GOTHAM GAZETTE: SEARCHLIGHT 2002: Home

Nostalgic about last year's campaign?
Check out Searchlight on Campaign 2001.

A New Year, A New Job, An Old History
On the eve of her inauguration as New York City's second official Public Advocate, Betsy Gotbaum reaches back for inspiration to a New Year's Day two centuries ago and the person she considers the city's first real public advocate.

Maverick Mayors
If Michael Bloomberg winds up being less than gung-ho about the Republican Party, as some GOP leaders already fear, he will be just the latest in a history of New York City mayors who have freely set their own agendas, without regard to political party affiliations.


Searchlight on City Council

The New Council
Many new City Council members have not yet hired their staff, opened their offices, or hooked up their phones. But they are already out visiting Ground Zero, calling for reform in the council, and making those who want to be Speaker answer questions at a public forum. Mark Berkey-Gerard gives an overview of the New City Council and the challenges they face.

Out From Behind Closed Doors
For the first time, the race for Speaker of the City Council was open to the public. In a recent forum, seven council members vying for the job answer questions from their colleagues about the economy, education, the rules of the Council, and their vision for the city.

Second In Command?
You may have thought Campaign 2001 was over, but there is one more political race to go. As many as eight City Council members are running to succeed Peter Vallone as the Speaker of the City Council, the second most powerful elected official in the city. The candidates are campaigning hard. But this time, you don't get to vote.
The City Council Speaks

District 6 - Upper West Side

Gale Brewer writes about overhauling the City Council, protecting the vulnerable, and having dinner with Michael Bloomberg.

District 20 - Flushing

"As Flushing goes, so does the rest of the city," says John Liu in his plan for crossing the digital divide, helping small businesses, and welcoming the latest wave of immigrants to the city.

District 42 - East New York and Brownsville

"The strength of East New York is its abandoned land," writes Charles Barron, the self described black revolutionary Christian socialist. If it can be developed in a way that brings meaningful employment, he says, the whole city will be stronger.

District 50 - Mid Staten Island, Bensonhurst

Reopening Fresh Kills landfill would be like telling Staten Island to drop dead, according to James Oddo. And, he adds, the City Council should get out of the street naming business.