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City Council

City Council

  • 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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  • peter rosa huberty google earth

    1019 Bushwick Avenue (via Google Maps)


    In October, the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission voted to designate the Peter P. and Rosa M. Huberty House, at 1019 Bushwick Avenue in Brooklyn, as a city landmark.

    “The designation of the Huberty House honors both the historic character of Bushwick Avenue as it developed in the early 20th century, as well as the contributions of architect Ulrich Huberty to the borough of Brooklyn," LPC Chair Meenakshi Srinivasan said at the time. “Today's landmark designation will preserve

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  • Helen Rosenthal women

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


    As the nation grapples with how to confront sexual misconduct, the New York City Council is addressing the issue in its oversight and legislative capacities. On Wednesday, Council members held a press conference and subsequent hearing on “best practices” for preventing sexual harassment, identifying current city government protocols, and considering a slate of new legislation.

    The 45-minute press conference outside City Hall featured about a dozen Council members, along

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  • Corey Johnson Mark-Viverito City Council

    Speaker Johnson and former Speaker Mark-Viverito (photo: William Alatriste/City Council)


    The Manhattan Democratic County Committee is dropping a lawsuit against the New York City Council over a nomination for a commissioner to the Board of Elections.

    In December, the Manhattan Democratic Party, led by Chair Keith Wright, filed a legal challenge against then-Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito’s attempt to confirm her preferred candidate to a Manhattan BOE commissioner seat over the county party’s choice. A lawyer for the

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  • New York City Hall

    New York City Hall


    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    It's a very busy week in New York politics, including a packed week at the City Council, two days of legislative session in Albany, and much more. The week spans the final days of February and first days of March, which is the key month for budget negotiations in the state capital - the new state fiscal year begins April 1. Expect state budget discussions to heat up mid-March, but there are ongoing negotiations,

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  • 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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  • 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 tech hub

    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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