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

Where would you cut the city budget?

news paper article with de Blasio on budget cuts Mayor de Blasio released his preliminary Fiscal Year 2020 budget last week, which revealed a nearly $1 billion shortfall in tax revenue. So the city faces difficult choices about what to preserve and what to cut; but I want to hear about your budget priorities. Each year, my office conducts an analysis of the Mayor’s budget and solicits input from Manhattanites. We will hold a public hearing on the proposal… Read more

Schools need a broadband “czar” to ensure better public school wifi; new report from my office shows wide variance across 70 campuses

Pubic school building in sunlight Even as New York City’s technology sector grows (Amazon HQ2 notwithstanding), a survey of Manhattan public schools by my office shows that city students are lagging behind in the most basic tech currency: broadband wifi access. My staff and interns surveyed a sample of multi-school “campuses” across the borough and conducted measurements of wifi upload and download speeds at three points during the school day: 20 minutes before classes start,… Read more

Fresh Food for Seniors program delivers 5,500 bags of affordable produce

seven smiling women boxing leafy greens Healthy food should be available to everyone, but especially to elderly New Yorkers. As an elected official, I’ve made increasing access to quality, affordable, and locally-grown food a priority. My Fresh Food for Seniors program, a version of which I launched in 2012 as a City Council Member, delivers discounted bags of local fruits and veggies—sourced from local farms via GrowNYC’s Greenmarket Co. food hub—to senior centers and apartment buildings… Read more