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  • The Week Ahead in New York Politics, June 26

    New York City Hall

    New York City Hall


    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    This week starts with mayoral control of New York City schools on the verge of lapsing. The state Legislature ended session this past week without an extension of the law that will expire at the end of June. A deal could still be reached as the major parties involved continue to negotiate. Governor Andrew Cuomo said Sunday he thinks a deal could be reached before mayoral control lapses. Mayor Bill de Blasio has said talks will reintensify

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  • City Council Considers Subcontractors Bill of Rights

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    Council Member Helen Rosenthal (photo: William Alatriste/New York City Council)


    The City Council’s Committee on Economic Development and the Committee on Contracts held a joint hearing on Thursday to discuss proposed legislation that would create a bill of rights for subcontractors working with the city.

    Intro.1615, sponsored by Council Members Laurie Cumbo,

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  • The Week Ahead in New York Politics, June 19

    New York City Hall

    New York City Hall


    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    This week all eyes are on Albany as the last three scheduled days of the legislative session are Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. The session could extend to the end of the week, but no one expects it to go beyond that. The most pressing issue for New York City and the de Blasio administration, among several top priorities, is an extension of mayoral control of city schools. The legislation allowing mayoral control is set to expire at the end of the month.

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  • The Week Ahead in New York Politics, June 12

    New York City Hall

    New York City Hall

    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    It's crunchtime in Albany, where there are just seven scheduled days of legislative session left: four this week and three the next. What will get done? It's still unclear, though a few high-profile bills have moved lately, including one through both houses that raises the age for marriage in New York. Both houses have also passed a bill related to the state's Freedom of Information Law. Governor Andrew Cuomo vetoed similar legislation in 2015, but

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  • Southern Brooklyn Candidates Pitch Democratic Club

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    City Council Member Gentile (photo: Sam Raskin)


    Brooklyn Democratic office-seekers pitched their candidacies to the Brooklyn Young Democrats (BYD) club at a forum the group hosted in Bay Ridge Wednesday night.

    The event was part of the candidate and club endorsement circuit leading up to the September primary elections for City Council and other offices, including Mayor.

    The BYD meeting featured candidates for several offices, but was centered around the race for City Council in District 43, which includes parts of Bay Ridge and Bensonhurst, along with Bath

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  • The Week Ahead in New York Politics, June 5

    New York City Hall

    New York City Hall


    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    A city budget deal was announced Friday night by Mayor Bill de Blasio and the City Council. As the week begins we're digesting and dissecting that and awaiting full details.

    The City Council holds several committee hearings this week, and there is a full-body Council "Stated" meeting on Thursday at which new bills are introduced and bills that have been passed through committee voted through the full Council.

    Speaking of the

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  • The Week Ahead in New York Politics, May 30

    640px New York City Hall

    New York City Hall


     What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    It’s a fairly quiet post-holiday week in New York. The state Legislature is not in session in Albany this week. Legislators will return to the Capitol on Monday, June 5, with 11 sessions days to go over three weeks. For his part, Governor Andrew Cuomo continues to hold events around the state - he starts his week on Staten Island - see  below for details. 

    The City Council concluded budget hearings last week on Mayor Bill de

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  • City Council Progressive Caucus Sets 18 Policy Goals for 2018

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    The Progressive Caucus conference (photo: Daniel Altschuler‏)


    The City Council’s Progressive Caucus met this week to discuss its 2018 agenda, a set of 18 policy proposals that, its members say, pits them as direct adversaries to President Donald Trump and the Republican-controlled Congress.

    “Now more than ever, it is crucial for local progressive leadership in NYC to set the

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  • Last City Budget Hearing Sets Stage for Final Negotiations

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    Council Member Ferreras-Copeland (photo: John McCarten)


    The City Council held its final hearing on Mayor Bill de Blasio’s $84.86 billion executive budget proposal on Thursday, with Council members raising issues that have persisted throughout budget season and expressing concerns about the federal budget proposal released this week by the Trump administration.

    “The city adopts the Fiscal 2018 budget at a time of great uncertainty about the future of critical programs and services that help many of our most vulnerable populations,” said Council Member Julissa

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  • 4 Interesting Participatory Budgeting Project Winners

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    (photo: Council Member Lander's office)


    After an 11-day window in which over 100,000 residents of pertinent districts cast ballots, the City Council recently announced the winners of the 2016-17 participatory budgeting cycle. Thirty-one of 51 Council districts participated this year, leading to $34 million in capital funds going towards hyper-local projects chosen directly by the districts’ voters.

    A total of 138 projects received funding in this cycle, with most districts backing three to five projects. Some districts awarded funding for many more

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  • Three More State Legislators Seek City Council Seats

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    Sen. Ruben Diaz Sr., left, & AM Mark Gjonaj (photo: @RevRubenDiaz)


    There are only a handful of City Council seats opening up this year due to term limits. Of the seven “open” races in the 51-seat Council, all of which are up for election this fall, several feature state legislators seeking to make the jump to the city’s legislative body.

    Seeking to stay closer to home for work, legislators who now have to commute to Albany several days a week for half the year have declared their candidacies. Entering City Council races to succeed a

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  • The May Money Race in 'Open' City Council Seats

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    City Council candidate Justin Branan, left (photo: @JustinBrannan)


    Primary day for this year’s citywide municipal elections is less than four months away and there are seven “open” City Council seats, out of 51, where the incumbent is term-limited from running again. Each race has numerous candidates, and campaign fundraising has heated up as the election draws closer. Most of the open seat Council races will be all-but-decided in the Democratic primary given the nature of the electorate in the districts at play.

    City Council Members Rosie Mendez (District 2), Dan

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  • The Week Ahead in New York Politics, May 22

    New York City Hall

    New York City Hall

    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    Mayor Bill de Blasio is in the Bronx this week for the second installment of “City Hall in Your Borough.” He was on Staten Island previously for a week of events, constituent office hours, and meetings. See below for his Monday schedule of events. We know of two other events thus far: the de Blasio administration is holding constituent hours and a resource fair on Tuesday morning and a town hall meeting Wednesday night. He's also said to be attending

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  • City Council Members Question Campaign Finance Board Audit Process

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    City Council Member David Greenfield (photo: @NYCCouncil)


    At a City Council hearing on Friday, representatives of the city’s Campaign Finance Board expected to answer questions about their proposed budget for the next fiscal year but instead found themselves defending their processes for post-election auditing of campaigns.

    One of the Campaign Finance Board’s prime functions is to perform detailed examinations of how candidate campaigns utilize funds and whether they adhere to the strict requirements of campaign finance law. These

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  • Bill Would Transform New Yorkers’ Digital Interaction with Government

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    Council Member Ben Kallos, right, has a new API bill (photo: William Alatriste)


    City Council Member Ben Kallos is always looking for ways to make government more efficient and accessible through technology and the use of data. To that end, Kallos, himself a programmer, introduced a bill last week that would require information generated or

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  • The Week Ahead in New York Politics, May 15

    New York City Hall

    New York City Hall

    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    The state Legislature continues its post-budget session in Albany this week -- including Monday there are just 17 days of session left, it ends June 21. There are other events to watch in Albany this week, see below for details.

    In New York City, the City Council continues its hearings this week on Mayor Bill de Blasio's executive budget proposal. The Council and de Blasio must agree on a new city budget by the July 1 start of the new fiscal

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  • Pushing Back, Board of Elections Head Insists on ‘Personal Responsibility’ for Voters

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    Long line of voters (photo: Edwin J. Torres/Mayor's Office)


    The executive director of the New York City Board of Elections said at a City Council budget hearing on Friday that recent failings by the board, revealed in a WNYC report, were not entirely the BOE’s responsibility and that voters in New York needed to step up their participation and involvement in ensuring that their votes count.

    WNYC radio’s Brigid Bergin reported

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  • The Week Ahead in New York Politics, May 8

    New York City Hall

    New York City Hall

    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    The state Legislature continues its post-budget session in Albany this week -- including Monday there are just 20 days of session left, it ends June 21. There are other hearings and events to watch in Albany this week, see below for details. Governor Andrew Cuomo has been spending little time in Albany since the new state budget passed, the governor has been touring the state celebrating the highlights of the budget deal.

    In New York

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  • At First Executive Budget Hearing, Council Pushes Unfunded Priorities

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


    The City Council held its first hearing on Mayor Bill de Blasio’s $84.86 billion executive budget for fiscal year 2018 on Thursday, and Council members gave the mayor a mixed review for his updated spending plan. They praised de Blasio for increasing funding for a number of recommendations made by the Council and for taking steps to control the capital budget. But, Council members expressed concern that crucial priorities remained unfunded, or underfunded, even as the latest budget plan increased projected

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  • The Week Ahead in New York Politics, May 1

    New York City Hall

    New York City Hall

    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    President Donald Trump is due back in New York City for the first time since taking office this week -- see below for details and expect protests, traffic gridlock, and political statements from all corners.

    The State Legislature continues its post-budget legislative session in Albany, with only six weeks to go. There will be legislation announced and bills voted through as early as Monday. Tuesday will see a group of New Yorkers lobbying for

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  • New York City Council to Host Conference of Municipal Legislative Leaders

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    Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito (photo: @NYCCouncil)


    Local legislators from large cities across the country will gather at the New York City Council chambers at City Hall on Friday and Saturday, in a first-of-its-kind conference to exchange ideas on policy, governance and, perhaps most significantly, the challenges cities face under the presidency of Donald Trump.

    City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito first spoke of the conference in her final State of the City speech in February, when she struck a defiant tone against divisive politics and the threats

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  • City Council Examines Data Privacy, Security

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    City Council Member Vacca (seated)


    The Technology Committee of the New York City Council held an oversight hearing Monday on the city’s data privacy policies and data security protocols. A broad variety of more specific topics were covered during the hearing, chaired by Council Member James Vacca, including unauthorized data usage and security breaches; risks related to the expansion of high-speed internet availability and sidewalk wi-fi kiosks; the Worker Connect program that allows New Yorkers to search and apply for public benefits; new efforts at data

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  • The Week Ahead in New York Politics, April 24

    New York City Hall

    New York City Hall


    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    Mayor Bill de Blasio had a busy weekend that took a tragic turn. On Saturday, the mayor made an Earth Day announcement on green jobs and spoke at the Sikh Day Parade. On Sunday, the mayor spoke at two churches and appeared on Univision before heading to Queens Village after a fire there killed five people. The mayor addressed the tragedy after being briefed by his fire commissioner. De Blasio was scheduled to speak

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  • City Council Members Opt Out of Campaign Finance Program

    Lander Council members

    City Council members, with Brad Lander center (photo: William Alatriste)


    A first-time entrant into the New York City electoral system stands almost as much a chance of running a solid campaign as long-time political insiders and incumbents. That’s because the New York City campaign finance system includes a public matching funds program, which helps levels the playing field by incentivizing local small-dollar contributions, matching them at a 6-to-1 ratio. In doing so, it also reduces the influence of special interests in elections and helps

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  • Consulting Firm with Deep City Ties Adds New Class of Clients, Looks National

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    Carlos Menchaca, center, & other Red Horse clients (photo: Samar Khurshid/Gotham Gazette)


    Ritchie Torres became the current New York City Council’s youngest member in 2013 and the first openly-gay representative from the Bronx. Carlos Menchaca joined the legislative body that same year as its first Mexican-American representative, and the first openly-gay member from Brooklyn. Queens Council Member I. Daneek Miller is the Council’s only Muslim representative. All three are men of color and members of the City Council’s

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