City Hall

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“It’s Just Not Cool to Stick Up For Us’: Hasidim Feel Villainized as City Cracks Down

(Photo: Bonnie Natko/Flickr)

After months of media attention surrounding Hasidic resistance to social distancing guidelines, Brooklyn’s Hasidim fell under state-mandated lockdown orders that have sparked physical confrontations. Earlier this month, demonstrators in Borough Park shouted “Jewish Lives Matter” at a bonfire kindled with masks; the next night, a mob assaulted and spit on journalist Jacob Kornbluh, beating him to unconsciousness. The violence marks a turning point in long-building tensions between the Hasidim and the rest of the city, which have drastically escalated in intensity over the last few months. More →

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A Look Back at the Street Fight for a Complete Census Count in Central Queens

Christian Cassagnol. (Photo: Raphael Helfand)

The census ended yesterday, Oct. 15, after a Supreme Court ruling on Tuesday. The decision, which stayed an order from a lower court that would have allowed the count to continue until the end of the month, marks the end of a long fight for a complete count across the country. In Queens Community Board District 4, which presides over Elmhurst, Corona and Corona Heights, the stakes were especially high. CB4 district manager Christian Cassagnol and board member Kristen Gonzalez have pushed hard for outreach all year. The immigrant populations they represent have always been undercounted, leading to a lack of resources in their communities.

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Dining Rooms Are Reopening and Outdoor Seating Is Extended, But Restaurateurs Feel Left Out in the Cold

Although indoor dining in New York City will resume at 25 percent capacity on Sept. 30 and it was announced today that outdoor dining will extend into winter, restaurant industry workers and leaders are planning to rally outside of the governor’s office on Monday. They say neither measure is enough to keep their businesses afloat. More →

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NYC Was Set to Reduce Plastic Use; The Pandemic Put a Fork in That

(Photo by michaelkowalczyk.eu, licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0)

When the COVID-19 pandemic first hit New York City in the spring, environmental concerns fell to the wayside. Thousands of people were dying from a deadly disease, and the state legislature had bigger things to worry about than enforcing its ban on plastic bags, which was supposed to take effect on March 1.  More →

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Pandemic Splits 9/11 Ceremony in Two

The pandemic in New York brought many inequalities to light and created many divisions, and this morning’s commemoration of 9/11 was no exception. The usual ceremony was divided into two due to safety concerns: one at the Sept. 11 memorial plaza, and the other at the corner of Church and Liberty Streets, near Zuccotti Park. More →

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The Police Say CompStat Saved NYC, So Why Do NYPD Captains Want to Pull the Plug?

Bill Bratton (left), Bill de Blasio (second from left) and others after an active shooter training exercise in 2015.

One day in 1995, two officers from the New York Police Department walked up to a podium at Harvard University’s Ash Center. Louis Anemone and John Yohe were representing the department as a finalist in the Kennedy School’s Innovations in American Government competition, and their excitement about the force’s new, computerized crime-fighting system was palpable. “It’s revolutionizing the way the NYPD polices the city of New York,” Anemone told the judges. Giving officers rapidly-updating maps of crime all over the city, the system was “a shot of adrenaline to the organization of the NYPD,” the officer stressed, “right to the heart.” Previous decades had seen a tremendous rise in crime, but with the advent of CompStat, as it was called, the police said they were finally able to flatten the curve. More →