Gotham Gazette

The Place for New York Policy and politics

Bill de Blasio

Bill de Blasio

  • 1 nycsbs

    SBS Commissioner Doris at a small business (photo: @NYC_SBS)


    Frustrated City Council members and hopeful––yet weary––small business advocates took to a hearing Tuesday to express their concerns about the Open Storefronts program launched recently by Mayor de Blasio after outcry from the business community, particularly smaller retailers. Small businesses, many of which are struggling to hold on if they haven’t already closed due to the pandemic and a lack of government help, can enroll in the program that, as of now, will give them through December 31 to sell their merchandise

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    Mayor de Blasio (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography)


    As required by the state Financial Control Act, last Monday Mayor de Blasio presented a modification of New York City’s current fiscal year budget and four-year financial plan. This “first quarter mod” is usually a no-drama, technical adjustment that makes few substantive changes to the budget adopted at the start of the fiscal year in July. It incorporates changes in revenue projections based on receipts actually received

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  • media avail com

    Mayor de Blasio's slow-moving internet promises (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    It took a global pandemic that brought the city to a grinding halt for Mayor Bill de Blasio to order that wi-fi be installed at every homeless shelter in the city housing children and to strike a deal to install high-speed broadband internet in every New York City Housing Authority public housing development.

    More than six years after the mayor promised to create high-speed broadband networks across the city, nearly 20% of New Yorkers still lack access to the internet at home or

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  • 1 school ag

    Children at school (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    While parents of color have been less likely to send their children into New York City school buildings when they reopened amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, thousands of Black, Hispanic, and Asian students recently completed their first month of blended learning, which includes at least one day per week of in-person school.

    When nearly all public school buildings

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  • ethg covid hc

    Supplies arrive at a hospital (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    New York City is a "few weeks" away from securing a 90-day stockpile of medical personal protective equipment (PPE) and ventilators, according to Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration, a project the mayor announced in April as part of a vow to be better prepared for a potential second wave of COVID-19 and other emergencies. But some elected officials and the New York nurses union are questioning the formula behind the 90-day supply benchmarks and whether the stockpile will be adequate for hospitals

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  • 3 whats pres ed

    Joe Biden, with Andrew Cuomo (photo: governor's office)


    The country will be watching, and voting, with bated breath on Tuesday as the most consequential presidential election in decades nears conclusion. More than 84 million Americans have already cast their ballots in early voting and turnout is expected to break records despite the lingering coronavirus pandemic. 

    There’s much at stake for New York City in this election and it’s an understatement

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    Mayor de Blasio after voting (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    In April 2016, just after party primary elections featuring a major error by the New York City Board of Elections, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that he would push for legislation in Albany to professionalize the day-to-day operations of the Board, among other bills that could improve the city's perennially bungled election administration and create more access to the ballot box for New Yorkers. Over four years and several poorly-run elections later, de Blasio made a similar announcement

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  • back ch ric

    Remote learning in action (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    Amid widespread criticism about a lack of internet access for students in homeless shelters who need to get online more than ever to complete their school work, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that the city would equip every shelter with WiFi. But advocates are raising questions about execution of that pledge, especially as tens of thousands of students living in shelters need internet access now in order to engage in remote learning amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Despite de Blasio’s promise, issued

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  • cuny laguardia com

    CUNY Chancellor Matos Rodriguez and students, pre-pandemic (photo: City University of New York)


    College seniors who graduated this June faced a very different economic landscape from the one they saw at the beginning of the school year. A global pandemic shattered the job market, and many industries — including the performing arts, entertainment, restaurants, and hospitality and tourism — were in complete freefall after government-mandated closures. 

    The widespread financial strain that saw unemployment in New York City skyrocket from 4% to well over 20%

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  • Rikers Island jails guards solitary

    Guards at Rikers Island (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    A working group that Mayor Bill de Blasio created earlier this year to craft a plan for ending the use of solitary confinement in city jails is going to deliver its report to City Hall in the “next several days” and its recommendations could become city policy within six weeks.   

    Board of Correction Chair Jennifer Jones Austin broke the news in a Wednesday appearance on the ...

  • ear vot bot

    Mayor de Blasio (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    Ayirini Fonseca-Sabune, New York City’s first Chief Democracy Officer, quietly resigned in January and Mayor Bill de Blasio has yet to name a replacement to the position, even amid an especially complicated and consequential election year.

    The mayor created the office of DemocracyNYC to be led by the Chief Democracy Officer in 2018, announcing it in his State of the City speech that February. The office was part of a ten-point agenda aimed at

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  • NYC 2020 Census

    A pre-pandemic NYC Census event (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    Mayor Bill de Blasio and New York City Census officials celebrated a robust self-response rate in the Census on Tuesday, despite unprecedented hurdles posed by the COVID-19 pandemic and attempts by the Trump administration to discourage participation. The city’s self-response reached an unofficial 61.8% when the constitutionally mandated decennial population count concluded last week on October 15.

    The self-response rate for New York City residents was nearly the same as

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  • mayor link unb

    Mayor de Blasio at a LinkNYC kiosk (photo: Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    As the pandemic forced New Yorkers to shelter at home, Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration launched several efforts to assist those who lacked the necessary access to the internet to adapt to working and learning virtually. But there remains a deep digital divide across the city, particularly in terms of lack of access in low-income communities of color, creating significant challenges for students, residents of homeless shelters and public housing, and others.

    According to city data, 40%

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  • 2 tour smallbus

    Mayor de Blasio gets ice cream (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)


    An advisory council created by Mayor Bill de Blasio to speak on behalf of the city’s small businesses hasn’t convened in months and some of its members say their concerns aren’t being heard as the city charts a stunted recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

    In April, de Blasio announced the creation of several task forces to help lead the city’s recovery efforts, including advisory councils dedicated to specific sectors such as large and small businesses, health care, education,

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  • 1 advice pr

    State of the City 2020 (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    New York City is at a crossroads. As our response cautiously shifts to recovery, we will have an equally important responsibility to reimagine the promise of the greatest city in the world. While Bill de Blasio has a year to jumpstart that progress, it will largely fall to the next mayor to make it happen.

    I helped grind the gears of City Hall for three years under this administration. I saw a lot that worked and a lot that didn’t. With the 2021 mayoral race quickly taking shape,

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  • may covid19test

    Mayor de Blasio gets tested (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography)


    As New York City public health officials try to get a handle on a series of COVID-19 “hot spots,” they lack the tools to know exactly how the voluntary testing data they collect skews the true prevalence of the virus, both in communities of concern and city-wide. In the absence of randomized testing, public health officials rely on the results of voluntary testing, an especially challenging process given new evidence some New Yorkers are organizing to game the system against that weakness.

    New York's

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  • remote learning NYC schools

    Remote learning in action (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    Confidence in the New York City Department of Education and other local leaders is low for Yalena Figueroa, a Hispanic mother of two public school students learning remotely this school year from Astoria, Queens.

    Figueroa wanted to send her fifth-grader and ninth-grader back to school, especially her teenager starting at a new high school. However, due to the concerns raised by teachers and news outlets, she said remote learning was a no-brainer for her. Both Figueroa

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  • 2 expansion hood policing

    Mayor de Blasio & NYPD officers (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)


    An external study of the NYPD’s neighborhood policing program, which Mayor Bill de Blasio and NYPD leadership have promised for years, has been delayed because of the pandemic, according to the company conducting the review. The results of the study, which is supposed to provide empirical support for one of de Blasio’s signature initiatives that he regularly credits for what he says are improved police-community relations, were originally due in mid-2021 and it’s

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  • business calls progs

    Mayor de Blasio at a press conference (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)


    Though New York City has begun a slow march towards economic recovery, many small businesses, including retailers deemed non-essential, are still struggling to stay afloat as sales have decreased and customers are reluctant to return. While a great deal of focus has been on the city’s extensive restaurant industry, other small businesses are seeking a lifeline from city government. In a letter sent on Wednesday to Mayor Bill de Blasio and the City Council, the

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  • 3 report positive impacts

    Mayor de Blasio makes an announcement (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    Defendants in New York City's pretrial supervised release program are no more likely to miss court than people who have bail set and are not rearrested at a higher rate, according to a city-commissioned study by MDRC's Center for Criminal Justice Research being released Thursday.

    The research, contracted by the Mayor's Office of

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  • nycemer ma c

    Kathryn Garcia (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)


    Earlier this month, Kathryn Garcia, a top official in Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration, resigned after more than six years as commissioner of the Department of Sanitation. In her time serving under the mayor, Garcia has worn many hats beyond that of keeping the city clear of trash and snow. De Blasio entrusted her with leading the city’s effort to abate lead exposure among young children, named her the interim chair and CEO of the struggling New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) for part of 2019, and then appointed

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  • requests despite mayor

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


    Mayor Bill de Blasio continues to insist that New York City needs authorization from the state to borrow billions of dollars in operating funds to balance its budget, at least in the absence of federal aid to cover some of the massive loss in revenue from the pandemic fallout. The drastically-slashed new city budget for this fiscal year passed July 1 included $1 billion in undefined labor savings, which de Blasio said could be covered by federal aid or borrowing, or, if neither of those come through,

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  • dos kg 600

    Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Garcia, middle (photo: Ed Reed/Mayor's Office)


    September 16, 2020 - Max & Murphy Podcast: Kathryn Garcia on Trash, Food & Possibly Running for Mayor

    Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Garcia, who has been tasked with several other key roles by Mayor Bill de Blasio, is stepping down from her post as she considers jumping into the 2021 Democratic primary for Mayor. She joined the show to discuss her tenure at the Department of Sanitation, her work as interim NYCHA CEO and the "COVID-19 food czar,"

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  • 1 as grows

    Mayor de Blasio on the bus (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    Early in June, when New York City was just entering phase one of its economic “reopening” and the city still had daily triple-digit coronavirus death counts, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced an ambitious plan, the Better Bus Restart Initiative, to add 20 more miles of bus lanes and five new busways by October, in addition to making the 14th Street busway permanent. While this plan, offered during a unique opportunity to rethink city street use, did not go as far as many public officials and advocates would

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  • presents fiscal yr

    Mayor de Blasio at a budget presentation (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)


    Mayor Bill de Blasio finds himself in a tricky fiscal situation as the city needs to find $1 billion by the end of the month to balance its budget. Federal aid is nowhere in sight, Albany has so far refused to allow the city to borrow the funds, and state budget cuts are also on the horizon. At the end of his rope, the mayor says he may have to lay off 22,000 municipal workers. But that nuclear option may not be necessary, and there are ways de Blasio could achieve the $1 billion goal

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