Gotham Gazette

The Place for New York Policy and politics

 

Bill de Blasio

Bill de Blasio

  • Rikers Island inmate detainee

    (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    In an historic vote last month, the New York City Council approved the plan to close the Rikers Island jail complex and replace it with four borough-based jails by 2026. When the Council voted through the plan, estimated at $8.7 billion in new construction costs, it also announced, with Mayor Bill de Blasio, a $391-million package of citywide and community investments in criminal justice reforms and initiatives to responsibly accelerate the reduction of the city’s jail population.

    For city officials, one

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  • control board bdb

    (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photo Office)


    With voter approval of a city charter amendment to pursue the creation of a budgetary “rainy day fund” in New York City, de Blasio administration officials are now looking to change state laws so that the city can actually start one.

    “We’re going to have to work together to make this happen,” said First Deputy Mayor Dean Fuleihan at a breakfast event hosted by the Citizens Budget Commission Wednesday morning, just a few hours after polls closed on Tuesday night.

    Voters had overwhelmingly approved an amendment to the

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  • ee7tqcgxsaevmo6

    Jumaane Williams (photo: @nycpa)


    Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, a Democrat, easily won his reelection bid on Tuesday, beating Republican Joseph Borelli, a City Council member from Staten Island, and Libertarian Party nominee Devin Balkind. With about 723,000 votes counted and 90% of election precincts reporting at midnight, Williams had received 78% of the vote (563,000 votes) to Borelli's 20% (144,400) and Balkind's 2% (14,500).

    Williams previously represented Brooklyn in the New York City Council and was first elected to the public advocate’s office

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  • com james body

    Mayor de Blasio with an NYPD body camera (photo: Edwin J. Torres/Mayor's Office)


    The New York Police Department quietly issued its long-sought policy on the public release of body-worn camera footage earlier this month, detailing how the department must respond to requests for footage from the public and the various exemptions that determine its release.

    The policy was published to the NYPD website on October 18, one day after Gotham Gazette

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  • first day voting

    Mayor de Blasio & First Lady McCray vote (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    Mayor Bill de Blasio is dodging questions about his position on a series of ballot referenda that propose changes to city elections and governance. In two interviews Friday and Monday, the mayor avoided giving any specifics when asked repeatedly to discuss the proposed amendments to the city charter, all of which impact city services and administration, and he refused to say how he voted on them.

    The ballot this year has ...

  • cm carlina riv carlos m press

    (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    With the launch of the 2020 Census barely five months away, the New York City Council on Tuesday summoned officials from Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration for a progress report on the city’s preparations for the decennial population count. It is a count that has a great deal riding on it, from billions of dollars in federal funding to representation in Congress, and more.

    Convening a joint hearing of the Committees on Governmental Operations, Immigration, and State and Federal

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  • council finance dromm johnson mbdblasio fiscal budget

    (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photo Office)


    Mayor Bill de Blasio and other top city officials have remained mostly quiet about their positions on a set of proposed changes to city government and elections, which are set to go before voters when early voting begins on Saturday. The five “yes” or “no” ballot questions include 19 distinct proposals from the 2019 Charter Revision Commission, whose members were appointed by the mayor, comptroller, public advocate, City Council speaker, and five borough

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  • jack hts bus

    (photo: @Charter2019NYC)


    Just seven people trickled in from the rain to attend the information session in the Lower Gallery of the Bronx Museum of the Arts last Wednesday night. Despite the low turnout, the small group has the potential to reach dozens or even hundreds more people because most of those who attended represented organizations. They had come to the museum that night to gather information to bring back to their members about the proposals that will be on this year’s ballot, whereby voters will approve or disapprove 19 changes to New York City governance and

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  • rikers island jails via lippman report

    Rikers Island (photo via Lippman Commission report)


    Late last week, the New York City Council approved the de Blasio administration’s plan to build four new borough-based jails to replace the detention complex on Rikers Island. The plan hinges on a continued reduction in the city jail population, in large part brought on by state and city criminal justice reforms and changes in city policing. Various aspects of the costs, and potential savings, involved in shuttering the Rikers jails and opening the four new ones – from

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  • mayor hosts press conf cam

    De Blasio with a body camera (photo: Rob Bennett/Mayor's Office)


    The New York City police department is set to finally publish its formal policy regarding the release of body-worn camera footage, nearly seven months after every uniformed patrol officer was equipped with a body camera. While the signature reform has been touted by Mayor Bill de Blasio as a means to improve policing and to provide transparency and accountability to the public, there have been no clear guidelines on how the department determines when to release footage to the public and the

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  • city council co jo keynote address

    Speaker Johnson (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson is advancing his legislation to create a master plan for city streets, promising Thursday that the Council will vote on the bill this month.

    Johnson, a Democrat from Manhattan, first proposed the idea of creating a five-year plan for the city’s

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  • De Blasio close Rikers

    De Blasio, Johnson, Ayala & others at Rikers announcement (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    The plan to close the Rikers Island jails and replace them with four borough-based facilities has sped through the city’s land use process and is awaiting approval from the New York City Council, prompting both support and rebukes from criminal justice reform activists and those who prefer to keep most city detainees on the island. If it passes at the scheduled October 17 vote, full implementation of the plan will fall in the hands of a future mayor, perhaps two,

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  • marisa lago city breakfast2

    City Planning Director Marisa Lago (photo: May Vutrapongvatana)


    In a Friday morning speech about how New York City’s limited space is used, Marisa Lago, director of the Department of City Planning, discussed some of the department’s approaches to the housing, employment, and equity challenges facing the city.

    The city has a population of 8.4 million and is “the only older U.S. city that has surpassed its 1970s-era population peak,” said Lago, who was appointed by Mayor Bill de Blasio to direct the Department of City Planning and chair the City

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  • union sq counts

    (photo: @NYCImmigrants)


    New York City is moving full steam ahead with its effort to ensure that the 2020 Census counts each and every resident of the five boroughs, with millions of dollars in funding and a four-pillar strategy for outreach to hard-to-count communities. But New York State’s effort seems to have stalled and there is little indication that state authorities are moving with urgency despite the many billions of dollars in federal funding and congressional representation at stake.

    In the 2010 Census, New York City residents’ self-response rate to the

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  • hunters point 600

    (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    October 2, 2019 - Max & Murphy Podcast: Post-Presidential Campaign, De Blasio Faces Final 2+ Years as Mayor

    oct wbai 150Bill de Blasio has abandoned his short-lived presidential campaign and returned to New York City for the final two years, three months of his second and final term as mayor. Several experts -- Errol Louis of NY1, Sally

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  • sep mon rotunda

    De Blasio, Council members, AARP members & others rally (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    Just days after he ended his presidential campaign that was focused on issues affecting working people, Mayor Bill de Blasio rallied with AARP volunteers and City Council Members at City Hall on Monday to push for a proposal that could help millions of New York workers save for their futures.

    The Retirement Security for All proposal, which de Blasio first raised three years ago and then again in his State of the City speech this year, would establish a retirement

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  • update emergency management

    (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)


    Mayor Bill de Blasio released the latest Mayor’s Management Report, an exhaustive document  of data behind city government -- the metrics the city uses, at least in theory, to determine whether government services are being delivered effectively and that the public can use to hold city government accountable. The report is broken down by agency, with each listing a set of broad goals, the progress toward which is illustrated by indicators.

    The dense report covers data for fiscal year (FY) 2019,

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  • bellevue intake wbai600

    Steve Banks, right, with the Mayor and First Lady (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    September 18, 2019 - Max & Murphy Podcast: The City's Fight Against Homelessness

    dss commissioner banks wbai 150Steve Banks, Commissioner of the Department of Social Services and Mayor de Blasio's homelessness czar, joined the show to discuss the city's fight against

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  • coneyisland wetlands rendering

    Rendering of Coney Island wetlands project (photo: mayor's office, Oct. 2013)


    This is part two of a three-part series on '7 Years After Sandy.' Find part one -- Pieces In Place That Worked, Rebuilding Efforts That Failed -- here. Find part three --

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  • aerial view bridge

    Brooklyn Bridge Park (photo: mayor's office)


    This is part one of a three-part series on '7 Years After Sandy.' Part two -- on the city’s stalled and advancing resiliency measures -- can be found hereThis series is part of Gotham Gazette's work in participation with the Covering Climate Now project, which includes over 250 media outlets focusing on

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  • mayor bdb public

    (photo: Edward Reed/Mayor's office)


    While city officials and elections administrators clash over what changes the Board of Elections should make to improve operations and the voting experience, one widely-supported option the city could pursue sits on the back-burner.

    A municipal poll workers program would allow the Board of Elections to hire Election Day poll workers from a pool of city employees, significantly reducing the hiring and training burdens for administrators and helping to ensure poll sites are more effectively

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  • mayor bdb pieces

    (photo: Ed Reed/Mayor's Office)


    Many New Yorkers are expressing frustration at Mayor Bill de Blasio’s lack of attention to his job as he travels around the country campaigning for president. But his laid-back attitude toward the mayoralty manifested itself long before he announced his presidential candidacy.

    One particularly illustrative and significant aspect of the job that he has neglected is his role in the legislative process. 

    First, a quick refresher on how, pursuant to the City Charter, a bill becomes a law in New York City: 

    -If

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  • retirement saving event

    Feb. 2016 (photo: Demetrius Freeman/Mayoral Photography Office)


    In his State of the City speech in January, Mayor Bill de Blasio promised that the city would create a system of retirement security for millions of New Yorkers who work in the private sector and may not have access to employer-provided savings plans. It was a revival of an effort the mayor had first pushed in 2016 but that bumped up against the change in presidential

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  • maydbd district15

    (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    Earlier this week, the School Diversity Advisory Group (SDAG) released its second and final set of recommendations to integrate city schools, a significant development in the current chapter of the city’s response to deep racial and economic segregation in its school system, which is the largest in the country and home to 1.1 million students.

    This chapter began in 2014, 60 years after Brown v. Board of Education and Bill de Blasio’s first year as Mayor, when ...

  • govcuomoprogre

    (photo: the governor's office)


    MTA officials acknowledged at their June 2019 board meetings that the agency is borrowing money to be repaid through a New York State law that promised to have the State of New York provide the MTA $7.3 billion once the authority had exhausted its own funds on spending for the current five-year capital program.

    The 2016 state law was merely an “IOU," there had been no specific source of funds identified for how the state would pay the money, nor has there been any plan developed since enactment in the state budget that

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