Urban Matters

I Want To Run For Office. Thank You, AOC.    

By Ayling Zulema Dominguez

You weren’t supposed to run for office. Mother from La Isla and dad from the South Bronx. Born in a place where zip code determines your destiny. Bearing a long, hyphenated name peppered with R’s to roll. Working class and never had a plan to go into politics. But there you are. Beating out a powerful, nearly 20-year Democratic incumbent. Eyes wide and mouth agape as you were told the news. Telling us that your victory belongs to us. It is our victory. And you couldn’t be more right.


Urban Matters | NYC Politics

When Insurgents Take Over City Hall

By Juan González

In his new book, Reclaiming Gotham: Bill de Blasio and the Movement to End America's Tale of Two Cities, longtime New York journalist Juan González poses the question: Was the 2013 mayoral election “just a curious digression in the convoluted history of New York City politics, a transitory attempt to resurrect past liberal policies? Or was it something more?” Here’s his answer, excerpted with his permission from the book’s introduction.


Event Series | New York City Politics, Housing & Homelessness, Justice, Education

The de Blasio Series: How's he doing? 

The Center for New York City Affairs presents an examination of Mayor Bill de Blasio's performance in key areas impacting New York City during his first year in office.

Affordable Housing: Rent and Reality 

Pre-K: The Low-down from Insideschools

Reforming Juvenile Justice: Is Close to Home Working?  

Homelessness: Protecting the city's kids from trauma of homelessness

Events | New York City Politics, National Politics, Justice, Civil Rights 

Ferguson + Staten Island: the Roots, the Reality, and the Response (2014)

This summer marked a turning point in community and police relationships in two very different cities. With the media focus on the tragic deaths of Eric Garner and Mike Brown, people across the country have begun to reflect on the complex relationships that communities often have with police, and on the underlying causes of these deaths.

In this discussion, law enforcement, policy makers, advocates, journalists, and community leaders come together to explore the events in Ferguson -- and ask how New York and other cities are responding. What political and economic conditions in Ferguson and minority communities nationally underlie the anger that exploded in Ferguson? What kinds of policy changes are necessary to prevent more tragedies from occurring - and to prevent continued escalation of tension between police departments and minority communities? And how do we go about making this policy change happen?

Rembert Browne, staff writer, Grantland
Patricia Bynes, committeewoman, Ferguson township
Peter Coy, economics editor, Bloomberg Businessweek
Eugene O’Donnell, lecturer, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, CUNY
Vincent Warren, executive director, Center for Constitutional Rights
Jeff Smith, assistant professor of politics and advocacy, The New School

Ferguson in Black and White: A Discussion (2014)

A discussion of the recent events in Ferguson, MO – the aftermath of the death of Michael Brown, the Grand Jury decision not to indict the police officer involved in the shooting, and the tensions of racial and class inequality simmering and boiling over in St. Louis and other cities across the U.S. 

Milano Professor Jeff Smith -- St. Louis native and author of the new e-book Ferguson in Black & White -- kicks off a discussion with:
Joel Anderson, senior national reporter, Buzzfeed;
Justyn Richardson, treasurer, New Black School
Robin Hayes, assistant professor of nonprofit management and urban policy, The New School

Event | New York City Politics, Housing & Homelessness 

The Mayoral Agenda: Affordable Housing and Historic Preservation (2014)

Historic Districts Council and the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation are working together to present a panel discussion about affordable housing and historic preservation. With the mayor's plans for affordable housing given such a focus as well as the multitude of articles written about these two topics together, we thought that it was an appropriate time for public discussion about it. The program will feature a mix of community and affordable housing advocates, civic leaders and preservationists. 

Hon. Gale Brewer, Manhattan Borough President
Harvey Epstein, project director, Community Development Project, Urban Justice Center; NYC Rent Guidelines Board Member
Nadine Maleh, director, Inspiring Places program at Community Solutions
Rachel Meltzer, assistant professor of urban policy, The New School
Andrew Berman, executive director, Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation

Event | New York City PoliticsNational PoliticsElections


CNYCA presents a panel on grassroots politics. No, Bill de Blasio hasn't announced his candidacy for president...yet. But the same type of grassroots politics that gave Mayor de Blasio his start and propelled him to the mayoralty helped turn a little-known, freshman senator from Chicago's South Side into the President of the United States.

Learn how from Mitch Stewart, who, as Obama's 2008 Iowa caucus director and 2012 battleground states director, helped oversee the campaign's field operations in its most critical contests. Stewart will be joined by leading New York City strategists who are managing local efforts to achieve universal per-kindergarten and public campaign financing.

Mitch Stewart, founding partner, 270 Strategies
Zakiyah Ansari, advocacy director, NY State Alliance for Quality Education
Michael Blake, principal, Atlas Strategy Group
Susan Lerner, executive director, Common Cause New York
Moderated by Jeff Smith, assistant professor of politics & advocacy, The New School

Event | New York City PoliticsNew York State Politics


Is tension is inevitable between Albany and NYC or it is just that there's a new mayoral administration and an election-year governor, and press and politicos are shining the spotlight in search of every conflict. As Mayor de Blasio seeks to fulfill campaign promises and pursue the agenda that got him elected, a popular Governor Cuomo has his own program to fulfill. Will the city and state collaborate? Or will diverging fiscal and political priorities cause more conflict, more publicly than in the past?

Michael Benjamin, political columnist, New York Post; former NYS Assemblyman (D-Bronx)
Thomas Kaplan, political reporter, The New York Times
Michael Powell, columnist, The New York Times
Liz Krueger, New York State Senator (D-Manhattan)

Event | New York City Politics


How can city government overcome the divide that has made New York a tale of two cities? Public Advocate Bill de Blasio discusses his vision for addressing the pervasive issues of social inequality and economic disparity, and proposes policy innovations in economic development for the future of the city. Remarks by Public Advocate Bill de Blasio followed by a discussion with Andrew White, director, Center for NYC Affairs.

Event | New York City Politics

NYC 1972-2012: Forty Years of Change and Continuity

To celebrate the 40th anniversary of The New School's graduate program in Urban Policy Analysis and Management, scholars and policymakers discuss our city's evolution since the early 1970s. Neighborhoods have been revived and rebuilt, migrations have transformed the five boroughs, local government has gone from the edge of insolvency to a steadier state. Yet the New York of 1972 is strikingly similar to the city of today, with complex problems, relentless development and a lasting culture of activist government, philanthropy, advocacy and social justice. What are the challenges of today in comparison to those of the past? How can policy decisions made over the past 40 years influence the city's future?

John Mollenkopf, director of the Center for Urban Research, CUNY
Lilliam Barrios-Paoli, commissioner of the New York City Department for the Aging (DFTA)
Marc Jahr, president of the New York City Housing Development Corporation
Liz Krueger, NYS Senator for the 26th Senate District (D, WF)
Roberto Ramirez, former New York State Assemblyman for the 78th Assembly District (D)
Fred Siegel, senior fellow, Progressive Policy Institute

Event | New York City Politics, National Politics 

Urban Policy in an Era of Fiscal Austerity (2012)

With the federal debt at $16 trillion, the fate of the nation's cities stands at a crossroads. While cities like New York appear to be doing better than ever, a rising tide of poverty and inequality threatens to undermine their progress. Meanwhile, a large group of second-tier cities, from Detroit and St. Louis to Stockton and San Bernardino, are besieged as never before. How will the mushrooming national debt and looming federal austerity regime affect these trends? Will austerity exacerbate the division between successful and struggling cities?

Gavin Newsom, Lieutenant Governor of the State of California; former mayor of San Francisco
Robert Doar, Commissioner, New York City Human Resources Administration
Catherine Rampell, founder and editor, Economix blog, The New York Times
Daniel Lurie, CEO and founder, Tipping Point
Jeff Smith, assistant professor, politics and advocacy, urban policy, Milano School of International Affairs, Management, and Urban Policy

Event | New York City Politics, Housing & Homelessness

No Way to Pay: What's next for homeless families in NYC? (2012)

New York's homeless population is near an all time high, with more than 40,000 New Yorkers living in shelters — including 16,500 children and their parents. Amid the continuing fiscal crunch, New York City and State recently ended a unique rent subsidy program that helped thousands move out of shelters and into apartments, and new federal rent subsidies are nowhere to be found. The search is on for new housing alternatives. What is next for families in the shelters... and those on their way there? 

Seth Diamond, Commissioner of New York Department of Homeless Services
Michael Powell, Gotham Columnist, New York Times
Catherine Trapani, HousingLink Director at New Destiny Housing
Patrick Markee, Senior Policy Analyst at Coalition for the Homeless
Steve Banks, Chief Attorney at Legal Aid Society of New York 

Event | New York City Politics, Justice, Income & Inequality

The Just City: Equality, Social Justice and Growth (2011)

Mayors and city governments want to promote economic growth to fill coffers, pay for services and raise incomes. But what about growth that corrects social injustices like persistent inequality, racial and ethnic segregation? Can growth instead be harnessed to support equality, diversity and a higher quality of life for everyone? Harvard Professor Susan Fainstein speaks about her new book, The Just City, bridging progressive ideas of justice with the practical work of planners and urban policymakers. Her talk will be followed by a discussion about fairness and justice in New York social policy and planning.

Susan Fainstein, author, The Just City.
Chung-Wha Hong, executive director, New York Immigration Coalition.
Kenneth Knuckles, vice chair, New York City Planning Commission; president & CEO, Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone.
Brad Lander, member, New York City Council, District 39.
Andrew White, director, Center for New York City Affairs.

Event | New York City Politics

Moynihan Station and the Complexity of Major Public Projects (2010)

Nearly 400,000 people use Penn Station every day, twice as many as used it when it was built. In 1993, the late Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan proposed the conversion of the Farley Post Office building into a new Penn Station. Despite longstanding support from nearly every stakeholder, the project is only now ready to break ground 20 years later. What was behind the delays? Why are delays inherent to so many major public development projects? Are there lessons to be learned here for future planning? What are the prospects for the transformation of Manhattan's far west side?

Timothy Gilchrist, president, Moynihan Station Development Corporation
Christopher O. Ward, executive director, Port Authority of New York and New Jersey
Vishaan Chakrabarti, director, Real Estate Development Program, Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation at Columbia University
Anna Hayes Levin, commissioner, New York City Planning Commission and former member, Manhattan Community Board No. 4
Juliette Michaelson, senior planner, Regional Plan Association
Tokumbo Shobowale, chief of staff, Office of NYC Mayor for Economic Development
Greg David, director, Business Reporting Program, CUNY Graduate School of Journalism

Event | New York City Politics

Bloomberg and the Mayoralty (2009)

Michael Bloomberg, the self-made billionaire turned mayor, challenged the belief that businessmen make inept politicians and that charisma is a prerequisite for the job. Joyce Purnicks new biography, Mike Bloomberg: Money, Power, Politics, illuminates the man behind the public persona. She and others join the Center for New York City Affairs for a conversation about how Bloomberg and his money have reshaped the mayoralty, remade city politics, and upended notions of independent urban leadership.

Joyce Purnick, author, Mike Bloomberg: Money, Power, Politics
Adam Lisberg, City Hall Bureau Chief, New York Daily News
Doug Muzzio, Professor, Baruch College School of Public Affairs
Glenn Thrush, senior congressional reporter,