Gotham Gazette

The Place for New York Policy and politics



  • 3 Ways the Next New York State Budget Must Lift Up Communities of Color

     Economic development with a focus on MWBEs (photo: Kevin P. Coughlin/Governor's Office)

    As Governor Hochul and lawmakers in Albany work toward a new state budget, meaningful conversations are occurring on a wide range of critical issues from housing to workforce development to sustainability to health care and more. New York has long been at the forefront of advancing consequential progressive policies in these and other areas. But given the current political dynamic and the historic diversity of our state government, we have a tremendous opportunity to leverage this

  • To Address Corruption Risks and Boost MWBE Contracting, Comptroller Asks Mayor to Convene Procurement Board

    Mayor Adams, Comptroller Lander, & others (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)

    In a letter to City Hall last month, New York City Comptroller Brad Lander called on Mayor Eric Adams to make changes to the city's procurement rules to prevent corruption and fraud in nonprofit human services contracts.

    In the October 19 letter, Lander asked Adams to convene the Procurement Policy Board (PPB) to take steps to increase contract procurement for minority- and women-owned businesses (MWBEs) and address...

  • Leveraging the Power of Health Care Spending to Build Community Wealth in Brooklyn

    Local health care spending spurs economic activity (photo: Ed Reed/Mayor's Office)

    As leaders of two of Brooklyn’s largest health systems – representing six hospitals, employing almost 14,000 individuals, and with combined non-personnel spending of over $655M per year – we understand firsthand the role healthcare institutions play in supporting the health and wealth of our communities. This is why we have made an unprecedented commitment to procure 10% of our non-clinical goods and services from local minority- and women-owned businesses (MWBEs) by

  • A Model for Accelerating Growth of Minority-Owned Businesses in New York City

    Opportunity for growth (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral

  • New York City Covid Spending Tops $4 Billion, Virtually All Covered by Federal Funds

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    Mayor de Blasio inspects school cleaning (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)

    The COVID-19 pandemic has cost more than $4 billion in direct New York City expenses through mid-October, almost all of which the city expects to pay for with federal dollars.

    Of the total spending, $4.08 billion has been registered in contracts, according to a report from City Comptroller Scott Stringer. Almost two-thirds of that

  • Does New York City Need a Chief Diversity Officer?

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    (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)

    Many days throughout the year there are people gathered on the steps of City Hall calling on city government to make policy. On March 14, a rally of women and people of color who own businesses, organized by city Comptroller Scott Stringer, focused on a change that could significantly alter the direction of city government and opportunities for those business owners and others in similar positions.

    Those in attendance were backing Stringer’s push to have the 2019 New York

  • City Eager to See Cuomo Sign M/WBE Contracting Bill Now on His Desk

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    Gov. Cuomo signing (photo: Philip Kamrass/ Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo)

    A state bill to enhance New York City’s ability to award discretionary contracts to minority- and women-owned businesses (M/WBEs), which was passed by both houses of the state Legislature in June, was delivered to Governor Andrew Cuomo’s desk on December 19.

    The bill, which received unanimous support in the state Senate and passed the Assembly with a vote of 115-15, would allow the city to spend up to $150,000 on M/WBE contracts

  • Deputy Mayor Outlines Accountability Measures for MWBE Program

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    Deputy Mayor Richard Buery, left, & Mayor de Blasio (photo: Ed Reed/Mayor's Office)

    Since Mayor Bill de Blasio created the Mayor’s Office of Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprises last September, Deputy Mayor Richard Buery has been focused on establishing a system of accountability to meet the new targets set by the de Blasio administration for contracting with M/WBE firms and helping those firms to build capacity.

    Appearing last week on the “What’s the [Data] Point?” podcast from Gotham

  • What's The [DATA] Point? 30% with Deputy Mayor Richard Buery

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    What's The Data Point? Episode 10 -- 30% with Deputy Mayor Richard Buery [You can download What's The [Data] Point? wherever you get your podcasts, including on iTunes]

    This week's data point is 30% -- the share, based on dollar value, of city contracts to be awarded to minority- and women-owned businesses by fiscal year 2021, according to a goal set by Mayor Bill de Blasio in September 2016. This would be an increase from 14 percent in fiscal year 2016. New York City Deputy Mayor Richard Buery joins the podcast

  • Don’t Make It Harder for Minority-Owned Businesses in the Construction Industry

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    Street redesign project in Brooklyn (photo:Ed Reed/Mayor's Office Flickr)

    After decades of work overcoming discrimination in the construction industry, minority- and women-owned businesses (M/WBEs) know that it is still very difficult for them to get a fair shake of opportunities. There is plenty of progress left to be made for black and brown contractors in a field historically dominated by white males. But the City Council is moving ahead with legislation that would turn back the clock on New York’s construction industry and send us back to a time when

  • Leveling the Playing Field for Minority- & Women-Owned Businesses

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    Sen. Alcantara, the author, & Mayor de Blasio (NY State Senate Photography)

    In April, New York City certified its 5,000th Minority and Women-owned Business Enterprise (M/WBE). Its proud owner is Miguel Cabrera, an immigrant from the Dominican Republic who came to the U.S. in 2009 and owns a transportation business.

    When I met Miguel earlier this month in Albany, we talked about immigrant life in the United States. He told me that he became City-certified so that he could reinvest in his local community in the Bronx.