Mayor Bill de Blasio’s ambitious plan for the rezoning of Brooklyn’s formerly industrial Gowanus neighborhood was finally approved by the city’s Land Use Committee on Wednesday, after a decade of debate and drama. As Gothamist reports, the rezoning plan, the current administration’s largest, was given the green light after Council Members Brad Lander and Stephen Levin, the borough’s Community Board 6, and members of the Gowanus Neighborhood Coalition for Justice reached a deal with City Hall that includes more investment in public housing and sewer infrastructure.
Mayor Bill de Blasio
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The city has released updated guidelines for its rent freeze programs that help senior citizens (aged 62 and over) and tenants with qualifying disabilities (aged 18 and over) stay in affordable housing by freezing their rent. Eligible tenants living in rent-controlled apartments can now freeze their rent at the preferential level, instead of the legal rent. “The City’s rent freeze programs have given tens of thousands of New Yorkers peace of mind and housing stability,” said Mayor de Blasio. “Now that we can freeze preferential rents, the program will bring even more relief.”
De Blasio moves to restrict hotel development after receiving campaign contributions from industry union, Tue, August 27, 2019
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After receiving an endorsement from the New York Hotel and Motel Trades Council (HTC) for his long-shot presidential campaign in June, Mayor Bill de Blasio has asked the city’s planning council to look into the process for implementing a city-wide special permit for hotel development, as Crain’s first reported. If adopted, new hotel projects throughout the five boroughs would have to undergo the city’s land-use review process, ULURP—something that the HTC has long advocated for.
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After thousands of New Yorkers lost power this weekend as temperatures soared through the 90s, the city looked to Con Ed for answers, including Mayor Bill De Blasio, who said in a Monday briefing that he was “extremely disappointed” in the utility provider, Gothamist reports. The latest shortfall, which saw over 50,000 customers in a swath of southeast Brooklyn without power this weekend, was apparently no accident; Con Ed throttled power to its customers in a “preemptive move to take those customers in southeast Brooklyn out of service in order to protect vital equipment and to help restore power as soon as possible.”
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After missing two deadlines to fill the position, Mayor Bill de Blasio on Tuesday announced that Gregory Russ will be taking over as Chair of NYCHA. Russ, who is currently the head of Minneapolis’ public housing authority and previously led the Cambridge Housing Authority in Massachusetts, will receive an unprecedented salary of $402,628—more than even President Donald Trump makes. That figure comes out to roughly $1 a year for every NYCHA tenant he will represent, as THE CITY reports.
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Following the deadly crash of a helicopter in midtown last Monday, lawmakers are calling for greater oversight on helicopters flying over the city, the New York Post reported. “I think we need a full ban on any helicopters going over Manhattan itself,” Mayor de Blasio said on WNYC’s The Brian Lehrer Show last Friday, noting that “exemptions should be made for emergency responders, first responders, uniform services,” and news cameras. On Sunday, Senator Chuck Schumer urged the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to include data recorders in all helicopters.
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As local politicians scramble to change decades of waste and bad habits, businesses are often in a better position to have an impact on the planet, and some are eager to oblige. Whole Foods just announced they’d be ending the use of plastic straws in their juice bars and cafes and packaging rotisserie chickens in bags instead of plastic cartons, the New York Post reports. And grocery megachain Wegmans says they’ll be bagging single-use plastic bags by the end of this year, ahead of a statewide ban. Recently Mayor Bill De Blasio weighed in with NYC’s own Green New Deal; the mayor announced in April that the city has passed an executive order intended to mobilize resources to combat climate change. In addition to addressing the more obvious plastic, the plan includes the phasing-out of processed meat purchased by government-run facilities like hospitals and schools–but not street vendors, restaurants or stores.
Image credit: Paige Polk/Mayoral Photography Office
The city has officially renamed the intersection of West 63rd Street and Broadway in Manhattan “Sesame Street,” to honor the beloved educational program’s 50th anniversary. As part of a year-long celebration, Mayor Bill de Blasio was joined by Big Bird, Cookie Monster, Oscar, Elmo and other members of the “Sesame” crew at a renaming ceremony at the bustling West Side corner–the location of the Sesame Workshop offices. “We’re here because we believe in what Sesame Street means today and what it’s meant for half-a-century, what it’s done for our children.”
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Mayor Bill de Blasio kicked off a new lead-based paint testing program today, to be implemented in NYCHA apartments. 135,000 apartments will be tested with portable X-ray fluorescence (XRF) analyzers as part of the mayor’s LeadFreeNYC plan to eliminate childhood lead exposure. The effort will determine whether lead paint is present and abate any hazards found in the tested units, which were built before the federal ban on lead paint in 1978.
The mayor’s office announced this week that New York City’s residential evictions by marshals had declined by 37 percent since 2013, with approximately 18,000 evictions in 2018 compared to almost 29,000 evictions in 2013. In Manhattan, evictions are down 47 percent since 2013. What that means: Since 2013, more than 100,000 New Yorkers who might otherwise have faced evictions have been able to stay in their homes. And evictions decreased 14 percent in 2018 alone. Maps from the New York City Council show data on where the most evictions happen and allow you to search for a specific address in any borough to find out more.