Gotham Gazette

The Place for New York Policy and politics

Kathryn Garcia

Kathryn Garcia

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    Kathryn Garcia, right, with the mayor (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    The next chief executive of the City of New York will have a portfolio of pressing problems, among them: raising the morale and prospects of a city decimated by well over 23,000 coronavirus-related deaths, closing Rikers Island jails, reducing a homelessness crisis, overseeing the development of a housing policy agenda that satisfies tenant advocates and landlords, funding the rescue of public housing, and addressing crowded schools.

    These are challenges that only Kathryn Garcia

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    Kathryn Garcia (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)


    Earlier this month, Kathryn Garcia, a top official in Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration, resigned after more than six years as commissioner of the Department of Sanitation. In her time serving under the mayor, Garcia has worn many hats beyond that of keeping the city clear of trash and snow. De Blasio entrusted her with leading the city’s effort to abate lead exposure among young children, named her the interim chair and CEO of the struggling New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) for part of 2019, and then appointed

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    Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Garcia, middle (photo: Ed Reed/Mayor's Office)


    September 16, 2020 - Max & Murphy Podcast: Kathryn Garcia on Trash, Food & Possibly Running for Mayor

    Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Garcia, who has been tasked with several other key roles by Mayor Bill de Blasio, is stepping down from her post as she considers jumping into the 2021 Democratic primary for Mayor. She joined the show to discuss her tenure at the Department of Sanitation, her work as interim NYCHA CEO and the "COVID-19 food czar,"

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    Mayor de Blasio at a school food hub (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)


    The uncertainty around how New York City public schools will be reopened come September extends to the emergency food initiative greatly expanded by city government during the devastating coronavirus outbreak that led to mass unemployment and food insecurity, as a large portion of the program was using public schools to distribute millions of free meals.

    A part of the massive program that has distributed over 100 million free meals since March will likely shift as students and

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    What's The [Data] Point? Episode 92 -- 70  million, with Kathryn Garcia and Cas Holloway [You can download What's The [Data] Point? wherever you get your podcasts, including on iTunes]

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    70 million is the number of free meals distributed by New York City government since mid-March, when the COVID-19 pandemic took hold. We spoke to key individuals in the public and private

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    The City continues to try to meet food needs amid the coronavirus crisis (photo: @NYCHRA)


    The coronavirus pandemic has put a strain on food access, with unemployment skyrocketing and increasingly more people relying on food assistance, food pantries, and meals provided by the city. Additionally, as New York City is home to many different races, ethnicities, and cultural traditions, concerns have arisen about whether the city’s massive emergency food program, including food delivery, is reflecting that diversity, causing further food stress on communities.

    New

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    De Blasio visits a food pantry in Brooklyn (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)


    As the coronavirus crisis was unfolding in New York City last month, Mayor Bill de Blasio named his sanitation commissioner, Kathryn Garcia, as the new “food czar” to lead the implementation of a massive effort to ensure New Yorkers don’t go hungry. With the city already home to over a million “food insecure” people, the scale of the need accelerated quickly as hundreds of thousands of New

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    Meal handouts from school during coronavirus (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    April 1, 2020 - Max & Murphy Podcast: Hunger and the Coronavirus Crisis

    joel berg 150Joel Berg, CEO of Hunger Free America, joined the show to discuss the city's hunger and food insecurity crisis, which is becoming exponentially worse due to the coronavirus outbreak and its fallout. Berg discussed the

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    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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    (photos: Department of Sanitation)


    In the public conversation surrounding quality of life in New York City, litter baskets -- the mostly green, metal-wire trash cans standing guard on street corners throughout the five boroughs -- have taken on a unique focus. They seem to exist at the nexus between public and private life, providing relief for the refuse-laden pedestrian, and serving as a symbol of the urban order embodied in mundane municipal service delivery.

    Where baskets are placed, how often they are serviced, and how the city enforces the

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    Mayor Bill de Blasio (photo:Benjamin Kanter/Mayor's Office)


    As stories of overflowing trash and endless street noise pile up on social media and in the news, Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration has repeatedly said it is working on comprehensive approaches to some of the most challenging so-called quality-of-life issues affecting New Yorkers, but has yet to reveal an overarching vision for what the city plans to do.

    Last October, Deputy

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    Chair Gregory Russ visiting a NYCHA complex (photo: @NYCHA)


    “These first few months of our work have revealed NYCHA as an organization fraught with serious problems in structure, culture, and direction, and perhaps even worse,” wrote Bart Schwartz, the new federal monitor of the city’s public housing authority, in his first progress report, released July 22.

    Three weeks later, this past Monday, Gregory Russ arrived in Manhattan for his first day of work as NYCHA’s new Chair and CEO, with an enormous task in front of him.

    NYCHA’s short- and long-term futures

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    Mayor de Blasio & Kathryn Garcia, right (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    Four months on the job, NYCHA Interim Chair and CEO Kathryn Garcia remains optimistic and determined about the future of the New York City public housing authority, home to more than 400,000 New Yorkers and several major crises. Garcia, who was the city’s sanitation commissioner for about five years until taking leave to fill in as the head of NYCHA, appeared on

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    (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)


    May 29, 2019 - Max & Murphy Podcast: NYCHA's Future, with Interim CEO Kathryn Garcia

    kathryn garcia wbaiKathryn Garcia, the city's sanitation commissioner for most of Mayor Bill de Blasio's tenure, was recently named interim chair and CEO of NYCHA, tasked with steering the public housing authority through tumultuous times,

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