Gotham Gazette

The Place for New York Policy and politics

Mark Levine

Mark Levine

  • lower manhattan skyline

    Lower Manhattan (photo: Benjamin Kanter/Mayor's Office)


    The six Democratic candidates running for Manhattan Borough President in this year’s election appeared Thursday night at a forum hosted by the West Side Democrats. The five Democratic candidates running for City Council District 6, based on the Upper West Side, also appeared before the club, following the borough president hopefuls. Both primaries are among those happening for all of city government in June and will feature the first full citywide round of ranked-choice voting,

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  • mayor slow vaccine

    Mayor de Blasio vaccine promises (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)


    Three weeks after New York City received its first batch of COVID-19 vaccines, and more than five weeks after officials knew when they were coming, only a third of the half-million doses had been dolled out, raising questions about why the city wasn't more prepared to step into "the light at the end of the tunnel."

    That has been a favorite phrase of Mayor Bill de Blasio since he signaled the city was on the verge of receiving the life-saving, pandemic-ending treatment over a month ago.

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    Covid field site (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    There are many high-stakes questions to be sorted out in the design of the coming covid vaccination distribution program. But there’s one issue that’s not receiving enough attention: How can we design a plan that avoids exacerbating pre-existing racial inequities and instead meaningfully advances equity?

    It’s essential that we answer this question — now.

    Vaccine distribution will be the most complicated implementation challenge of this pandemic, even

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  • cm hr chairs

    City Council Member Helen Rosenthal, right (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    New York City Council Members will hold an oversight hearing Wednesday on “sexual and reproductive rights in New York City” and consider a package of legislation on those subjects, at a joint hearing of the Council’s Committee on Health and Committee on Women and Gender Equity. 

    The bills cover a wide range of

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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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  • demo bp3

    (L-R) Mark Levine, Elizabeth Caputo, Brad Hoylman, Kimberly Watkins, Ben Kallos


    As 2021 creeps closer, so does the most consequential municipal election in possibly decades, one that will decide the entire political roster that represents the city with few incumbents eligible to run for their current seats due to term limits. In overwhelmingly Democratic New York, the Democratic Party primary in June is all but certain to determine the winner of almost every seat. In Manhattan, nearly half of the borough’s 1.6 million registered voters are Democrats, more than seven times the

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  • 2 drug overdose

    Mayor de Blasio makes an announcement (photo: Ed Reed/Mayor's Office)


    As the coronavirus ravaged New York, hospitals were flooded with patients and city services ground to a halt. Activists and elected officials worried that in the fray of the pandemic, with New Yorkers ordered to mostly stay inside and millions losing work, the already prevalent opioid epidemic in the state could be further exacerbated. But city and state health officials don’t have full grasp on the scope of the problem, and may not know for months, because of a lag in how drug

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  • eviction nightmare expanding

    An eviction nightmare looms as housing court reopens (Benjamin Kanter/Mayoral Photo Office)


    A new threat is looming for the very Black and brown communities in New York City that have been hit the hardest by the dual pandemics of coronavirus and racism in policy: a massive wave of evictions. 

    That’s because phase 1 of New York “reopening” didn’t just apply to construction and curbside retail. It also applied to housing courts. This could have disastrous consequences for tenants. Housing court personnel have already started

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  • maybdb arrival

    Could the reinvigoration of the New York economy come from public works? (photo: Ed Reed/Mayor's Office)


    Somewhere around a million New Yorkers are out of jobs and billions in tax revenue has evaporated as New York City bears the brunt of possibly the worst disaster in its history. The coronavirus has been devastating the city’s people, their way of life, and their livelihoods. As elected officials and experts look to the future, when the pandemic eventually subsides, they must plot a path out of the crises that will remain.

    New Yorkers will need jobs, and

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  • mark levine district

    Council Member Levine gets a flu shot (photo: Jeff Reed/City Council)


    March 25, 2020 - Max & Murphy Podcast: The City's Developing Public Health Response to Coronavirus

    mark levinewbai150City Council Member Mark Levine, chair of the Council's health committee, joined the show to discuss the city's developing response to the coronavirus outbreak.

    Listen to the

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  • wbai city express

    Health officials must manage the coronavirus in New York (photo: Jeff Reed/City Council)


    March 4, 2020 - Max & Murphy Podcast: Coronavirus in New York - Threat, Preparation, & Response

    levin gershonDr. Robyn Gershon of NYU School of Global Public Health and City Council Member Mark Levine, chair of the Council's health committee, joined the show to discuss the new coronavirus

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  • taxi medallion drivers rally city hall

    Council Members Levine & Rivera & drivers rally at City Hall (photo: Jeff Reed)


    City Council Speaker Corey Johnson asked what sounded like a simple question: should the Taxi & Limousine Commission apologize for its role in the taxi medallion debt crisis, in which thousands of taxi owner-drivers have been trapped in predatory loans unchecked by city and state watchdogs?

    Jeffrey Roth, nominated by Mayor Bill de Blasio to lead the TLC, failed to give a direct “yes” or “no.” Johnson asked

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  • car service taxi

    (photo: @NYTWA)


    When financial bubbles burst, it’s almost always regular people whose lives are ruined. The fraudsters and scammers often avoid serious consequences. So it was with America’s mortgage crisis in 2008. And so it has been with New York City’s own home-grown mortgage meltdown: the collapse of yellow taxi medallion values since 2014, which has had a devastating impact on the lives of thousands of yellow taxi drivers.

    New York City only allows a fixed number of the iconic yellow taxis on its streets--creating over the decades a consistent,

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  • press conf flavored

    Council Members Levine, center, & Cabrera, behind him (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    The New York chapter of the NAACP and four of the nation’s largest anti-smoking groups are urging City Council Speaker Corey Johnson to support two bills that would effectively ban the sale of flavored tobacco products in New York City. The groups recently sent a letter urging Speaker Johnson to bring the two proposals up for a vote in the City Council.

    The first bill, ...

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    (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    New Yorkers know that it is the city government’s job to make sure that they’re taken care of. We fill potholes, pick up the trash, clean the streets, clear the drains, prune the trees - you name it.

    But that’s not all we do. And while we faced many challenges as a city and as a nation in 2018, New Yorkers continue to step up and help their neighbors in need.

    Through our public health facilities, tens of thousands of dedicated professionals help their fellow New Yorkers put food on the table, help

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  • cojo cm team

    Speaker Johnson, middle, and Council members (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    In December, several City Council members jostling to become the powerful next speaker of the 51-member legislative body signed on to a broad platform of reforms to the Council’s rules and procedures, which can have a significant impact on city law-making and funding for communities. Both returning and newly-elected Council members, 33 of them in total,

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  • Carlina Rivera City Council

    Council Member Rivera, one of the authors (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    Even in an era of relentless attack on health care by the Trump administration and its allies in Congress, New York City is continuing to reap enormous benefits from the Affordable Care Act. This year alone another 80,000 city residents enrolled in health coverage through our state’s Obamacare exchange.

    But a huge number are still being left behind: an estimated 962,000 adults in the five boroughs remain uninsured. These New Yorkers -- many of whom are

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  • Johnson City Council staff

    Speaker Johnson and others (photo: William Alatriste/City Council)


    Last week, the City Council proposed a legislative package aimed at confronting sexual harassment in private and government work environments. It includes 11 bills, four of which would apply to city agencies should they become law. Council members sponsoring the bills, including Speaker Corey Johnson, touted the legislation as evidence of the Council taking

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  • Carlina Rivera hospitals hearing

    Council Member Carlina Rivera (photo: @NYCCouncil)


    The new CEO of the city’s beleaguered Health + Hospitals (H+H) public hospital system, Dr. Mitchell Katz, testified in front of the City Council’s new hospitals committee, and its chair, Carlina Rivera, for the first time on Wednesday, discussing the progress of the “One New York” plan to 'transform' and improve the system.

    H+H is a

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  • Kallos Salamanca City Council

    Council Members Ben Kallos, left, and Rafael Salamanca (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    When new City Council Speaker Corey Johnson reshuffled committee portfolios earlier this month, Council Member Ben Kallos lost his position as chair of the Committee on Governmental Operations. Sources say the move was punishment for Kallos’ approach to Board of Elections commissioner nominations and because of his support for one of Johnson’s opponents in the speaker race.

    By virtually all accounts, Kallos had done an exceptional job chairing

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  • Corey Johnson health hospitals

    Corey Johnson at a rally (photo: City Council)


    Before being elected Speaker of the City Council, Council Member Corey Johnson led the Committee on Health for four years. Drawing from his own personal experience as an openly gay, HIV-positive man who has struggled with drug and alcohol abuse and tobacco use, he pushed a raft of legislation to improve healthcare services and outcomes for many of New York’s most underserved populations. In his early days as Speaker, Johnson has indicated that health and healthcare issues will continue to be

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    City Council members (photo: William Alatriste/City Council)


    The New York City Council is gearing up for a new agenda under Speaker Corey Johnson, with several newly created committees and fresh faces in the legislative body. As the Council begins to schedule its first committee hearings and readies for the reintroduction of legislation from the last session, there are a number of priorities that Council members are planning to pursue. Returning members say they want to pass bills that have been pending and build on their work from the last four

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  • City Council chambers with members

    photo by William Alatriste/City Council


    The New York City Board of Elections has widely been acknowledged as a dysfunctional agency in need of urgent and sweeping reform, yet the political will for modernizing and professionalizing the board has not existed, at least in part because its current structure benefits those in power.

    Its system of appointments based on political patronage has long been a source of criticism and its mismanagement of election operations has frustrated voters and been the subject of City

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  • City Council speaker candidates

    The City Council speaker candidates (photo: William Alatriste)


    At the last public forum in the race to become the next speaker of the City Council, seven of the eight men contending for the Council’s top leadership spot took turns making their argument for why they would be the right person to continue Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito’s legacy of protecting and promoting the cause of women, transgender, and gender non-conforming New Yorkers. Though few new ideas emerged, for nearly two hours, the seven Council members pitched their progressive

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  • rosenthal levine sexual harassment legislation

    Council Members Rosenthal and Levine (photo: Samar Khurshid/Gotham Gazette)


    Amid a national outcry against sexual assault and sexual harassment, including in the workplace -- intensified by numerous accusations against sitting members of Congress that have resulted in two resignations thus far -- members of the New York City Council are stepping up to combat, prevent and expose any cases of sexual misconduct within their own ranks and that of the gargantuan city government.

    A series of

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