What's the [DATA] Point?

What's the [DATA] Point? is a podcast by Citizens Budget Commission and Gotham Gazette on New York State and City policies.


It's hosted by Ben Max, Executive Editor of Gotham Gazette, and Maria Doulis, Vice President of the Citizens Budget Commission, and produced by Kevin Medina and William J. Rice.


Stream below or download on your phone via iTunes, Google Play, and Stitcher.



Episode 50: $89.16 billion

August 16, 2018
$89.16 billion is the size of the Adopted Budget for FY 2019. After adjusting for prepayments in prior years and other reserves and spending, the total value of spending is $92 billion. This episode features a panel of fiscal experts hosted by the Association for a Better New York. Listen as they discuss the risks in this budget, the level of reserves needed, and NYC's fiscal outlook at large.

Episode 49: $17 billion, with Jamison Dague

August 07, 2018
$17 billion is the preliminary budget for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority in 2019, an increase of 2.1% from 2018. CBC's Director of Infrastructure Studies Jamison Dague breaks down the preliminary budget and discusses looming risks, such as subway car reliability and progress of the various "action plans" put in place this year.

Episode 48: 7.42%, with NYC Labor Commissioner Bob Linn

July 27, 2018
7.42% is the compounded salary and wage increases for members of DC37, the City’s largest municipal union for civilian workers, under a new contract that sets the pattern for negotiations with other labor unions. NYC Labor Commissioner Bob Linn joins the podcast to discuss this deal, the dynamics of negotiating with the public workforce, and why health insurance is an area long overdue for savings.

Episode 47: $31.8 billion, with Sean Campion

July 19, 2018
$31.8 billion is the amount required to repair NYCHA's public housing units over the next five years. CBC Senior Research Associate Sean Campion discuss the findings and recommendations of CBC's recent report on NYCHA's capital needs and explains how NYCHA got into such a deep hole and and how it can start to dig out.

Episode 45: Marisa Lago, Director of the Department of City Planning

June 29, 2018
75% is the share of jobs gained since the recession in the NYC metropolitan region that were created in New York City, a datapoint revealed in a forthcoming report from the Department of City Planning. Marisa Lago, Director of the Department and Chair of the City Planning Commission, joined CBC to discuss some of the report's findings as well as neighborhood revitalization, housing affordability, and resiliency and sustainability.

Episode 44: $225 million, with NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer

June 21, 2018
$225 billion is the total amount added to reserves and the retiree health benefits trust fund in the recently adopted budget. In contrast, the City added more than $2 billion in new spending, far outpacing what was set aside. NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer joined the podcast to discuss the adequacy of the City's reserves, agency spending, and other issues

Episode 43: 2020, with Deputy Mayor Phil Thompson

June 07, 2018
2020 is the year of the next Census, a national survey that determines the number of seats each state is allocated in the House of Representatives, and informs policy and funding decisions at all levels of government. Phil Thompson, Deputy Mayor for Strategic Policy Initiatives, is in charge of coordinating the City's public outreach in the months leading up to the Census. The Deputy Mayor joined the podcast to discuss the importance of Census outreach and the many other initiatives he is spearheading.