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Gotham Gazette Gotham Gazette is an online publication covering New York policy and politics.

Gotham Gazette is a pioneering nonpartisan online watchdog publication covering New York city and state elections, politics, and government. Gotham Gazette is published by Citizens Union Foundation and has a rich tradition of reporting on policy that affects everything from the spaces where New Yorkers live and play to education, the environment, government transparency, police tactics and civil rights. Gotham Gazette also publishes The Eye-Opener, a daily morning e-newsletter round-up of top stories, sign up for the Eye-Opener and other alerts at GothamGazette.com.

Climate and Community Protection Act (CCPA) would end reliance on fossil fuels by moving the state’s economy to 100% r...
06/06/2019
Support Grows for Aggressive Climate Legislation Cuomo Calls Unrealistic

Climate and Community Protection Act (CCPA) would end reliance on fossil fuels by moving the state’s economy to 100% renewable energy by 2050

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(photo: Governor's Office) As the Climate and Community Protection Act (CCPA) gains increasing support from state and federal legislators, the state Assembly and Senate will soon decide whether or not to vote on the bill, which now has a majority of sponsors in both houses of the Legislature but not...

The general election is November 5. There are a number of judicial elections taking place across the city, among other r...
06/06/2019
Upcoming Elections: What's on the June 25 Ballot in New York City

The general election is November 5. There are a number of judicial elections taking place across the city, among other races.

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(photo: Edwin J. Torres/Mayoral Photo Office) Though it is a relatively quiet year for elections, there are several just around the corner in New York City, with this year’s party primary day coming up on Tuesday, June 25. The general election is November 5. There are a number of judicial election...

Opinion: Bob Gangi of Police Reform Organizing Project (PROP), points out the missing pieces in policy reformsRead more:
06/06/2019
Missing Pieces of the Criminal Justice Reform Conversation

Opinion: Bob Gangi of Police Reform Organizing Project (PROP), points out the missing pieces in policy reforms

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(photo: Spencer T Tucker/City Council) Many justice reformers welcome increased political support for constructive systemic changes. New York state government, for example, recently enacted reforms aimed at restricting the use of cash bail and reducing misdemeanor arrests. Many Democratic presidenti...

Marco Conner of Transportation Alternatives and City Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez, chair of the Council's transportat...
06/06/2019
Max & Murphy Podcast: Is Vision Zero Stalled?

Marco Conner of Transportation Alternatives and City Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez, chair of the Council's transportation committee, joined the show to discuss the state of Vision Zero, street safety, and the mayor's record.

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(photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office) June 5, 2019 - Max & Murphy Podcast: Is Vision Zero Stalled? The Vision Zero street safety program is one of Mayor Bill de Blasio's signature programs and its reductions in traffic fatalities one of his major accomplishments. But, pedestrian and cyclist de...

The Rikers Commission Study analyzed five operating or recently-closed city detention facilities using data from over 10...
06/05/2019
Rikers Commission Study Finds Local Jails Have No Impact on Property Values or Crime Rates

The Rikers Commission Study analyzed five operating or recently-closed city detention facilities using data from over 10,000 real estate transactions and 500,000 criminal complaints over the past decade.

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Jonathan Lippman (photo: John McCarten/City Council) As the city eyes sites for the four borough-based jails that will replace the Rikers Island jail complex, some residents have sounded off concerns about negative impacts they believe local facilities may have on their neighborhoods. A new analysi...

Opinion: "One obvious remedy: reboot New York City’s stalled, neglected Organics Collection Program, and use it to tak...
06/05/2019
Stop the Rat Takeover with the Humble Brown Bin

Opinion: "One obvious remedy: reboot New York City’s stalled, neglected Organics Collection Program, and use it to take away a primary food source for rats near residential buildings." by Tony Melone

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(photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office) When the New York Times announced that Rats Are Taking Over New York City, the widely-shared article and subsequent discussion overlooked one obvious remedy: reboot New York City’s stalled, neglected Organics Collection Program, and use it to take away a...

Opinion: The NYPD reported 145 hate crimes between January and April; 82 of those incidents, 57%, were anti-Jewish. Whit...
06/05/2019
How to Address Anti-Semitism in New York City, and Beyond

Opinion: The NYPD reported 145 hate crimes between January and April; 82 of those incidents, 57%, were anti-Jewish. White Christian nationalist violence, stoked by the election of Donald Trump, is on the rise — from New Zealand to New York. by Arielle Korman & Martha Ackelsberg Jews for Racial and Economic Justice [JFREJ]

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(photo: Ed Reed and Paige Polk/Mayoral Photography Office) Like so many Jews, we are horrified and dismayed at the recent attacks on visibly Jewish people in New York City, in particular Hasidic and Haredi men. Anti-Semitic violence is on the upswing in the U.S. and in our city. The NYPD reported 14...

Opinion: "As a New York City lawmaker chairing the committee that oversees our city’s largest public health system and...
06/04/2019
Ending Health Disparities That Disproportionately Impact New Yorkers of Color

Opinion: "As a New York City lawmaker chairing the committee that oversees our city’s largest public health system and as the founder and leader of the city’s largest physician-led nonprofit health care network, we are troubled that despite economic and technological leadership, our city continues to fall short on health basics." by City Council Member Carlina Rivera & Dr. Ramon Tallaj, Chairman of SOMOS Community Care

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Council Member Carlina Rivera, left, one of the co-authors (photo: John McCarten/City Council) New York City is one of the largest, most diverse, and advanced cities in the country – in fact, New Yorkers are living one-and-a-half years longer than a decade ago and nearly nine years longer than 25 ...

Recently NYCHA Interim Chair and CEO Kathryn Garcia joined  WBAI 99.5 FM New York's Max & Murphy show where she discusse...
06/04/2019
Interim NYCHA CEO Kathryn Garcia on the Federal Monitor and Future of Public Housing in New York

Recently NYCHA Interim Chair and CEO Kathryn Garcia joined WBAI 99.5 FM New York's Max & Murphy show where she discussed the de Blasio administration’s plans and programs to address problems at the housing authority, which is now under federal monitorship.

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Mayor de Blasio & Kathryn Garcia, right (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office) Four months on the job, NYCHA Interim Chair and CEO Kathryn Garcia remains optimistic and determined about the future of the New York City public housing authority, home to more than 400,000 New Yorkers and several majo...

Mayor Bill de Blasio headed to Albany to discuss Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins and Assembly Speaker Carl...
06/04/2019
De Blasio's End-of-Session Albany Agenda

Mayor Bill de Blasio headed to Albany to discuss Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins and Assembly Speaker Carl E. Heastie's legislative priorities and items on his own agenda.

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(photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office) With 11 days of state legislative session left, including Monday, Mayor Bill de Blasio headed to Albany to confab with Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie to push for several legislative priorities. Amon...

Bronx borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. defines his presidency, and run for Mayor, around economic and housing developmen...
06/03/2019
For Ruben Diaz Jr., a Booming Bronx and Plan to Run on Development

Bronx borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. defines his presidency, and run for Mayor, around economic and housing development

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Ruben Diaz Jr. (photo: Diaz Jr.'s office) Development in the Bronx has defined Ruben Diaz Jr.’s borough presidency, now in its tenth year and coinciding with record economic expansion across the city and country coming out of the Great Recession. And Diaz Jr. has defined his borough presidency –...

Opinion: "Public financing became a top issue in state budget negotiations earlier this year because of public demand." ...
06/03/2019
Our Work on Public Campaign Financing is Not Done

Opinion: "Public financing became a top issue in state budget negotiations earlier this year because of public demand." by Assemblymember Yuh-Line Niou & Senator Jessica Ramos

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the authors: Assemblymember Niou, center, & Senator Ramos, left (photo: @NYCComptroller) We’ve got a big money problem here in New York, and we hear loud and clear the New Yorkers who are calling for a small donor solution in the form of public financing of elections. Public financing became a top...

Ember Charter School is claiming plans to revise its charter to expand programming into high school are being denied, no...
05/31/2019
Approved by City, ‘Culturally Responsive’ Charter School Alleges State Bias Against Plan to Expand

Ember Charter School is claiming plans to revise its charter to expand programming into high school are being denied, not on formal grounds, but through procedural techniques that have kept it off the agenda of the state’s Board of Regents, where approval is needed.

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(image: @EmberCS_BedStuy) The founder of a black-led charter school in Brooklyn with a focus on African and African-American cultural education is alleging the New York State Education Department (SED) is surreptitiously blocking the school’s application to grow. As the next school year approaches...

Senate Democrats held a hearing Thursday on Automatic Voter Registration. Advocates & Senators agree AVR should be imple...
05/31/2019
For Senators and Advocates, It’s How, Not Whether, to Implement Automatic Voter Registration

Senate Democrats held a hearing Thursday on Automatic Voter Registration. Advocates & Senators agree AVR should be implemented but haven’t landed on how — plus they need the assembly Majority

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Senator Zellnor Myrie at Thursday's pre-hearing rally (photo: @SenatorMyrie) Following several reforms to the state’s election and voting laws that were passed by the state Legislature and signed by Governor Cuomo earlier this year, the New York State Senate’s elections committee seems poised to...

Opinion: "We must continue to fight for the decarceration of New Yorkers by demanding bail reform and alternatives to in...
05/31/2019
Including Community Voices - and Services - as We Close Rikers and Build New Jails

Opinion: "We must continue to fight for the decarceration of New Yorkers by demanding bail reform and alternatives to incarceration for all who are awaiting trial or are sentenced to one year or less in our jails." by Althea Stevens

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(photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office) If you would have told New Yorkers seven years ago that the jails on Rikers Island would be closing, they would have not believed you. Until recently, shutting down the infamous complex was roundly dismissed as a radical idea that was not likely t...

Fulfilling a promise he made, public advocate Jumaane Williams introduced legislation requiring the city to conduct an a...
05/30/2019
Criticizing De Blasio Rezonings, Williams Introduces 'Racial Impact Study' Requirement

Fulfilling a promise he made, public advocate Jumaane Williams introduced legislation requiring the city to conduct an assessment of the racial and ethnic impact on neighborhood rezonings, in hopes of ensuring the city complies with the federal Fair Housing Act

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(photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office) Fulfilling a promise he made in his successful campaign for public advocate, Jumaane Williams introduced legislation on Wednesday that would require the city to conduct an assessment of expected racial and ethnic impact brought on by proposed neig...

1/2: Sanitation commissioner, Kathryn Garcia, joins the show to give her perspective on NYCHA, how the monitor is workin...
05/30/2019
Max & Murphy Podcast: NYCHA Interim CEO Kathryn Garcia

1/2: Sanitation commissioner, Kathryn Garcia, joins the show to give her perspective on NYCHA, how the monitor is working so far, how she's appoached the job, lead paint remediation, the "NYCHA 2.0" plan that the mayor announced in December, and more.

Listen:

(photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office) May 29, 2019 - Max & Murphy Podcast: NYCHA's Future, with Interim CEO Kathryn Garcia Kathryn Garcia, the city's sanitation commissioner for most of Mayor Bill de Blasio's tenure, was recently named interim chair and CEO of NYCHA, tasked with steering the p...

2/2: Sarah Watson of Citizens' Housing and Planning Association, Inc. CHAPA joined the show to discuss how London dealt ...
05/30/2019
Max & Murphy Podcast: Lessons from London for How to Fix NYCHA

2/2: Sarah Watson of Citizens' Housing and Planning Association, Inc. CHAPA joined the show to discuss how London dealt with its crumbling public housing decades ago and what lessons may be informative as New York City tries to chart its path ahead in saving and fixing NYCHA.

Listen:

(photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office) May 29, 2019 - Max & Murphy Podcast: Lessons from London for How to Fix NYCHA Sarah Watson of Citizens Housing & Planning Council joined the show to discuss how London dealt with its crumbling public housing decades ago and what lessons may be informative....

Opinion: "On November 25, 2006, my son Sean Bell was killed in a hail of 50 bullets from the NYPD on his wedding day. Th...
05/30/2019
Ensuring Others Don’t Face the Injustice I Did: Why Rory Lancman is the Right Candidate for Queens DA

Opinion: "On November 25, 2006, my son Sean Bell was killed in a hail of 50 bullets from the NYPD on his wedding day. The officers who killed my son were acquitted due to the lack of an unbiased relationship between the judge and the Queens district attorney." by Valerie Bell

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Valerie Bell, the author, left; Rory Lancman; and Gwen Carr On November 25, 2006, my son Sean Bell was killed in a hail of 50 bullets from the NYPD on his wedding day. The officers who killed my son were acquitted due to the lack of an unbiased relationship between the judge and the Queens district....

JCOPE has become the epitome of New York State’s lax ethical oversight, and the agency’s opacity is a source of wide...
05/29/2019
'So Completely Compromised': New York Watchdog Agencies Have a Credibility Problem

JCOPE has become the epitome of New York State’s lax ethical oversight, and the agency’s opacity is a source of widespread consternation.

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(photo: Edwin J. Torres/ Mayoral Photography Office) In January, the state Joint Commission on Public Ethics, a governmental watchdog agency, revealed that it had held a closed-door vote on a potential ethics investigation into a former top aide to Governor Andrew Cuomo. The aide, Joe Percoco, was c...

Opinion: In Brian Rosenthal’s reporting on taxi medallions, he provides a new and detailed documentation of how lender...
05/29/2019
Taxi Medallion Exposé Drives Home Key Budget Lesson

Opinion: In Brian Rosenthal’s reporting on taxi medallions, he provides a new and detailed documentation of how lenders and brokers drove up prices and encouraged purchases without concern as to whether the buyers had the wherewithal to repay their loans. by Carol Kellermann

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(Photo: Ed Reed/City Council) Last week, the New York Times published another blockbuster investigative series by reporter Brian Rosenthal, this time on the misleading and predatory practices which led to inflated prices of New York City yellow taxi medallions over the last decade. The compelling st...

Our Ben Max hosted a discussion with political strategist L Joy Williams, WNYC radio's Brigid Bergin, and New York Times...
05/28/2019
WATCH: Breaking Down De Blasio's Presidential Bid

Our Ben Max hosted a discussion with political strategist L Joy Williams, WNYC radio's Brigid Bergin, and New York Times' Jeff Mays. Watch the program, produced by Manhattan Neighborhood Network - MNN

Watch:

(photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office) Why is Mayor Bill de Blasio running for President? What's his pitch in the early days of his campaign? How was he received in Iowa and South Carolina on his first campaign trip? How might he gain some traction? What will this run do to his image a...

Opinion: "Later today, the BOE is due to announce how many early voting poll sites New York City will have for the Novem...
05/28/2019
More Sites, Better Democracy: Board of Elections Must Get Early Voting Right

Opinion: "Later today, the BOE is due to announce how many early voting poll sites New York City will have for the November election – the first time New Yorkers will have the right to vote early." by Mayor Bill de Blasio & Steven Choi

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(photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office) Early voting has finally come to our state, but it won’t work in our city unless the City Board of Elections ensures there are enough voting sites. That needs to happen, and it needs to happen now for our 3 million immigrants, our communities of color and e...

In 2021, 35 of the City Council’s 51 incumbents, as well as the mayor, comptroller, and all five borough presidents, w...
05/28/2019
With 500 Candidates Expected for 2021 Election Cycle, Campaign Finance Board Starts Early Outreach

In 2021, 35 of the City Council’s 51 incumbents, as well as the mayor, comptroller, and all five borough presidents, will be ineligible for reelection due to term-limits, providing an inviting playing field.

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(photo: Benjamin Kanter/Mayor's Office) The city’s Campaign Finance Board is gearing up for what is likely to be the biggest and most competitive municipal election in its 30-year history. In 2021, 35 of the City Council’s 51 incumbents, as well as the mayor, comptroller, and all five borough pr...

Opinion: "New York State has cut vital public health programs for our city—and only our city. Known as Article 6, thes...
05/28/2019
New York City Must Fully Restore Article 6 Public Health Budget Cuts

Opinion: "New York State has cut vital public health programs for our city—and only our city. Known as Article 6, these state funds help support critical services provided by local health departments, including immunizations; tuberculosis outreach, education and testing; and sexual and reproductive health" by Anthony Feliciano of CPHS, Laura McQuade of Planned Parenthood Great Plains, Mark Harrington of Treatment Action Group (TAG), Jennifer March of Citizens' Committee for Children of New York & Charles King of Housing Works Inc.

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(photo: William Alatriste/City Council) As health care providers and public health advocates, we believe that all New Yorkers deserve access to high-quality, comprehensive, compassionate health care. We believe that health care is a human right—not a luxury for the privileged.  And yet, New York ...

See what's happening the rest of the week in city and state politics
05/28/2019
Hearings on Single-Payer Health Care, Paid Vacation Time & the BQX, & More: The Week Ahead in New York Politics, May 27

See what's happening the rest of the week in city and state politics

New York City Hall What to watch for this week in New York politics: Mayor de Blasio was back from a weekend presidential campaign trip to Nevada and spoke Monday at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum's Annual Memorial Day Ceremony. As another week unfolds for the mayor/presidential candidate, we....

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