officials’ claims during this past week’s City Council hearing that the city’s school reopening plan for this fall represents “the gold standard,” the reality is that the plan is riddled with profound flaws.

    First, and perhaps

    ...
  • City Council Schedules Oversight Hearing on NYC School Reopening

    1 city holds oversight scho plans

    Council Speaker Johnson, right, and Council Member Treyger (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    UPDATE: On Saturday August 21, following the publication of this article on the evening of Thursday August 19, the City Council scheduled an oversight hearing by the education committee on the city's school reopening plans for Wednesday September 1. The hearing will come less than two weeks before the first official day of school for more than 900,000 public school students on Monday September 13. The article below has been

    ...
  • Expanding State Extended Unemployment Benefits Could Protect 395,000 New Yorkers, But the Legislature Must Act Now

    extended

    The New York State Senate (photo: NY Senate Media Services)


    New York can take precautionary measures now to protect unemployed residents in the event that Congress allows federal unemployment insurance programs to expire on Labor Day. This can be done by the State Legislature passing a bill that ensures the state’s Extended Benefits program remains in place under the total unemployment rate activation trigger when 50% state funding is

    ...
  • Pandemic Spurred Major Jump in Out of School, Out of Work Young Adults in New York City: Report

    NYC youth

    New York City youth (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    The number of young adults who are both out of school and unemployed surged during the pandemic after declining for much of the past decade, a new report from the workforce development organization JobsFirstNYC confirmed.

    The analysis, commissioned by JobsFirstNYC and conducted by the analytics firm Chmura, crunched data from the Census Bureau's Community Population Survey to show 27% of 18-to-24

    ...
  • Watchdogs Worry About De Blasio's Last Budget, City’s Fiscal Future

    budget mayor direc

    (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    New York City’s budget has grown massively under Mayor Bill de Blasio and reached a record high of $98.7 billion for the current fiscal year. The latest spending plan, which the mayor dubbed a “recovery budget,” deployed a huge infusion of federal stimulus funds to restore services that were cut at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, to expand existing programs, and launch new initiatives. But despite the mayor’s assurances that his successor, due to take office January 1, will inherit manageable

    ...
  • No Equity or Excellence as Mayor and DOE Abandon Overcrowded Schools

    equity for art

    School during covid (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    For years we’ve heard from the mayor and his schools chancellors that our Department of Education is all about “equity and excellence.” Lofty goals, lofty promises, and grand announcements of progress have followed, giving the impression that we are much further along than we really are. You may not share the DOE’s faith in utopia, but my school, Francis Lewis High School, is located right on Utopia Parkway in Queens. 

    This notwithstanding, I’m not persuaded. Next school

    ...
  • CUNY Confronts Series of Challenges as University System Nears In-Person Reopening

    CUNY Looks Ahead to Uncertain School Year

    On campus at CUNY (photo: @cunyedu)


    The City University of New York, CUNY, is facing budget constraints, student enrollment questions, union demands, covid vaccination pressure, and other challenges as its long-awaited in-person reopening approaches. COVID-19 and the Delta variant that has been spreading in the city has heightened concerns about those reopening plans, while university leadership, faculty, staff, and students continue to plot and implement ways to improve the academic, economic, and mental health of the student body

    ...
  • Max Politics Podcast: Governor Cuomo Faces Series of Scandals and Investigations

    1 gov cuomo faces

    Governor Andrew Cuomo (photo: Darren McGee/Governor's Office)


    July 31, 2021 - Max Politics Podcast: Governor Cuomo Faces Series of Scandals and Investigations

    Luis Ferré Sadurní, a reporter with the New York Times in the Metro section, and Marina Villeneuve, a reporter with the Associated Press, both of whom cover Governor Andrew Cuomo, joined the show to break down the numerous investigations and scandals the third-term Democrat is facing and what comes next, including the highly-anticipated report from New York State

    ...
  • City Council Goes More Than 5 Months Without Oversight Hearing on Covid Vaccination Effort

    vaccine hearing covid

    City Council Speaker Corey Johnson and Health Chair Mark Levine (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    After weeks of flagging covid vaccine rates, ongoing racial disparities among the vaccinated, and the troubling spread of the Delta variant, Mayor Bill de Blasio is taking his first steps to impose more coercive vaccine policies in New York City. The mayor announced on Monday an upcoming mandate for all city workers to be vaccinated or subject to weekly covid testing, while encouraging private sector actors to institute their own

    ...
  • Max Politics Podcast: New York's Covid Emergency Rental Assistance Program

    mpolitics emma comm

    Major housing questions linger in New York (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    July 27, 2021 - Max Politics Podcast: New York's Covid Emergency Rental Assistance Program

    Emma Whitford, a reporter for Law360 who covers real estate and more, joined the show to discuss New York's pandemic housing crisis, eviction moratorium, and state emergency rental assistance program, which has seen major initial problems in its rollout.

    Listen to the conversation and let us know what you think, on Twitter ...

  • Doctors to Mayor: Halt the Transfer of Homeless New Yorkers from Hotels to Shelters Now

    hotel shelter oped photo

    New Yorkers


    As most New Yorkers adjust to enjoy newly vaccinated and unmasked social lives, many of the city’s most medically vulnerable – homeless individuals who through painstaking work by many advocates were able to secure safe, secure hotel rooms for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic – remain in unnecessary peril. At City Hall’s whim, they are being sent back en masse to congregate living facilities that, with the rise of the much more transmissible Delta variant, may become hotbeds of viral transmission even among the fully vaccinated

    ...
  • City Officials Discuss Managing the Frontline Workforce During Covid and Bringing Nearly Everyone Back to the Office Now

    3 city gov every

    Welcome Back to City Hall (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)


    While many employers in New York City and beyond were shutting their doors, laying off workers, and severely cutting operations when the pandemic hit last year, others kept providing essential services. That latter group included New York City government, the country’s eighth-largest employer. And while many thousands of city workers shifted to remote work, most did not.

    Essential city operations like sanitation, water, schools, fire and police departments, food delivery, and

    ...
  • Think Tank Curates 250 Ideas for New York City’s Recovery

    library

    Hunters Point Community Library in Queens (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    On Thursday the Center for an Urban Future published a report,  “Blueprint for New York City’s Economic Recovery,” outlining some 250 proposals for the future of the city and drawing upon the ideas of over 175 New Yorkers. A think tank, Center for an Urban Future focuses on securing a robust and inclusive economy.

    The report comes as the city is not only recovering from the devastation of the COVID-19 pandemic but selecting the next class of city government through the ongoing

    ...
  • Staten Islanders’ Compassion Must Come Through for Our Communities Again

    si cm rose

    Council Member Rose, back left, is the author (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    We Staten Islanders pride ourselves on being a borough that cares for our own, often railing against the “forgotten borough syndrome” and always taking on the powers that be seeking our fair share. 

    During the early days of the pandemic, we begged, pleaded, and fought to get PPE for residents, family, friends, first responders, and essential workers to protect them from the scourge of COVID-19 — the highly contagious and deadly disease that has ravaged our

    ...
  • Creating Green, Healthy New York City Schools as They Fully Reopen

    4 reopen quality

    The mayor and schools chancellor at a school (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    The next Mayor of New York City will need to ensure that communities hit hardest by COVID-19 can not only recover, but achieve greater economic security and prosperity in the future.

    Recovery after covid and the creation of green, healthy schools for all go together.

    As part of the full re-opening of the public school system, city government should prioritize installing HVAC systems and solar energy in every school. Doing so will enhance air

    ...