Gotham Gazette

The Place for New York Policy and politics

 

Bill de Blasio

Bill de Blasio

  • de Blasio Shea NYPD

    Mayor de Blasio with Police Commissioner Shea & other NYPD officials (photo: Ed Reed/Mayor's Office)


    As Mayor Bill de Blasio struggles with the protests against police brutality and racism that have gripped New York City over the past few days, he has promised that NYPD officers will be swiftly disciplined for any misconduct in their response to protesters and that larger structural changes to police accountability are on the way. But the NYPD has been slow to reform its opaque internal disciplinary processes over the years, and has even missed self-imposed deadlines

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  • intervale ave bx

    Mayor de Blasio rides the bus (photo: Edwin J. Torres/Mayor's Office)


    New York City is set to begin a phased “reopening” on Monday, June 8, as indicators show significant progress in tackling the COVID-19 pandemic. But as many New Yorkers start heading back to work, Mayor Bill de Blasio has offered no solutions to balance city residents’ need for transportation, maintaining public health by preventing new coronavirus infections, and preventing all-out gridlock if too many New Yorkers turn to cars.

    About 5.4 million people rode the New York City subway

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  • De Blasio NYPD ceremony

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


    Earlier this week, after nearly six-and-a-half years in office and repeatedly failing to meaningfully and systematically hold his own police department accountable for brutalizing and killing black New Yorkers, Mayor de Blasio took to Twitter to express outrage about Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin’s murder of George Floyd.

    De Blasio forcefully demanded swift action by authorities in a city half-way across the country. He then proceeded to fail completely to stop police brutality in his

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  • Mayor de Blasio property tax reform dead

    Mayor de Blasio's slow-play on property tax reform has now been compounded (photo: Edwin J. Torres/ Mayor's Offie)


    The start of the year 2020 offered what many believed to be the most promising steps in decades to revamping New York's confusing and unfair property tax system. In January, an advisory commission established by Mayor Bill de Blasio and the New York City Council, which was tasked with comprehensively assessing and reevaluating the property tax system, released a set of recommendations. While coming much later than many had

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  • de Blasio coronavirus briefing

    Mayor de Blasio during a recent coronavirus briefing (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    New York City’s response to the coronavirus outbreak has been a battle on shifting sands. As information about the disease and officials’ recognition of its threat evolved over time, so did the government approach, from initially continuing business as usual well after the first cases in the city were confirmed to a statewide shutdown of sorts and strict social distancing guidelines that have now been in place in New York City for over two

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  • deblasio chance carmen

    Mayor de Blasio during a school visit (photo: Edwin J. Torres/ Mayor's Office)


    As the coronavirus pandemic further exposes deep fissures in the city's education landscape for low-income students and students of color, it has also further stalled Mayor Bill de Blasio's already-halting efforts to integrate New York City's deeply segregated schools.

    In the nine months since a de Blasio-appointed advisory group released its final recommendations on ways to desegregate and in other ways improve city schools, virtually nothing has been said on the

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  • dcc pont risland

    Mayor de Blasio on Rikers Island (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    In his second term in office, Mayor Bill de Blasio has worked with the New York City Council to usher through a plan that will close the scandal-ridden Rikers Island jail complex and replace it with four borough-based facilities by 2026. He has repeatedly decried the crumbling infrastructure and the well-documented incidents of violence, by detainees and guards, among the many issues of the sprawling Island facilities. But the mayor has not visited Rikers Island in three

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  • New Yorkers seek assistance

    New Yorkers wait on line for food (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    As New York City shut down amid the coronavirus outbreak, and hundreds of thousands of people lost their jobs and livelihoods, the city saw a massive increase in applications for food stamps and cash assistance.

    According to new data from the city’s Human Resources Administration and Department of Social Services, applications for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), more commonly referred to as food stamps, and for cash assistance have surged since the

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  • perfect time houghton

    Mayor de Blasio makes a housing announcement (photo: Ed Reed/Mayor's Office)


    In the wake of the economic devastation caused by the coronavirus shutdown, Mayor de Blasio must find budget savings anywhere he can, while still advancing his mission to make New York “the fairest big city” in America.  

    It won’t be easy. But the sudden drop in tax revenue should not stop the mayor from continuing to make one smart investment: creating new affordable housing.

    With the pandemic exposing the full extent of the city’s homeless crisis, now is

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  • dcc jponte rikers

    (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    The Rikers Island jail complex, a notorious and decrepit institution sitting on 413 acres in the East River, was slated for closure well before New York City became the country’s epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak, during which the complex has emerged as a hotspot for infections that have led to the deaths of several detainees and corrections officers.

    But the timeline for shutting down the jail complex and building local jails in four boroughs has been thrust into uncertainty by countervailing

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  • debi rose joins

    Council Member Debi Rose with youth workers (photo: William Alatriste/City Council)


    With New York City facing a massive budget gap and severe social restrictions because of the coronavirus pandemic, Mayor Bill de Blasio made the unpopular decision to suspend the Summer Youth Employment Program, which in past years gave tens of thousands of young people jobs over the summer. But as de Blasio faced swift and sweeping criticism for the move, administration officials testified before the City Council that an alternate plan is in the works and will be unveiled soon.

    Over

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  • de Blasio Orthodox Jews security

    Mayor de Blasio & city officials in Borough Park in January (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    [UPDATE (5/19/20): After this story was published, an NYPD spokesperson told Gotham Gazette security cameras had been installed at 30 locations in Brooklyn as part of an effort to combat anti-Semitic hate crimes. The remaining 70 cameras planned to be deployed with the input of the community have likely been put on hold due to the coronavirus outbreak, the spokesperson said.]

    Mayor Bill de Blasio in January announced 100 new

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  • emergency food site nyc

    The City continues to try to meet food needs amid the coronavirus crisis (photo: @NYCHRA)


    The coronavirus pandemic has put a strain on food access, with unemployment skyrocketing and increasingly more people relying on food assistance, food pantries, and meals provided by the city. Additionally, as New York City is home to many different races, ethnicities, and cultural traditions, concerns have arisen about whether the city’s massive emergency food program, including food delivery, is reflecting that diversity, causing further food stress on communities.

    New

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  • nypd social distancing nypdnews

    Police officers have been charged with social distancing enforcement (photo: NYPD)


    Mayor Bill de Blasio has made the New York City Police Department the agency primarily responsible for ensuring social distancing in public amid the coronavirus outbreak, and while police data shows enforcement is taking place primarily in black and Hispanic communities, the city has not disclosed any official enforcement policies or guidance given to officers.

    In recent weeks, de Blasio and Police Commissioner Dermot Shea have made vague references to

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  • council cojo

    Participatory budgeting was due for a big increase (photo: Jeff Reed/City Council)


    A new citywide participatory budgeting program, whereby New Yorkers directly decide how to spend city budget money, was meant to be in place by July 1 but may end up being severely limited as the city suffers from the coronavirus pandemic and its multifaceted fallout. 

    Creating the participatory budgeting program was one of the core duties for the New York City Civic Engagement Commission, which was established in the city Charter through a ballot referendum in 2018 that was

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  • stu vote reg

    Mayor de Blasio needs a plan to reopen city schools (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    The New York City Department of Education has lost 74 employees to the novel coronavirus, including 30 teachers and 28 paraprofessionals who have died as of May 8. Evidence has also emerged that children can develop serious illnesses after being infected with the virus, and even those who are asymptomatic are often effective transmitters. 

    Now

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  • de Blasio Schumer federal coronavirus

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


    As the coronavirus crisis drains city coffers with an enormous level of emergency government spending and the mandated shutdown of the economy has led tax revenues to plummet, New York City faces an estimated $8.7 billion budget gap. Mayor Bill de Blasio has said the hole is dire and the extent to which the city will be shored up to weather the storm depends largely on what it will receive in federal aid.

    While lobbying and negotiations continue that question

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  • maybdb arrival

    Could the reinvigoration of the New York economy come from public works? (photo: Ed Reed/Mayor's Office)


    Somewhere around a million New Yorkers are out of jobs and billions in tax revenue has evaporated as New York City bears the brunt of possibly the worst disaster in its history. The coronavirus has been devastating the city’s people, their way of life, and their livelihoods. As elected officials and experts look to the future, when the pandemic eventually subsides, they must plot a path out of the crises that will remain.

    New Yorkers will need jobs, and

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  • maybdb covid food

    Mayor de Blasio working with federal reinforcements (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    New York City has already spent just over $1.4 billion on its response to the coronavirus pandemic, the mayor’s office told Gotham Gazette on Thursday. That sum roughly matches what the federal government has sent the city government in direct aid through multiple 'stimulus' packages.

    With New York City the epicenter of the outbreak in the United States, an all-of-government response and a massive outlay of funds has been necessary. As of Thursday, May 7, the city reported

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  • covid19 mayor

    Mayor de Blasio & Speaker Johnson (photo: Ed Reed/Mayor's Office)


    With the city facing a severe budget crunch because of the coronavirus pandemic, Mayor Bill de Blasio’s executive budget proposal released last month cut $6 billion in planned spending, tapped $4 billion from reserves and delayed major capital investments to future years when another mayor will be in office. On Wednesday, about eight weeks before a deal must be reached between the two sides, the City Council held a virtual hearing on the mayor’s spending plan. Council members questioned de Blasio administration

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  • may adv placement

    Mayor de Blasio has major school decisions to make (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    We’re looking at a possible school re-opening this September. I can’t wait to go back. Remote learning is better than nothing, but it’s no substitute for a live classroom. In a live classroom, I can see what students are doing. I can check their work in real time and quickly offer tips for improvement. I can urge students away from sleeping or fiddling with electronic devices.

    Now I’m reduced to looking at a bunch of avatars. Who knows what the kids are doing behind them?

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  • hold ty rally

    Tens of thousands of young New Yorkers rely on SYEP (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    When I first heard of the New York City Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP) two years ago, I had just turned 14. I was so excited because that Fall I would enter high school and my family needed money to help pay for my uniform, school supplies, and books. Like a lot of New York families, money was already tight, so the prospect of getting a job where I could help my parents even just a little was an incredible opportunity.

    Over the last two summers, SYEP has been a great experience

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  • Cuomo de Blasio coronavirus

    Cuomo and de Blasio at a March briefing (photo: Don Pollard/Governor's Office)


    This guest column is part of Citizens Union Speakers, a regular series of op-eds written by members of the Citizens Union Foundation community in Gotham Gazette, CUF's flagship public education program. The opinions expressed in these Citizens Union Speakers columns are those of the authors alone, not Citizens Union Foundation, Gotham Gazette, or any other

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  • city council riv ad amp sa rose

    Council Member Helen Rosenthal, second from right, and other Council members (photo: Emil Cohen/City Council)


    With New Yorkers sheltering at home during the coronavirus outbreak, advocates, experts, and elected officials are worried that domestic violence incidents could spike across the city but go unreported as victims find it nearly impossible to escape their abusers. On Friday, the New York City Council will hold a digital hearing to glean some clarity on the situation, particularly about how the de Blasio

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  • man bx skyline

    New York City building projects are on the chopping block (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    The coronavirus fallout has created a severe cash crunch for New York City, forcing Mayor Bill de Blasio to slash his proposed operating budget for the next fiscal year by $6 billion, with more cuts likely before adoption. At the same time, the city’s cash flow problems mean that its capital plan, a four-year, $67.2 billion agenda that pays for crucial, long-term infrastructure like schools and roads, will also need modification and could mean some major changes to

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