City Limits’ Mission and History

City Limits uses investigative journalism through the prism of New York City to identify urban problems, examine their causes, explore solutions, and equip communities to take action.

Founded in 1976 in the midst of New York’s fiscal crisis, City Limits exists to inform democracy and empower citizens to create a more just city. City Limits is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit funded by foundation support, ad sponsorship and donations from readers.


City Limits’ Standards and Practices

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City Limits Staff

Gary Clemons
Executive Director
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Jeanmarie Evelly
Executive Editor
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Chris Janaro
Land Use and Zoning Reporter
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Jarrett Murphy
Contributing Editor
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Daniel Parra
Spanish-Language Reporter/Editor
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Fran Reilly
Strategy and Development
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Mariana Simões
Climate and Environmental Reporter
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Adi Talwar
Contributing Photographer
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Anastasia Tomkin
Reporting Intern, Poverty & Social Safety Net
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Tatyana Turner
NYCHA Reporter
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Emma Whitford
Deputy Editor
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Our Impact

Over the years, City Limits has exposed dozens of issues and elevated hundreds of voices. Here are just a few examples of areas where we’ve made a difference:

•In 2022, we’ve continued to build out and update our Shelter Tracker to more accurately keep track of the number of people staying each night in the city’s shelter system—a figure that’s historically been hard to pinpoint thanks to the city’s complicated data collection and reporting system. Our project was highlighted in a full-length article in the The New Yorker, entitled “Why Thousands of People Are Left Out of New York City’s Daily Homeless Census.” In response, City Hall has indicated it will overhaul its metrics system for the shelter system and the City Council passed legislation that will require city agencies involved in sheltering New Yorkers to produce a more complete report of who it is serving and how. We will continue to publish the Shelter Tracker project as well as monitor how the city fulfills these promises around transparency, especially as recent emergency orders passed in response to the influx of asylum seekers has made it easier for the city to obscure some of those operations.

•Our report on the long wait for homeless shelter residents to access apartments in public  housing got near-immediate results for our main source: Natasha Logan waited more than 10 months in a Queens shelter despite already having been approved for a NYCHA unit. The day after our story about her plight was published, NYCHA finally handed over the  keys to her new home.

•We were the first news organization to comprehensively investigate the flaws in New York’s use of financial bail, and our reporting informed work by human-rights organizations that in turn spurred action by the state court system.

•Our reporting on the mayor’s affordable housing plan and the concerns about low-income renters and non-profit builders being excluded prodded the discussion that led to changes in the city’s approach in 2016.

•Our 2010 investigation of one of the convictions related to the Brian Watkins murder led to that defendant, Johnny Hincapie, being released from prison after 25 years after his case was reopened.

Read more about City Limits’ impact


City Limits Board

Martha Nelson, chair
Former SVP and Editor-in-Chief of Yahoo! and former Editor-in-Chief of Time Inc.

Neill Coleman, vice chair
Principal, Mission Magnified Consulting

Mark Edmiston, treasurer
Managing Partner, Civil Management LLC

Andrew Breslau
Senior Vice President for Communications and Marketing, Downtown Alliance

Stephen Fee
VP, Communications at Enterprise Community Partners

Erica González Martínez
Deputy Director, Power4PuertoRico

David R. Jones
President, Community Service Society

Nick Lundgren
General Counsel, New Destiny Housing Corporation

Yolanda Rodriguez 

Erik Spooner

Marketing Creative Director, Quad


City Limits Advisory Board

Lynda Hamilton
Community Partner Engagement Manager, Center for Smart StreetScapes, SIPA-Columbia University

Edward Lewis
Magazine publisher and entrepreneur

Meg Louis
Legal, Nonprofit, and Business Consultant

Michael Moskowitz
SVP Wealth Management Advisor, Merrill Lynch Wealth Management

Rashad Nelms
In-Residence with Indiana University‘s Office of the Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Multicultural Affairs

Lisette Nieves
President, Fund for the City of New York

Michael Rezendes
Senior Investigative Reporter, The Associated Press

Paul Spivey
Principal, Phillips Oppenheim

Tanzina Vega
Adjunct Professor, NYU; Contributing Columnist, Boston Globe Opinion Section

Mon Yuck Yu
Director of Policy, Office of the Brooklyn Borough President and Co-Founder & Board Member, RaisingHealth Partners


City Limits Awards & Honors

2024 Silurian Press Club Excellence in Journalism Awards
Merit Prize for Environmental Reporting for the story “Efforts to Block Gas Bans Across the Nation Are Growing. Will it Work in New York?” by Mariana Simões.
–Merit Prize for Feature Photography for Adi Talwar’s striking photos of the city’s first tent shelter for migrant families with children at Floyd Bennett Field.
–City Limits was also recognized for its collaboration with THE CITY, Columbia Journalism Investigations and Type Investigations, which documented the New York City Department of Education’s response to the thousands of children in its schools who lost a parent or caregiver to COVID-19. The piece was one of three projects—alongside two other investigations by THE CITY—to earn the top prize for investigative reporting.

2023 Silurian Press Club Excellence in Journalism Awards
–Merit Prize for Investigative Reporting for “Dilapidated Apartments, Lousy Landlords Plague NYC’s Sprawling Scattered Site Supportive Housing Network,” by David Brand & Jeanmarie Evelly
–Merit Prize for Environmental Reporting for the story “For NYC Tenants with Inadequate Heat, Enforcement Can Be Elusive,” by Liz Donovan

2022 Finalist, Nonprofit News Awards
City Limits was a finalist in two categories:
–The Insight Award for Explanatory Journalism for David Brand’s story, “House Flippers Continue to Target East New York. Residents Blame the 2016 Rezoning”
–Insight Award for Visual Journalism for Adi Talwar’s photo essay, “The Bronx’s Shrinking Auto Corridor,” with reporting by Ese Olumhense and Daniel Parra.

2022 Finalist, Association for Women in CommunicationsClarion Awards
Finalist in the “Online Journalism – Special Feature Section” category for three stories in our Age Justice series by reporters Gail Robinson and Olivia Bensimon. Their articles looked at the impact of the home care workers’ shortage on the city’s older adults; How senior centers and their clients were recovering from pandemic closures; and the challenges of aging in place in New York.

2021 Silurian Press Club Excellence in Journalism Awards
Merit Prize for Feature Reporting for the story, “Pandemic Worsens Hard Road to Housing for Homeless New Yorkers with Health Needs,” by David Brand

2020 Clarion Awards (Association for Women in Communications)
Online Journalism: Special News Section winner for The Ride: City Limits’ Transit Coverage by Jeanmarie Evelly

2019 Clarion Awards (Association for Women in Communications)
Online Journalism: Special Feature Section winner for the series, “Can Buses Be Better?” by Jeanmarie Evelly and Angely Mercado

2018 Ippies
–1st place, Best Story About a Community (Abigail Savitch-Lew for “13 Years After Blocking New Development, Staten Island Hopes to Welcome Just Enough of It”)
–3rd place, Best Photograph (Adi Talwar for “NoBackspace: Vision Zero Works When Victim-Blaming Stops and Accountability Starts”)
–3rd place, Best Social Issues Story (David Brand for “NYC’s Cultural Plan Spurs Disabled Artists in Fight for Roles and Respect”)

2018 New York Press Club Journalism Awards
Best Feature-Internet: “NYCHA Crime Witnesses Face Obstacles When They Seek Safety” by Ese Olumhense (produced in partnership with The Investigative Fund)
Best Political Coverage-Internet: “Election 2017” by editor Jarett Murphy, photographer Adi Talwar, then-staff writer Abigail Savitch-Lew and contributors Kizzy Cox, Jonathan Gomez and Elizabeth Michaelson Monaghan.

2018 Silurian Medals
Science/Health: “Death Disparities” by Ruth Ford with Jananki Chadha and photographer Adi Talwar

2017 Ippies
Best Multimedia Package: First Place, “Cleaner Creeks and Bays, But How Will New Yorkers Access the Waters They Own?” by Adi Talwar and Guglielmo Mattioli

2017 Ippies
Best Social Issues Story: Second Place, “Do NYC’s Middle-Class Families Really Need Affordable Housing?” by Abigail Savitch-Lew

2016 Clarion Award
Online Journalism-Special Feature Section: On the Border of Justice

2016 National Headliner Awards (with WNYC)
2nd place, radio: The Cost of Our Water

2016 Society of the Siluruans Award
Environmental reporting: Green Jobs Gone Missing

2016 New York Press Club Award
Continuing coverage

2016 New York Press Club Award
Nellie Bly Cub Reporter Award: Ben Hattem

2016 Ippie Award
Best Social Issues Story: Linden Plaza’s Saga by Abigail Savitch Lew

2016 Ippie Award
Best Photograph: Adi Talwar

2014 Ippie Award
Best Social Issues Story, 1st Place
The Center for Community and Ethnic Media at that CUNY Graduate School of Journalism

2013 Silurian Society Award
Best News Commentary
The Society of Silurians

2013 Ippie Award
Best Story on an Immigrant Community, 3rd Place
Best Story on a Social Issue, 3rd Place
The Center for Community and Ethnic Media at that CUNY Graduate School of Journalism

More awards