Author Archives

Greg Lewis

Faith-based institutions face real estate challenges

Reverend Harper seated at the back of his church The pressures facing the Harlem faith-based institutions highlighted in this article are not unique. This is a borough-wide problem that must be addressed, which is why my office has conducted outreach and hosted events, like the Faith-Based Development and Preservation Conference we held early last year in conjunction with Community Board 10.

There oughta be a law: we need a database to track vacant storefronts

Gale speaks into mic at NYC council committee I testified today at the NYC Council Committee on Small Business in support of Intro No 1472-A, a bill that would require owners to report the vacancy status of their storefront properties and establish an open database for vacancies. The crisis facing small businesses has only grown worse. National chains steadily spread throughout the city, storefronts sit vacant for years, and online shopping is reducing foot traffic to our local… Read more

Letter to NYCHA:
Don’t lock nonprofits out of development plans

NYCHA facility on a beautiful day I’m upset that the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) has a PACT/RAD request for proposals (RFP) on Section 8 conversions at 16 sites in Manhattan that purposely blocks established and experienced nonprofit community development corporations from participating the bidding process by requiring proposals to convert all 16 at once.  I’ve written a letter calling on NYCHA to revise their PACT/RAD policy (and testified in February about it at the… Read more

State of the Borough forum on urban policy a smash

Gale speaking at podium at State of the Borough   We covered a lot at my State of the Borough event focused on what an urban agenda looks like today, like expanding broadband access, improving bus service, addressing gentrification, and improving immigrant graduation rates. I spoke about the work my office is doing and moderated a panel featuring former Counsel to Mayor de Blasio Maya Wiley, former Daily News columnist Juan Gonzalez, Center for an Urban Future chief Jonathan… Read more

New Accessibility Task Force will tackle barriers to access for disabled and senior New Yorkers

meeting with Accessibility Task Force at Gale's office If you’re in a wheelchair, or use a cane or walker, or even just have a more temporary injury, it can truly be a challenge to get from point A to point B. That’s why I formed my new Accessibility Task Force, composed of stakeholders and advocates who will address access issues in transit and urban design for disabled and senior New Yorkers as they navigate the city. We held… Read more

Letter to Schools Chancellor: Close the gap in mental health care

flyer stating mental health care in NYC schools Social workers have overwhelming caseloads and are stretched too thin. In fact, a 2017 study by my office found that there was a ratio of just 1 social worker to every 800 students in the borough of Manhattan. That’s why I called on New York City Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza to make more mental health care available to students. DOE data shows there are not enough social workers or direct… Read more

Mayor de Blasio needs to change his plan for Holmes Towers infill development or face legal action

birds eye view of Holmes Towers I am calling on Mayor Bill de Blasio to scrap his plan to proceed with the Holmes Towers infill development on First Avenue and 97th Street without going through the Uniform Land Use Review Process (ULURP). There are many things wrong with the Mayor’s proposal, all of which can be rectified through robust public review. Everybody knows that I’m always supportive of efforts to increase affordable housing, but I have… Read more

What is urban policy now? Join me for my 2019 State of the Borough event

Gale talking at podium for State of Borough 2016 There are still tickets available to my State of the Borough event at 2 pm this Sunday at NYU’s Skirball Center! The event will focus on present-day urban policy, featuring a panel discussion with an expert group of guests. Can’t make it? The event will be live-streamed by the Manhattan News Network and posted on my Facebook page. You can also follow along on Twitter using the hashtag #SOTB2019 and #UrbanPolicyNow