Bill De Blasio

April 7, 2021

NYC beaches will open for Memorial Day Weekend

After a shortened season in 2020, New York City's public pools and beaches will open on time this summer, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Wednesday. All eight city beaches will open for the season starting Memorial Day Weekend on Saturday, May 29, with 48 outdoor pools welcoming swimmers beginning on June 26. Last year, beaches and pools did not open for swimming until July 1 and August 1, respectively, because of the coronavirus pandemic.
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March 16, 2021

Brooklyn Municipal Building renamed after Ruth Bader Ginsburg

The Brooklyn Municipal Building on Monday was officially renamed after late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. The idea to honor the Brooklyn native was introduced three years ago by Borough President Eric Adams, who launched a campaign in 2018 calling on Mayor Bill de Blasio to sign off on the name change. Following Ginsburg's death in September, the mayor agreed to rename the building located at 210 Joralemon Street.
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March 15, 2021

New York City buys Downtown Brooklyn’s abolitionist rowhouse for $3.2M

New York City has officially purchased the property at 227 Duffield Street, a 19th-century rowhouse in Downtown Brooklyn recently designated as a landmark for its ties to the abolitionist movement. The Landmarks Preservation Commission last month granted landmark status to the home, occupied by known abolitionists Harriet and Thomas Truesdell from 1851 to 1863, after years of advocacy and a threat by a developer to raze it and build a mixed-use building in its place. First Lady Chirlane McCray, who has been a vocal advocate for the preservation of the site, announced the purchase during Mayor Bill de Blasio's briefing on Monday and said the deal ensures the property will be "protected and celebrated for a very long time."
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March 11, 2021

100 new federal COVID-19 vaccine hubs to open in New York

More than 100 new coronavirus vaccine hubs funded by the federal government will soon open in New York, Sen. Chuck Schumer announced on Thursday. During Mayor Bill de Blasio's daily press briefing, the Senate Majority Leader said additional vaccines will be sent directly to sites at existing community health centers (CHC) to "supercharge" the vaccination effort.
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March 8, 2021

New Yorkers who lost loved ones to COVID can pay tribute to them during city’s memorial on March 14

This Sunday, March 14 marks one year since the first resident of New York City died from the coronavirus. Earlier this year, Mayor Bill de Blasio said the date will be recognized as an official day of remembrance for the nearly 30,000 city residents who passed away from the virus. This week the mayor invited people to share the names and photographs of family, friends, and neighbors lost to COVID to possibly be featured as part of the city's online memorial taking place on March 14.
March 5, 2021

NYC begins door-to-door COVID-19 vaccinations for homebound seniors

New York City on Thursday launched an effort to vaccinate homebound seniors by going door to door at select residential buildings. With this week's arrival of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which requires a single shot and remains stable in a regular refrigerator, Mayor Bill de Blasio said the vaccine will "revolutionize" the city's fight against the coronavirus. Teams deployed by the FDNY started vaccinating seniors in Co-op City in the Bronx on Thursday and will move to Brighton Beach on Friday.
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March 4, 2021

NYC updates vaccine website with real-time appointment availability

Making good on its word, the NYC Health Department overhauled the city's COVID vaccine scheduling portal to include real-time appointment availability. Previously, Vaccine Finder listed all providers but did not specify availability, meaning users would have to spend time filling out multiple registration forms just to be told there were no vaccines.
March 2, 2021

Mass vaccination site to open at Co-op City in the Bronx this week

New York City this week will open a mass coronavirus vaccination site at Co-op City, the world's largest housing cooperative. Mayor Bill de Blasio on Tuesday announced the site will start vaccinations for eligible New Yorkers on March 4 at the Bronx development, which is home to over 15,300 apartments across 72 buildings. "Communities felt deep, deep losses from the coronavirus in the Bronx," de Blasio said during a press briefing. "The Bronx is too often overlooked. We can't let that happen."
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February 22, 2021

Trump-operated ice rinks in Central Park to stay open for rest of season

Two ice rinks in Central Park that are operated by the Trump Organization will now remain open for the rest of the season instead of shuttering early as originally planned. The Trump Organization announced it would close Wollman Rink and Lasker Rink on Sunday after city officials requested the company cease operations on February 26, ahead of the contract's April expiration. Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the termination of the agreements with former President Donald Trump's company for the ice rinks and two other city concessions following the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on January 6. In a reversal, the city on Sunday said the rinks can stay open for the remainder of the season.
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February 8, 2021

Citi Field’s mass vaccine site opens this week for TLC drivers, food delivery workers, and Queens residents

The Mets will join the Yankees in offering their stadiums to serve as mass COVID vaccination sites. Just as Yankee Stadium is earmarked for Bronx residents, Citi Field's appointments will be set aside 50 percent for drivers with TLC licenses and food delivery workers and 50 percent for Queens residents, Mayor De Blasio announced today in a press conference. The Flushing, Queens site will open this Wednesday, February 10th at 10:00am.
February 5, 2021

See the mass vaccination site now open at Yankee Stadium for Bronx residents

As of today, the mass coronavirus vaccination site is open at Yankee Stadium. Appointments are reserved for Bronx residents only who meet phase 1a and 1b eligibility requirements, and the site will operate every day from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Gov. Mayor Bill de Blasio, wearing a Yankees cap (he's a vocal Red Sox fan), was at the stadium and spoke with Yankees president Randy Levine, manager Aaron Boone, and legendary player Mariano Rivera, all of whom encouraged people to sign up for vaccines. As of today, 13,000 of the 15,000 available appointments through next week had been filled.
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February 1, 2021

NYC vaccination data shows ‘profound’ racial gaps

Black and Latino residents in New York City have received far fewer doses of the coronavirus vaccine than white New Yorkers, according to preliminary data released by the city on Sunday. Of the roughly 300,000 city residents vaccinated with at least one dose, 48 percent of them were white, 15 percent Asian, 15 percent Latino, and 11 percent Black. Mayor Bill de Blasio called the racial disparities "profound," since Latino and Black residents make up 29 and 24 percent of the city's population, respectively.
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January 29, 2021

Bike lanes to replace car lanes on the Brooklyn and Queensboro bridges

New York City plans to ban cars from part of two major East River bridges and reserve them for cyclists. Mayor Bill de Blasio on Thursday unveiled a proposal to transform the innermost lane of the Brooklyn Bridge into a two-way protected bike lane and convert the north outer roadway of the Queensboro Bridge into a two-way bike-only lane. The "Bridges for the People" plan was announced as part of the mayor's final State of the City address, "A Recovery for All of Us."
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January 20, 2021

NYC running out of COVID vaccines, reschedules 23,000 appointments

This past Friday, Mayor de Blasio began warning that New York City was likely to run out of COVID-19 vaccines in a week. And yesterday he confirmed these fears in his daily press briefing. "We will begin to run out on Thursday... And we will have literally nothing left to give as of Friday." The city did not receive any additional doses, and therefore, has cancelled 23,000 appointments and closed its 15 vaccination hubs. This comes as the state has more than 9,000 people hospitalized from the virus, the highest number since May 4.
January 19, 2021

NYC offers free rides to COVID-19 vaccine sites for seniors

New York seniors who are unable to get to and from their coronavirus vaccine appointments will now be provided a free ride from the city, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Sunday. Residents aged 65 and older who are unable to make their own arrangements to a city-operated vaccination site can sign up for transportation starting Monday. According to the city, about 10,000 rides will be offered each week.
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January 13, 2021

NYC will cancel Trump Organization contracts after Capitol riot

New York City will cancel three contracts with the Trump Organization after last week's deadly insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. Mayor Bill de Blasio on Wednesday announced plans to terminate agreements for two ice rinks at Central Park, the Central Park Carousel, and the Trump Golf Links at Ferry Point in the Bronx. President Donald Trump still owns the organization but has given his sons Eric and Donald Jr. control over the business. "Goodbye to the Trump Organization," de Blasio said during a press briefing. "We're not doing any business with you."
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January 12, 2021

New Yorkers 65+, teachers, first responders eligible to receive COVID vaccine as of this week

After a very public disagreement between the governor and the mayor over vaccine eligibility, Governor Cuomo announced on Friday that he's expanding eligibility to the initial groups of phase 1B starting this week. Previously, only healthcare workers and nursing home residents and staff were eligible. The expansion initially allowed education workers, first responders, public safety workers, public transit workers, public-facing grocery store workers, and New Yorkers 75+ to receive the vaccine. But in a Tuesday press conference, the governor expanded this list further, allowing those 65+ and immunocompromised persons to be eligible. This now qualifies roughly 7 million New Yorkers, however, the state is only receiving about 300,000 doses per week.
January 4, 2021

New York City has administered just 25% of COVID vaccine allocation

The latest city-state discrepancy comes in the form of vaccine distribution. Last week, Mayor de Blasio announced his goal of administering one million COVID-19 vaccine doses by the end of January. However, in a press conference today, Governor Cuomo turned attention to New York City, as their 11 publicly run hospitals have administered just 31 percent of their vaccine allocation. And on a whole, the city has administered a mere 25 percent of those doses received, according to its own vaccine tracker.
December 29, 2020

NYC extends Open Storefronts program through next fall

New York City's Open Storefronts program, which allows small businesses to use outdoor space in front of their stores to sell goods, has been extended through the fall of next year. Mayor Bill de Blasio on Tuesday signed an executive order extending the program, which was originally expected to end December 31, through September 30, 2021. The program will also expand the number of restaurants and retail stores that can use sidewalks to sell take-out. "We think that's going to help them as they fight to survive in this environment," de Blasio said Tuesday.
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December 23, 2020

NYC launches online COVID-19 vaccine tracker

New York City this week launched a new online tool that tracks the number of people given the coronavirus vaccine each day. As part of the city's Vaccine Command Center, which opened earlier this month to provide real-time troubleshooting and response for vaccination sites, the website features up-to-date information regarding the number of vaccines reserved by the government for the city and delivered, as well as the number of people who have received doses.
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December 22, 2020

In a win for the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, de Blasio says he opposes Crown Heights high-rise towers

Mayor Bill de Blasio on Monday announced his opposition to two controversial high-rise towers proposed for a Crown Heights lot across from the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. As first reported by Gothamist, the mayor said the project would "harm the research and educational work carried out by one of this city’s prized cultural institutions."
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November 30, 2020

NYC will reopen some schools for in-person learning next week

New York City pre-kindergarten and elementary public school students can return to in-person instruction starting December 7, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Sunday. The news comes just two weeks after the mayor shuttered public school buildings, citing the citywide coronavirus positivity rate of 3 percent on a seven-day average, a metric established as part of the administration's reopening plan. But after criticism over allowing indoor dining and gyms to remain open but not schools, de Blasio said Sunday he would ditch the 3 percent threshold and look at the number of cases at each school instead.
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November 18, 2020

NYC schools will close tomorrow as Cuomo warns of a partial lockdown

In his press conference this afternoon, Governor Cuomo announced that all of New York City would become an orange zone if its city-wide positivity rate hits 3 percent. Under this micro-cluster strategy, indoor dining and high-risk non-essential businesses like gyms and personal care services would close. Schools would also close, but during the governor's press conference, New York City Chancellor Richard A. Carranza sent an email to principals that schools would close and go to virtual learning as of tomorrow, as the New York Times first reported.
November 10, 2020

Can NYC stave off a second COVID wave? Positivity rate nears 3%

Credit: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office. For the sixth straight day, New York City's COVID positivity rate has been above 2 percent, today hitting 2.88 percent. Though this is lower than surrounding states (New Jersey has recently hit 8 percent), Mayor de Blasio's education plan has set a threshold of 3 percent for keeping schools open. And according to the city's data, the number of new daily infections has nearly doubled since August from roughly 300 to a whopping 976 last Wednesday. Yesterday, Mayor de Blasio said the city was "getting dangerously close" to a second wave, setting off an alarm among New Yorkers, and today he said, "this is our last chance to stop [it]."
October 16, 2020

NYC makes outdoor dining permanent, lifts ban on propane heaters at restaurants

The New York City Council on Thursday voted to make outdoor dining permanent and year-round and lifted the ban on portable propane heaters. The legislation approved by the Council extends the city's current Open Restaurants program, in which more than 10,500 restaurants have enrolled since June, until September 30, 2021, and requires it to be replaced with a permanent program. Under the program, restaurants will also be able to use portable propane heaters, which were previously banned.
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