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URBAN AGENDA | Mayor de Blasio to the City’s Working Poor: Take the Trolley

Mayor Bill de Blasio just doesn’t get it. He has staunchly opposed Fair Fares -- a program to implement half-priced MetroCards for working poor families in the city.

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URBAN AGENDA - Deception through Insinuation: Image Is Not Enough

Optics matter, appearances are important and all presidents and politicians use them to enhance their message.

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URBAN AGENDA: Up Is Down: What Trump’s Fabulist Budget Really Means

Lying — like it or not — is a part of everyday life. Most of us bend the truth every now and then, with even the most honest person telling the occasional fib to avoid hurting someone else's feelings.

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URBAN AGENDA: City’s homeless crisis will become catastrophic if we don’t save public housing

New York City’s greatest social struggle of the last third of a century has been government’s attempts to address homelessness, which CSS examined in its ground-breaking 1981 report, Private Lives, Public Spaces.

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URBAN AGENDA: Mayor de Blasio and the “Affordability Crisis”

Mayor Bill de Blasio deserves a full measure of credit for proposing that the City provide a right to counsel to low-income tenants facing eviction in Housing Court.

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Making the Case for Progressive Policies

Now that Trump has been sworn in as our country’s 45th President, what will this mean for Harlem and other communities around the nation?

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URBAN AGENDA: Revival of tuition-free public college in New York has room for improvement

For more than 125 years after it was founded in 1847 as “the Free Academy,” the City University of New York (CUNY)—the largest urban public university system in the United States—had remained tuition-free, providing a critical path to quality higher education for the children of New York’s poor and working-class families who would otherwise be unable to afford it.

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URBAN AGENDA: With Trump as President, Public Housing’s Future is on the Line

What will happen to public housing under soon-to-be President Donald Trump? The answer to this question could have consequences for every single one of the more than half million New Yorkers -- most of them low-income blacks and Latinos – living in 328 public housing developments across the five boroughs, not to mention the hundreds of thousands whose rents are subsidized by Section 8 vouchers.

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Donald Trump and the Lessons of Philadelphia, Mississippi

Donald Trump will be the 45th President of the United States. For many, this is simply unbelievable.

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URBAN AGENDA: A Summer Jobs Program for the 21st Century

During the 1970s, 80s and 90s, the city’s summer jobs program was largely about reducing crime by keeping poor black and Latino youth off the streets and out of trouble.

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URBAN AGENDA: With $82 Billion Budget, City Can Afford to Give Half Fare to Working Poor

Upward mobility, made possible by commuting to good jobs and higher educational opportunities throughout our city, requires actual physical mobility

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URBAN AGENDA: Eviction prevention is good housing policy

Fifty-seven years ago, the Supreme Court upheld providing counsel in criminal proceedings as a constitutional right: when life and liberty interests were at stake, the court’s Gideon v. Wainwright ruling held that individuals were entitled to a court-appointed attorney if they could not afford legal representation on their own.

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One in Five New Yorkers Still Live in Poverty

The latest Census Bureau figures were released last week, an annual year-to-year analysis of the nation’s economic and social well-being based on measures such as income, health coverage and poverty rates.

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Leveraging $3.2 Billion MTA Contract to Create Good Jobs for Our Communities

Today companies competing for a $3.2 billion Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) contract to produce more than 1,000 subway cars, with the potential to create thousands of jobs here in New York, will gather for a pre-proposal conference in Manhattan.

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URBAN AGENDA | Milwaukee: Developing a New Model, Community and Policing

Fifty-two year old mother and grandmother Valencia Morgan asked that question last week as she stood among other black residents of Milwaukee’s Sherman Park. Just days earlier her community was the scene of violent protests that saw businesses burnt down and police in riot gear clashing with crowds following the shooting death by police of 23-year old Sylville K. Smith.

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URBAN AGENDA | A Conversation with Education Professor Pedro Noguera

I sat down recently with noted education scholar and UCLA Professor Pedro Noguera to get his views on our segregated public school system, Mayor de Blasio’s school-turnaround plan, Specialized High Schools admissions and his thoughts on charter schools.

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URBAN AGENDA | Roscoe Brown: A Hero in War and Peace

Roscoe Brown man of enormous accomplishment, he came of age at a time when American institutions were segregated, lynching of blacks occurred on a regular basis in many parts of the country, and being born black essentially guaranteed that anything you achieved in this world would happen with the scales weighted decidedly against you.

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URBAN AGENDA | The Next Battle in Albany: Expungement Law

For hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers – most all of them black and brown – having a criminal record is a life-altering event.

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URBAN AGENDA: Gentrification, Rising Rents and the City’s Changing Housing Landscape

This is interesting, but probably not very surprising: according to a report released last week, the black population in the city’s “gentrifying” communities – places like Central Harlem, Brownsville, Bedford-Stuyvesant and Morrisania, just to name a few -- declined by seven percent from 1990 to 2010.

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Poll: Black New Yorkers feel they are slipping further down economic ladder

ach year the Community Service Society surveys New York City’s low-income residents about their views and on what programs and policies would help them get ahead economically.

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Urban Agenda: Our Best Chance to Fix a Broken System

New spotlights on violent confrontations between police and black and brown communities as well as a deeply-felt understanding that mass incarceration has exacted a devastating and unequal social and economic toll have created unheard-of momentum on both sides of the aisle for criminal justice reform.

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The lasting consequences of criminal convictions

This Saturday, New Yorkers who want to resolve arrest warrants for failure to answer summonses issued by the NYPD for minor charges such as drinking alcohol on the street, unlawful possession of marijuana, riding a bike on a sidewalk, disorderly conduct and other such offenses will get their chance.

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A `Tale of Two Cities’ worthy of the Mayor’s scorn

Bill de Blasio’s rise to the second most powerful elective office in the country was due in large part to the solid support he received from the city’s black and Latino population, who believed he would do something about inequities in law enforcement, housing and education.

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Paying Tribute to the City’s 106th Mayor

I was among those in attendance at last week’s renaming of the city’s Municipal Building in honor of David Norman Dinkins, the City’s 106th mayor.

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Urban Agenda: A Break from Bloomberg/Giuliani “Punish the Poor” doctorine

When ideology trumps common sense you get failed policies. That was the case with the city’s approach to “Welfare to Work” programs under the previous two mayors.

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A fire department that reflects the city it serves

More than 40 years ago the Vulcan and Hispanic Societies filed a lawsuit against the New York City Civil Service Commission charging that the New York City Fire Department’s (FDNY) hiring practices were discriminatory.

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Report: Barriers Remain for College-educated Blacks and Latinos

Is a college degree still worth the ever-increasing cost of tuition?

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The Crucial Role of New York’s Public Hospital System

In 1969, the New York State Legislature created the Health and Hospitals Corporation (HHC), which oversees a huge complex of public hospitals and clinics.

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Urban Agenda: Older Youth Left Out of City Budget

Longtime readers of this column know that over the years I have been particularly vocal about the crisis of out of school, out of work young people.

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Giving all job seekers a fair chance

A quick search of want ads in just about any newspaper reveals the problem: “No felonies.”

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The sad truths behind the Happy Meals

The advertisements would have us believe that fast-food restaurants are the savior of the working parent, too tired to cook and in need of a quick, reasonably priced way to feed the family.

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Urban Agenda: As Albany dithers, working moms suffer

A string of public corruption investigations and convictions have sullied an already dubious image of state politics this legislative session. As a result, a disgruntled electorate has low expectations that anything good can come out of Albany.

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Albany Should Scrap Giveaway to Developers

First conceived in 1971, the 421-a tax exemption was billed as a stimulant for a lagging private residential market with a strong affordability mission built in.

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Urban Agenda: Baltimore and Fair Access

Before six Baltimore police officers were indicted last week in the death of Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old African-American who suffered a fatal spinal cord injury while in the custody of police, sections of this city mired in economic stagnation and beset by social disparities were the scenes of mass rioting reminiscent of Newark in 1967.