The Mayor and DM Buery in Brooklyn for UPK – The Mayor and DM Buery used a visit to Bishop Ford pre-K center in Windsor Terrace to remind local parents of the March 4th pre-K early application deadline. Last year more than 68,000 children enrolled in pre-K – a three-fold increase from years prior to the Mayor’s Pre-K for All initiative. All New York City families with children born in 2012 are eligible to apply to pre-K for the 2016-17 school year. This includes children with disabilities and children who speak a language other than English at home. There are enough seats for every four-year-old in New York City. The Department of Education moved up the application timeline this year so that families can apply and receive offer letters more than a month sooner than prior years.
CompStat 2.0 – The New York City Police Department is taking the unprecedented step of making much of the crime data developed in its famed CompStat model available to the public. This new advancement, called CompStat 2.0, will provide greater public detail on the crimes and statistics that drive the Department’s strategy. CompStat 2.0 will also improve the real-time awareness of patrolling officers, all of whom are being equipped with smartphones and tablets capable of accessing an expanded and even more detailed version of the crime-fighting software.
Retirement Savings for All – Mayor de Blasio has announced that New York is working to become the first city in the country to create a retirement savings program for its private-sector employees. Most private-sector workers in New York City are not part of a retirement savings program. Those who do have access to retirement programs often miss out on the leverage and financial opportunity provided by pooled savings programs. Women, low-income, minority, and immigrant New Yorkers are disproportionately affected by this gap. Mayor de Blasio, the New York City Council Speaker, the Comptroller and Public Advocate are working together to draft legislation that would automatically enroll in an employee-funded retirement savings program those working at a business with more than 10 employees.
Affordable Housing – The Mayor and Council Member Robert Cornegy visited businesses in Bedford-Stuyvesant to promote new tenant support services and to educate local residents on the Mayor’s affordable housing proposals. The Mayor’s proposals received a big boost this week from New York Daily News columnist Harry Siegel, who provided stark terms and clear costs to any failure to think large when it comes to local growth and affordability.
Health Savings & Our Workforce – The Mayor and the Municipal Labor Committee (MLC) have reached a landmark deal that will result in the first significant changes in city employee health plans in more than 30 years. The agreement makes significant progress toward the City and MLC’s commitment to reaching $3.4 billion in health care savings in the years ahead. To help realize the cost savings, city health plans will utilize co-pay changes to further incentivize employees’ use of primary and preventative care offerings linked to better health outcomes, such as medical and mental health screenings, well-woman visits, contraceptives, mammograms, and colonoscopies. The plans will also use co-pays to disincentivize employees’ use of costly, overused services.
Sodium Warning Labels – The Board of Health and the Administration won a big victory this week when a state judge upheld the city’s requirement that restaurants include warning labels on offerings with high levels of sodium. The court rejected the National Restaurant Association’s argument that the newly adopted rules were a burden on businesses.
Gracie Mansion Black History & Art Panel – In celebration of Black History Month, First Lady McCray and Gracie Mansion played host to a panel discussion examining how contemporary African American artists reimagine black history through their work. The panel included Columbia University professor Alondra Nelson, Hamilton actor and rapper Daveed Diggs, former lead dancer for Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater Alicia Graf Mack, illustrator Christopher Myers, author Jeanne Theoharis, and 2015 National Book Award winner and poet Robin Coste Lewis.
Commissioner Bassett’s TED Talk – Health Commissioner Dr. Mary Bassett’s TEDMED talk was released this week online at tedmed.com. She is the first health commissioner from any U.S. city to give a TEDMED talk. The Commissioner’s talk focused on “Sounding the Alarm,” recalling her “biggest regret” during her time in Zimbabwe and how it has shaped her vision for public health and the City’s Health Department.
Domestic Violence Education for Kids – First Lady Chirlane McCray, the Mayor’s Office to Combat Domestic Violence and the Administration for Children’s Services have launched a program aimed at educating youth, foster parents, City staff and service providers about dating violence and how to build healthy relationships. The most accurate predictor of children becoming either perpetrators or victims of domestic violence later in life is whether or not they grew up in a home where there was domestic violence. This workshop will reach approximately 5,000 New York City foster children exposed to domestic violence.