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  • The March Money Race in ‘Open’ City Council Seats

    velazquez

    Marjorie Velazquez (photo: Samar Khurshid/Gotham Gazette)


    In a February special election, Harlemites voted then-state Senator Bill Perkins to fill a City Council seat vacated by Inez Dickens, who had been previously elected to the state Assembly. Heading toward the regularly-scheduled September primary elections and November general, there are now seven “open” City Council seats in the 51-seat body. These are seats in which the current occupants are term-limited and unable to run for reelection.

    Council Members Rosie Mendez (District 2), Dan Garodnick (District 4),

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  • The Week Ahead in New York Politics, March 20

    New York City Hall

    New York City Hall


    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    The New York political world is still reeling from and reacting to the news that Mayor Bill de Blasio and his aides will not be charged in either of two investigations into their behavior. Comptroller Scott Stringer has said definitively he is running for reelection, Gov. Andrew Cuomo has said it’s time to move on to

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  • The Week Ahead in New York Politics, March 13

    New York City Hall

    New York City Hall


    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    The week starts with many eyes on Preet Bharara, who was fired Saturday from his position as United State Attorney for the Southern District of New York. Bharara refused to resign when asked to along with the country's 45 other U.S. attorneys appointed by President Barack Obama, as is common practice when a new federal administration omes into power. Bharara's lone refusal, though, came under special circumstances: in

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  • Growing Office of Civil Justice a Focus of Council Budget Hearing

    Gibson Lander Council

    Coucil Member Vanessa Gibson, right (photo: William Alatriste)


    New York City’s civil legal services went under the microscope Tuesday at a hearing held by the City Council’s Courts and Legal Services Committee. One in a series of City Council hearings on Mayor Bill de Blasio’s $84.67 preliminary budget, the committee heard from representatives of the Department for Social Services about its programs and budget needs.

    Testifying before the committee, DSS Commissioner Steve Banks delineated his department’s spending, focusing specifically on

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  • Investigations Commissioner Lays Out Budget Needs For Agency

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    DOI Commissioner Mark Peters (photo: @DOInews)


    At a City Council preliminary budget hearing on Thursday, Department of Investigation Commissioner Mark Peters laid out new funding and staffing needs for his agency, which is facing a $5 million proposed reduction in its fiscal year 2018 allocation by Mayor Bill de Blasio.

    The proposed preliminary budget for the Department of Investigation (DOI), the watchdog body that monitors and probes public corruption and other wrongdoing at 45 city agencies, is $41.7 million, down from

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  • Investing in the Parks System New York City Deserves

    Mark Levine Council Parks

    Council Member Levine, the author (photo: William Alatriste)


    The numbers are startling: 42 million visitors per year in Central Park -- double the number of visitors to Disney World. Over 7 million people visit the High Line annually and 5 million visit Bryant Park. On a peak summer weekend 127,000 visit Brooklyn Bridge Park.

    Park use in New York City is surging. And with the population in the five boroughs continuing to grow and tourism booming, this trend will surely continue.

    But the story is not the same

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  • The Week Ahead in New York Politics, March 6

    New York City Hall

    New York City Hall


    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    As the week begins, Governor Andrew Cuomo is in Israel on an "economic development and unity trip." Cuomo left Saturday and is due back on Monday.

    Mayor Bill de Blasio has also been traveling -- the mayor was in Chicago on Friday for a fundraiser, a meeting with Mayor Rahm Emanuel, and a speech at the City Club of Chicago; he then traveled over the weekend holding fundraisers in Florida and California. De Blasio is due back in New York City on

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  • 'External Risks Threaten NYC Budget,’ State Comptroller Says

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    State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli (photo: @NYSComptroller)


    As City Council hearings on Mayor Bill de Blasio’s preliminary budget plan began Thursday morning at City Hall, state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli released a new report on the city’s finances. “External risks threaten NYC budget,” the report blares, raising additional red flags to those already in the air courtesy of de Blasio’s own budget office, city Comptroller Scott Stringer, and others.

    DiNapoli’s report, “Review of the Financial Plan of the City of New York,” is part of his job

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  • Candidates for 2017 City Elections

    de blasio voting 2017 elections

    Mayor de Blasio signs in to vote (photo: Ed Reed/Mayor's Office)


    With the 2016 elections behind us and 2017 here, the focus in New York City is turning to this year's city election cycle. There will be dozens of races on the ballot for primaries in September and the general election in November, including Mayor Bill de Blasio’s attempt at re-election.

    The other citywide positions of Public Advocate and Comptroller will also be voted on, as well as all five Borough Presidents, all 51 City Council seats, and two District Attorney positions

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  • Several Points of Funding Contention for City Budget Negotiation

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    Mayor de Blasio presents his budget (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    The city’s annual budget season kicked off on January 25 with the release of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s $84.7 billion preliminary budget for fiscal year 2018, which begins July 1. Starting Thursday, the City Council will hold weeks of hearings to examine the financial plan,

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  • The Week Ahead in New York Politics, February 27

    New York City Hall

    New York City Hall


    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    After a somewhat slow Presidents Day week in which both the City Council and State Legislature were out of session, this week is a busy one, with the Legislature meeting in Albany and a variety of City Council hearings, including the start of preliminary budget hearings.

    Mayor Bill de Blasio is back in town after a trip to Atlanta where he was whipping votes for Keith Ellison for Democratic National Committee

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  • Community Group Endorses Four Women of Color for ‘Open’ City Council Seats

    rivera velazquez

    Carlina Rivera, left, & Marjorie Velazquez, center (photo: @CarlinaRivera)


    In an effort to promote women’s representation on the City Council, the political arm of one of New York’s largest grassroots immigrant advocacy organizations has endorsed four women of color running for “open” Council seats this year.

    Make the Road Action (MRA), the political affiliate of Make the Road New York, a group that represents about 20,000 Latinos in New York City and Long Island, will announce its endorsement on Friday for four progressive City Council candidates - Carlina Rivera,

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  • The Week Ahead in New York Politics, February 20

    640px New York City Hall

    New York City Hall


    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    As usual, the Presidents' Day week will be a slow one as both the New York City Council and the state Legislature will be on break. Over the weekend, however, elected officials were busy in Albany, as the Legislature's Black, Latino, and Asian Caucus held its annual Caucus Weekend celebration and conference. The event had a distinctly anti-Donald Trump flavor to it, with dozens of speeches critical of the

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  • In Final State of the City Speech, Mark-Viverito Vows Resistance

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


    City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito vowed defiance against President Donald Trump’s immigration policies and promised to uplift and empower New York City’s immigrant population in her final State of the City speech at the Kings Theater in Brooklyn on Thursday.

    Mark-Viverito, the first Latina speaker of the body, has 10 months left on the job before she is term-limited out of the Council. On Thursday, she sought to cement her legacy and inspire with her speech, titled “Who We Are,” that recognized the

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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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  • The Week Ahead in New York Politics, February 13

    Gotham Gazette:

    New York City Hall


    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    Mayor Bill de Blasio will deliver his State of the City speech on Monday evening at the Apollo Theater in Harlem, likely touting the accomplishments of his first three years in office as he gets ready to face reelection later this year. In announcements last Friday and over the weekend, the mayor revealed a few of the major initiatives he will include in his speech -- a $1.9 billion investment to increase affordability at 10,000 units of

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  • The Week Ahead in New York Politics, February 6

    New York City Hall

    New York City Hall


    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    One of the big stories this week is what is happening in the fight over the city’s fee on plastic and paper carryout bags that is supposed to go into effect February 15 but state lawmakers are moving to block. Both houses of the state Legislature are set to pass legislation stopping the implementation of the nickel-per-bag fee, much to the disappointment of environmentalists, Mayor Bill de Blasio, and City Council

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  • The Early Money Race in ‘Open’ City Council Seats

    City Council chambers

    City Council chambers (photo: Sofie Hecht/Gotham Gazette)


    With seven sitting New York City Council members facing term limits and one having left the Council to join the state Assembly, this year’s municipal elections will feature a number of competitive open races and will bring fresh blood into the city’s legislative body.

    While the vast majority of those in the Council’s 51 seats can run for another term this year, and most are, the open seats will see the bulk of the electoral competition for the City Council.

    Come January, the Council will

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  • The Week Ahead in New York Politics, January 30

    New York City Hall

    New York City Hall


    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    The week begins after many New Yorkers spent portions of the weekend protesting President Donald Trump's executive orders on immigration, which seek to bar for a period of time refugees from Syria and immigrants from several Muslim-majority countries, and increase deportations of certain classifications of immigrants. After a major impromptu protest at Kennedy Airport on Saturday, there was a rally at Battery Park on

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  • Open Data Compliance the Focus at Oversight Hearing

    james vacca technology open data

    City Council Member Vacca (photo: @JamesVacca13)


    The New York City Council’s Committee on Technology held an oversight hearing Tuesday to evaluate the progress being made by the city in tracking compliance by government agencies with the city’s open data law.

    The Mayor’s Office of Data Analytics (MODA) has been conducting what is essentially an audit, the “Examination and Verification Plan,” to gauge each agency’s status regarding its publication of required data sets on the Open Data Portal, an

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  • The Week Ahead in New York Politics, January 23

    New York City Hall

    New York City Hall


    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    As the week begins, President Donald Trump administration continues to take shape, with key cabinet nominees in limbo as the Senate considers them. Trump has promised a wave of early executive orders to rescind orders President Obama issued. He began this effort soon after being sworn in on Friday, but is expected to increase the volume significantly early this week. Over the weekend, Trump and his spokespeople

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  • Early in Albany Session, Plastic Bag Fee Sparks Home Rule Debate

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    Senator Felder & opponents of the bag fee (photo: Scott Reif)


    An attempt by lawmakers in Albany to prevent the New York City Council from imposing a fee on plastic and paper bags at retail stores has reignited a debate over home rule and the state government’s interference in the work of a democratically elected local legislative body.  

    The New York State Senate passed a bill on Tuesday that prohibits “the

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  • Council Member Airs Weekly Radio Show Through Campaign Funds

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    City Council Member David Greenfield (photo: William Alatriste)


    For elected officials, there is no shortage of means to communicate with constituents and the broader public, whether through modern lines of social media or more traditional newspaper op-eds or television appearances and ads. But even now, radio is one method of communication that has endured as a choice for elected officials in New York City and beyond. One City Council member, though, has taken a novel approach to radio by hosting a weekly show paid through campaign funds.

    Council Member David

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  • The Week Ahead in New York Politics, January 16

    New York City Hall

    New York City Hall


    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    The week begins with the Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday, and many celebrations and services around the city, state, and country. Mayor Bill de Blasio will speak at three different events to mark the holiday, then appear in the evening on NY1. Later in the week, de Blasio is set to participate on Thursday in a large New York City rally aimed at sending a message to the incoming Trump administration -- see details

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  • The Week Ahead in New York Politics, January 9

    New York City Hall

    New York City Hall


    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    This week in New York politics will be dominated by Governor Andrew Cuomo, who is giving six regional State of the State addresses. Before we turn to New York politics, though, there's also a lot to watch for in national politics this week: President Barack Obama is giving his farewell address Tuesday night and cabinet nominations by President-elect Donald Trump face confirmation hearings throughout the

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