News from Gotham Gazette:
Community Engagement Prized by Participatory Budgeting Proponents
Fri, 08 Apr 2016 07:00:00 +0200
Council Member Menchaca with a constituent (photo: William Alatriste) For City Council Member Carlos Menchaca and his staff, the Participatory Budgeting Vote Week that just ended was the culmination of a year-long effort to encourage project proposals...
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Push for a Better Mayor's Management Report Continues
Fri, 08 Apr 2016 07:00:00 +0200
  The City Council’s Committee on Governmental Operations held an oversight hearing on Wednesday to evaluate the structure and content of two annual city reports that measure everything from the wait times on 311 calls and the conditions of city...
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Council Passes Bill to Improve Diversity at Upper Levels of City-Contracted Businesses
Fri, 08 Apr 2016 07:00:00 +0200
Council Member Elizabeth Crowley and colleagues (photo: William Alatriste)  On Thursday, the City Council approved a bill requiring the Department of Small Business Services to survey and study the gender, ethnic, and racial makeup of executive-level...
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Major City Issues at Play in Politically Charged, Post-Budget Legislative Session
Thu, 07 Apr 2016 07:00:00 +0200
Gov. Cuomo announces the budget deal (photo via The Governor's Office) Governor Andrew Cuomo dismissed the idea of extending state government's legislative session this year to tackle ethics reform during an appearance in Binghamton on Wednesday. "We...
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Forget the Brooklyn Presidential Debate, the Real Battle is New York State
Thu, 07 Apr 2016 07:00:00 +0200
Albany of yesteryear (photo via The Governor's Office on flickr)   With an April 14 date set for the Clinton-Sanders Brooklyn debate, New York and Kings County are now center stage in the ever-engrossing presidential election. Though bringing the...
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Budget Leaves Cuomo's Affordable Housing Plan A Mystery
Wed, 06 Apr 2016 07:00:00 +0200
Gov. Cuomo arrives to outline the budget agreement (photo via The Governor's Office) Gov. Andrew Cuomo proposed a sweeping $20 billion plan to build and preserve affordable housing and fight homelessness during his State of the State speech earlier this...
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City Approach to Nonprofit Contracting Questioned
Wed, 06 Apr 2016 07:00:00 +0200
Council Member Rosenthal at a recent hearing (photo: William Alatriste)  Human services nonprofits serve the city’s most vulnerable populations, providing a range of critical programs like foster care, homelessness services, after-school programs,...
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City Resets First Budget Hearing for New Veterans Affairs Department
Tue, 05 Apr 2016 07:00:00 +0200
photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office In December, Mayor Bill de Blasio signed into law the City Council bill creating a separate, dedicated Veterans Affairs department which would take over responsibility from the Mayor’s Office of Veterans...
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City Council Budget Response Seeks New Spending, More Savings
Tue, 05 Apr 2016 07:00:00 +0200
Mayor de Blasio briefs Council members on his budget (photo: William Alatriste)  The City Council on Monday issued its formal response to Mayor Bill de Blasio’s $82 billion preliminary budget for fiscal year 2017, capping a month of budget hearings...
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An Imperfect Victory for New York Workers
Tue, 05 Apr 2016 07:00:00 +0200
Millions of New Yorkers are celebrating a deal this week to raise the state’s minimum wage. The deal puts a better future in sight for families around the state and sends a powerful signal to other states considering wage hikes of their own. The deal...
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Eviction Bonuses and Preferential Rents, Not 421-a, Should Be the Focus in Albany
Mon, 04 Apr 2016 07:00:00 +0200
An affordable housing march  We have long advocated for the elimination of the 421-a tax abatement because it has been nothing but a giveaway to developers masquerading as a means of affordable housing production. This is why affordable housing...
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With Clock Ticking, East New York Negotiations to Heat Up
Mon, 04 Apr 2016 07:00:00 +0200
City Council Member Espinal (photo: William Alatriste)  With only two weeks left for the City Council to vote on the proposed rezoning of East New York, all eyes are on City Council Member Rafael Espinal, who is leading negotiations with the de...
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The Week Ahead in New York Politics, April 4
Sun, 03 Apr 2016 07:00:00 +0200
New York City Hall What to watch for this week in New York politics: We're about two weeks from New York's April 19 presidential primary vote. The three remaining Republican candidates and two remaining Democrats have been campaigning in New York, which...
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Everyone Agrees Albany Needs Ethics Reform, Except the People Who Matter Most
Fri, 01 Apr 2016 07:00:00 +0200
Heastie, Cuomo, Flanagan (l-r) (photo via The Governor's Office) "Top of my agenda is going to be ethics reform," said Governor Andrew Cuomo, speaking on NY1 on Jan. 3. "We have done a lot in Albany, but we haven't done enough. And I'm going to push...
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Key Piece of City's New Housing Deal Will Protect Tenants from Harassment
Fri, 01 Apr 2016 07:00:00 +0200
Housing plans (photo: Ed Reed for the Office of Mayor) Last week, New Yorkers learned that a bill creating a new Citywide Certificate of No Harassment program would be part of the city's new housing deal. The legislation, which will be finalized...
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Wary of Gentrification, East Harlem Braces for Rapid Change
Fri, 01 Apr 2016 07:00:00 +0200
Hank Prussing's mural, The Spirit of East Harlem (via @ManhattanCB11) Pearl Barkley moved to East Harlem in the 1950s, when she was six years old. Her family lived in the Jefferson Houses on 115th Street, where she lives today and works as an organizer...
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State Budget Agreement: By the Numbers
Fri, 01 Apr 2016 07:00:00 +0200
Gov. Cuomo outlines the budget agreement (photo via The Governor's Office) AGov. Andrew Cuomo welcomed reporters into the Capitol's Red Room for the first time in nearly a year to announce a budget deal at 8:30 p.m. Thursday night. The announcement came...
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Wary of Gentrification, East Harlem Braces for Change
Fri, 01 Apr 2016 07:00:00 +0200
 Mark-Viverito at an East Harlem planning session (photo: William Alatriste) CONTINUED from page 1 - this is page 2 of 2 Community calls for community planningCity officials have not yet presented a timeline, much less a plan, for rezoning East...
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New Yorkers Run for President: History and Insights for 2016
Thu, 31 Mar 2016 07:00:00 +0200
Franklin D. Roosevelt (whitehouse.gov) The 2016 presidential contest may very well pit two New Yorkers, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, against each other. In the 29 presidential elections from 1900 to 2012, New Yorkers headed major tickets nine times....
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For State Budget, Leaders Choose 'On Time' Over Open
Thu, 31 Mar 2016 07:00:00 +0200
Heastie, Cuomo, Flanagan (l-r), June 2015 (photo via The Governor's Office) As negotiations over the state's $150 billion budget sputtered on Thursday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo ramped up pressure on legislators to accept a deal. Speaking with reporters, Cuomo...
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Criminal Justice Reform Again Given Little Attention in Budget Negotiations
Wed, 30 Mar 2016 07:00:00 +0200
Gov. Cuomo in Dannemora (photo via The Governor's Office) As Gov. Andrew Cuomo and legislative leaders rush to deliver an on-time budget, criminal justice reform advocates aren't holding out hope that any of their major legislative priorities will...
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Success of Streetcar Project Starts with Community Outreach
Tue, 29 Mar 2016 07:00:00 +0200
Feburary BQX press conference (photo: Demetrius Freeman/Mayoral Photography Office) Since Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a proposal for the Brooklyn-Queens Connector (BQX) during his February State of the City address, his administration has marketed...
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De Blasio Concerned with Lack of Clarity as State Budget Deadline Nears
Tue, 29 Mar 2016 07:00:00 +0200
De Blasio (photo: Rob Bennett/Mayoral Photography Office) Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Monday afternoon that he has been in regular contact with Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie and that he spoke with Governor Andrew Cuomo earlier in the day, but that he...
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The Next Step to Helping Immigrant Families Thrive
Tue, 29 Mar 2016 07:00:00 +0200
Council Member Menchaca, a co-author, promotes IDNYC (photo: @IDNYC) In recent years, New York City has taken tremendous strides forward in supporting immigrants. Many of Mayor de Blasio's signature initiatives—particularly universal pre-kindergarten...
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Questioning Importance, Council Members Spend Limited Time at Hearings
Mon, 28 Mar 2016 07:00:00 +0200
Council Member Van Bramer starts a hearing (photo: @JimmyVanBramer) On March 1, at perhaps the most important City Council hearing of the year, just three of the finance committee’s eleven members were present when the session began. The Council’s...
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