NYC, Friday, October 2, 2015
Rainy and windy downstate and mostly cloudy upstate. New York City, high 54; Albany, high 58; Buffalo, high 56.
Introducing: NYN's Weekly Opinion Poll
Every Friday morning, we'll be checking in with you to get your take on a major story from the week. In light of the surprising departure of New York City Deputy Mayor Lilliam Barrios-Paoli and reports that Mayor Bill de Blasio is unsure of when he will fill the position (see below), do you think that Mayor de Blasio has been too slow to name a replacement? Also, who would you nominate? Write in to email@example.com with your answer and replacement suggestion -- we'll share the poll percentages and top picks next week.
Barrios-Paoli Is Gone, With No Clear Replacement Ready
Lilliam Barrios-Paoli, the deputy mayor for health and human services, left the de Blasio administration on Wednesday, after she shocked the health care and advocacy community with her decision to step down after 20 months in office. But a de Blasio spokeswoman said the mayor has no sense of when exactly he will fill the position, Politico New York reports. Read more.
Urban Pathways Plans Transitional Homeless Shelter for West 105th St.
The services and housing provider Urban Pathways is negotiating a contract with the Department of Homeless Services to operate the "safe haven" shelter at 54 W. 105th St., between Manhattan and Columbus avenues, DNAinfo reports. Urban Pathways operates under the now-popular "housing first" model of combatting homelessness, in which service providers offer a place to stay before they make any requirements of a client, such as sobriety or being enrolled in treatment. Read more.
NYCHA Chair Considers More Transparency
Facing allegations that she runs the least transparent institution in city government, NYCHA’s Shola Olatoye said she would consider opening the agency’s books to more public scrutiny, Politico New York reports. Read more.
Bronx Stakeholders Come Together to Tackle Chronic Absenteeism
Dozens of stakeholders in the South Bronx community gathered at East Bronx Academy for the Future to raise awareness of the critical role that strong attendance plays in academic success and to kick-off an allied effort among 61 schools, as part of the South Bronx Rising Together collective impact initiative, to dramatically reduce chronic absenteeism in the area.
Chronic absenteeism is defined as when a child misses 10 percent or more of school—about a month—over the course of an academic year, whether excused or unexcused. For the school year ended in June 2013, more than 35 percent of the students in Community District 3 were chronically absent. Nationally, only one out of 10 students is chronically absent.
Chronic absenteeism is associated with negative school and life outcomes – including low academic achievement, dropping out, delinquency and substance abuse – and is an important leading indicator of children and families who may need help.
“The Bronx is in the early stages of what I know will be a historic revival,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr. “Our ability to sustain this revival lies squarely with what we do for the children of the Bronx. We have to keep them safe and healthy, and we must make sure they are in the classroom every day. I'm thrilled that South Bronx Rising Together has made attendance a major priority.”
Poor attendance in early grades has a negative impact on third-grade reading proficiency—especially for low-income students. Ninth-grade attendance is a better high school graduation predictor than eigth-grade test scores.
“Last year, we started working on attendance improvement independently and saw some progress,” said Principal Lucia Orduz-Castillo of P.S. 42 in the Bronx. “But South Bronx Rising Together is going to be a vital source of support and tools in this effort—along with its network of other educators equally determined to succeed—to make sure children reach their potential. We're incredibly excited to be part of it.”
For more information, visit the South Bronx Rising Together website.
Political Bulletin powered by City & State
* For the first time in its modern history, the NYPD is establishing explicit guidelines, backed by a sweeping new tracking system, for using and documenting force, The New York Times reports. Read more.
* Prosecutors and defense attorneys say reforms to New York City’s court system to curb criminal case delays and limit how long defendants spend in jail are promising, but permanent fixes would require more resources. Read more.
* After a summer of local headaches, from squabbles over taxicabs to toplessness in Times Square, de Blasio is returning to the national political stage, a realm that he relishes, the Times writes. Read more.
Nonprofits in the News
ICYMI: Vanita Boswell's Keynote Address From NYN's MarkCon
If you were unable to attend last month's MarkCon event (or if you were there and would like a chance to see it again or share with colleagues), we've posted Vanita Boswell's incredible keynote address. Boswell's work as a documentarian and multimedia advertiser has touched millions, conveying the compassion and humanity that is the bedrock of mission-driven organizations. One of her projects, a campaign for the New York Rescue Mission to change how we see the homeless, has over 5 million views on YouTube. Watch her keynote address here.