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City Council

City Council

  • police academy a

    The covid vaccine (photo: Ed Reed/Mayor's Office)


    Given the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic devastated Black, Latino, and immigrant communities across New York City at disproportionate levels last spring and since, some lawmakers are asking why the same populations were not included in vaccine priority plans crafted by the state and city.

    At a January 12 City Council oversight hearing on the de Blasio administration's roll-out of the first batches of the covid vaccine, members of the Council’s committees on hospitals and health asked the city's top

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    Rep. Ritchie Torres (photo: William Alatriste/City Council)


    Ritchie Torres, a Bronx Democrat, was sworn in early this month among the new class of the House of Representatives, becoming the first openly-gay Afro-Latino member of Congress. After seven years advocating for his district on the New York City Council, Torres now takes to the halls of Congress to exert whatever influence he can for his constituents, particularly through a plum committee assignment not often given to freshman lawmakers. One of his chief priorities remains the state of public

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    Mayor de Blasio vaccine promises (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)


    Three weeks after New York City received its first batch of COVID-19 vaccines, and more than five weeks after officials knew when they were coming, only a third of the half-million doses had been dolled out, raising questions about why the city wasn't more prepared to step into "the light at the end of the tunnel."

    That has been a favorite phrase of Mayor Bill de Blasio since he signaled the city was on the verge of receiving the life-saving, pandemic-ending treatment over a month ago.

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    Former City Council Member Rafael Espinal in the 37th District (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    Darma Diaz is one of the newest members of the New York City Council, having recently won the election to represent Brooklyn’s District 37, filling an unexpected vacancy at the beginning of December. But her election did not take place under normal circumstances and now the Democrat must defend the seat that she won unopposed in both the June primary and the November general.

    District 37, which covers Bushwick, East New York, Cypress Hills, Ocean Hill,

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    Council Member Paul Vallone (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    The City Council’s committees on economic development and small business met last week for an oversight hearing to assess how the New York City Economic Development Corporation (EDC), the city Department of Small Business Services (SBS), and the Mayor’s Office of Workforce Development have adjusted their programming because of COVID-19 and discuss what they’re doing to promote equity across the five boroughs.

    According to the New York State

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    Organizers and activists (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    While unemployment booms and New York City faces its worst economy in decades, the fate of the city's disconnected youth -- people aged 16 to 24 who are both out of work and out of school -- is getting a shrug from city government.

    The city's Disconnected Youth Task Force, created by the City Council and Mayor Bill de Blasio to examine the factors that inhibit employment and school enrollment among this group numbering in the hundreds of thousands, is more than two years late to submit its

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    New York City development (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    City Council Speaker Corey Johnson on Wednesday unveiled legislation that would overhaul New York City’s long-term planning processes, eliminating duplicative procedures, streamlining agency coordination, and establishing a more proactive, holistic approach to land use and budgeting that prioritizes racial and economic justice. 

    For decades, the city’s zoning, land use, and development have been subject to disparate sets of mandates and guidelines, some overlapping and redundant, in

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    Gotham Health (photo: Ed Reed/Mayor's Office)


    On Friday, the New York City Council’s Committee on Higher Education heard from administrators and students of CUNY’s nursing schools to understand how they have maintained student progression despite transitioning to online learning amid the coronavirus pandemic.

    CUNY has 14 nursing schools that offer a variety of certificates and associates, bachelors, masters, and doctorate degree programs. An average of 1,800 students graduate every year from CUNY nursing programs, many of whom go off to

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    Libraries have mostly been empty, but active (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    Last month, the New York City Council’s Committee on Cultural Affairs and Libraries held an oversight hearing on the city’s public libraries and COVID-19. The committee, chaired by Queens Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer, heard testimony from Anthony Marx, the President, and CEO of New York Public Library, which is the system for Manhattan, the Bronx, and Staten Island; President and CEO of Brooklyn Public Library Linda Johnson; and President and CEO of Queens Public Library

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  • City Council Andy King special

    Former Council Member Andy King (photo: William Alatriste/City Council)


    The ouster of Andy King from the New York City Council in October over repeated ethics violations triggered a special election that moved up the timeline for the race to replace King, who was term-limited but then expelled by his colleagues, from the standard 2021 election dates to this month. The race will effectively be the first of the 2021 city election cycle, when all of city government will be on the ballot, and could provide interesting initial bread crumbs about where the

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    SBS Commissioner Doris at a small business (photo: @NYC_SBS)


    Frustrated City Council members and hopeful––yet weary––small business advocates took to a hearing Tuesday to express their concerns about the Open Storefronts program launched recently by Mayor de Blasio after outcry from the business community, particularly smaller retailers. Small businesses, many of which are struggling to hold on if they haven’t already closed due to the pandemic and a lack of government help, can enroll in the program that, as of now, will give them through December 31 to sell their merchandise

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    Council Member Mark Treyger, right (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    November 18, 2020 - Max & Murphy Podcast: City Council Education Chair Mark Treyger on What's Next for City Schools

    Brooklyn City Council Member Mark Treyger, chair of the Council's education committee and a former teacher, joined the show to discuss the closure of city school buildings and what's next, including a proposal he has for how to restructure in-person learning.

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

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    Council Member Ben Kallos, center (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    As the city heads into the 2021 municipal elections that are already drawing hundreds of candidates and will see many millions of dollars in campaign spending, a City Council member wants to preempt violations of the law on independent expenditures by increasing penalties. 

    Council Member Ben Kallos, a Democrat from the Upper East Side who is running for Manhattan borough president in the 2021 election cycle where all of city government is on the ballot, will introduce two bills on Thursday to penalize

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    Students in CUNY class pre-pandemic (photo: CUNY)


    The New York City Council’s Committee on Civil Service and Labor and Committee on Higher Education held a joint hearing Thursday about the City University of New York’s layoffs earlier this year. 

    The hearing, which was co-chaired by Council Members I. Daneek Miller and Inez Barron, who chair the two committees, respectively, focused on questions about why nearly 3,000 adjunct professors

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    Covid testing (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    City Council members and public health professionals gathered over Zoom late last week to discuss how the city can better support public hospitals so that they’re prepared for a potential second wave of COVID-19, which experts say could overlap with the annual flu season and recent case upticks indicate may be looming.

    The public hearing — held by the Council’s Committee on Hospitals and billed as an oversight hearing “Examining the City's Support of NYC Hospitals During the COVID-19 Pandemic” — covered issues

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    Flushing Waterfront development rendering


    When the developers behind Industry City, a massive retail and manufacturing space, announced that they had pulled the plug on their plan to rezone a portion of their property on the Sunset Park waterfront in Brooklyn, community activists in Flushing, Queens celebrated. 

    The proposed Special Flushing Waterfront District is a planned rezoning to usher in massive development along Flushing Creek, and is now being eyed by both proponents and critics as the next big New York City land use battle. The debate over the Flushing

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


    New York City Council Members will hold an oversight hearing Wednesday on “sexual and reproductive rights in New York City” and consider a package of legislation on those subjects, at a joint hearing of the Council’s Committee on Health and Committee on Women and Gender Equity. 

    The bills cover a wide range of

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    Council Member Brad Lander (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    What's The [Data] Point? Episode 97: 8,200 - the Gowanus Rezoning with City Council Member Brad Lander [You can download What's The [Data] Point? wherever you get your podcasts, including on iTunes]

    City Council Member Brad Lander joined the show to discuss the Gowanus rezoning proposal that is entering final stages of negotiation and the

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  • mayor link unb

    Mayor de Blasio at a LinkNYC kiosk (photo: Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    As the pandemic forced New Yorkers to shelter at home, Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration launched several efforts to assist those who lacked the necessary access to the internet to adapt to working and learning virtually. But there remains a deep digital divide across the city, particularly in terms of lack of access in low-income communities of color, creating significant challenges for students, residents of homeless shelters and public housing, and others.

    According to city data, 40%

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  • 1 over 200 units

    City Council Member Donovan Richards (photo: Jeff Reed/City Council)


    Donovan Richards’ likely ascension to become the next Queens Borough President at the start of 2021 would trigger a special election to replace him in the City Council in the 31st District in Southeast Queens. With several candidates already in the race to replace Richards -- a Democrat who is term-limited out of his current position at the end of 2021 anyway -- and additional potential candidates circling, the likely special election is already shaping up to be one of the most contentious

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  • presidential state city

    New Yorkers soon head to the polls (photo: Edwin J. Torres/Mayoral Photo Office)


    The 2020 general election results in New York City may not be known until mid-December, six weeks after Election Day, according to Michael Ryan, the executive director of the New York City Board of Elections.

    Ryan told members of the New York City Council Friday that New Yorkers could expect election results between December 8 and 15, around the same length of time it took in the primaries but ages beyond the unofficial results New Yorkers have come to expect on election

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  • wtdp industry city

    Council Member Menchaca and others tour part of Industry City (photo: William Alatriste/City Council)


    What's The [Data] Point? Episode 96: 20,000 - The Industry City Rezoning Proposal Falls Apart, with Industry City CEO Andrew Kimball and City Council Member Carlos Menchaca[You can download What's The [Data] Point? wherever you get your podcasts, including on iTunes]

    Industry City CEO Andrew Kimball and City Council Member Carlos Menchaca joined the show to discuss the demise of the Industry City rezoning

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  • comm hospital chair

    Council Member Carline Rivera, the author (photo: Emil Cohen/City Council)


    Like most New Yorkers who lived through the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, I am still reeling from the trauma and chaos we experienced this spring. But until I set foot on Rikers Island last week, I had an incomplete understanding of what the true horrors of COVID-19 were for some of our most vulnerable New Yorkers.

    At the height of the pandemic, Rikers saw an infection ...

  • requests despite mayor

    Mayor de Blasio (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)


    Mayor Bill de Blasio continues to insist that New York City needs authorization from the state to borrow billions of dollars in operating funds to balance its budget, at least in the absence of federal aid to cover some of the massive loss in revenue from the pandemic fallout. The drastically-slashed new city budget for this fiscal year passed July 1 included $1 billion in undefined labor savings, which de Blasio said could be covered by federal aid or borrowing, or, if neither of those come through,

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    Council Member Cohen (left) passing out masks in his Bronx district (photo: @AndrewCohenNYC)


    Bronx City Council Member Andrew Cohen’s recent nomination for a Supreme Court judgeship at the Bronx Democratic Party’s judicial convention in August means that the already-underway contest to replace him in the Council will likely move up from a June 2021 primary to a February or March 2021 special election, assuming Cohen assumes his judgeship in January. The special election in Council District 11, along with contests for soon-to-be-vacant seats in Council Districts 15 (Ritchie

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