Impact Unknown: The CEO’s Poverty-Fighting Efforts (City Limits Weekly)

Twenty-two months after New York Mayor Bloomberg announced a new city agency to fight poverty (and six months after I wrote an insanely long investigation of the mayor’s new programs), the city council held its first hearing on how things are progressing. The answer: We don’t know yet.

With estimates of the city’s poor population nearing 2 million, elected officials last week raised fundamental questions about the scope, accessibility and impact of the Bloomberg administration’s Center for Economic Opportunity programs.

Almost two years after Mayor Bloomberg announced the creation of the CEO to fight poverty, the City Council held its first oversight hearing on the results of the new initiative on Oct. 30. While both witnesses and councilmembers said they were hopeful about the center’s programs, city officials said it’s too soon to determine what effect they’re having. And several councilmembers expressed concerns about whether these pilot projects can ever be expanded enough to significantly affect the city’s large needy population… [read more]