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NYC Facts


Discriminatory and Abusive Policing

·  90% of the NYPD marijuana misdemenear arrests in 2016 involved New Yorkers of color, this despite the research showing that white people use and sell the drug in equal or greater proportions to African American and Latinos 

·  The highest category of NYPD arrests in 2015 were for fare evasion, over 29,000, 92%, involving New Yorkers of color.

·  During 2015 NYPD officers also issued nearly 124,000 summonses for fare evasion, bringing the total number of punitive interactions between officers and New Yorkers for this offense to over 153,000 for the year or an average of nearly 420 per day.

·  94.9% of the NYPD’s juvenile arrests in 2015 involved African-American or Latino young people.

·  95-98% of the New Yorkers locked up on Rikers Island are African-American or Latino, so confined for two basic reasons: they are too poor to afford bail and the NYPD arrested them. 

·  Recently, defending his police reform record on WNYC radio, Mayor de Blasio stated that “… we stopped the arrests for low-level marijuana possession.” In fact, in 2016, the NYPD made over 18,000 misdemeanor arrests for marijuana possession, about 10% more than the figure for 2015.


·   In recent years, homelessness in New York City has reached the highest levels since the Great Depression of the 1930s.

·   In March 2017, there were 61,936 homeless people, including 15,525 homeless families with 23,445 homeless children, sleeping each night in the New York City municipal shelter system. Families comprise just over three-quarters of the homeless shelter population.

·    Fifty-eight percent of New York City homeless shelter residents are African-American, 31 percent are Latino, 7 percent are white, less than 1 percent are Asian- American, and 3 percent are of unknown race/ethnicity.

·    Over the course of fiscal year 2016, more than 127,652 different homeless men, women, and children slept in the New York City shelter system. This includes over 45,000 different homeless NYC children. Most of these families coming from a few clustered zip codes/poorest neighborhoods in NY.

·   The number of homeless New Yorkers sleeping each night in municipal shelters is now 76 percent higher than it was ten years ago.

·   Research shows that the primary cause of homelessness, particularly among families, is lack of affordable housing. Surveys of homeless families have identified the following major immediate, triggering causes of homelessness: eviction; doubled-up or severely overcrowded housing; domestic violence; job loss; and hazardous housing conditions.

 ·   Compared to homeless families, homeless single adults have much higher rates of serious mental illness, addiction disorders, and other severe health problems.

·    There is no accurate account of New York City’s unsheltered homeless population, and recent City surveys significantly underestimate the number of unsheltered homeless New Yorkers. It is believed that thousands of unsheltered homeless people sleep on New York City streets, in the subway system, and in other public spaces  every night.

·    Studies show that the large majority of street homeless New Yorkers are people living with mental illness or other severe health problems.

Source: Coalition for the Homeless

Class Size

·    NYC average class sizes are 21% larger than the rest of the state outside NYC in grades K-3

·    In other grades, NYC average class sizes are 23-34% larger than the average in the rest of the state, and in the Big 5 they are 6% larger.

·    The Institute of Education Sciences, the research arm of the US Department of Education, concludes that class size reduction is one of only four, evidence-based reforms that have been proven to increase student achievement through rigorous, randomized experiments -- the "gold standard" of research.

·    According to a NY City Council survey (2004) of public school teachers, nearly a third (30%) of new teachers (1-5 years of experience) in NYC said that it was unlikely that they would be teaching in a NYC school in the next three years. For those teachers who were thinking of leaving NYC public schools, the top three changes in their work conditions most likely to persuade them to stay included a new contract with higher pay, smaller classes, and better student discipline.

·    Those students whose performance improves when class sizes are reduced are those who need the most help: children from poor and minority backgrounds, who experience twice the gains as the average student. Estimates are that reducing class size in the early grades shrinks the achievement gap by about 38%. In addition, smaller classes enhance the development of “non-cognitive” skills not captured by tests, like persistence, motivation and self-esteem, which are linked to success in school and life.

·    Alan Krueger, Chairman of the Council on Economic Advisers, has estimated that every dollar invested in reducing class size yields about $2 in benefits. This does not take into account savings from lower rates of grade retention or special education referrals, both of which fall when class sizes are lowered.

·    Class size reduction is likely to have large public health benefits – with medical savings comparable to spending on antibiotics or even vaccines-- with nearly two more years of life projected for students who are in smaller classes in the early grades. These students also had significantly lower drop-out rates, higher grades, and received better results on their college entrance exams. The graduation rate for free-lunch students more than doubled, and their likelihood of graduating closed the  gap with non-poor students.

·    National surveys of educators believe that class size reduction is the most effective method to improve the quality of teaching. 

·    A study commissioned by the US Department of Education analyzed at the achievement levels of students in 2,561 schools across the nation, as measured by their performance on the national NAEP exams. The sample included at least 50 schools in each state, including large and small, urban and rural, affluent and poor areas.  After controlling for student background, the only objective factor that correlated with higher test scores was class size, and the gains in the upper grades associated with smaller classes surpassed the gains from smaller classes in the lower grades.

·    In addition, they concluded that smaller classes in grades K-3 would lead to a narrowing of the Black-white gap in taking college entrance exams by 60%, and would shrink the gap in scores on these exams.

Source: Education Law Center


·   Nearly three out of four black students in New York City attend intensely segregated schools, where less than 10% of children are white.

·   Almost half attend what are sometimes referred to as 'apartheid schools,' where less than 1% of the student body is white.

·   Despite years of advocacy by progressive educators, parents and students, Bill de Blasio has failed to implement a citywide school integration plan, denying justice to the 1.1 million New York City children who attend a school system in which separate and unequal is still government policy.

·   They have significantly less access to advanced courses, arts teachers, guidance counselors and sports teams.

·   Black, Latinx and poor students are far more likely than white and middle class kids to go to schools with crumbling facilities, lower-paid teachers, high suspension rates and metal detectors.

LGBTQ New Yorkers

·   A recent report by the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (NACVP) found that anti-LGBTQ hate crimes have been on the rise in New York City for the past  five years. There was a 27% increase from 2012 to 2013 in the number of hate crimes experienced by LGBTQ New Yorkers.

·   From 2009 to 2012, the City experienced increases of 4, 11, and 13 % rise in hate crimes, respectively, against LGBTQ New Yorkers.

·   In NYC there are over 110,000 people that are reported as living with HIV/AIDS with nearly 3,000 new diagnoses made in 2013 alone.

·   Over 37 % of all cases and over 56 % of new HIV/AIDS cases were contracted by men who have sexual intercourse with other men.

·   Within the LGBTQ community, Black and Latinx people make up nearly 77 % of all individuals living with HIV/AIDS.

·   As many as 25% of LGBTQ teenagers are rejected by their families after coming out to them, and many end up homeless on the streets

·   It is estimated that over 40% of homeless youth are LGBTQ identified. Case management, counseling, referrals, food, internet access, educational services, job skills, and training for youth – all become critical resources to these most disenfranchised young people.

·   Recent estimates suggest that there are at least 1.5 million LGBTQ people aged 65 and over in the United States – a number that will double by the year 2030.

·   A recent study found that older same-sex couples face higher poverty rates than heterosexual couples. Not only are LGBTQ seniors more likely to be in poverty, they are also more likely to deal with stigma and discrimination in the elder care system.

·  A recent national survey of LGBT older adults in long-term care facilities found that only 22% of respondents felt they could be open about their LGBT identities with facility staff, 89% predicted that staff would discriminate against them based on their sexual orientations and/or gender identities, and 43% reported instances of mistreatment.

·  Numerous studies have shown that transgender people and those that have non-conforming gender identities face a disproportionate amount of discrimination, especially in employment and health care.

·  Health care in general for transgender people can be difficult and expensive to access. Transgender individuals can face a higher incidence of abandonment by families, job discrimination, and a lack of access to appropriate identification documents.

·  In particular, gender non-conforming youth are extremely vulnerable to dropping out of school, becoming homeless and developing mental health problems.

·  Members of the LGBTQ community face a number of barriers to basic services – yet the challenges that LGBTQ people of color face can be even greater. Those within the Minority and LGBTQ communities are more likely to face discrimination from services and employment.

Source: Office of the NYC Comptroller