Coronavirus Update: Effect on Schools

March 23, 2021  
2:00PM - 3:00PM
Reopening Plans, School Safety, Remote Learning
Event Description

City & State is proud to present “Coronavirus Update” a four-part webinar series in partnership with the Office of the Counsel to the Mayor. Each month we will co-host a one-hour webinar featuring the Mayor de Blasio’s closest legal and policy advisors, which will be moderated by City & State Editorial staff. 

Hear from Mayor de Blasio’s closest legal and policy advisors addressing New York City’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and its effect on education. Get the latest updates on reopening plans, school safety, remote learning, and the path forward for the nation’s largest school district!

We welcome the opportunity to partner with each industry to expand our discussion with the Mayor’s team and form a larger roundtable discussion each week. Join us for this series and ask your questions live.



Kapil Longani
Counsel, Mayor of New York City
Mr. Longani serves as Chief Counsel to the Mayor of New York City. As Mayor de Blasio’s chief problem solver, Kapil advises the Mayor and City Hall on high profile and sensitive legal matters affecting the City including: police reform, economic development, affordable housing, and immigration. Most recently, he played a central role in the Administration’s legal response to the historic issues confronting New York City during the COVID-19 crisis. Appointed Counsel to the Mayor in November 2018, Kapil has a long career in public service, which he attributes to his immigrant parents. They instilled in him a strong belief in the power of government to improve people’s lives and a deep commitment to public service. Before joining the administration, Kapil served as Senior Counsel to Ranking Member Elijah E. Cummings for the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform in the U.S. House of Representatives. Kapil acted as the Democratic staff's lead investigator in several inquiries including the Flint water crisis, contractor fraud at the Department of Defense, the Department of State's rejection of the Keystone Pipeline application, the Trump Administration's response to Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the Environmental Protection Agency's Waters of the United States rulemaking process. Prior to his work in Congress, Kapil served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia where he prosecuted cases involving sexual assault, homicide, robbery, narcotics, and illegal firearms. He previously worked as a litigator in New York City at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, and served as a law clerk to Judge Roger L. Gregory of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit and Judge Richard Smoak of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida. Kapil holds an undergraduate degree from Cornell University and legal degrees from the University of Florida, Yale, and Oxford University.
Alexis Blane
Alexis Blane
Principal Deputy Counsel to the Mayor of New York City
Alexis Blane is the Principal Deputy Counsel to the Mayor, having previously served as Acting Counsel to the Mayor, and is a Board member of the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City. Alexis serves City Hall’s primary legal liaison to the NYPD, the Department of Education, and the NYC Commission on Human Rights. She has been at the forefront of the City’s response to COVID-19, including the establishment of COVID-19 testing in schools and the City’s use of emergency powers to address the pandemic. She also oversees the City’s Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings. Prior to working for the City, she advised to international social enterprises and nonprofits and worked at the Clinton Foundation, where she developed industry-leading best practices for social enterprises. She also was as an Attorney Advisor at the U.S. State Department focused on law enforcement and intelligence law. She has also served on the board of several non-profit organizations in New York City, including Turning Point Brooklyn and Brooklyn Community Services. Alexis holds a J.D. from NYU School of Law, a DPhil in English from Oxford University, where she was a Rhodes Scholar, and an A.B. from Duke University, where she was an avid attendee of basketball games. She was as a law clerk to Judge Allyson K. Duncan on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. Alexis lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two young children. The latter want, but do not have, a dog. She is an expert on Brooklyn playgrounds and pecan pie. While one of the things she loves most about NYC is the food, she has finally resigned herself to the fact that it will seemingly never master barbecue.
Gabrielle Ramos
Chief of Staff, DOE
Jeffrey Plaut
Founding Partner, Global Strategy Group LLC
Jeffrey Plaut is a founding partner of Global Strategy Group LLC, one of the leading Democratic polling and public affairs firms in the United States. Jeffrey has a broad strategic research practice that includes Democratic elected officials, corporations, unions, advocacy and non-profit groups. Global Strategy Group has polled for leading Democratic organizations and clients including the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), Senate Majority PAC (SMP), Governor Cuomo (D-NY) and Senator Gillibrand (D-NY). Jeffrey’s clients include House Majority PAC (HMP), the United Brotherhood of Carpenters (UBC), the Gates Foundation, Philly 2019, and members of Congress including Mikie Sherrill (D-NY), Joe Morelle (D-NY), Grace Meng (D-NY), Nydia Velazquez (D-NY), and Adriano Espaillat (D-NY). Jeffrey is an adjunct instructor in the Department of Politics at Fordham University and a member of the board of directors at Coro New York, a premier leadership training organization. Jeffrey speaks and writes frequently on political issues. Jeffrey is a graduate of Brown University and the Coro Fellowship in Public Affairs. He is a member of Temple Ner Tamid in Bloomfield, New Jersey and is active on the tikkun olam committee. Jeffrey and is wife Amy live in Montclair, New Jersey and have three children.

Opening Remarks By Jeff Coltin, Senior Reporter, City & State NY


Roundtable Discussion

Alexis Blane, Principal Deputy Counsel to the Mayor of New York City
Jeffrey Plaut, Founding Partner, Global Strategy Group, LLC
Gabrielle Ramos, Chief of Staff, DOE
Kapil Longani, Counsel to the NYC Mayor


Session Concludes

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