Gotham Gazette

The Place for New York Policy and politics

Rafael Salamanca

Rafael Salamanca

  • At Hearing, Garodnick Lays Out Adams Administration Planning Values, Talks Budget and Policy

    City Planning Chief Dan Garodnick (photo: Joanna Graham/Mayoral Photography Office)


    In a presentation to the New York City Council Wednesday, newly-appointed Department of City Planning Commissioner Dan Garodnick discussed the Adams administration's proposed budget and values for how land should be used to shape the city's future.

    The Department of City Planning, which helps craft proposed changes to land use rules, including zoning regulations and applications, is working towards some of the pillars of inclusive economic growth and crisis adaptability contained in Mayor Eric Adams’ economic recovery

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  • Latino Vote '21 Podcast: The Bronx, with Council Member Rafael Salamanca

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    City Council Member Rafael Salamanca (photo: Jeff Reed/City Council)


    Eli Valentin is a professor, political analyst, and writer who has experience as a political consultant and working in city and state government in New York. He writes regular columns for Gotham Gazette, largely focused on Latino politics in New York City. Those columns include a series, Latino Vote '21, about the Latino vote in the consequential 2021 New York City elections that are happening this year,

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  • City Council Members and De Blasio Planning Chief Spar Over Neighborhood Rezonings at Budget Hearing

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    Mayor de Blasio makes an announcement (photo: Edwin J. Torres/Mayoral Photo Office)


    What was ostensibly meant to be a City Council hearing on the proposed preliminary budget for the Department of City Planning on Tuesday turned into a debate about the de Blasio administration’s approach to neighborhood rezonings. Several Council members expressed their displeasure with rapid gentrification and resident displacement, and what they believe are the city’s insufficient efforts to stop those trends while at times exacerbating them through rezonings, while Mayor

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  • Celebrating Renewal, Inclusive Planning and Mixed-Use Development in the Bronx

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    The Peninsula in the Bronx (rendering via @nycgov)


    The lights were off and the countdown was on. “One, two, three,” over a hundred people called out until the lights on the Christmas tree flickered to life. With that, the Hunts Point holiday celebration was in full swing. Hot chocolate was served, pictures were taken with Santa, the Point’s youth choir sang carols, and gifts were given to the neighborhood’s youngest residents.

    Last Friday’s celebration of community was a stark contrast to holidays past in Hunts Point. For the nearly 50 years it

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  • A Well-Meaning But Misguided Housing Proposal

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    Council Member Salamanca (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    A year ago, a homeless woman confronted Mayor de Blasio during his gym workout in Park Slope to ask why the city doesn’t set aside more apartments for homeless people. The incident and a video of it in which the mayor refused to talk with the woman, Nathylin Flowers Adesegun, were widely ...

  • To End the Homelessness Crisis It’s Time to Refocus the City’s Housing Plan - Here’s How

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    The authors and others at a rally (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    More than 61,000 men, women, and children will sleep in New York City shelters tonight, and this historic homelessness crisis will continue to devastate the lives of even more people unless Mayor de Blasio embraces the common sense plans that we have put forward from a City Council office and the Coalition for the Homeless, respectively.

    The record number of homeless New Yorkers will continue to reach new highs every year, according to the latest report from the Coalition. In stark contrast to Mayor

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  • Criticizing De Blasio Rezonings, Williams Introduces 'Racial Impact Study' Requirement

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    (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    Fulfilling a promise he made in his successful campaign for public advocate, Jumaane Williams introduced legislation on Wednesday that would require the city to conduct an assessment of expected racial and ethnic impact brought on by proposed neighborhood rezonings, in order to ensure that the city is complying with the federal Fair Housing Act, and combat segregation and displacement.

    The Fair housing Act, passed in 1968, is meant to protect against discrimination in the sale, purchase,

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  • Council Hearing Highlights Big Gaps in City Planning Processes

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    Council Member Salamanca, center (photo: William Alatriste/City Council)


    A Tuesday City Council hearing about how city planning is done revealed major flaws in the process and showed significant divides between the mayoral administration and the Council over a set of bills aimed at changing relevant processes. Specifically, the legislation addresses how the outcomes of neighborhood rezonings -- where land use rules are adjusted in certain geographic areas to meet new development goals -- are projected and

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  • A Supportive Housing Victory, and Much More To Do

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    Council Members Levin & Salamanca, the authors, foreground (photo: Jeff Reed)


    New York City is facing a crisis. There are more than 60,000 homeless individuals living in the city shelter system daily, and thousands more in shelters for survivors of domestic violence, youth, and those living with HIV/AIDS. An additional estimated 4,000 New Yorkers sleep on the streets each night. And according to the Coalition for the Homeless, the number of homeless

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  • Brooklyn City Council Member Setting Early Foundation for Speaker Run

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    Council Member Justin Brannan (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    City Council Member Justin Brannan is everywhere.

    He’s at the governor’s mansion discussing the state’s efforts to empower women- and minority-owned businesses. He’s meeting with the president of the Building and Construction Trades Council about the city’s construction industry. He’s at the Chinese-American Planning Council’s 53rd anniversary celebration, ...