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Gotham Gazette

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Inez Dickens

Inez Dickens

  • Adjusting to Albany: Meet NYC’s New Class of State Legislators

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    photo via @NYSCapitolTours


    While the ethics trainings and orientation for new state legislators may have evolved over the years, one thing has remained constant: the daunting task of navigating the Capitol’s maze-like corridors during one’s first weeks of work in Albany.

    Orientation provides some roadmap to Albany’s byzantine legislative processes, including workshops in drafting bills, organizing a press conference, and conducting research, and legislative staffers are provided for support, but it can take a few

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  • Holland to Challenge Perkins in Primary for Harlem Council Seat

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    Marvin Holland (Photo via Holland's campaign)


    Union organizer Marvin Holland, the runner up in Tuesday’s special election for the District 9 City Council seat, has confirmed to Gotham Gazette that he will mount a challenge against the winner Bill Perkins when the seat is up for grabs again later this year.

    The District 9 seat in Harlem was recently vacated by Inez Dickens, who was elected to the state Assembly, leaving just one year left in the term. A nonpartisan special election for the seat was held on Feb. 14 with nine candidates on the ballot. State Senator

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  • Special Election for Harlem City Council Seat Kicks Off

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    Council candidate Marvin Holland, right, with Sylvia Tyler (photo via Holland on Twitter)


    It’s going to be a sprint of an election -- though it’s not clear how many candidates are running or how many voters will participate -- with ballots likely to be cast sometime in February.

    The election of New York City Council Member Inez Dickens to the State Assembly creates an open seat in Council District 9 in Harlem, and a number of contenders have thrown their hats in the ring. As soon as Dickens officially vacates her Council seat, Mayor

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  • Keith Wright Weighs Options Amid Uptown Power Shifts

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    Keith Wright and Inez Dickens (photo via Wright's Assembly page)


    Before Assemblymember Keith Wright had conceded to Sen. Adriano Espaillat in their congressional race, speculation had already begun about which seat Wright would seek next if not victorious. Wright eliminated one option when he pledged in the heat of the race to replace retiring Rep. Charles Rangel that he would not seek reelection to the Assembly seat he has held since 1992. Wright challenged Espaillat to do the same

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  • Rangel’s Replacement Decided, Other Uptown Races Take Shape

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    Espaillat & co at unity press conference (photo via @EspaillatNY)


    After 46 years and 23 terms, voters in the 13th Congressional District in Harlem have chosen someone other than Rep. Charles Rangel to represent them. The retiring 86-year-old, a legendary figure in Harlem’s political scene, appeared to want to extend his legacy by keeping the seat he had held for decades in the hands of an experienced politician of his choosing, but changing community demographics, a 2012 redistricting, and a crowded 2016

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  • Community Engagement Prized by Participatory Budgeting Proponents

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    Council Member Menchaca with a constituent (photo: William Alatriste)


    For City Council Member Carlos Menchaca and his staff, the Participatory Budgeting Vote Week that just ended was the culmination of a year-long effort to encourage project proposals and votes from communities that are traditionally excluded from politics. Through PB, community members decide how $1-2 million in funding is allocated toward neighborhood improvements. Menchaca’s district, which includes immigrant-rich Brooklyn neighborhoods of Sunset Park and Red Hook, is one

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  • Participatory Budgeting Grows in NYC - Why Isn’t Every Council Member Doing It?

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    PB voting in East Harlem, photo via PB NYC


    In four years participatory budgeting has exploded from four to 27 New York City Council districts. With over 51,000 voters casting ballots last cycle to allocate a total of $32 million dollars to projects across the city, New York‘s experiment in direct democracy has quickly become the largest of its kind in North America.

    "This is the biggest year of participatory budgeting yet, with 27 Council members asking their constituents to

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