Inside Citywide: DCAS Launches New Podcast
Message from the Commissioner's Office
After over a year, the city’s teleworking workforce has begun its transition back to the office. The entire city workforce is to be commended for adapting to challenging circumstances and working in new ways. The journey to this point has been a difficult one, and we owe a special debt of gratitude to the city’s essential workers who have been on the front lines since the start of the pandemic. Their dedication and support have kept our city going during some extraordinarily trying times.
As teleworking employees transition back to the office, health and safety protocols remain at the forefront. In partnership with the Mayor’s Office, the NYC Health Department, the New York City Office of Labor Relations, and the New York City Law Department, DCAS created citywide guidance that city agencies are using as a framework for the transition of additional employees back to the office.
While this guidance goes a long way to promote safety, it’s important that all City employees also do their part to keep each other safe. Employees and all New Yorkers should continue to follow all best practices for public health and safety. One step employees can also take is to get a COVID-19 vaccine. These vaccines are safe and effective and offer the best protection we have against COVID-19. Although not required, DCAS encourages all employees to get a COVID-19 vaccine. If you haven’t already gotten vaccinated, getting vaccinated is easier than ever. Find a vaccine site using the city’s Vaccine Command Center page, or simply walk-in to the north mezzanine of the David N. Dinkins Municipal Building at 1 Centre Street. Vaccines are available 24/7 without an appointment.
As we look ahead to a brighter future, it’s also important to reflect on the the challenges of the past year and honor the crucial role public servants have played in helping their fellow New Yorkers. The first episode of DCAS’s new podcast Inside Citywide offers a behind-the-scenes look at the city’s COVID-19 response efforts, including obtaining masks, ventilators, and other supplies; and setting up field hospitals, testing sites, and vaccination centers. We hope you will give it a listen and tune in for future episodes.
Read more below about these and other happenings at DCAS.
DCAS Happenings: DCAS Inside Citywide Podcast
Inside Citywide is no longer just the name of our newsletter, but our podcast as well! The Inside Citywide podcast gives listeners a behind-the-scenes look at New York City government, what it does, and the people who make it happen. The podcast is hosted by DCAS Director of Communications Nick Benson and DCAS Diversity and EEO Officer Belinda French.
The first episode is out now and focuses on the City’s response to the pandemic. In this episode, Nick and Belinda are joined by Commissioner of the Department of Design and Construction Jamie Torres-Springer and DCAS Chief Contracting Officer Adam Buchanan to discuss the heroic work of public servants during pandemic response efforts.
DCAS IT Staff Wins Innovation Award Contest With Diversified Workforce Proposal
DCAS recently hosted its first ever Innovation Award Contest. This Shark Tank-like contest offered DCAS staff the opportunity to pitch ideas to improve agency operations and advance agency goals.
Three finalists presented their ideas to a panel of judges consisting of DCAS Commissioner Lisette Camilo and her executive team.
The winning proposal was titled Match My Skills for a Job. The winning team consists of DCAS staff members Fardain Abidi, Sony Varughese, and Krushna Ramasamy from our Information Technology team.
They proposed creating an electronic platform to efficiently match skilled job seekers with city jobs and civil service titles. The team will receive $5,000 to fund their proposal and have stated that they plan to use the funding for research and development.
Congratulations to the winners and to all who participated!
Op-Ed Highlights DCAS's Race Equity Initiative
As the world continues to battle the injustices of inequality and racial inequity, the City of New York has taken steps to address these issues in the workplace. In a recent op-ed published in Gotham Gazette, DCAS Executive Deputy Commissioner Dawn Pinnock and Diversity and EEO Officer Belinda French discuss how our agency is promoting difficult conversations around race with the creation of the DCAS Race Equity Initiative (REI).
“So much of what we must do goes back to a simple truth: it is easy to fear or distrust what you don’t know or don’t understand. Frank, honest conversations between people and candid sharing of truths should not be feared as a wedge to divide people, but as a strength in helping people understand one another and feel connected to one another. It is through openness and sharing that we can build understanding that invites empathy and builds stronger bonds.”
Check out the full op-ed in Gotham Gazette.
Get Vaccinated, NYC!
COVID-19 vaccines have been shown to be very safe and effective in protecting people from severe COVID-19 illness, hospitalization, and death. These vaccines are the best protection we have against COVID-19 and that is why our DCAS leadership team encourages our staff and all New Yorkers to get vaccinated. You can see why DCAS leadership has chosen to get vaccinated in our Flickr gallery.
A vaccination site is now open at the David N. Dinkins Municipal Building at 1 Centre Street. The location, in the building’s north mezzanine, is open 24/7 and does not require an appointment. New Yorkers ages 18+ can simply walk-in to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. To view other vaccination sites and schedule an appointment, visit this City of New York vaccination website. To see all vaccine sites that allow walk-ins, visit the city’s Vaccine Command Center page.
City employees should be aware that the city has issued a temporary time and leave policy for employees to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. The policy provides up to two hours of excused leave during work hours for travel (to and from) and administration of the vaccine. Upon successful completion of vaccination, eligible employees may receive three hours of compensatory time.
To read the full policy, see PSB 600-4: Temporary Citywide Policy for Vaccination of City Employees against SARS-CoV-2.
Fiscal Year 2020 Annual Report
The DCAS Fiscal Year 2020 Annual Report highlights the accomplishments of our agency during the past fiscal year. The report tells the story of who we are and what we’ve done to ensure that equity, effectiveness, and sustainability are at the core of every service we provide. The annual report is available on the DCAS website.