De Blasio’s Budget: Progressive or Aggressive?

Written by Nick Powell on . Posted in Budget/Taxes, Economic Development, Education, Environment, Features, Government Operations, Housing, Labor/Unions, News

What does a “progressive” city budget look like? During his preliminary budget presentation last week, Mayor Bill de Blasio attached his favorite buzzword to a supposedly apolitical document. Through the explicit and implicit priorities laid out in his financial plan, the mayor—who mere months ago dubbed himself a “fiscal conservative”—threw caution to the wind, etching his major policy items into the budget with or without the necessary cooperation from Albany, and despite the element of unpredictability stemming  from the city’s… [More]

Study Shows That Raising Minimum Wage Won’t Hurt State Economy

Written by Nick Powell on . Posted in Blog, Daily, Economic Development, Features, Heard Around Town, Latest, News, News & Features

Mayor Bill de Blasio’s appeal to Albany for home rule control over New York City setting its own minimum wage during his State of the City speech Monday has made significant waves, despite Gov. Andrew Cuomo all but shooting it down, by saying the proposal could cause “chaos” throughout the state. Despite Cuomo’s ambivalence, a group of elected officials, including City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, City Comptroller Scott Stringer and Public Advocate Letitia James will hold a rally at City Hall… [More]

De Blasio’s State of the City Marks A Shift In Tone From Bloomberg Era

Written by Nick Powell on . Posted in Blog, Budget/Taxes, Daily, Economic Development, Education, Environment, Features, Government Operations, Housing, Labor/Unions, Latest, News, Real Estate/Construction, Transportation

As is the case with most mayors less than two months into their administration, Mayor Bill de Blasio did not have a laundry list of accomplishments to point to during his State of the City address on Monday. But unlike his predecessor Michael Bloomberg’s first State of the City, which covered a wide range of topics and laid the foundation for his twelve years in office, de Blasio eschewed a long-term blueprint in favor of addressing the urgency of leveling… [More]

De Blasio Taps Transition Co-Chair as City Planning Commissioner

Written by Nick Powell on . Posted in Economic Development, Government Operations, Housing, Latest, News, News & Features

Either Carl Weisbrod was the best and only man for the job, or he was the last man for the job. Whatever the case, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio effusively praised Weisbrod while introducing him as the next chair of City Planning Commission at a press conference on Friday. In fact, the mayor went to great lengths to make it clear that Weisbrod, the co-chair of his transition committee, was indisputably the right choice for a permanent job,… [More]

Díaz, Palma Critical Of Rep. Jose Serrano; Primary Challenge Possible [UPDATED]

Written by Nick Powell on . Posted in Blog, Campaigns/Elections, Daily, Economic Development, Features, Heard Around Town, Latest, News

Bronx Rep. Jose Serrano has served in the House of Representatives for nearly 25 years without so much as a threat to his incumbency, with his lowest vote percentage being 64 percent in 1992. However, several Bronx political sources say that there is a groundswell of opposition forming against Serrano, with several names being floated as potential primary challengers for Serrano in this year’s election, including state Senator Rev. Rubén Díaz, City Councilwoman Annabel Palma, and Assemblyman Marcos Crespo. Reached… [More]

De Blasio Pre-K Push Mirrors Dinkins Era Negotiation [CORRECTED]

Written by Nick Powell on . Posted in Blog, Budget/Taxes, Daily, Economic Development, Education, Features, Government Operations, News, Public Safety, Social Services

Last week New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio traveled to Albany to make the case for his universal preschool program in front of the state Assembly Ways and Means and the Senate Finance committees. De Blasio, who campaigned on providing full-day preschool for all four year olds, as well as after school programs for every middle school student, has ramped up his campaign for the effort, which would be paid for through a temporary tax hike on the city’s… [More]

Unsettled Teacher Contracts Could Raise Cost of De Blasio’s Universal Preschool Program

Written by Nick Powell on . Posted in Budget/Taxes, Daily, Economic Development, Education, Features, Government Operations, Labor/Unions, Latest, News, Social Services

During his back-and-forth with the state Legislature’s Joint Fiscal Committees on Monday—pitching the merits of his proposed universal preschool and after school programs—Mayor Bill de Blasio listened while state Sen. Diane Savino expressed shock that his predecessor, Michael Bloomberg, left him very little in the way of reserve money to negotiate long-expired municipal labor contracts. When Savino, who chairs the Senate Labor Committee, suggested that de Blasio use the labor contract conundrum to bolster his case for a tax increase… [More]

Ouster of HDC President Marc Jahr Raises Questions in New York City’s Housing Community

Written by Nick Powell on . Posted in Blog, Daily, Economic Development, Features, Government Operations, Housing, News

A central tenet of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s policy agenda is his promise to build or preserve 200,000 units of affordable housing, a lofty goal that would add to the 160,000-plus units created or preserved under former mayor Michael Bloomberg’s New Housing Marketplace Plan, one of the largest urban affordable housing plans in United States history, if not the largest. However, the de Blasio administration has already discarded a key figure in seeing that plan through. Marc Jahr, the president… [More]

Slim Capital Budget Leaves de Blasio With Few Options

Written by Kristen Meriwether on . Posted in Blog, Budget/Taxes, Daily, Economic Development, Features, Government Operations, Latest, News

Mayor Bill de Blasio will have a year to submit his capital budget plan, which will set a road map for new infrastructure projects during his term. That plan, however, will not come without challenges, some of which were discussed at an infrastructure panel hosted by the General Contractors Association of New York at Fordham University on Monday. De Blasio spent much of the last year touting the need for a tax on the wealthy to pay for pre-kindergarten and… [More]

De Blasio, Miner Applaud Cuomo’s Agenda, But Call for Changes

Written by Jon Lentz on . Posted in Economic Development, Government Operations, News

On his first trip to Albany as mayor of New York City, Bill de Blasio played up what he has in common with Gov. Andrew Cuomo and emphasized that he shares many of the goals that the governor laid out in the State of the State address. Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner, Cuomo’s hand-picked co-chair of the state Democratic Party, was singled out by the governor in Wednesday’s speech as a role model for her efforts to cut costs by sharing… [More]