Gotham Gazette

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  • gov cuomo delivers

    Gov. Cuomo during his second 2021 SOTS speech (photo: governor's office)


    In his second of four planned State of the State speeches this week, Governor Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday outlined a plan to revive New York’s struggling economy, get New Yorkers back to work, and to prepare them for jobs that adapt to a post-covid future.

    In his first speech on Monday, Cuomo presented a broad

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  • CUNY graduates ceremony caps gowns

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


    There’s an unwarranted assumption that workers with college degrees are at the top of the heap in terms of not only earnings but also rights and dignity. Despite the obvious benefits of desk work, especially work that can be done remotely during a pandemic, the fact is that many highly-educated workers in New York City are plagued by the same low wages and lack of job security that fast-food workers have been fighting for years. Such is the plight of 15,000 Adjunct Faculty who teach hundreds of

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  • compt di hold

    An opportunity for workers in an old law (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    As several cities begin to shutdown again with the hope of slowing the spread of COVID-19, we’re reminded of the timeless words “certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” I’m interested in the unique opportunity to evaluate how that third unalienable right — the pursuit of happiness — matches with the reality of today’s world and steps we can take to improve opportunities for people to pursue and achieve their definition of happiness.

    For Americans, it

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  • 2 still no sign

    Organizers and activists (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    While unemployment booms and New York City faces its worst economy in decades, the fate of the city's disconnected youth -- people aged 16 to 24 who are both out of work and out of school -- is getting a shrug from city government.

    The city's Disconnected Youth Task Force, created by the City Council and Mayor Bill de Blasio to examine the factors that inhibit employment and school enrollment among this group numbering in the hundreds of thousands, is more than two years late to submit its

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  • mayor b visits

    Construction workers at work (photo: Edward Reed/Mayoral office)


    New York City is on a long road for recovery from COVID-19. Many of us have a family member, friend, neighbor, or co-worker who has been directly infected with this horrible disease. Because of our tragic experience, New Yorkers recognize better than people from any place across the globe the importance of masks, social distancing, and handwashing, and we have transitioned from the epicenter to become one of the safest places in the country.

    But while we have taken many necessary steps to combat the spread

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  • gov cuomo opening

    Full casino gaming downstate should be on the table, the author says (photo: governor's office)


    Back in 2013, the Hotel Trades Council (HTC) — the union I lead that represents nearly 40,000 hotel, hospitality, and gaming industry workers across New York City and the surrounding suburbs — negotiated a landmark contract that nearly doubled workers’ wages, guaranteed free family health care, and provided retirement security to over three-quarters of employees at Resorts World, the city’s one and only casino. This was the beginning of the pathway out of poverty

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  • whats the data point

    Special Flushing Waterfront District development rendering


    What's The [Data] Point? 29, The Debate Over the Special Flushing Waterfront District [You can download What's The [Data] Point? wherever you get your podcasts, including on iTunes]

    The proposed Special Flushing Waterfront District has become the latest battle in the ongoing war over development in New York City. The proposal, which now sits with the City Council after being passed by the City Planning Commission, is for a large swath of Flushing and would house new

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  • 1 nycsbs

    SBS Commissioner Doris at a small business (photo: @NYC_SBS)


    Frustrated City Council members and hopeful––yet weary––small business advocates took to a hearing Tuesday to express their concerns about the Open Storefronts program launched recently by Mayor de Blasio after outcry from the business community, particularly smaller retailers. Small businesses, many of which are struggling to hold on if they haven’t already closed due to the pandemic and a lack of government help, can enroll in the program that, as of now, will give them through December 31 to sell their merchandise

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  • steve bellone long island business

    Steve Bellone, the author/left, at a local business (photo: @SteveBellone)


    To say that 2020 has been a rough year for New Yorkers would be the understatement of the century. COVID-19 hit us like a mack truck, with the greater New York City metropolitan area suffering the worst.

    Working with Governor Cuomo, we quickly sprang into action to flatten the curve and save lives with a shutdown. But it did not come without a steep toll on our economy and small businesses. After months of strict shutdown rules, New Yorkers finally began to see a light at

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  • pow mov ya

    DNJ Mechanical Corp. moving into Maspeth (photo: BOC Network/Maspeth Industrial Business Association)


    As we get deeper into the current crisis, it’s becoming clearer that New York won’t simply bounce back to “normal.” We need effective strategies to transform our city’s infrastructure and economy. Policies aimed at protecting and growing industrial jobs can improve not only our citywide economy, but the nearby low-income residential communities and the lives of the predominantly of-color manufacturing workforce.

    As industrial business service providers, we ask our current and

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  • 4 con files

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


    As our city tries to address the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic, we have a responsibility to ensure that no New Yorker falls through the cracks while others are on the road to recovery. Low-income, underserved communities have borne the brunt of the pandemic’s health and economic damage. For an inclusive recovery, city leadership must think both inclusively and creatively, and use the vast tools of city government in developing solutions especially focused on our most

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  • arc slide1

    Flushing Waterfront development rendering


    When faced with a crisis, whether 9-11 or Hurricane Sandy, New York has always rebuilt. The COVID-19 pandemic and resulting economic damage means that, now more than ever, we need to invest in our city. 

    But that doesn’t mean that all development is created equal, or that all proposed projects should get a blank check under the guise of recovery. That is why we have a review process for developments seeking to

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  • 1 comfort items the

    An uphill effort to recover in New York (photo: Benjamin Kanter/Mayoral Photo Office)


    As New York City continues to recover and rebuild after the devastation of the COVID-19 outbreak, which had immense health and economic consequences, ideas are being offered to ensure a city that is more inclusive, creative, and responsive.

    During a recent event hosted by the Center for an Urban Future, a leading nonprofit think tank offering many ideas for the city’s short- and long-term recovery, panelists offered suggestions for New York City that have been

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  • arc slide1

    Flushing Waterfront development rendering


    When the developers behind Industry City, a massive retail and manufacturing space, announced that they had pulled the plug on their plan to rezone a portion of their property on the Sunset Park waterfront in Brooklyn, community activists in Flushing, Queens celebrated. 

    The proposed Special Flushing Waterfront District is a planned rezoning to usher in massive development along Flushing Creek, and is now being eyed by both proponents and critics as the next big New York City land use battle. The debate over the Flushing

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  • cuny laguardia com

    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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  • bor haller bk

    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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  • fl cmc do

    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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  • 2 tour smallbus

    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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  • Manhattan Borough President candidates 2021 MBP

    (l-r) Mark Levine; Elizabeth Caputo; Brad Hoylman; Kim Watkins; Ben Kallos


    The five Democratic candidates running to be the next Manhattan Borough President via the upcoming 2021 election gathered by Zoom on Wednesday for a candidate forum hosted by the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce, with topics focused on the devastated local economy and small businesses in the borough.

    The participating candidates, seeking to replace term-limited Democrat Gale Brewer, were Elizabeth Caputo, a former community board chair on the Upper West Side;

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  • resource bk cityhall

    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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  • cm ra sal

    A ground-breaking in the Bronx (photo: Jeff Reed/City Council)


    Recent events have made it abundantly clear that the Bronx needs new, creative solutions. To rebound and rebuild stronger from the crises we face, we need policies that bring equity to economic opportunity; sustainable, liveable neighborhoods with great local schools; resilient communities; affordable, accessible transportation; and local input from the community about decisions affecting the community.

    In that spirit and as part of my candidacy for New York City Council in the Bronx’s District 11, I am

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  • experts revive tourism

    Visitors to the Statue of Liberty (photo: Spencer T Tucker/City Council)


    New York City’s tourism industry has a long road to recovery and a lot to learn from other cities like London, which has kick-started its economy through hyperlocal tourism, to come out of the coronavirus pandemic recession. During a virtual policy forum this week hosted by the Center for an Urban Future, top

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  • flushing cover face

    The authors write about opportunity for Queens (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    The last several months have taken a tremendous toll on our local economy. Over 20 percent of New York City residents were unemployed in June, a level not seen since the Great Depression. Thanks to our frontline heroes and the leadership of our elected officials, we’ve flattened the curve and New York is winning its battle against COVID-19. Now it’s time to get New Yorkers back to work.

    Through a community-centered process, with buy-in from local community

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  • 1 40 bn

    New. Yorkers seeking help (photo: Edwin J. Torres/Mayor's Office)


    As a new report indicates unemployment in New York City may be as high as 33%, the state’s labor commissioner testified at a Thursday legislative hearing that since early March, the New York Department of Labor (DOL) has paid almost $40 billion in unemployment benefits to more than 3.3 million New Yorkers, compared to $2.1 billion in all of 2019.

    The impact of the COVID-19 outbreak and its fallout on the state’s workforce was the subject of an oversight hearing held by both houses of the State Legislature

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  • vanbramer carlos

    City Council (photo: Emil Cohen/City Council)


    We are at a critical turning point in New York City’s history. Large-scale development projects, pushed by big real estate interests and the business class after September 11, 2001, did not give New Yorkers the promised security to avoid the Great Recession, or the next crisis, COVID-19. Meanwhile, a lack of investments in social programs shredded the social safety net New Yorkers were told would save them if they lost their jobs or homes.

    If there is any time to insist on accountability before approving massive

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