With just nine days until the start of early voting, New Yorkers will be asked to accept or reject five ballot questions that could change the City Charter, essentially the New York City constitution. The would revamp the Civilian Complaint Review Board, the agency responsible for overseeing the New York City Police Department.
The third question is under the umbrella of “Ethic and Governance” and it includes several items. One proposal — a relatively uncomplicated lobbying reform — would increase the amount of time a former elected or senior administration official must wait until going before an agency in which she or he served. The current law requires a one-year gap; This proposal would increase it to two years.
Changes to the city budget are proposed in question four. One proposal endorsed by the fiscal watchdog group, Citizens' Budget Commission, would begin the process of setting up a rainy day fund where the city could set aside money during good economic times to pay for needed services and expenses during down times. It also would require changes to state legislation. This is all because New York is required to balance its budget each year, an outgrowth of the fiscal crisis in the 1970's.
The fifth and final question makes changes related to the city's land-use rules, essentially giving more time to Community Boards and Borough Presidents to review development proposals. Read the complete language of each ballot question .
WNYC's Brigid Bergin spoke with Richard Hake about the upcoming election and ballot questions.
Camping Under the Airplanes at Brooklyn's Camp Gateway
As the days get cooler and the nights turn crisp, the weather is right for roasting marshmallows over an open fire. And if you feel like going camping, there are places you can pitch a tent without leaving the city limits.
Located off an abandoned airstrip in are an aviation fan's dream. A giant hangar behind the camp store features antique planes and parts. Outside there are tent sites and RVs, trails through the woods, rocky beaches where you can fish or kayak, and long strips of road where model planes can be flown.
Framed pictures on the hangar wall at Floyd Bennett Field
Chris Barron is with the National Park Service. He said campers tend to be a mix of New Yorkers, and those who want to visit the city without paying the big bucks for a hotel. "We get a lot of people visiting their kids in Brooklyn and there's no room in the apartment. So they take their RV and they stay here for a few days."
If you want to go, get there soon. The season ends this weekend.
Suicide Attempts Are Rising Among Black Teens
Suicide attempts have been rising among black teenagers over the past 30 years, according to a new study from the at New York University.
Rates for white, Hispanic, Asian, and American Indian teens fell or remained the same during that same time period.
Dr. Michael Lindsey is the executive director of the McSilver Institute and the lead author on the study. He said black teenagers often get inadequate treatment for mental illness, if any at all.
"It's usually related to not wanting to be judged as weak or refusing to acknowledge mental illness symptoms. They may mistrust providers, preferring to address their problems within the family or peer network," Lindsey said. "But I think you also have to look at the larger macro issues like racism, in terms of micro-aggressions, or the continuous loop of seeing police-involved shootings with black individuals, or higher rates of poverty and higher rates of adverse childhood experiences," he added. "All of those factors could be at play."
Lindsey spoke about the study with WNYC's Richard Hake.
If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts or might be considering suicide, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.
The Glow Up for Black Women's Maternal Health
"The CDC just released new data that says black women are now four to five times more likely than white women to die during childbirth, or childbirth related causes," Latham Thomas told WNYC's cultural critic Rebecca Carroll.
Finally, Thomas said, this black maternal health crisis is being highlighted by the media
Thomas, who is a practicing doula and the founder of from 2017 as both seminal in helping to move the conversation into the view of a wider audience. She noted that the NYT piece said black women were two to three times more likely to die — so in the space of a year, "we see there's been an uptick."
Thomas's company Mama Glow offers black women entering into motherhood personalized workshops, panels and conferences on fertility, breastfeeding, birthing options and how to navigate the health care system, as well as yoga and wellness classes. She considers her work to be a calling. "I often think of Harriet Tubman, and how she carried people to safe passage by night," says Thomas. "I believe that the work we do as doulas is to help people navigate this uncharted territory, and to birth their babies into the light."
On Nov. 3, Thomas will introduce the at the William Vale Hotel in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, a ticketed event for women and gender-nonconforming people who identify with the experience of motherhood.