Gotham Gazette

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Brian Benjamin

Brian Benjamin

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    Brian Benjamin (photo: Brian Benjamin Campaign)


    As part of the "Decision NYC with Ben Max" series of candidate interviews from Manhattan Neighborhood Network and Gotham Gazette, Democratic candidates for New York City Comptroller talked about their campaigns ahead of the June primary. In this episode, Brian Benjamin joined host Ben Max to explain his vision for the role. Watch:

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    Senator Benjamin (photo: NY Senate)


    As the coronavirus ravaged New York City, it quickly became apparent that its effects were being felt disparately across the boroughs. Black and brown communities that have been the dumping ground for the city’s most-polluting infrastructure, where respiratory illnesses occur at higher rates, were more prone to a pandemic caused by a respiratory virus. The problem of environmental racism is not new, but State Senator Brian Benjamin is hoping that it is finally dire enough to be taken seriously and that, if elected the next New York

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    top l-r: Brian Benjamin, Brad Lander, Kevin Parker David Weprin; bottom: Reshma Patel, Zach Iscol, Michelle Caruso-Cabrera, Terri Liftin


    With just three months until the June primary, Democratic candidates running for New York City Comptroller filed their latest campaign finance disclosures with the Campaign Finance Board. The filings covered the last two months of fundraising and spending activity, and provide keen insight into which candidates have broad support and significant resources for the closing stretch of the race.

    Nearly all the major

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  • city comptroller candidates Dems 4

    (l-r) Brad Lander, Brian Benjamin, David Weprin, Kevin Parker


    Five Democratic candidates running in the primary for New York City Comptroller appeared at the first debate of the race on Sunday, trying to set themselves apart as most qualified and with the right vision to be the city’s next top fiscal officer.

    The comptroller is the watchdog of city spending, with a job that involves auditing city agencies to root out waste and mismanagement, reviewing city contracts, acting as the fiduciary to the $240 billion public pension funds, providing

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    State Senator Brian Benjamin (photo: NY Senate Media Services)


    January 27, 2021 - Max & Murphy Podcast: Brian Benjamin on His Run for New York City Comptroller

    Brian Benjamin, a Democratic State Senator representing parts of Manhattan, joined the show to discuss his campaign for New York City Comptroller in this year's election.

    Listen to the conversation and let us know what you think -- we're on Twitter @TweetBenMaxand ...

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    (l-r): Brad Lander, Brian Benjammin, David Weprin, and Kevin Parker)


    The four Democratic candidates running in this year’s election for New York City Comptroller appeared one-by-one at two recent online forums hosted by Manhattan Democratic clubs.

    The West Side Democrats, during a forum moderated by district leader Joan Paylo, hosted the candidates on January 12, while the Uptown Community Democrats and the Audubon Reform Democratic Club, with moderators Curtis Young, co-president of UCD, and Maria Luna, district leader of the

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  • city comptroller 2021 parker lander benjamin weprin

    (l-r) Kevin Parker, Brad Lander, Brian Benjamin, David Weprin


    The four Democratic candidates running in this year’s election for New York City Comptroller appeared one-by-one Sunday afternoon at an online forum hosted by several downtown Manhattan Democratic clubs. The comptroller is the city’s chief fiscal officer, responsible for auditing city agencies, leading management of the public pension funds, analyzing the city budget, approving city contracts, and providing broad oversight of city government and other entities that impact New

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    David Weprin (photo: Mike Wren/NYS Department of Health)


    State Assemblymember David Weprin, a five-term Queens Democrat, officially launched his 2021 campaign for New York City Comptroller on Monday. He is running to replace term-limited Comptroller Scott Stringer, and is competing with three other sitting elected officials to become the city’s next chief fiscal officer in the Democratic primary set for June.

    “I'm the only one of all the candidates that has both private and public sector finance experience, something that's going to be very needed as we're in

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    State Senator Kevin Parker (photo: Parker campaign)


    State Senator Kevin Parker, a Democrat from Brooklyn, officially announced his campaign for New York City Comptroller on Wednesday evening in an interview on NY1. He joins three other Democrats who have already jumped into the race to replace Comptroller Scott Stringer, a Democrat who is term-limited next year and is running for mayor.

    In a phone interview prior to his announcement, Parker touted his long record in government, including the more than five dozen laws he has sponsored, and his background in finance as what he

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    Brian Benjamin at his campaign launch


    State Senator Brian Benjamin launched his campaign for New York City Comptroller on Thursday, officially entering the Democratic primary for the citywide position of the city’s chief fiscal officer.

    Stressing his finance background and work in the state Legislature on a variety of issues including police reform, Benjamin held a campaign event in his home neighborhood of Harlem, surrounded by supporters including several other elected officials endorsing him.

    Benjamin, who is first

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    Council Member Helen Rosenthal (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    New York City Council Member Helen Rosenthal, a Democrat from Manhattan, is dropping out of the 2021 race for Comptroller, she told Gotham Gazette in an interview Friday morning.

    Next year, the entire city government – the mayor, comptroller, public advocate, five borough presidents and 51 City Council seats – will be on the ballot. Rosenthal is currently serving her second term representing District 6 on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, and cannot run for reelection

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  • de Blasio city budget graph trends

    The city's economy & budget are in free-fall (photo: Benjamin Kanter/Mayor's Office)


    New York City’s fiscal woes are worsening by the day as the COVID-19 pandemic has deprived the city of much needed tax revenue while likely forcing severe budget cuts that could be compounded by reductions in state aid. Though there is broad agreement that the best solution can only come in the form of a federal bailout, various other strategies and contingencies are being debated. And several of the candidates seeking to become the city’s next chief fiscal

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  • Mayor de Blasio property tax reform dead

    Mayor de Blasio's slow-play on property tax reform has now been compounded (photo: Edwin J. Torres/ Mayor's Offie)


    The start of the year 2020 offered what many believed to be the most promising steps in decades to revamping New York's confusing and unfair property tax system. In January, an advisory commission established by Mayor Bill de Blasio and the New York City Council, which was tasked with comprehensively assessing and reevaluating the property tax system, released a set of recommendations. While coming much later than many had

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    State Senator Brian Benjamin (photo: New York Senate)


    May 27, 2020 - Max & Murphy Podcast: State Senator Brian Benjamin on Rescuing New York's Finances & More

    State Senator Brian Benjamin joined the show to discuss the New York State and City fiscal crises brought about by the COVID-19 outbreak and its fallout. Benjamin, who represents parts of Upper Manhattan and chairs the Senate revenue and budget committee, talked about the city saving, borrowing, and looking for other solutions,

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  • fiscal year prelim

    Mayor de Blasio gives a budget presentation (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    As Mayor Bill de Blasio desperately searches for solutions to the city’s financial woes caused by the coronavirus outbreak, lawmakers and fiscal watchdogs are advocating for legislation that, had it been approved years ago, would have helped the city better weather just such a storm by allowing it to create a dedicated fund for fiscal emergencies.

    In January, de Blasio had proposed a $95.3 billion budget for the next fiscal year, which begins July 1, that was a more

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    A nearly-empty State Senate Chamber as business is conducted amid coronavirus outbreak (photo: NY Senate)


    If New Yorkers take Governor Andrew Cuomo’s word for it, the new $177 billion budget approved last week will “deliver results” for the people of the state and was a far cry from a “bare minimum” spending plan at a time when the state’s finances are racked by the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. But within his own Democratic Party, which controls both houses of the Legislature where the plan was passed, the budget is a highly unpopular document that to

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    (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    A long-awaited report from the city’s Advisory Commission on Property Tax Reform was released Thursday, outlining recommendations for potentially drastic changes to the way residential properties are taxed across the five boroughs.

    The report, which contains ten recommendations to update and add equity to New York’s vast property tax system, comes after months of delay and almost a year after the commission, created by Mayor Bill de Blasio and City Council Speaker Corey Johnson, completed its mandated public

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    (photo: Mayor's Office)


    Candidates running for local office filed their latest campaign finance disclosures with the New York City Campaign Finance Board this week, showing their fundraising and expenditures from the last six months, and cumulative numbers for the 2021 election cycle.

    Next year’s election is shaping up to be highly competitive and consequential, with two of three citywide elected officials, four of five borough presidents, and 35 of 51 City Council members facing term limits. The city will elect a new mayor and comptroller for the first

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  • ocean bayside apt

    (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    It is taking more time than promised for the city’s property tax reform commission to come out with its initial and final reports with recommendations for changes to the antiquated and unfair system, a delay that threatens to undermine the de Blasio administration’s footing in Albany, where many of the changes would need to be made.

    The Advisory Commission on Property Tax Reform, created by Mayor Bill de Blasio and City Council Speaker Corey Johnson in 2018, was expected to issue a preliminary report with

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    Wednesday's Senate roundtable (photo: @NYSenBenjamin)


    A roomful of top experts on New York’s property tax system -- an opaque topic that nonetheless touches every New Yorker, property-owner or not -- gathered for a roundtable discussion convened by state lawmakers Wednesday in downtown Manhattan. They were assembled at the hearing by State Senator Brian Benjamin, a Manhattan Democrat and chair of the Senate’s budget and revenues committee, to discuss solutions to the antiquated and unequal levy system that many want to see tackled in 2020, however overdue the action would

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    (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photo Office)


    With voter approval of a city charter amendment to pursue the creation of a budgetary “rainy day fund” in New York City, de Blasio administration officials are now looking to change state laws so that the city can actually start one.

    “We’re going to have to work together to make this happen,” said First Deputy Mayor Dean Fuleihan at a breakfast event hosted by the Citizens Budget Commission Wednesday morning, just a few hours after polls closed on Tuesday night.

    Voters had overwhelmingly approved an amendment to the

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  • senate bill complement

    Senator Benjamin at Thursday's press conference (photo: @BrianKavanaghNY)


    New York State Senator Brian Benjamin, a Manhattan Democrat who is exploring a possible 2021 run for city comptroller, introduced a bill on Thursday that would allow New York City to create a “rainy day fund” to weather fiscal emergencies.

    Currently, the city lacks the authority to set aside revenue in such a dedicated pot, one result of the city’s fiscal crisis of the 1970s. But a question on this year’s general election ballot in the city could change the City Charter to

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    State Senator Brian Benjamin, left, with Comptroller Scott Stringer (photo: @NYSenBenjamin)


    The 2021 primary for New York City Comptroller may be 21 months away, but there are already three declared Democratic candidates in the race, and another has now indicated he’s exploring a run. State Senator Brian Benjamin, who represents Upper Manhattan, announced on Thursday that he is testing the waters for a potential bid for comptroller and said he would explore over the next year, including a 2020 Senate reelection campaign, to see if his candidacy is

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  • de Blasio Albany budget testimony

    Mayor de Blasio testifying in Albany (Ed Reed/Mayor's Office)


    Testifying in Albany Monday, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio responded to Governor Andrew Cuomo’s $168 billion executive budget and outlined the city’s funding priorities for the next fiscal year.

    De Blasio was the first to testify at a joint legislative budget hearing on local governments, making his annual journey to the Capitol, where he also met privately with Cuomo for an hour, and was scheduled to meet with three of five legislative conference leaders:

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