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City Council

City Council

  • Jarrett Murphy, left, of City Limits, and Ben Max, right, of Gotham Gazette


    December 20, 2017 - Max & Murphy: City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito (photo by William Alatriste/City Council)

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    Melissa Mark-Viverito, the City Council Speaker for about 10 more days, joined the podcast to discuss her tenure, how she has approached leading the city's legislative

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


    A majority of the incoming class of the New York City Council, including newly elected and returning members, has signed on to a newly-released package of internal rules reforms for the next four-year session, which begins in January. The agenda is intended to improve the Council’s budgeting and legislative drafting processes, strengthen the role of committees, bolster internal budgets, and enhance workplace conditions for Council staff, among other measures.

    Of the 51-member

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    Council Speaker Melisasa Mark-Viverito (photo: William Alatriste, June 2015)


    The New York City Council concluded its four-year term on Tuesday with a marathon legislative blitz, passing 38 new bills at its last full-body meeting. The Council has seen more new legislation passed in the last four years than any other Council class seated before it, with a total of 714 bills approved (in comparison, the final full-body meeting under the previous speaker, Christine Quinn, the Council passed 29 bills in December, 2013).

    Under the leadership of

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  • right to know rally crop


    On Tuesday, the New York City Council passed two police reform bills. One marks a vital step toward police reform and accountability. The other takes our city in the wrong direction.

    First the good news: a consent to search bill, sponsored by Council Member Antonio Reynoso, passed with support from over 200 community organizations, including the families of New Yorkers killed by police, and organizations led by homeless, LGBTQ, undocumented, and formerly incarcerated New Yorkers, and black and Latino youth. The bill will require the

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    photo via The Mayor's Office


    In September, the City Council called a hearing to scrutinize the New York Police Department’s response in cases involving “emotionally disturbed persons” (EDPs). There had been six instances in the previous 11 months where a mentally ill New Yorker had been killed by police officers. Council Members demanded to know why, and sought ways to prevent those deaths in the future, and NYPD officials gave

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  • New York City Hall

    New York City Hall


    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    Although there is a lot happening in New York this week, a great deal of attention will also be paid to Washington, D.C., where Congress may pass a tax reform bill that would have major ramifications for New Yorkers, including by raising the overall city, state, and federal tax burden for many.

    Other than the action in D.C., there will be a lot happening on Monday and Tuesday at the City Council, which is set

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  • vacant bldg via hpd

    (photo via @NYCHousing)


    Two years ago, Public Advocate Letitia James and City Council Members Jumaane Williams and Ydanis Rodriguez each introduced a bill under a set called the Housing Not Warehousing Act, a package aimed at reducing homelessness and increasing the city’s affordable housing stock. The bills seek to mandate an annual tally of the number of vacant lots and buildings in the city, determining which of those under city jurisdiction could be developed for affordable housing, while also requiring landlords with vacant properties to

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  • Jarrett Murphy, left, of City Limits, and Ben Max, right, of Gotham Gazette


    December 15, 2017 - Max & Murphy: Eric Koch, former top aide to City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito

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    Eric Koch helped Melissa Mark-Viverito become the City Council Speaker, then was her communications director for more than three years. He helped her craft policy and messaging, gave her political guidance, booked her media

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  • City Council chambers with members

    photo by William Alatriste/City Council


    The New York City Board of Elections has widely been acknowledged as a dysfunctional agency in need of urgent and sweeping reform, yet the political will for modernizing and professionalizing the board has not existed, at least in part because its current structure benefits those in power.

    Its system of appointments based on political patronage has long been a source of criticism and its mismanagement of election operations has frustrated voters and been the subject of City

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    Council Member Ben Kallos (photo via @NYCCouncil)


    Ahead of the September 12 primary, mayoral candidate Sal Albanese seemingly had the Reform Party ballot line locked up. It meant that Albanese would be on the general election ballot even if he lost the Democratic primary to Mayor Bill de Blasio. At the last minute, however, Republican candidate Nicole Malliotakis and independent candidate Bo Dietl attempted to snatch the Reform nomination from Albanese through an “opportunity to ballot,” which had effectively opened up the Reform line to write-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 starts a two-week sprint to what amounts to the end of the political year: Friday, December 22. Though there will be some political business Christmas week, and a deal to crown the next Speaker of the City Council could be announced any time before the January 3 vote, most of the rest of the political activity for the year (and thus the four-year city term) will take place this week and next. That includes a

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  • City Council speaker candidates

    The City Council speaker candidates (photo: William Alatriste)


    At the last public forum in the race to become the next speaker of the City Council, seven of the eight men contending for the Council’s top leadership spot took turns making their argument for why they would be the right person to continue Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito’s legacy of protecting and promoting the cause of women, transgender, and gender non-conforming New Yorkers. Though few new ideas emerged, for nearly two hours, the seven Council members pitched their progressive

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  • rosenthal levine sexual harassment legislation

    Council Members Rosenthal and Levine (photo: Samar Khurshid/Gotham Gazette)


    Amid a national outcry against sexual assault and sexual harassment, including in the workplace -- intensified by numerous accusations against sitting members of Congress that have resulted in two resignations thus far -- members of the New York City Council are stepping up to combat, prevent and expose any cases of sexual misconduct within their own ranks and that of the gargantuan city government.

    A series of

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  • city council speaker

    City Council Speaker candidates (photo: William Alatriste)


    The eight men running to become the next speaker of the City Council are all Democrats who were re-elected in November to serve a final term in the body. None of them faced a strong challenger in their respective races, either in the primaries, which are largely determinative of overall results, or in the November 7 general election. Nevertheless, a few of the candidates raised significant campaign cash and spent it just as liberally as if they were running competitive races. As Gotham Gazette has

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  • Jarrett Murphy, left, of City Limits, and Ben Max, right, of Gotham Gazette


    December 5, 2017 - Max & Murphy podcast: City Council Member Elizabeth Crowley

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    City Council Member Elizabeth Crowley was elected in 2008, the first woman and first Democrat to represent her Queens district. She's chaired the Council's Fire and Criminal Justice Committee, holding hearings on Rikers Island jails and much more,

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    Robert Cornegy (far right) at a City Council Speaker forum (photo: @RobertCornegyJr)


    Eight members of the New York City Council are asking their colleagues to elect them as the new Speaker after the new legislative body is seated January 1.

    Seven of the candidates oppose allowing Airbnb and other on-line platforms to continue their assault on our scarce affordable rental housing. But one of them, Robert Cornegy, Jr. of Brooklyn, does not.

    In ...

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    Glenn Martin & JustLeadershipUSA (photo: @GlennEMartin)


    New Yorkers depend on City Council hearings to hold agencies accountable and to demand transparency from the mayor’s administration. On Monday, what the City Council members of the Fire and Criminal Justice Committee got instead was a dismissive attitude cushioned in lofty rhetoric from a mayor’s office that seems unwilling or unable to make closing the jails on Rikers Island a priority.

    Time after time, representatives from Mayor Bill de

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    Council Member Vanessa Gibson (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    A City Council bill that creates an alternative to the state’s “disorderly conduct” statute, and mandates lower punishment for the infraction, became law on Friday along with numerous other bills relating to protecting undocumented immigrant New Yorkers. The bill, sponsored by City Council Member Vanessa Gibson, chair of the public safety committee, also adds another plank to the Council’s broad agendas of criminal justice reform and

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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 start with Mayor de Blasio and the NYPD celebrating low crime in New York City, especially the incredibly low number of murders and shootings in the city thus far this year, looking at data through November.

    For his part, Governor Andrew Cuomo took a quick trip to Puerto Rico on Saturday to recognize New Yorkers who have been on the ground there, many helping to restore power on the island, and

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  • de Blasio public hearing City Council bills

    De Blasio at a public hearing (photo: Ed Reed/Mayor's Office)


    Four government transparency bills that were passed by the City Council on October 31 aged into law on Friday, having gone 30 days without any action in favor or against them by Mayor Bill de Blasio. The bills all relate to increased disclosure by the administration of billions in city government spending and have been praised by good government advocates.

    Among the bills was one that ...

  • daneek miller via john mccarten

    Council Member Daneek Miller (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    In June, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a plan to create 100,000 new jobs in New York City over ten years by investing in high-wage industries where there is potential to grow with a boost from city government. The jobs will all pay at least $50,000 per year, he promised.

    The jobs plan, first outlined as the signature proposal of de Blasio’s 2017

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  • New York City Hall

    New York City Hall


    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    This post-Thanksgiving week promises to be a busy one. Mayor de Blasio will likely be active after two weeks of limited public appearances (he was away on a family vacation in Connecticut, then it was Thanksgiving week). The City Council has another busy week with a variety of hearings and a full Council Stated meeting on Thursday, at which the Council passes bills that have moved through committee and sees the

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    Speaker Mark-Viverito (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    [Note: this article has been updated based on fluctuations in the City Council calendar]

    A flurry of oversight hearings are filling the City Council calendar as the Council enters its final month of the four-year session, most notably a hearing slated to address controversies over NYCHA’s falsified lead inspection reports, a hearing to discuss the city’s progress in closing Rikers Island jails, and a hearing on integrating the city's

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    the City Council Speaker candidates at a prior forum (photo: William Alatriste)


    Seven of the eight candidates vying to become the next Speaker of the New York City Council convened at New York Law School on Monday night for a forum focused on government reform, running the Council, transparency, ethics, voting, and elections.

    The candidates made their cases for their leadership prowess, and discussed extending term limits for Council members, greater transparency around lobbying, key questions about campaign finance reform in the city, and

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  • New York City Hall

    New York City Hall


    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    Welcome to Thanksgiving week, which has a lot going on the first couple of days before quieting down for the long holiday weekend.

    Mayor Bill de Blasio is back in town after a week on family vacation in Connecticut. While de Blasio was away, controversy blew up around NYCHA’s mishandling of lead inspections. De Blasio defended Chair and CEO Shola Olatoye amid calls from Public Advocate Letitia James and others

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