Focus on the Feds is Gotham Gazette's guide to the federal policies - and policymakers - that shape life in New York City.

Republican Principles, New York Priorities

New Yorkers will continue to benefit from Republican government, believes Congressman Vito Fossella. But he also thinks that many issues facing the city transcend partisanship.

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by Vito Fossella

The Challengers

U.S. Senate

Nine Reasons To Vote Green by David McReynolds
Protecting Marriage From Liberal Experiments by Marilyn O'Grady

U.S. Congressional District 8

A Time for Ideas by Peter Hort

U.S. Congressional District 13

New York City Getting Shortchanged by Frank Barbaro

U.S. Congressional District 17

Solving New York’s Electricity Crunch by Matthew Brennan


Voting Arcade

Embark on a tour of New York's broken down voting system with a nostalgic journey thorough Gotham Gazette's versions of ancient video games.

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A Victory for Clean Drinking Water

U.S. Representative Ed Towns of Brooklyn reports on congressional efforts to protect the environment of eight upstate counties - and make sure New York's tap water continues to be the champagne of drinking waters.

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by Ed Towns (District 10)

Ten Ways the Next President Can Help - Or Hurt - New York City

A look at ten ways the next president could help - or hurt - New York City. Then you critique the two major candidates and their ideas.


Urban Issues: Presidential Candidates and NYC

An issue-by-issue breakdown of the presidential candidates urban agendas: what they have to say about the economy, crime, mass transit, housing, and poverty.


Pollution's Toll

Dirty air threatens the health - and even the lives - of many New York children. Congressman Jose E. Serrano describes what government can do to clean the air and improve health care. But, he says, Washington seems to lack the will to take action.

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by José E. Serrano (District 16)

Who's Looking Out for New York's Middle Class?

Bronx Congressman Eliot Engel argues that the Bush administration has put tax cuts for corporations and millionaires ahead of tax reform that would help thousands of middle-class New Yorkers.

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by Eliot Engel (District 17)

For the first time in history, the Republican National Convention was held in New York Full Coverage in Focus on the Feds' NYC Convention 2004.

Convention Blogs

Find Your Inner Republican

In our latest interactive feature, see where NYC Republicans past and present have stood on ten issues ranging from abortion to education, and where you fit in.

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More Rules, Less Money for Low-Income Housing

The federal government is setting new requirements for people who live in public housing at the same time the Bush administration is cutting funds for another major housing program for the low-income families. Two members of Congress from New York City argue these changes will hurt the poor.

Cuts in Voucher Program Threatens 'Family Values'
by Jerrold Nadler (District 8)
The Community Service Rule Is Unfair to Project Residents
by Gregory W. Meeks (district 6)

Message Board

Where's Our $21 Billion?

While President George Bush pledged $21.4 billion to New York City in post 9/11 aid, it is unclear how much has actually arrived. Representative Carolyn Maloney, who has been tracking federal rebuilding aid, writes about the differences between what has been said and what has been done.

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by Carolyn Maloney (District 14)

Funding Homeland Security

Representative Joseph Crowley comments on federal funding earmarked for Homeland Security in New York City -- how much was promised and how it was allocated, how much is needed, and how, he claims, it should be used.

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by Joseph Crowley (District 7)

Keeping the Ferry Service Afloat

Representative Anthony Weiner argues that water ferries — like buses and subways — need government money to be successful. And investing in water transportation, he argues, will ease traffic congestion and overcrowded trains.

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by Anthony Weiner (District 9)


U.S. Senator Charles Schumer argues that a downtown train to the airport and the extension of the number 7 train on the west side must not get lost amid all of the debate over memorials and stadiums.

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The GOP in NYC

When the Republican National Convention comes to New York this summer, political consultant Joseph Mercurio says that local Republicans will have little in common with their national counterparts. However, State Senator Frank Padavan argues that Republican approaches to education, taxes, and crime can resonate with New Yorkers.


Many Ground Zero rescue workers and residents of lower Manhattan continue to suffer from health problems related to 9/11. US Representative Carolyn Maloney describes her plan to aid those in need and continue to examine what the health effects have been.

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by Carolyn Maloney (District 14)

Help Small Business, Not the Wealthy

New York has lost 230,000 jobs since President Bush came to office, but he persists with his failed economic plan, charges Representative Nydia M. Velázquez , who writes that Bush should stop the tax cuts and help the small businesses that form the backbone of the economy.

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by Nydia M. Velázquez (District 12)

Urban Issues: Presidential Candidates in NYC
An issue-by-issue breakdown of the presidential candidates urban agendas: what they have to say about the economy, crime, mass transit, housing, and poverty.
Full Story
Message Board

The Urban Agenda
The presidential campaigns are in full swing, but the issues facing cities are largely absent from the debate. Is there an urban agenda in national politics? What can and should the federal government do for New York?
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message board

President George W. Bush's Address to Mayors
(Jan 2004, - "It's not easy being a mayor. Probably a lot harder than being a President," George W. Bush told the U.S. Conference of Mayors. "After all, I don't have to fill potholes. Or empty the trash."

2004 Federal Campaigns
Covering the federal campaigns New Yorkers vote in: U.S. President, U.S. Senate, and the thirteen U.S. Congress seats that represent the city.

Federal Impact on NYC

The following links are to articles originally published on, and address the impact of federal policy topic-by-topic.