Staten Island Borough President James Oddo and I convened a meeting with the Mayor’s Office, city agencies, and community stakeholders to address the illegal ticket vending issue that has been plaguing the Battery, Peter Minuit Plaza, and the southern portion of Battery Park City for several years. Individual vendors, frequently using harassment and occasionally force, have continued to peddle ferry and boat tour tickets to Liberty Island, Ellis Island, and… Read more
You can’t fix a problem when you can’t measure it. We’ve all noticed scores of empty storefronts in our daily travels around the city; many have been vacant for years.
That’s why my bill to create a city database of empty properties, co-sponsored with City Council Speaker Corey Johnson and Council Member Helen Rosenthal and passed in July, is a great start in trying to solve this problem. The… Read more
Delivered July 16, 2019.
I’m honored to be here tonight—not just because I’m a big fan of City & State, but because local journalism is important to our democracy—and our democracy has never needed journalism more.
I’m especially honored by Sheena Wright’s introduction. Her leadership of the United Way supports New Yorkers in so many ways—I’m humbled by her efforts and that of her staff and affiliates. And both of… Read more
100% of the paper that Department of Sanitation trucks collect in Manhattan’s is barged to Pratt Industries’ recycling mill on Staten Island where the paper is “pulped” and then used by their corrugated plant nearby and fabricated into new paper products, resulting in a rare sustainable “closed loop.” (Approximately 15% of NYC pizza boxes are made right there!)
But the plants have excess capacity—so Pratt Industries, the plants’ owner, is… Read more
In my official ULURP recommendation, I supported approving the Manhattan component of the city’s Borough-Based Jail System plan, with some conditions that are necessary to make sure local businesses and tenants are protected. The bottom line is this: Rikers Island must close. For too long the criminal justice system has disproportionately punished people in poverty, rather than being restorative and transformative.
Last year, I formed a Rikers Task Force… Read more
The East Side Coastal Resiliency Project will fortify Manhattan’s coastline between Montgomery and 25th Streets from coastal flooding while making the waterfront more accessible to the public. The NYC Department of Design and Construction will present the plan, followed by testimony from all those interested.
Each year, the Mayor and City Council must reach an agreement on how the city will spend money in the upcoming year. This is a tall task, as you can imagine, and involves a lot of compromise. In the Fiscal Year 2020 budget, I called for staffing one social worker in every public school, achieving pay parity between city and non-city early educators, and keeping senior centers open. I’m happy… Read more
One of my responsibilities as Borough President is to fill gaps in the City budget and support worthwhile capital projects across Manhattan. Each year my staff and I read countless applications, visit sites, and crunch the numbers to ensure projects that enrich people’s lives are funded. Capital funding is available to city agencies, nonprofit organizations, cultural institutions and public schools. This year, I granted a total of $29,250,000 to 149… Read more
For years, a city purchasing policy known as “Directive 10” stood in the way of using capital funds to buy tablet computers (like iPads) for city schools, because it required a five-year lifespan for such products.
After much work by myself and my staff over many years (see my 2017 op-ed in Crain’s), I’m delighted to share that Comptroller Scott Stringer has changed Directive 10 to allow capital… Read more
This program allows seniors to purchase fresh, regionally grown fruit and vegetables for just $8 a bag.