Category: News from Gale Brewer

Charter Revision Commission begins drafting proposals in four areas

room full of people at Charter 2019 Manhattan Hearing The 2019 Charter Revision Commission—which will recommend proposals to be placed on the November ballot—has completed a series of “expert forums” on four topic areas it will focus on. Having narrowed focus after hearing from experts and the public (at hearings last fall), the commission will now draw up specific proposals in these four areas, and hold hearings on them in each of the five boroughs on those drafts later this spring.

State budget passes with measures to raise funds for the MTA

room full of people for a public hearing about congestion pricing plan The state budget just passed in Albany includes two measures which will provide desperately needed funding to the MTA… Congestion pricing.  A congestion pricing plan—the first in the nation—will impose a fee on most vehicles when they enter Manhattan south of 61st Street, with revenues to be directed mostly to the MTA. I’ve supported congestion pricing as a way to reduce the clog of traffic in the business district and… Read more

Helping retailers transition to new electronic system for WIC payments

WIc program card with vegetables on the front The federal WIC program (“Women Infants Children”) for low-income parents is moving into the digital age. A new system called eWIC will make it easier for participants to redeem benefits and for retailers to get paid by the government. Retailers must obtain new  EBT (eWIC) machines and complete training for the new system by April 30. Staff in my office, in partnership with the New York State Department of Health,… Read more

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

Public hearing Thursday March 21 on congestion pricing’s impact on Manhattanites.

Canal Street traffic jam, looking westward The congestion pricing plan now under consideration in Albany has the potential to change the way Manhattan works in a major way. For example, equalizing the tolls on all bridges and tunnels would reduce the incentive to cross Manhattan via Canal St. to reach New Jersey. I want to know what Manhattanites think. Attend this public hearing, learn more about the proposal from the experts—and make your voice heard!… 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