The latest from New York Civil Liberties Union ... Urban Pathways ... NYC contracts

NYU Furman Center has released a new report on the state of affordable housing in New York City.
NYU Furman Center has released a new report on the state of affordable housing in New York City.

The latest from New York Civil Liberties Union ... Urban Pathways ... NYC contracts

Updates from nonprofits across New York.
August 27, 2018

Here’s a video from the New York Civil Liberties Union about how facial recognition might be coming to a school near you. The technology will also affect the clients of many nonprofits from literacy programs to immigration services, among many others. The technology is also far from perfect, with many mismatches, according to the video. “We need to really think about what it means to turn schools into places where students are perpetual suspects,” Toni Smith-Thompson, educational organizer at the NYCLU, says in the video:


Mount Vernon-based company Capstone Strategy Group LLC has received a $259,459 contract from the New York City Department of Social Services/Human Resources Administration. The money will fund business consultant services for HHS Agencies, according to the City Record. Bronxworks, CAMBA, Catholic Charities Community Service,

Neighborhood Association for Intercultural Affairs, Queens Community House, and The Partnership for the Homeless received contract extensions to provide services to prevent family homelessness and eviction – pending a forthcoming RFP that is due Aug. 31 at 2 p.m. The contract total is $6,029,086 to provide services between Oct. 1, 2018 and the end of Fiscal Year 2020.

The city Department of Health and Mental Hygiene is looking to renew a contract to run a mental health hotline. This post in the City Record states that the Mental Health Association of New York City will receive the contract because it is the only eligible organization to bid for the contract.


Jonas Nursing and Veterans Healthcare at Columbia University has a new executive director, according to a press release reported by Philanthropy New York. Wanda Montalvo, who most recently served as associate director at the Weitzman Institute of CHCI in Connecticut, will assume the position on Sept. 10, according to the press release. She will succeed Darlene Curley, who will continue at the organization as a senior fellow.


The Schott Foundation has announced that Cassie Schwerner will leave in two months to become the executive director of the Morningside Center for Teaching Social Responsibility. She will lead an organization focused on equity issues in city schools. “Cassie’s contributions date from Schott’s earliest days, working with our founders – Greg and Maria Jobin-Leeds and Lilo and Gerry Leeds – over 20 years ago, impacting New York and Massachusetts and shaping what is now nationally known as the Schott Foundation for Public Education,” reads the press release from the foundation, which has offices in New York City and Quincy, Mass.


NYC-based nonprofit Urban Pathways has something to say about a New York City Council bill that aims to shake up the city procurements process:

By creating greater accountability of city agencies, council members Lancman and Brannan’s bill (Introduction 1067-2018) would ease some of the administrative burdens placed on Urban Pathways throughout the current procurement process.

Currently, there is a high administrative cost associated with delays in the procurement process. Late contracts lead to a multitude of additional emails and phone calls by staff to track down the contract’s location and its timeline of getting to the comptroller’s office. Sometimes a timeline is not available, putting the burden of follow-up on our organization. Meanwhile, our programs are not getting funded or require an application for extension as the contract ends and the renewed contract is delayed. Applications for extensions create a further administrative cost, requiring additional paperwork and follow-up which results in only one additional year of funding (as opposed to a multi-year contract). Creating greater accountability can only improve this process.

With the legislation’s requirement of a maximum amount of time for the processing and payment of contracts, and regulation to provide a reason for late payment, the onus of continuous follow-up would be shifted to the contracting city agency instead of the service provider, alleviating some of our current administrative burden. The legislation’s call for the payment of interest to vendors on vouchers not paid within the maximum timeframe would also be beneficial. Receiving interest paid on delayed contracts would allow us to take out loans to provide services while waiting for payment from city agencies without incurring additional costs. Interest accrued on private loans could be promptly paid with interest payments received by city agencies. The interest payments would also create another mode of accountability for agencies.

While this legislation would not solve the procurement process, it would be a step in the right direction toward creating greater accountability of city agencies for delayed contracts, and help ease the administrative and financial burdens on impacted service providers.

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Zach Williams
Zach Williams
is a staff reporter at New York Nonprofit Media and sister publication City & State.