Here’s what the Untapped staff is reading in the HQ today:

  • Car Free NYC Expansion in talks for Earth Day 2017 [amNY]:  Car Free NYC, an event held on Earth Day to promote environmentally friendly transit options, will expand in 2017 if city officials get their way. Manhattan Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez joined Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams and advocates at a kick-off rally Tuesday to drum up support for the second year of Rodriguez’s initiative to get New Yorkers out of their private vehicles.
  • Today is your Last Chance to Sign up for Obamacare [DNAinfo]:  Today is your last chance to sign up for a 2017 health insurance plan through New York state’s Affordable Care Act marketplace. For New Yorkers enrolling or renewing their current policy by 11:59 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 31, coverage will start on March 1. More than 3.5 million state residents have purchased health insurance through the New York State of Health since this year’s open enrollment period launched Nov. 1.
  • Bushwick Rezoning is Back on the Table as a Means for Creating Affordable Housing [Curbed NY]: On February 11, various city agencies, City Council members Antonio Reynoso and Rafael Espinal, and Bushwick residents will convene to discuss what they’re calling The Bushwick Community Plan. The community plan seeks to address a variety of issues including open space, transportation options, and other infrastructural needs. But the primary impetus behind the program was to prevent haphazard development in the neighborhood. Since the neighborhood zoning regulations have mostly remained the same since 1961, it’s possible to build a taller building on a street that otherwise has two-to-three-story row houses.
  • De Blasio Defends Sanctuary City, saying withheld funds would be millions not billions [6sqft]: In the state’s capital on Monday, Mayor de Blasio spoke in defense of various policies including NYC’s “sanctuary city” designation, WNYC reports. The mayor was in Albany to ask state legislators for funding for items like education, public health and affordable housing. In the face of criticism from Staten Island assembly members Nicole Malliotakis and Ron Castorina (both Republicans), who questioned the mayor’s pledge not to aid in the mass deportation of undocumented immigrants by the new administration, de Blasio said he had discussed the issue with then-President-elect Trump, and would continue to resist mass deportation for “moral, economic and security reasons.” Though Castorina said de Blasio would be risking the loss of billions of dollars in federal aid, the mayor said the money withheld by the federal government would only be $100-150 million and that his legal advisers say the city could fight back in court.

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