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City Council

City Council

  • mayornyc james o neil

    (Credit: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    The New York City Council Progressive Caucus is stepping up calls for Mayor Bill de Blasio to reconstitute a citywide task force to examine how emergency responders help people suffering from mental illness, and are insisting that the mayor consider creating a parallel response force of social workers and therapists that can answer calls rather than police officers.

    In a letter sent to the mayor last Wednesday, the 21 members of the Progressive Caucus said the mayor should act by the end of

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  • New York City Hall

    New York City Hall


    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    The week begins with the New York political world fixated on the race for Governor after the Working Families Party endorsed Cynthia Nixon on Saturday. The WFP also endorsed City Council Member Jumaane Williams for Lieutenant Governor. Both Nixon and Williams are also running in their respective Democratic primaries, hoping to unseat Governor Andrew Cuomo and Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul.

    The WFP

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  • City Hall Mayor's Office photo

    City Hall (photo: Benjamin Kanter/Mayor's Office)


    Revision of the City Charter, our central governing document, should not be a one-person show, focused on a single issue. Over the last 25 years, charter revision commissions have been wielded as political tools by mayors to block the building of a West Side Stadium, keep a political rival from potentially ascending to the mayoralty, and stop a referendum that would have limited the size of public school classes. Revisions have largely been narrow and myopic and the end results have

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  • speaker johnson presents preliminary budgetresponse 3 credit william alatriste

    Speaker Johnson and colleagues (photo: William Alatriste/City Council)


    The New York City Council appears to be gearing up for a tense budget fight with Mayor Bill de Blasio, releasing a telling early counter on Tuesday in its official response to the mayor’s $88.7 billion proposed budget for next

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  • cm keith powers cc

    Council Member Keith Powers (photo: William Alatriste)


    City Council Member Keith Powers, a former lobbyist who ran for election on a platform that included a 22-point electoral and government reform agenda, has introduced a package of legislation to make small but significant changes to the city’s campaign finance program.

    Powers, a Manhattan Democrat, is proposing five bills, introduced at the full meeting of the City Council on

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  • nypd council hearing rape

    NYPD reps at Monday's hearing (photo: @NYCCouncil)


    At a tense oversight hearing examining the NYPD's response to sex crimes on Monday, the NYPD opposed all four bills introduced by the City Council in response to a Department of Investigation report released two weeks earlier.

    The bills seek to require evidence-based models to determine staffing levels for the Special Victims Division, more training for sex crimes detectives, and a digital, searchable case management system for the SVD.

    On March 27, following a year-long

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  • de Blasio NYPD

    Mayor de Blasio & top NYPD officials (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    In August of last year, shortly after NYPD officers shot to death an emotionally disturbed man in his apartment, City Council Member Jumaane Williams led an effort calling on Mayor Bill de Blasio to set up a task force to conduct a wholesale review of the police department’s protocols in dealing with “emotionally disturbed persons,” or EDPs. Almost eight months later, with many in the city again reeling from the fatal shooting of an emotionally disturbed man at the

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  • Government Operations

    Council Member Cabrera and others (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    Note: The City Council passed this bill on Wednesday, April 11

    The New York City Council is moving ahead with a bill to create a Charter Revision Commission to review the city charter, the city’s seminal governing document, with a committee vote on the bill set for Tuesday, and the full Council likely to vote it through on Wednesday. The Council’s commission is a separate effort from Mayor Bill de Blasio’s own commission, called by the mayor a few weeks

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  • New York City Hall

    New York City Hall


    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    This week we’re continuing to digest and analyze both the recently-passed state budget and the recently-announced Democratic unity deal reached among Governor Andrew Cuomo, Senate Democratic Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, Independent Democratic Conference Leader Jeff Klein, and others. According to Klein, he

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  • Mark-Viverito Crowley women City Council

    Mark-Viverito, left, and Crowley, the authors (photo: @NYCCouncil)


    Susan B. Anthony said in 1897, “There will never be complete equality until women themselves help make laws and elect lawmakers.”

    Thanks in part to Anthony’s life work and that of her fellow suffragettes, American women now have the power both to vote and serve as lawmakers. Yet, more than 120 years later, Anthony’s dream of complete equality has not been realized, because of the profound disparity in representation between men and women in elected

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  • Carlina Rivera City Council

    Council Member Carlina Rivera (photo: Emil Cohen)


    The New York City Council’s Women’s Caucus, comprised of the 11 women in the 51-member legislative body, will soon have additional support for its legislative and programmatic agenda with new funding for a full-time paid staff person added to the Council’s operating budget for the next fiscal year.

    The Council’s finance committee voted last week to approve a $17.3 million

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  • New York City Hall

    New York City Hall


    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    A new state budget due by midnight Saturday, but lawmakers have promised to have the spending plan completed before Friday, acknowledging the Passover and Easter holiday weekend. Legislators are scheduled to be in Albany Monday through Thursday. As in years past, there is always a chance that the budget is not done until after the new fiscal year begins April 1. State officials could break for the holiday weekend and

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  • Johnson Dromm City Council budget

    Council Members Cumbo, Johnson & Dromm (l-r) (photo: John McCarten)


    The City Council’s Committee on Finance voted on Thursday to increase the Council’s operating budget to $81.3 million, an increase of nearly 27 percent from the current fiscal year’s budget of $64 million, following through on Speaker Corey Johnson’s promise to increase internal resources and produce a stronger role for the legislative body in areas such as land use and oversight.

    The City Charter allows the Council to decide its own budget, with no required oversight and

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  • Community board city council

    Council budget hearing (photo: John McCarten)


    Community boards need more money. That was the overarching message provided to the City Council’s Governmental Operations Committee by two district managers for Manhattan community boards at a preliminary budget hearing on Monday.

    The mayor’s $88.7 billion preliminary budget for fiscal year 2019, which begins July 1 of this year, outlines $17.4

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  • Cabrera City Council budget hearing

    Council Member Cabrera (photo: John McCarten)


    Amid a preliminary budget hearing where the City Council’s Committee on Governmental Operations heard testimony from several city agencies and other entities under its purview, representatives from the Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings, or OATH, did not ask for massive new resources, but explained the impact of an increased budget and an increased caseload, while also asking for more personnel.

    The committee chair, Council Member Fernando Cabrera, leveled effusive praise

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  • New York City Hall

    New York City Hall


    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    It’s crunch time for a new state budget, which is due by the April 1 start of the new fiscal year. While a new budget won’t necessarily be done by then -- many years the budget has been late by days, weeks, or months (though under Governor Andrew Cuomo they have been on time or close to it) -- negotiations are due to heat up this week and there are promises that the budget will be done by March 30, before the Passover

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  • Fernando Cabrera

    Council Member Fernando Cabrera (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    A day after Mayor Bill de Blasio announced initial appointments to a Charter Revision Commission that he is convening to examine the city’s campaign finance laws, Public Advocate Letitia James and Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer testified before the City Council on their own alternative proposal to create a Commission to examine the structure of city government.

    The Charter is the city’s seminal governing document, laying out the powers and functions of every level of

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  • Corey Johnson

    Speaker Johnson (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    City Council Speaker Corey Johnson said last week that the Council would forge ahead with legislation to create a Charter Revision Commission to review the broad structure of city government, bucking Mayor Bill de Blasio’s intention to unilaterally create a commission meant to explore campaign finance and electoral reforms. And Johnson’s support of the bill -- first proposed in December by Public Advocate Letitia James and Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer -- also came with one significant change to

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  • Corey Johnson Stuart Applebaum

    Above: Speaker Johnson and Stuart Applebaum (photos: William Alatriste/City Council)


    Political action committees affiliated with prominent unions in the city invested heavily in the 2017 municipal election cycle, contributing to candidates in races for City Council, borough-wide and citywide positions. And that giving continued after the election was over, with many of the same unions having another opportunity to donate to elected officials. The new City Council Speaker Corey Johnson was one of the beneficiaries of that giving, taking in

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  • New York City Hall

    New York City Hall


    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    This week we're awaiting gubernatorial campaign announcements from Republican Marc Molinaro and Democrat Cynthia Nixon.

    As those election year moves happen, or don't, government is happening in Albany, where the Legislature will be in session four days this week as we enter crunch time for a new state budget, which is due by the April 1 start to the new fiscal year. One-house budgets are expected this week from

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  • Johnson Rodriguez City Council

    Speaker Johnson, center, & CM Rodriguez, right (photo: William Alatriste)


    City Council Speaker Corey Johnson said Thursday that the elected Council members of the body he leads will get “deference” but “no veto” on land use matters.

    Even before he was officially elected the new speaker of the Council, Johnson had already begun to define how he would approach the job. In clear breaks from his predecessor, Melissa Mark-Viverito, Johnson promised greater independence from the mayor, expanded oversight over city agencies, and a

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  • Johnson City Council staff

    Speaker Johnson and others (photo: William Alatriste/City Council)


    Last week, the City Council proposed a legislative package aimed at confronting sexual harassment in private and government work environments. It includes 11 bills, four of which would apply to city agencies should they become law. Council members sponsoring the bills, including Speaker Corey Johnson, touted the legislation as evidence of the Council taking

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  • Keith Powers Rikers Island

    City Council Member Keith Powers (photo: John McCarten)


    Last week, members of the New York City Council’s Committee on Criminal Justice toured Rikers Island to see for themselves the conditions at the problem-plagued jail complex, which is slated for closure within the next ten years. It was the first visit for the new chair of the committee, Council Member Keith Powers, who spoke with Gotham Gazette about what he and his colleagues saw, their conversations with detainees and corrections officers, and the issues it moved him to

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  • New York City Hall

    New York City Hall


    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    This week will see the beginning of preliminary budget hearings at the City Council, where Council members will hear from representatives of the de Blasio administration about the mayor's proposed budget for next fiscal year, which begins July 1, and ask questions about how money is being allocated, savings, and more.

    Key details of the city budget that is agreed upon later this year by Mayor de Blasio and the

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  • Carlina Rivera hospitals hearing

    Council Member Carlina Rivera (photo: @NYCCouncil)


    The new CEO of the city’s beleaguered Health + Hospitals (H+H) public hospital system, Dr. Mitchell Katz, testified in front of the City Council’s new hospitals committee, and its chair, Carlina Rivera, for the first time on Wednesday, discussing the progress of the “One New York” plan to 'transform' and improve the system.

    H+H is a

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