The first of the de Blasio administration’s neighborhood rezonings was unveiled at the end of September with the East New York plan: an ambitious document that includes mandatory affordable housing, new parks, bike lanes, and a 1,000-seat school. While the Department of City Planning (DCP) claims that 50 percent of housing built over the next 15 years under the new rules will be affordable to local residents, activists and neighborhood groups remain wary about the plan.
Real Affordability for All, a coalition of unions and tenant groups, have criticized the plan, arguing that the new apartments will be out of reach for many local residents. At the time of the rezoning, the group released a report critiquing the de Blasio housing plan, arguing that “mandatory inclusionary zoning is an insufficient response to the scope and severity of the affordability crisis. Density can be used in a better way to incentivize more deeply affordable housing and to build it with career-oriented construction jobs for residents.”
Meanwhile, the Coalition for Community Advancement released an alternative plan for East New York that outlines a community-centered approach to achieving a “Neighborhood of Opportunity, where increased density results in increased affordability, living wage jobs, improved infrastructure, and essential amenities.”
- Learn more about DCP’s East New York Community Plan here.
- Read the full report from Real Affordability for All here.
- Read the East New York Neighborhood Rezoning Alternative Plan here.
Yesterday, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, a federal commission on fair employment practices, ruled that New York City has underpaid its female and minority employees, engaging in a broad pattern of discrimination that could cost the City hundreds of millions of dollars. From the New York Times:
The ruling comes in response to a complaint brought against the administraton of former Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg on behalf of more than 1,000 administrative managers employed by the city and represented by Local 1180 of the Communications Workers of America.
Specifically, the commission found that “structural and historic problems” have resulted in the pay of minorities and women being suppressed.
“This rate of pay is much less than their white male counterparts’ in similarly situated jobs and titles,” according to the commission’s findings. Continue reading NYC: EEOC Rules in Favor of Underpaid Minority, Female Employees
Written by James Parrott, the Chief Economist at the Fiscal Policy Institute
For the first time in nearly five years, major labor agreements were recently reached covering public sector workers in New York City. On April 17, Transport Workers Union (TWU) Local 100 concluded a new 5-year contract dating from January 2012 covering 34,000 workers at the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), most of whom work for the subway and bus system in New York City. Two weeks later on May 1, the United Federation of Teachers (UFT) reached a 9-year agreement with the City of New York stretching back to November 2009 that affects over 100,000 public school teachers and support staff.
Both contracts represented a breakthrough in ending managements’ demands for a 3-year wage freeze that had grown out of a counter-productive post-Great Recession conservative infatuation with public sector austerity, or more precisely, a mindset that held that workers had to sacrifice to help clean up the economic mess caused by financial sector excesses.
Continue reading The Significance of the TWU and UFT Labor Contracts
Eve Baron is the Academic Program Manager of Urban Studies at The Murphy Institute
New York City Mayor de Blasio came into office on a platform to rewrite the city’s “Tale of Two Cities,” a reference to the stark and growing differences between the life chances of the city’s rich and poor. One of his first policy initiatives was focused on children—universal pre- kindergarten. Universal pre-k programs have long been seen by education advocates as critical to children’s future academic and social success, and critical to support the needs of working parents. De Blasio was successful, in that New York State Governor Cuomo agreed to a budget deal this year that would fund universal pre-k, yet the Mayor failed to reach his goal of a permanent funding stream—he was not able to persuade the state legislature to allow the city to levy higher taxes on the wealthy to pay for the program. Short of that, NYC’s pre-k programs will need to be re-funded each budget cycle. Perhaps even bigger are questions of gaining autonomy over the tax levy process—if NYC had more control, could we enact a more broadly progressive agenda—one that included pre-k and low-cost housing, after-school programs and infrastructure funding, for example?
Continue reading Progressive Urban Policy Meets Albany: 2014