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City Council

  • Council Speaker Candidates Hesitant to Criticize or Reform Party-Controlled Board of Elections

    City Council chambers with members

    photo by William Alatriste/City Council


    The New York City Board of Elections has widely been acknowledged as a dysfunctional agency in need of urgent and sweeping reform, yet the political will for modernizing and professionalizing the board has not existed, at least in part because its current structure benefits those in power.

    Its system of appointments based on political patronage has long been a source of criticism and its mismanagement of election operations has frustrated voters and been the subject of City

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  • The Week Ahead in New York Politics, December 11

    New York City Hall

    New York City Hall


    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    This week starts a two-week sprint to what amounts to the end of the political year: Friday, December 22. Though there will be some political business Christmas week, and a deal to crown the next Speaker of the City Council could be announced any time before the January 3 vote, most of the rest of the political activity for the year (and thus the four-year city term) will take place this week and next. That includes a

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  • City Council Speaker Candidates, All Men, Promise Gender Equity if Victorious

    City Council speaker candidates

    The City Council speaker candidates (photo: William Alatriste)


    At the last public forum in the race to become the next speaker of the City Council, seven of the eight men contending for the Council’s top leadership spot took turns making their argument for why they would be the right person to continue Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito’s legacy of protecting and promoting the cause of women, transgender, and non-gender conforming New Yorkers. Though few new ideas emerged, for nearly two hours, the seven Council members pitched their progressive

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  • Council Members Announce Legislation to Root Out Sexual Misconduct in City Government

    rosenthal levine sexual harassment legislation

    Council Members Rosenthal and Levine (photo: Samar Khurshid/Gotham Gazette)


    Amid a national outcry against sexual assault and sexual harassment, including in the workplace -- intensified by numerous accusations against sitting members of Congress that have resulted in two resignations thus far -- members of the New York City Council are stepping up to combat, prevent and expose any cases of sexual misconduct within their own ranks and that of the gargantuan city government.

    A series of

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  • Inside the Fundraising and Spending of the City Council Speaker Candidates

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    City Council Speaker candidates (photo: William Alatriste)


    The eight men running to become the next speaker of the City Council are all Democrats who were re-elected in November to serve a final term in the body. None of them faced a strong challenger in their respective races, either in the primaries, which are largely determinative of overall results, or in the November 7 general election. Nevertheless, a few of the candidates raised significant campaign cash and spent it just as liberally as if they were running competitive races. As Gotham Gazette has

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  • Max & Murphy Podcast: City Council Member Elizabeth Crowley

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


    December 5, 2017 - Max & Murphy podcast: City Council Member Elizabeth Crowley

    liz crowley podcast 277

    City Council Member Elizabeth Crowley was elected in 2008, the first woman and first Democrat to represent her Queens district. She's chaired the Council's Fire and Criminal Justice Committee, holding hearings on Rikers Island jails and much more,

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  • High Stakes for Affordable Housing in City Council Speaker Race

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    Robert Cornegy (far right) at a City Council Speaker forum (photo: @RobertCornegyJr)


    Eight members of the New York City Council are asking their colleagues to elect them as the new Speaker after the new legislative body is seated January 1.

    Seven of the candidates oppose allowing Airbnb and other on-line platforms to continue their assault on our scarce affordable rental housing. But one of them, Robert Cornegy, Jr. of Brooklyn, does not.

    In ...

  • De Blasio Administration Disappoints at Rikers Hearing

    martin 10 years sucks via close rikers

    Glenn Martin & JustLeadershipUSA (photo: @GlennEMartin)


    New Yorkers depend on City Council hearings to hold agencies accountable and to demand transparency from the mayor’s administration. On Monday, what the City Council members of the Fire and Criminal Justice Committee got instead was a dismissive attitude cushioned in lofty rhetoric from a mayor’s office that seems unwilling or unable to make closing the jails on Rikers Island a priority.

    Time after time, representatives from Mayor Bill de

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  • New York City Now Has Its Own Legal Parameters for ‘Disorderly Conduct’

    vanessa gibson city council john mccarten

    Council Member Vanessa Gibson (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    A City Council bill that creates an alternative to the state’s “disorderly conduct” statute, and mandates lower punishment for the infraction, became law on Friday along with numerous other bills relating to protecting undocumented immigrant New Yorkers. The bill, sponsored by City Council Member Vanessa Gibson, chair of the public safety committee, also adds another plank to the Council’s broad agendas of criminal justice reform and

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  • The Week Ahead in New York Politics, December 4

    New York City Hall

    New York City Hall


    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    This week will start with Mayor de Blasio and the NYPD celebrating low crime in New York City, especially the incredibly low number of murders and shootings in the city thus far this year, looking at data through November.

    For his part, Governor Andrew Cuomo took a quick trip to Puerto Rico on Saturday to recognize New Yorkers who have been on the ground there, many helping to restore power on the island, and

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  • 'Open Budget,' Economic Development Transparency Bills Become Law

    de Blasio public hearing City Council bills

    De Blasio at a public hearing (photo: Ed Reed/Mayor's Office)


    Four government transparency bills that were passed by the City Council on October 31 aged into law on Friday, having gone 30 days without any action in favor or against them by Mayor Bill de Blasio. The bills all relate to increased disclosure by the administration of billions in city government spending and have been praised by good government advocates.

    Among the bills was one that ...

  • City Council, Outside Experts Push De Blasio Administration on 'Career Pathways'

    daneek miller via john mccarten

    Council Member Daneek Miller (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    In June, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a plan to create 100,000 new jobs in New York City over ten years by investing in high-wage industries where there is potential to grow with a boost from city government. The jobs will all pay at least $50,000 per year, he promised.

    The jobs plan, first outlined as the signature proposal of de Blasio’s 2017

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  • The Week Ahead in New York Politics, November 27

    New York City Hall

    New York City Hall


    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    This post-Thanksgiving week promises to be a busy one. Mayor de Blasio will likely be active after two weeks of limited public appearances (he was away on a family vacation in Connecticut, then it was Thanksgiving week). The City Council has another busy week with a variety of hearings and a full Council Stated meeting on Thursday, at which the Council passes bills that have moved through committee and sees the

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  • City Council Ends Term with Flurry of Oversight Hearings

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    Speaker Mark-Viverito (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    [Note: this article has been updated based on fluctuations in the City Council calendar]

    A flurry of oversight hearings are filling the City Council calendar as the Council enters its final month of the four-year session, most notably a hearing slated to address controversies over NYCHA’s falsified lead inspection reports, a hearing to discuss the city’s progress in closing Rikers Island jails, and a hearing on integrating the city's

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  • City Council Speaker Candidates Address Power, Reform and Transparency

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    the City Council Speaker candidates at a prior forum (photo: William Alatriste)


    Seven of the eight candidates vying to become the next Speaker of the New York City Council convened at New York Law School on Monday night for a forum focused on government reform, running the Council, transparency, ethics, voting, and elections.

    The candidates made their cases for their leadership prowess, and discussed extending term limits for Council members, greater transparency around lobbying, key questions about campaign finance reform in the city, and

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  • The Week Ahead in New York Politics, November 20

    New York City Hall

    New York City Hall


    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    Welcome to Thanksgiving week, which has a lot going on the first couple of days before quieting down for the long holiday weekend.

    Mayor Bill de Blasio is back in town after a week on family vacation in Connecticut. While de Blasio was away, controversy blew up around NYCHA’s mishandling of lead inspections. De Blasio defended Chair and CEO Shola Olatoye amid calls from Public Advocate Letitia James and others

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  • What's The [DATA] Point? 44, with City Council Member Dan Garodnick

    whats the data point


    What's The Data Point? Episode 20 -- 44, with City Council Member Dan Garodnick [You can download What's The [Data] Point? wherever you get your podcasts, including on iTunes]

    ep20 garodnick podcast

    City Council Member Dan Garodnick has represented his Manhattan district for the past 12 years. At the end of this year, he's leaving the Council due to term limits. He joined

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  • Women's Caucus Secures Commitments from City Council Speaker Candidates

    Helen Rosenthal City Council Speaker

    Helen Rosenthal among Speaker hopefuls Cornegy, Levine, Johnson (photo: William Alatriste)


    The Women’s Caucus of the City Council recently interviewed the eight candidates -- all men -- seeking to become the next Speaker of the Council, arguably the second most powerful position in city government. While the Women’s Caucus will not be endorsing a speaker candidate ahead of the January vote, according to caucus co-chair Helen Rosenthal, it did secure important commitments from each candidate and the process, which also

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  • City Council Evaluates Progress of NYPD Inspector General

    Mark Peters DOI City Council

    DOI Commissioner Mark Peters (photo: William Alatriste)


    Four years ago, over the veto of then-Mayor Michael Bloomberg, the City Council passed the Community Safety Act, a landmark piece of legislation relating to policing in New York City. One of the law’s most prominent planks was the creation of the NYPD Inspector General, an independent police department watchdog that would audit NYPD practices and operations and make recommendations on improvements.

    With the nation on edge over widely disseminated videos of black men

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  • The Week Ahead in New York Politics, November 13

    New York City Hall

    New York City Hall


    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    This week after the election does not look like it will be too quiet, though Mayor Bill de Blasio will be away on a family vacation in Connecticut all week, Monday through Friday. Still, there is a lot going on, including the ongoing attempts to fight a Republican effort to overhaul the federal tax code that has many in New

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  • Online Voter Registration on Verge of Passage in New York City

    polling place

    Polling place (photo: Samar Khurshid/Gotham Gazette)


    As New York State’s archaic election and voting laws continue to dampen voter turnout, the New York City Council is about to take a step to encourage participation. The City Council’s governmental operations committee will vote on Tuesday, November 14 to approve a bill allowing online voter registration for city residents, Council Member Ben Kallos, chair of the committee, told Gotham Gazette on Thursday. The bill is then expected to pass the full City Council on Thursday.

    “With the historic low in

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  • 2017 New York City General Election Results

    voting elections New York City

    (photo: Samar Khurshid/Gotham Gazette)


    Mayor Bill de Blasio won reelection on Tuesday, earning about two-thirds of the vote in another low-turnout election -- about 1,070,000 voters cast ballots in the mayoral race. De Blasio's fellow incumbent citywide Democrats, Comptroller Scott Stringer and Public Advocate Letitia James, also won reelection, each with about three-quarters of the vote.

    Among the most notable other votes cast in New York this Election Day, the constitutional convention ballot question -- proposal one on

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  • City Council Passes Bills Expanding Oversight of Economic Development Spending

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    CM Garodnick speaks at a groundbreaking ceremony (photo via @DanGarodnick)


    [editor's note: the bills discussed in this story have passed the Council since its publish; the headline has been tweaked to indicate that fact, but the story remains unchanged from its publish]

    The New York City Council is set to pass a package of three bills that will expand its oversight of the New York City Economic Development Corporation, a city-affiliated non-profit that is instrumental in the city’s efforts to stimulate business and create jobs.

    The

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  • The Week Ahead in New York Politics, October 30

    New York City Hall

    New York City Hall


    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    The big event this week will be Wednesday night’s mayoral debate, the second of two televised debates ahead of Election Day, November 7. Mayor Bill de Blasio, the incumbent Democrat; Assemblymember Nicole Malliotakis, the Republican nominee; and Bo Dietl, running on his own independent line, have been invited to participate. [This section of our article has been updated to reflect that CBS decided to invite Bo Dietl to

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  • City Council Members, with Notable Exceptions, Send Letter to MTA Supporting De Blasio Tax Plan

    de Blasio subway tax

    De Blasio on the train (Edwin J. Torres/Mayor's Office)


    Amid an ongoing feud -- between the Mayor Bill de Blasio on one side and Governor Andrew Cuomo and the MTA on the other -- over funding for mass transit infrastructure in New York City, 27 New York City Council Members on Thursday announced support for the mayor’s proposal to tax wealthy New Yorkers to raise money for subway and bus improvements.

    The mayor has pitched a tax increase on the top-most earners in the city as part of his “Fair Fix” plan, which would raise about $700

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