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July 30, 2023

26 Miles of Scaffolding Blights NYC’s Public Housing, Some Up for 10 Years

No New York pedestrian would disagree with Eric Adam’s characterization of the city’s ubiquitous sidewalk sheds at stalled construction sites as “ugly little green boxes.”  But his targeting of private buildings owners with $10,000 a month fines for scaffolding that stays up for more than 90 days without building repairs proceeding also suggests selective prosecution. …

July 25, 2023

Not Just Tulsa

Earlier this month, an Oklahoma judge ruled that the City of Tulsa cannot be held legally or financially responsible for the actions of the violent mob that burned down the city’s Greenwood section, known as the Black Wall Street, in 1921. Three survivors of that murderous riot will not, it appears, receive compensation. Despite their disappointment, the…

July 19, 2023

Adams’ Smart Migrant Move Could Help the City’s Overburdened Shelters—and Migrants Themselves

A hint of common sense has emerged in the Adams’ administration policy toward the wave of migrants crowding the hotels once occupied by the tourists the city’s economy needs. But the mayor’s just-announced 60-day limit for single adults in the city’s shelter system raises the obvious question: Where should they go next?  There’s a short…

July 17, 2023

Biden Tries to Revive His Eviction Moratorium Through the Back Door

The federal overreach that was part of the Covid pandemic response included a ban on residential evictions, ordained by, of all agencies, the Centers for Disease Control. Ultimately, the Supreme Court slapped down a Biden-administration effort to extend the ban — which had no serious public-health basis. But that has not stopped the White House from…

July 13, 2023

The Test Isn’t the Problem

Now that the Supreme Court has disallowed overtly race-conscious university admissions policies, we can expect colleges to try to find other ways to pursue their version of diversity. In New York, we’ve already seen one likely workaround: the lingering idea of ditching entrance-exam requirements for admission to the city’s elite public schools. Thanks to a…

July 12, 2023

Could News Bloom in News Deserts?

Key Points Read the PDF.

July 12, 2023

Local News and Social Capital

Joseph Schumpeter famously observed that capitalism unleashed “creative destruction.”[i] If that is so for American journalism, just such a wave has, without doubt, been destroying local newspapers. What’s not yet clear is whether such destruction will be complemented by creation. The result matters not just as it affects a select group of business enterprises. Arguably, local…

July 12, 2023

New York Rent Control: Could the End be Near?

Those who care about housing policy and the future of New York City will be paying close attention this fall to see if the Supreme Court decides to take up a serious challenge by apartment owners to the Big Apple’s big blunder: rent regulation. At stake is a law which regulates rent prices and tenant rights for…

July 2, 2023

New York’s Quality of Life Budget: Focus on Improving Conditions for Everyday People First

With no little fanfare, the City Council passed legislation requiring New Yorkers to separate their food waste for composting. Unmentioned amidst the claims for environmental progress was the fact that, even in a less aggressive plan included in Mayor Adams’ budget, the city would have to add 158 collection trucks to its sanitation fleet, at a…

June 29, 2023

Investing in Ideas, Influencing Policy: A Guide to Think Tank Effectiveness

Executive SummaryAs donors evaluate think tank investments, this paper proposes a series of features that distinguish independent autonomous public policy think tanks and their effectiveness in influencing public policy choices. With careful consideration to the process outlined in thisreport, donors may direct think tank funding toward those with high impact. It will discuss and exemplify…