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Gotham Gazette

The Place for New York Policy and politics

 

City Council

City Council

  • New York City Hall

    New York City Hall


    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    Monday marks exactly three weeks until the April 1 start of the new state fiscal year, by which time a new state budget is due. Negotiations among the two houses of the Legislature and Governor Andrew Cuomo have already heated up, with key policy and funding issues outstanding, and the two Democratic legislative majorities set to introduce their one-house budget resolutions on Monday.

    There are four legislative

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  • cm i barron meeting

    Council Member Inez Barron (photo: William Alatriste/City Council)


    City Council members on Thursday questioned administrators for the City University of New York as part of a preliminary budget hearing regarding the public university system, which is funded through a variety of sources including city, state, and federal dollars, as well as tuition.

    The hearing was helmed by Higher Education Committee Chair Inez Barron, who represents parts of Brooklyn, is a Hunter College graduate and former public school teacher, and has ...

  • city council j mccarten premlim

    (Photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    City Council Speaker Corey Johnson appeared frustrated on Wednesday with the de Blasio administration budget at the Council’s first hearing to examine the mayor’s $92.2 billion preliminary budget proposal for the 2020 fiscal year, which begins July 1 of this year.

    Mayor Bill de Blasio released his preliminary budget proposal last month ...

  • citycouncil r bay

    Speaker Johnson (photo: William Alatriste/City Council)


    New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson unveiled an ambitious proposal for municipal control of the city’s mass transit system on Tuesday at his first State of the City speech at LaGuardia Community College in Queens.

    “I am not here to be typical,” Johnson, who is considering a run for mayor in 2021, promised early on as he delivered a speech focused on nothing but transit, including a forceful push for replacing the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, the state entity that controls the

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  • New York City Hall

    New York City Hall


    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    As the week begins, school is closed in New York City and much of the city and state will be focused on the Sunday-into-Monday snowstorm that is expected, and the government response to it. Keep in mind that some if not all Monday events may be canceled.

    We’re less than a month from the date, April 1, when a new state budget is due. As the State Legislature looks to continue moving bills over the next few weeks on issues like criminal justice

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  • city council sp co jo

    Speaker Johnson (photo: Jeff Reed/City Council)


    The New York City Council’s Democratic conference held on Thursday what officials said was its first ever public vote to appoint three new commissioners to the New York City Board of Elections.

    The BOE is a quasi-city agency, funded in the city budget but governed by state law. It has ten commissioners -- two from every borough, with one each recommended by the Democratic and Republican parties and appointed by the City Council for four-year terms. The board’s executive director is chosen by the

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  • New York City Hall

    New York City Hall


    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    The Public Advocate special election is Tuesday!

    The election is open to all registered voters across the city. Very low turnout is expected. Make a plan and be ready to vote!
    -Find all of Gotham Gazette's coverage of the election here.
    -...

  • Justin Brannan

    Justin Brannan, the author (photo: @JustinBrannan)


    Talk is cheap. The city needs to pay up.

    We have all been impacted by the important work of hundreds of human services providers across the city, many of which are deeply rooted in our communities. These vital non-profit organizations deliver services to New York City’s most vulnerable – the poor, the hungry, the homeless, our children, our grandparents. The clear and powerful impact of this sector makes it easy for politicians to praise the services these non-profits provide — but such talk is cheap if you

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  • birdride inc

    (photo: @BirdRide)


    With Governor Andrew Cuomo proposing the legalization of electric bikes and scooters in New York and the New York City Council considering several bills to achieve that goal, the two prominent e-scooter firms looking to do business in the state are ramping up efforts to lobby lawmakers and other officials.

    Bird and Lime are barnstorming New York with lobbyists as they seek to expand into what could be a massively profitable market. The e-scooter companies have already established a presence in hundreds of cities across the United States and

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  • Ampry-Samuel NYCHA

    Alicka Ampry-Samuel (photo: Jeff Reed/City Council)


    As Mayor Bill de Blasio recently announced his “NYCHA 2.0” plan to secure the future of the city’s public housing authority, an agreement with the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development that includes a new federal monitor of NYCHA, and a new interim chair to lead the authority, the City Council member charged with oversight of NYCHA has some questions.

    Alicka Ampry-Samuel is the chair of the City Council’s public housing committee and represents parts of central

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  • ruben diaz sr comm vehicles

    (Photo: John McCarten/NYC Council)


    In a rare move on Wednesday, the New York City Council voted to dissolve a standing committee after its chair, Council Member Ruben Diaz Sr., made homophobic remarks in a recent radio interview and repeatedly refused to apologize for them in the days after.

    Diaz Sr., a Pentecostal minister with a long history of anti-LGBT positions and actions, said last week in the radio interview that the City Council is “controlled by the homosexual community," ...

  • cm rtorres funding

    Council Member Ritchie Torres (photo: Emil Cohen/City Council)


    The polarizing issue of local retailers going cashless has gotten the attention of New York City Council members, and on Thursday a Council committee will hear testimony on the topic and consider competing legislative proposals.

    The Committee on Consumer Affairs and Business Licensing, chaired by Council Member Rafael Espinal, a Brooklyn Democrat, will hear the bills for the first time. One, ...

  • New York City Hall

    New York City Hall


    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    This week looks like it will be dominated by several storylines:

    -Controversy over comments made by City Council Member Reverend Ruben Diaz, Sr. that the City Council is "controlled by the homosexual community," as reported

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  • Holden Yeger City Council

    Council Members Holden, right, and Yeger (photo: Emil Cohen/City Council)


    The City Council recently held its second in a two-part oversight hearing on the city’s 311 system, the country’s largest non-emergency call center. City Council Speaker Corey Johnson and City Council Member Fernando Cabrera, the chair of the governmental operations committee, led both hearings. While the first hearing focused on system upgrades to 311 that are in process and language

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  • council mem just brannan irish

    Council Member Justin Brannan (photo: John McCarten\City Council)


    Sally Kabel was diagnosed with infant leukemia at ten months old, the treatment for which led to seizures, three broken bones, and a weak immune system. She developed epilepsy, and after her third bout of pneumonia she required continuous oxygen support. None of this stopped her from going to school more than complications with her school bus, according to her mother, Nicole Kabel.

    After missing the first day at Manhattan Star Academy on the Upper West SIde

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  • New York City Hall

    New York City Hall


    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    This week the state Legislature will continue its very busy start to the year, including more budget hearings, while Governor Andrew Cuomo will give a speech in Manhattan on Thursday.

    The main event of the week might be the first debate in the special election for Public Advocate, which will take place ...

  • johnson council

    (Photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    The New York City Council wants a voice in picking the commissioner of the NYPD, more independence for ethics and oversight agencies, and greater power over the city budget.

    Those are among the recommendations that the City Council made in a new report to the 2019 Charter Revision Commission, seeking amendments to the city’s governing document that would broadly strengthen the powers

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  • barclays center ground

    An Atlantic Yards groundbreaking (photo: Spencer T Tucker)


    More public participation might help. So might ULURP. But rigorous skepticism is more important.

    It was fascinating, having watched in 2004 and 2005 two New York City Council subcommittee hearings on the announced Brooklyn Atlantic Yards project, to see the Council's Committee on Ecomomic Development, with the Speaker prominent, on December 12 take a distinctly

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  • New York City Hall

    New York City Hall


    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    This week the fast pace of action early in the new Albany legislative session will continue, as Democrats now in control of both houses and the governor's office move ahead with more of their policy agenda. This week's highlights will include the Child Victims Act and several gun control bills. See below for more.

    In New York City, it's the 2019 "City Hall in Your Borough" week in the Bronx. Mayor Bill de

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  • maybloocustomer

    former Mayor Bloomberg at 311 (photo: Edward Reed)


    The city’s 311 non-emergency call center for information about city services and to lodge complaints is nearing a mid-year re-launch, its first major overhaul since being introduced by Mayor Michael Bloomberg in 2003. The revamped system, estimated to debut in July, will modernize 311’s currently outdated system that limits its capability to assist New Yorkers. The next iteration of the system will eventually allow for increased language access, user accounts to track inquiries and complaints, and a better app

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  • lander rosenthal

    (photos: Emil Cohen & John McCarten/City Council)


    New York City Council Member Brad Lander, a Democrat from Brooklyn, has declared his intention to run for city Comptroller in the 2021 election, joining Council Member Helen Rosenthal, a Manhattan Democrat, as the only declared candidates in the race.

    The 2021 municipal election will lead to a sea change in city government, with all three citywide positions on the ballot along with the five borough president posts and all 51 City Council seats, about three dozen of which will be “open” due to term

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  • nycczerohearingsl

    City Council Member Stephen Levin (photo via New York City Council)


    Mayor Bill de Blasio owes hundreds of thousands of dollars to lawyers who helped him during legal investigations that ultimately resulted in no criminal charges against the mayor, but left him with bills to pay even after he reversed course and decided to use public funds to cover the portion of his legal expenses related to his government work. The remaining balance, for work related to campaign activity de Blasio was involved with that was the subject of part of the inquiries, has left de

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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 with the Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday, which will include many commemorative events acoss the city and state.

    The week will feature a lot of action at the Democratically-controlled state Legislature in Albany, on Tuesday and Wednesday, as both houses continue to pass bills that have not moved in past sessions when Republicans controlled the state Senate, and at the New York City Council,

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  • New York City Hall

    New York City Hall


    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    While there is a lot going on, the main event this week will be Governor Andrew Cuomo’s State of the State address and executive budget presentation, set for Tuesday afternoon in Albany. Cuomo, who reportedly moved up the speech by about two weeks due to the Legislature’s plans to start moving significant bills, has already outlined a lengthy and ambitious policy agenda, and he has been adding to it in recent

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  • mbdbgovanmcuomo lic

    Mayor de Blasio at the Amazon announcement (photo: Ed Reed/Mayor's Office)


    “I’m concerned about [New York] City being a sanctuary city, and your stated concern for New York City’s immigrants, and the contradiction of inviting one of ICE’s largest tech providers into our city.” That’s how Amy from Queens asked Mayor de Blasio about Amazon’s relationship with ICE (U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement) on WNYC’s The Brian Lehrer Show last Friday.  

    Mayor de Blasio told Amy, “If it turns out that Amazon has a contractual relationship with

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