What We've Learned
Reversal of Regulations
Our client, a prominent business owner, was under attack by the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and was being forced to comply with the new calorie posting law under the NYC Health Code, that would have cost them millions of dollars.
• After a series of productive communications with decision makers of these state agencies, solid legal research, and non-stop lobbying efforts, we received an exemption from this law!
In our D.C. office, one of our international client’s runs a children’s school in a nation that threatened to close it due to political and religious differences. This would have resulted in the entire staff being laid off and the children no longer having a safe place to receive an education.
• Gotham deployed its team of experienced foreign affairs professionals to travel to the country to meet with top-level officials with the goal of keeping the school open.
• After many meetings with decision makers in the country, school officials, and the U.S. Embassy, the school received notice that it would remain open.
Fraud & Contract
SLCD – lost a contract with OPWDD for site-based dayhab program – went directly to the governor’s office, OPWDD, got letters of support from elected officials and threat of committee hearing
MTA – contract with uber for access a ride set to start – went to governor’s office and elected officials, got letters of support, held press conference, and put the contract on hold until further notice.
State ed – NYC DOE – cancel contract for a special needs charter school. Went to elected officials, governor and mayor to obtain the contract back, and payments were started soon thereafter, after other lobbyists took many years and did not succeed
Time warner – canceed contract with our client (TV network), but we were able to avoid that by getting city council to threaten to terminate franchise agreement K with time warner cable themselves
BIC – contractor and waste hauler was being thrown out of business for unregistered activity, was able to obtain licensing despite hundreds of thousands of unpaid fines – utilized elected officials
Lenco – blood lab was not included by a major insurance provider by an RFP, used elected officials, etc. to allow the small business to be covered under the insurance network
Boys N Girls – kept out of NYC budget; were able to obtain funding for them the same year, using rallies, social media, and traditional lobbying
Insurance companies – ** represented multiple fortune 500 insurance companies, exposed various forms of insurance fraud and no fault fraud, were able to move the AG and multiple DA offices (BK and BX) to begin prosecuting these types of complicated cases
Forefront of state losing out on cigarette taxation through illegal market entry of un-taxed cigarettes (via neighboring states, smugglers indian reservations online sales) – senate investigation committee to conduct entire hearing on this matter; AG move forward on large-scale take-downs of deliveries of untaxed cigarettes, as well as multiple DA offices around the state
Obtained an exemption from the NYC Dept. of Health and Mental Hygiene from the calorie-posting requirement under the NYC Health Code for Gristedes Supermarkets & Morton Williams Supermarkets
Licensing – obtained coveted Class 2 Registration from the New York City Business Integrity Commission to allow a construction client to haul waste generated from construction & demolition activities. (IG Group)
Oasis – expedited large day camp service’s license from NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene to allow the summer camp to operate on-time in Central Park.
Reversal of Regulations
Challenge: A coalition of small businesses came to Gotham desperate for assistance after encroaching government regulations continued to place their organizations at the forefront of failure.
Solution: Because these businesses operated in a field that had been typically targeted by elected officials, they were often caught in the cross fire of debilitating legislation. In an effort to end this misfortune our team rebranded the coalition’s cause to reflect their industrial concerns.
Result: Gotham helped to shepherd the first piece of legislation in support of this industry in over twenty years.
Challenge: A major employer in the New York metropolitan area faced increasing pressure to move its operations out of state to a lower tax environment.
Solution: In order to create an economic atmosphere that allowed for comfortable operation, Gotham presented the company’s predicament to various local agencies.
Result: Our team partnered with local officials to secure property tax abatements that would lower the tax burden and allow our client to remain competitive and prosperous.
Challenge: A prominent developer had proposed a project on state land and came to Gotham after a long period of stalled efforts. Their goal was to raise awareness with both community members and state officials in an effort to illustrate the ramifications of delay. Impeding on the developer’s ability to work deprived the region of employment opportunities and economic output.
Solution: In order to build momentum, Gotham helped host a rally at the site of the proposed project. Using our ability to bring together like minded groups and individuals to advocate for our clients’ needs, Gotham created a broad coalition of civic leaders, business representatives, and citizens.
Result: With a turnout of over 300 people, our rally paved the way for the project to begin.
Gained Approval to Provide Services Through OPWDD
Challenge: A not-for-profit sought approval in their effort to provide Medicaid coordination and home and community based services for individuals with developmental disabilities. OPWDD rejected the request with little explanation.
Solution: In order for the agency to be heard, Gotham insisted on questioning the merits of this decision. The Commissioner of OPWDD had to be met with and questioned as to why lower level bureaucrats rejected this request.
Result: Ultimately, the agency gained approval for MSC and HCBS services in an extremely short period of time and is hopeful that they will soon be able to open a residence.
Challenge: A local private school had been given a cap on the number of disabled students it could serve through the New York State Education Department. Prior to Gotham’s involvement the school was delayed in their efforts to expand services for ten years.
Solution: Gotham needed to deliver this issue to the appropriate decision makers in State Education and effectively explain why such a cap was unconscionable for this school.
Result: Within one year of Gotham coming on board, the lawsuit concluded and the school was able to open two additional schools within a year.
Challenge: A large construction company sought our aid after a debarment was filed against them through the New York State Department of Labor. They came to Gotham in an effort to have this debarment lifted so that they may resume business.
Solution: Gotham took on an advocacy role in hopes of effectively proposing the State Agency to change their ruling.
Result: By working with New York State elected officials who represented the client’s district as well as appropriate committee members, our team was able to determine the reasoning for debarment. Ultimately, the barring was lifted and the State Agency is continuing to negotiate a settlement.
Challenge: A large general contractor, building a 100 million dollar plus project on West 46th Street between 8th and 9th Avenues in NYC was seeking a partial sidewalk closure. The NYC Department of Building (DOB) and NYC Department of Transportation (DOT) were involved. The DOB made a determination about a specific piece of construction equipment that would impact the use of the sidewalk for pedestrians. The DOT made a determination about what precautions and modifications would take place regarding the sidewalk itself. The local Community Board has an opinion and both issues and were affecting approval with both NYC agencies. This was affecting our client’s ability to meet deadlines with the owner and sub-contractors.
Solution: Gotham embarked on a grassroots campaign with the Community Board, local business owners and local NYC Council members. Further, we worked with key personnel at the NYC DOB and DOT to come to a compromise with each agency which would satisfy the Community Board and local business owners, while gaining approval from the DOB and DOT as requested.
Result: Gotham secured permits from the DOB for use of the requested crane and secured approval from the DOT for a partial sidewalk closure, a proposed mid-block crosswalk, and use of a flagman during work hours. This had not been done before other than at 6 ½ Avenue, and that was a City project. The results were secured expeditiously, therefore not impacting our client, the large general contractor and the owner.
Challenge: A developer came to us and was changing General Contractors on a large scale downtown construction site where two SWO’s had been imposed, 1 by the Department of Buildings and 1 by the Department of Transportation. The situation had gone so far as the DOB was ordering backfill of the site and imposing thousands of dollars in fines per day.
Solution: Gotham engaged with the DOT and DOB, as well as the local Community Board in order to work out an agreement that would be in the best interests of all parties and alleviating community impact.
Result: Gotham worked out an agreement with the DOB wherein the Developer and new GC were permitted to submit plans for rectifying SWO issues at the site, proceed to dewater the site instead of backfilling, secured permission to proceed and had the SWO rescinded. Additionally, Gotham worked out an agreement with the DOT to allow for the proper sidewalk closure, permissions to cross the sidewalk with required equipment, and remove the current SWO. Lastly, Gotham engaged with the local Community Board and gained their support of the Developer and new GC’s plans to rectify issues at the site and move forward with the project. The results of Gotham’s efforts saved our client approximately $750k dollars in costs and fines.
Challenge: A prominent New York based firm was losing incredible profits due to outdated laws, which were causing increasing levels of fraud.
Solution: Through an extensive lobbying and education campaign Gotham worked with the Senate and Assembly to pass a number of reform bills.
Result: Aside from reducing fraud, our efforts allowed the client to operate more successfully, increasing healthy competition for New York State business.
Challenge: A group of ailing businesses throughout the state of New York came to Gotham in need of a solution for what was becoming a growing tax issues.
Solution: The Gotham team worked with the Department of Taxation to reduce the computation and collection of taxes.
Result: Ultimately, these businesses were refunded the finances lost while overpaying increased taxes. As a result, they not only remained in operation but were able to afford more products and improve their ability to service consumers.
Challenge: A coalition of small businesses who were suffering in a market heavily regulated by the government came to Gotham in an effort to ensure that proposed legislation would not prove more stringent in the future.
Solution: Gotham devised a vigorous lobbying effort to prevent harmful legislation from passing. In addition our team gave the coalition a voice by introducing their business leaders to government officials who could aid in rectifying their predicament.
Result: Gotham specialists prevented cataclysmic measures from being enforced, and as a result preserved the livelihood of these small business owners.