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Since City Limits began in 1976, New York City has seen five mayors, four governors and seven presidents. Residents have witnessed the arrival of AIDS and the departure of factory jobs, the creation of hundreds of thousands of units of affordable housing and the emergence of homelessness as a major issue. The murder rate soared and then collapsed. The Hudson River got cleaner, the transit system gained riders and the schools went through multiple waves of change. By chronicling the news on housing, education, the economy, the environment and other topics, we've told the story of the larger city. Click through these pages to learn more about the people, problems and policies that shape New York.

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News: The Federal Poverty Line

The Federal Poverty Line
The United States defines the poverty line as $18,000 per year for a family of three. By this measure, over 1.5 million New Yorkers, approximately 18 percent, live in poverty. City Limits provides on-going coverage of the root causes, policy reports, initiatives, and economic conditions that affect our nation's most vulnerable population.


City Limits special coverage of Washington D.C., federal initiatives, and national urban policy.

Firefighter Fatalities

Ten years after September 11th, City Limits revisits the day's very costly lessons and what the New York City Fire Department has learned them. This investigation was supported generously by the Fund ... READ MORE»

Buy or Bust (War on Drugs)

Sean Gardiner's 2009 in-depth investigation on the 40-Year War on Drugs in New York City.


Beginning in the 1970s under President Richard Nixon, the War on Drugs has fought dealers and addicts for four decades. Though originally focusing on big dealers and cartels, officials now arrest many... READ MORE»

Participatory Budgeting

Borrowing an experiment in direct democracy from Brazil, constituents in four City Council districts are getting a direct say in how $1 million of discretionary capital funding is spent.

Family Court

For children stuck in New York State's child welfare system, New York has one of the worst outcomes for re-uniting families, placing children in safer adoptive homes, and trying 16- and 17-year-old of... READ MORE»

Atlantic Yards

In a matter of months the Nets will be playing ball at the corner of Flatbush and Atlantic, as envisioned more than eight years ago by developer Bruce Ratner. British financial firm Barclays will pay ... READ MORE»

Civil Liberties

City Limits' 2008 investigation into the shift in residents' civic liberties and essential freedoms in New York City, following the 9/11 attacks.


More than half of New York City's adults are overweight or obese and nearly 1 in 5 children. City Limits' covers food policy and initiatives that address this health issue.

Bill de Blasio

Bill de Blasio is the 109th mayor of the City of New York.

New York State

City Limits' coverage of New York State

Stop and Frisk Policy

No precinct saw more police stops in 2011 than the 75th Precinct in East New York, Brooklyn. Within that sprawling district, one seven-by-nine block area was the site of more police encounters than an... READ MORE»

Private Contractors

City Limits special investigation "Beyond City Time" reports that the past 10 years have seen a profound change not just in the amount New York City spends on outside contractors, but what they are b... READ MORE»


The way a city manages its money can have a colossal effect on the people living within it. In this section, City Limits explores the issues pertaining to New York City’s budget and the effects budget... READ MORE»


Gentrification and urban gentrification refer to the changes that result when wealthier people acquire or rent property in low income and working class communities. Urban gentrification is associated ... READ MORE»

Energy Policy

The New York City Energy Policy Task Force is responsible for providing electricity to the homes, offices, and transportation systems that encompass the five boroughs. City offices and the housing aut... READ MORE»


The New York Police Department is the largest police force in the United States. In recent years, City limits reporting has focused on issues related to the NYPD's use of security cameras and its stop... READ MORE»


Despite the pride many Americans have for the country's diverse population, many immigrants continue to face exclusive challenges. Children face difficulties in finding proper READ MORE»

Jews and Judaism

New York City has a Jewish population of over 1 million people, making it one of the largest Jewish populations in the world. The population is comprised of both reform and Orthodox followers and the ... READ MORE»



A key factor in the city's history, but largely left out of today's discussions of crime, arson has seen a dramatic decline in New York. But changes in investigative techniques and cuts to the city's ... READ MORE

Reading Room

Far from obsolete in the digital age, New York City's libraries are filling critical gaps: offering technology to low-income neighborhoods, a lifeline to immigrants, a safe space for after school. Usa... READ MORE

The MWBE Program

In 2005 New York City set out to reverse historic patterns of discrimination in contracting by adopting goals for the share of city procurement spending received by minority- and women-led businesses.... READ MORE



Mitt Romney

Mitt Romney was the Republican nominee for United States President in 2012.

Raymond W. Kelly

Raymond W. Kelly is the current police commissioner for the New York Police Department. Kelly was appointed in 2002 by Mayor Michael Bloomberg to serve once again after representing the organization u... READ MORE


New York City is home to a number of veterans who served in several wars throughout history. The New York Mayor's Office of Veteran Affairs strives to find housing and jobs for veterans once they retu... READ MORE