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  • City Council To Examine Government Sexual Harassment Policies

    City Council Helen Rosenthal

    Council Member Rosenthal (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    Amid a national reckoning with sexual harassment and misconduct that has led to the downfall of prominent men in media, entertainment, and politics, the New York City Council is turning an eye to its own backyard.

    The City Council will convene a hearing on February 28 to examine best practices

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  • The Week Ahead in New York Politics, February 12

    New York City Hall

    New York City Hall


    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    Mayor Bill de Blasio will give his 2018 State of the City address this week, on Tuesday evening. The first of his second term, de Blasio is expected to talk more about his newly branded quest to make New York City “the fairest big city in America.”

    Budget hearings continue in Albany this week, and the Legislature will also hold session days to introduce and pass legislation on Monday and Tuesday, before taking

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  • Union Square Hub, with 600 Projected Tech Jobs, Appears on Smooth Path to Reality

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    Union Square tech hub rendering via the mayor's office


    This past week, two Manhattan Community Board 3 committees voted to approve the city's application for the proposed Union Square Training Center, also known as the Union Square tech hub, which the de Blasio administration says will create 800 construction jobs and then 600 permanent jobs in the growing technology sector. The land use and economic development committees of CB3 opted not to condition their vote in favor of the proposal on rezoning several blocks south of the proposed project as the

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  • Anti-LGBT City Council Members Given Prominent Positions

    Corey Johnson Fernando Cabrera City Council

    Above: Corey Johnson and Fernando Cabrera (photo: William Alatriste) (photo below: John McCarten)


    When new City Council Speaker Corey Johnson, the first openly gay and openly HIV-positive person to hold the powerful position, unveiled his leadership team and Council committee assignments, he appointed two anti-LGBT Council members to chair committees, and named one to senior leadership in the 51-member legislative body. The moves seemed to have raised few eyebrows despite the stark contrast with Johnson’s life story and

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  • The Week Ahead in New York Politics, February 5

    New York City Hall

    New York City Hall


    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    This week will start off with a bang as Mayor Bill de Blasio makes his annual journey to Albany to testify at a legislative budget hearing. De Blasio has several issues with the executive budget proposal put forth in January by Governor Andrew Cuomo, his fellow Democrat and frequent sparring partner. De Blasio will make clear his state legislative and budget priorities for the year, and answers questions from members

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  • 400 Old and New Bills Introduced at City Council

    Johnson podium stated meeting

    Speaker Johnson (photo: William Alatriste/City Council)


    After weeks of mostly procedural activity to start its new four-year term, the New York City Council convened Wednesday afternoon for its first legislation-focused 2018 meeting, which included discussion and reintroduction of bills from the previous session that had not passed, as well as the introduction of new bills.

    Some of the 408 pieces of legislation reintroduced deal with tenant

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  • Favorable to The Bronx, Council Committee Shuffle Also Seen as Retribution

    Kallos Salamanca City Council

    Council Members Ben Kallos, left, and Rafael Salamanca (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    When new City Council Speaker Corey Johnson reshuffled committee portfolios earlier this month, Council Member Ben Kallos lost his position as chair of the Committee on Governmental Operations. Sources say the move was punishment for Kallos’ approach to Board of Elections commissioner nominations and because of his support for one of Johnson’s opponents in the speaker race.

    By virtually all accounts, Kallos had done an exceptional job chairing

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  • Bronx Rezoning Moves to City Council as Negotiations Enter Final Stages

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    Jerome Ave corridor rezoning, via City Planning


    The City Planning Commission voted January 17 to approve a comprehensive rezoning plan for the Jerome Avenue corridor in the Bronx, putting the proposal before the City Council for scrutiny in the final stretch of the lengthy land use review process. The rezoning would follow four others ushered through by the de Blasio administration as it somewhat controversially seeks to add housing density, including thousands of new affordable units, and make other investments in mostly low-income communities across the five

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  • City Council Members Outline Priorities for New Term

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    City Council members (photo: William Alatriste/City Council)


    The New York City Council is gearing up for a new agenda under Speaker Corey Johnson, with several newly created committees and fresh faces in the legislative body. As the Council begins to schedule its first committee hearings and readies for the reintroduction of legislation from the last session, there are a number of priorities that Council members are planning to pursue. Returning members say they want to pass bills that have been pending and build on their work from the last four

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  • The Week Ahead in New York Politics, January 22

    New York City Hall

    New York City Hall


    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    This week, all eyes are on Washington D.C. as the federal government shut down Saturday after Democrats and Republicans failed to come to an agreement over government spending. The key issue in the shutdown fight is immigration reform and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), a program that allows undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children to avoid deportation and to receive work permits.

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  • Max & Murphy Podcast: City Council Member Ritchie Torres on The New Council & His New Role

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


    January 17, 2018 - Max & Murphy Podcast: City Council Member Ritchie Torres

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    Bronx City Council Member Ritchie Torres is very excited about the new class of the City Council and his role in it -- he's been named by new Speaker Corey Johnson to chair the Committee on Oversight and Investigations, with a promise to beef the

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  • The Week Ahead in New York Politics, January 15

    New York City Hall

    New York City Hall


    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    This week begins with celebrations and rememberances of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Tuesday will see Governor Andrew Cuomo present his Executive Budget for the 2018-2019 fiscal year that begins April 1. We'll be not only watching the presentation and the details of the budget, but how Mayor Bill de Blasio and others in the city react to Cuomo's fiscal plan, which is a starting point of hearings and negotiations with

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  • New City Council Committee Chairs Have Plenty on Their Plates

    City Council Speaker Corey Johnson members

    Members of th new City Council with Speaker Johnson (photo: William Alatriste/City Council)


    The new class of the New York City Council took greater shape on Thursday with the appointment of chairs and members to the 40-plus committees and subcommittees that oversee the broad legislative, land use, and oversight roles of the 51-member body. Most returning Council members were reassigned to lead different committees while

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  • Now Pursuing Diversity, New City Council Speaker Has Employed Mostly White Men

    Speaker Corey Johnson

    Speaker Corey Johnson (photo: William Alatriste/City Council)


    Corey Johnson’s ascension to speaker of the New York City Council came amid concerns by elected officials and activists that yet another white man would be in a seat of leadership in a majority-minority city where the mayor and comptroller, two of three citywide elected officials, are also white men. During his pursuit of the position against several men of color and amid citywide outcry over the gender imbalance in the City Council, Johnson promised to ensure a diverse senior leadership

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  • Max & Murphy Podcast: New City Council Members Justin Brannan & Carlina Rivera

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


    January 10, 2018 - Max & Murphy Podcast: New City Council Members Justin Brannan & Carlina Rivera

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    Justin Brannan and Carlina Rivera are two of the City Council's new members, elected last year and inaugurated at the start of this year. Each succeeded a term-limited Council member that they worked for as an aide, so they

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  • City Council Names New Leadership, Committee Chairs and Members

    Corey Johnson Speaker City Council chambers

    City Council chambers (photo: William Alatriste/City Council)


    New City Council Speaker Corey Johnson, a Manhattan Democrat, outlined his leadership team and Council committee chair and membership assignments on Thursday. Johnson named Brooklyn Council Member Laurie Cumbo, a close ally and friend, as Majority Leader. Majority Whip will be Council Member Fernando Cabrera of the Bronx; the Democratic Conference Chair, a new position, will be filled by Brooklyn Council Member Robert Cornegy, Jr.; Brooklyn Council Member

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  • Initial Johnson Move Signifies Changing of the Guard at City Council

    Speaker Corey Johnson press conference

    Council Speaker Corey Johnson, at podium (photos: William Alatriste)


    Just after he was elected Speaker of the City Council on January 3, Corey Johnson had some initial business to take care of: naming a temporary rules committee, including a chairperson. And in this first official decision in his new role, Johnson made a relatively small but important move that is emblematic of the broad shift in the City Council and

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  • Corey Johnson Elected Speaker of the City Council

    corey johnson moments after being elected speaker of the city council cfredit william alatriste

    Speaker Corey Johnson (photo: William Alatriste/City Council)


    City Council Member Corey Johnson, a Manhattan Democrat, was elected speaker of the New York City Council with near unanimous support on Wednesday, becoming the first leader of the 51-member legislative body who is an openly gay man and openly HIV-positive.

    Johnson took the helm at the first charter meeting of the new Council

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  • Corey Johnson’s Record and Promises

    corey oath of office

    Corey Johnson takes the oath of office (photo: The City Council)


    City Council Member Corey Johnson is expected to be elected the next speaker of the New York City Council on Wednesday, January 3, and will take the powerful office with a busy first-term legislative record and having made a slew of public promises during the speaker race that are likely to be watched closely by supporters, detractors, and others.

    Johnson, a Democrat re-elected for a second term in November, was one of eight Council members running for speaker, but he became the

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  • Melissa Mark-Viverito, a Mayor-Made Speaker, Sought a Member-Driven Legacy

    Mayor de Blasio Speaker Mark-Viverito

    (photo: William Alatriste/City Council)


    Melissa Mark-Viverito, the first Latina to preside over the 51-member New York City Council, leaves office having shepherded a progressive shift in the city’s direction, in conjunction with fellow Democrat Mayor Bill de Blasio, a philosophically aligned partner in government who was the deciding factor in her winning the powerful speaker position four years ago.

    As arguably the second most powerful elected official in the city, Mark-Viverito oversaw an agenda of progressivism

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  • Max & Murphy Podcast: City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito

    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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  • Rules Reform Package Supported by 33 Current and Incoming City Council Members

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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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  • Congratulations and Consternation as City Council Ends Term

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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 Act: Progress and Disappointment

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    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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  • Bills Seek to Examine NYPD Interactions with ‘Emotionally Disturbed Persons,’ Prevent Tragedies

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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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