News in New York – NYCHA Shakeup, City Legislation, and Citywide Participatory Budgeting

September 19, 2022

Mayor Adams Announces Leadership Changes at the New York City Housing Authority

Last Thursday, Mayor Eric Adams announced a new leadership structure at the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA), splitting up the roles of Chair and Chief Executive Officer. Further, it was announced that Greg Russ is stepping down as CEO NYCHA, although he will remain Chair of the agency. In his place, Lisa Bova-Hiatt will serve as Interim CEO while the Mayor conducts a search for a new permanent CEO. Bova-Hiatt has served as NYCHA’s general counsel since February 2020, and was previously the general counsel of the City University Construction Fund and Executive University Counsel for the City University of New York. This announcement follows the recent news regarding the issues with water quality at a several public housing complexes across the city.

NYC Council Passes and Introduces Legislation

Last Thursday, the NYC Council convened a stated meeting, where they passed and introduced multiple pieces of legislation. The Council passed legislation which will establish the Nightlife Opioid Antagonist Program, which will help prevent opioid overdoses by allowing nightlife establishments to request and obtain opioid antagonist kits free of charge. They also passed a bill that identifies the geographical boundaries of the Times Square area, now classified as a “sensitive location” where concealed weapons are not permitted. The Council introduced legislation which would require developers who receives City financial assistance to incorporate “universal design” in at least 10% of dwelling units in each housing development or preservation project. They also introduced legislation which would mandate that NYC chain restaurants add sugar notifications for menu items exceed a specified level of added sugars. In addition, the Council introduced a bill that would require the City to provide interest-free loans to small businesses, non-profits, and freelance workers forced to close or operate at reduced capacity due as a result of certain emergency circumstances. You can find all of the bills that were passed and introduced here.

Mayor Adams Announces First Ever Citywide Participatory Budgeting Process

Last Wednesday, Mayor Eric Adams and Civic Engagement Commission (CEC) Chair and Executive Director Sarah Sayeed announced the launch of NYC’s first-ever citywide participatory budgeting process. Dubbed “The People’s Money”, this builds on the 2021 $1.3 million participatory budgeting process in the 33 neighborhoods hardest hit by COVID-19, where residents decided how to spend over $40,000 in funding in programs and services for their neighborhood. All New Yorkers 11 and older will be able to vote on how to spend $5 million of mayoral expense funding to address local community needs citywide. Over the coming weeks, CEC and community partners will host idea generation sessions across the city, with projects being developed into ballot proposals to be voted on by residents in each borough. In addition, residents will also be able to submit ideas and find further idea generation sessions via the CEC’s online platform. Winning projects will be implemented starting in 2024.


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