Bill de Blasio

Policy

New York City mandates vaccines for all city employees

By Devin Gannon, Wed, October 20, 2021

Photo Credit: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office

New York City workers must be vaccinated by the end of the month or be placed on unpaid leave, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Tuesday. The new vaccination mandate eliminates the option for testing and applies to the entire municipal workforce of 160,500 workers, including all police officers and firefighters. About 46,000 unvaccinated city workers need to get at least their first dose by Friday, October 29, or risk losing their paycheck.

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Policy, Transportation

Photo: Transportation Alternatives

In the summer of 2020, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the city would close 100 miles of streets to cars for use by pedestrians, a policy formed in response to the pandemic and the need for safe, socially distanced outdoor space. Over a year later, just over 24 miles of Open Streets are currently active, according to a report released this week by the advocacy group Transportation Alternatives (TA).

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Chinatown, Policy

Map data © 2020 Google

The city will nearly double its investment in the restoration of a historic Chinatown building that was destroyed in a fire last year, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Tuesday. After committing $80 million last July to the rebuilding of 70 Mulberry Street, a former public school constructed in the 1890s, the mayor said the city will tack on another $90 million, for a total of $170 million. In January 2020, a fire significantly damaged the site, forcing out five nonprofit organizations. According to the city, all of the groups will be welcomed back as tenants.

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City Living

Photo by Kreg Holt

Starting November 1, Governors Island will be open to the public year-round for the first time in its history, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Tuesday. Located in the heart of New York Harbor, the 172-acre island has typically had a limited season that ran between May and October but plans to make the site a 24/7 community have been in the works for nearly two decades. With the island open all year, the city also announced it will make Governors Island a daily stop on NYC Ferry, as well as launch a new route that departs from the Lower East Side. Find out more

Policy

Gov. Kathy Hochul, joined by Sen. Jessica Ramos and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, toured homes in the East Elmhurst section of Queens that flooded from torrential rains brought on by Hurricane Ida. ( Photo: Kevin P. Coughlin / Office of the Governor on Flickr)

Nearly a month after the remnants of Hurricane Ida brought record rainfall, more than $50 million in property damage, and claimed the lives of 13 city residents, New York officials announced a plan to provide financial assistance to undocumented residents affected by the storm. Announced by Gov. Kathy Hochul and Mayor Bill de Blasio on Sunday, the fund includes $27 million in city and state grants for New Yorkers who are ineligible for federal help because of their immigration status.

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Featured Story

Features, NYC Guides, Policy

Gov. Kathy Hochul tours a storm-damaged apartment in Inwood. The heavy rains of Tropical Storm Ida forced part of a parking garage to collapse and damaged a ground floor apartment, and vehicle, on West 218th Street. Photo: Kevin P. Coughlin / Office of Governor Kathy Hochul on Flickr

President Joe Biden on Monday approved a major disaster declaration for New York, making federal funding available to residents and businesses in counties affected by flooding last week caused by the remnants of Hurricane Ida. According to an early estimate from state officials, Ida caused $50 million in damage to public property and to more than 1,200 residences. In addition to the financial relief provided by FEMA, there are several resources available to New Yorkers who need help in the aftermath of the storm, including temporary shelter, food and basic needs, and cash assistance.

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Featured Story

City Living, Features, Policy

What you need to know about NYC’s basement apartments

By Devin Gannon, Fri, September 3, 2021

Photo courtesy of HPD

This week, Hurricane Ida brought record rainfall and historic flash flooding to New York City, which ultimately led to the deaths of at least 13 New Yorkers. A majority of the people killed lived in basement apartments, where water was able to get in and block the only way out. These “hidden” units have always been prevalent in New York City, which is home to roughly 50,000 basement apartments, although that number is likely much higher as many of them are considered illegal.

The tragic events of this last week have renewed calls from advocacy groups and elected officials to legalize basement apartments to make them safe for the more than 100,000 New Yorkers who live in them. Ahead, learn about the difference between a legal and illegal basement apartment, what can be done to protect tenants, and what the future holds for these homes, seen as a critical component of the city’s insufficient affordable housing stock.

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Policy

Photo courtesy of Gov. Kathy Hochul’s Office on Flickr

Less than two weeks ago, New York City experienced the most rainfall ever recorded in a single hour with 1.94 inches documented in Central Park on August 21. That record was smashed on Wednesday night when the remnants of Hurricane Ida hit the region, bringing 3.15 inches of rain to the park between around 8:50 p.m. and 9:50 p.m. The historic rainfall caused a flash flood emergency to be issued in the city for the first time ever, brought the subway system to a standstill, and ultimately left at least 12 New Yorkers dead.

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Policy

Photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office on Flickr

Between January and August, 0.33 percent of fully vaccinated New Yorkers tested positive for the coronavirus, according to new data published on Wednesday. New York City health officials say the data prove breakthrough cases of Covid-19 are rare, with unvaccinated people 13 times more likely to be hospitalized due to the virus compared to fully vaccinated people. “The vaccines continue to prevent the outcomes we most want to avoid: hospitalizations and death,” Dr. Dave Chokshi, the city’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene Commissioner, said.

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Policy

Photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office

New York City is requiring Department of Education employees to receive their first dose of the coronavirus vaccine by September 27, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Monday. The new mandate applies to the agency’s 148,000 employees, including teachers, custodians, and central office workers and comes three weeks before the first day of school for the city’s one million public school students. The policy takes away the option for DOE staff to submit for weekly testing instead of being vaccinated, which was part of a previous order announced last month.

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