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City Council

  • Campaign Finance Board Fines De Blasio, Others for 2013 Campaign Violations

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    Mayor de Blasio accepts a union endorsement for re-election (photo: Ben Max)


    Mayor Bill de Blasio’s 2013 campaign is being fined $47,778 by the Campaign Finance Board for ten separate violations, including improper post-election spending. Additionally, the board determined at its Thursday hearing, of the $3,994,496 in public matching funds de Blasio’s 2013 campaign received, it must repay $485.02.

    The single largest fine to de Blasio’s campaign, $21,159, is for making impermissible post-election expenditures. ...

  • With Trump Presidency Looming, City Officials Reevaluate Financial Picture

    ferreas copeland presser nyccouncil

    Council Member Ferreras-Copeland (photo: @NYCCouncil)


    The potential repercussions of President-elect Donald Trump’s policies on New York City’s budget loomed over a Wednesday City Council hearing. The Council’s Committee on Finance met for oversight on the de Blasio administration’s November Financial Plan Update, which shows a projected increase in spending of $1.3 billion this fiscal year, as well as additional savings being set aside by the city.

    On Wednesday at City Hall, Council members led by finance Chair Julissa

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  • Bill Aims to Ensure Heat is On When It Should Be

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    Ritchie Torres (photo: John McCarten)


    City Council Member Ritchie Torres will introduce a bill on Thursday that aims to ensure landlords follow the law and keep the heat on for tenants when it should be.

    Torres’ bill, being introduced in partnership with Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, would require landlords of buildings with more than three units to install tamper-proof heat sensors in the living room of each unit. These “temperature reporting devices” would be monitored by tenants, landlords, and the city’s housing

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  • De Blasio Fails to Explain His Support for Limits on Groups Like Campaign for One New York

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    Bill de Blasio (photo: Ed Reed/Mayor's Office)


    The City Council will pass a bill this week to put significant limits on the donations that political nonprofits aligned with elected officials can accept from entities with city business. Mayor Bill de Blasio intends to sign the bill, sponsored by Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, into law.

    While she has been a close ally of the mayor, in crafting the bill Mark-Viverito condemned one of the most controversial aspects of de Blasio’s tenure, The Campaign for One New York. And in supporting the bill, de

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  • City Council Rushes Through Campaign Finance Bills

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    City Council chambers (photo: Sofie Hecht/Gotham Gazette)


    The City Council is rushing through a package of bills to reform the city’s campaign finance system. About a dozen bills driven by Council members’ frustrations with the Campaign Finance Board and its rigorous reporting system are being moved through the Council at an almost unseen pace, raising eyebrows.

    There are actually two packages of bills that will be passed through the Council this week: one that has been sitting idle for months after a hearing, which will go through the

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  • Special Election for Harlem City Council Seat Kicks Off

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    Council candidate Marvin Holland, right, with Sylvia Tyler (photo via Holland on Twitter)


    It’s going to be a sprint of an election -- though it’s not clear how many candidates are running or how many voters will participate -- with ballots likely to be cast sometime in February.

    The election of New York City Council Member Inez Dickens to the State Assembly creates an open seat in Council District 9 in Harlem, and a number of contenders have thrown their hats in the ring. As soon as Dickens officially vacates her Council seat, Mayor

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  • Building in the Wrong Places: A Pivotal Choice

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    photo: Hudson River Park Trust


    Building sites for so-called "parks" or other misplaced uses in or over the water offshore is a ruinous policy. Unprecedented proposals now before the City Council to help finance such in-water construction by selling legally dubious "air rights" (supposedly unused development rights) from sites in the lower Hudson River--starting with Pier 40--or other public waterways to mega-developers would magnify this harmful policy's potentially catastrophic citywide impacts.

    Joanne Witty's ...

  • The Week Ahead in New York Politics, December 12

    New York City Hall

    New York City Hall


    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    This week begins with focus on the transition of President-elect Donald Trump, who has continued to announce nominations for cabinet positions, as well as attention on the extent to which Russian agents attempted to influence the United States presidential election in order to help Trump win. Reports indicate that President Obama has ordered a full review, that members of Congress may hold hearings, and that the CIA

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  • Much Agreement on Need for Bail Reform, But Little Movement

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    On Rikers Island (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    There is an ongoing conversation in New York about how to fix the bail system that many agree is broken, keeping too many poor people in jail after they are arrested for low-level nonviolent offenses but cannot afford to post bond and, at times, allowing individuals back onto the street who are prone to violence but able to pay bail. Efforts at reform have been full of fits and starts.

    About a month ago, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced measures to make

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  • New York: A Sanctuary City with A Plan

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    The authors: Council Members Menchaca, left, & Ferreras-Copeland, center


    New York’s immigrant families are waking up terrified as President-elect Trump, his supporters and growing administration spew hate. In spite of his new stance to “work something out” for Dreamers, Trump’s words are met with lack of trust. As the children of immigrants, we take attacks from Trump and his supporters personally and are filled with the courage needed to fight harder and smarter than ever to protect the rights and freedoms of

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  • The Week Ahead in New York Politics, December 5

    New York City Hall

    New York City Hall


    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    Will there be a special session in Albany before the end of the year? That's one question we're looking for an answer to as the week begins. Time is running low for one to occur before the holidays at the end of the month. Governor Andrew Cuomo has said he wants to hold one to deal with a variety of issues, including pay raises for legislators and executive branch employees and other reforms to the legislator position,

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  • City Council Bail Fund Continues Slow Path to Reality

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    Speaker Mark-Viverito (photo via flickr)


    The City Council’s long-awaited public bail fund, a project spearheaded by Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, is one step closer to being operational after receiving another required approval from state authorities.  

    Mark-Viverito announced the plan to create a $1.4 million

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  • 22 Campaign Finance Bills to Move Through City Council 'Soon,' Speaker Says

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    Speaker Mark-Viverito (photo: @NYCCouncil)


    Within the next two months, the City Council is expected to vote on a large legislative package that would alter the city’s campaign finance system in a variety of ways and regulate donations to political nonprofits, Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito said this week. Some of the proposals and the timing of their likely passage have raised concerns, though, that the Council is weakening the city’s model campaign finance system, pushing some reforms through after too long a wait and rushing other, newer bills through just in time for the next

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  • City Council Women's Caucus Rallies for Equity Legislation

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    Equality rally at City Hall (photo via Council Member Cumbo)


    The Women’s Caucus of the New York City Council announced a legislative package Tuesday aimed at equal rights and opportunities for women. With an “equality rally” outside City Hall before the full Council held a meeting at which some of the bills were introduced, legislators, advocates, and service providers expressed support for the legislation and argued for its necessity in light of Donald Trump’s election as President.

    The co-chairs of the Women’s Caucus, Council

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  • The Week Ahead in New York Politics, November 28

    New York City Hall

    New York City Hall


    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    This week we're continuing to watch President-elect Donald Trump fill out his cabinet while examining his conflicts of interest, which he has said don't matter, and his erratic and dangerous behavior, such as Trump tweeting on Sunday, "In addition to winning the Electoral College in a landslide, I won the popular vote if you deduct the millions of people who voted

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  • New Urgency in Our City’s Fight for Our Planet’s Future

    Costa Constantinides

    Council Member Constantinides, the author


    As we continue to digest the results of the election, a troubling reality emerges that our core beliefs are under attack. As New Yorkers, we stand in unity with our neighbors, especially Muslim, Latino, and LGBTQ communities across our city.

    We are also left with deep disappointment because President-elect Trump has attacked climate change as a hoax. He has pledged to undo American efforts to prevent a global warming catastrophe, including retreat from the Paris Agreement on Climate, Clean Power Plan, and new EPA

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  • Fair Share: Design Flaws, Flashpoints & Possible Updates

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    Trucks (photo: Sofie Hecht/Gotham Gazette)


    This is part two of a two-part series on the city’s Fair Share rules. Read part one: City May Soon Have More Formal ‘Fair Share’ Discussion

    Fair Share Flawed from the Beginning, Some Say
    Ronald Shiffman, now professor emeritus at the Pratt Institute and co-founder of Pratt’s Center for Community Development, was appointed to the newly-expanded City Planning Commission in

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  • The Week Ahead in New York Politics, November 21

    New York City Hall

    New York City Hall


    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    It’s a short Thanksgiving week, but there’s a lot going on, starting with Mayor Bill de Blasio giving a major address on Monday morning -- details below. There are several other things happening before the holiday, including a few City Council hearings -- see our rundown below. Including de Blasio’s remarks, the week is sure to continue to be focused on President-elect Donald Trump and the reactions to his election and

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  • The Week Ahead in New York Politics, November 14

    New York City Hall

    New York City Hall


    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    Members of the media, people in politics, and many others continue to explain Donald Trump’s surprising victory in the Presidential race, and to monitor his transition efforts. There are many questions about the presidential race and the path ahead.

    New York leaders, mostly disappointed Democrats, regrouped in Puerto Rico this weekend for the annual SOMOS conference. Mayor Bill de Blasio was there on Saturday

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  • The Week Ahead in New York Politics, November 7

    New York City Hall

    New York City Hall


    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    TUESDAY is ELECTION DAY. New Yorkers will vote for President, one U.S. Senate seat, all U.S. House seats, every seat in the state Legislature (63 Senate, 150 Assembly), and for some judgeships. Use the Gotham Gazette-WNYC Election Guide to see which races you’ll be voting on or for more information about key

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  • In Unexplored Territory, City Council Members Bundle Campaign Donations

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    Council Member Greenfield and colleagues at City Hall (photo: William Alatriste)


    The bundling of campaign contributions by elected officials for fellow candidates in New York City is not new or illegal, but it raises questions about an unexplored area of campaign finance law, especially as the City considers updates to the rules of its heralded campaign finance system.

    In New York City electoral campaigns, individuals often lump together contributions from multiple donors to show their support

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  • The Week Ahead in New York Politics, October 31

    New York City Hall

    New York City Hall


    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    While there's a lot happening in city politics, we're also on the verge of one week until Election Day. The presidential race continues to be turbulent and New York-centric in many ways. Watch as Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump campaign across key battleground states leading up to Election Day, at which

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  • Board of Elections Dysfunction on Display Again Ahead of Hearing

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    Council Member Joe Borelli (photo: William Alatriste)


    The dysfunction that has seemed to define the New York City Board of Elections this year was again on display Tuesday when its executive director first declined to testify at an imminent City Council oversight hearing and within hours reversed that decision.

    With just two weeks to go before the November 8 general election, the City Council’s Committee on Governmental Operations scheduled an oversight hearing for Wednesday to gauge the BOE’s preparedness -- something

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  • The Week Ahead in New York Politics, October 24

    New York City Hall

    New York City Hall


    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    We're in the home stretch of the Presidential race -- and all the other races that are on the ballot November 8 -- with Tuesday marking two weeks until Election Day. As Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, and other presidential candidates fight for votes, there are also a variety of races happening in New York.

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  • City Council to Examine NYPD Oversight Board

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    CCRB Chair Maya Wiley & Mayor de Blasio in 2014 (photo: Rob Bennett/Mayor's Office)


    The Civilian Complaint Review Board, a key provider of oversight of police conduct in New York City will be subject to oversight itself at a Friday hearing of the City Council’s Committee on Public Safety. It will be the first of its kind during the current administration wherein the CCRB is evaluated by the Council outside of the annual budget process. The hearing comes amid controversy over NYPD transparency with regard to officer

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