Gotham Gazette

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City Council

City Council

  • Ben Kallos campaign finance

    Council Member Kallos (photo: William Alatriste/City Council)


    New York City Council Member Ben Kallos is moving forward with a bill to increase the amount of public funds a candidate running for elected office can receive from the city’s campaign finance program, in order to further reduce the influence of big money donors in local political campaigns.

    New York City’s voluntary campaign finance program matches small dollar donations in order to afford candidates without deep pockets or wealthy donors a more level playing

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  • school garden 2 002

    (photo: 123rf rawpixel)


    It’s 10 a.m. in Ms. Montalvo-Teller’s second grade science lab at P.S. 75. A group of students are happily scarfing down kale, arugula, and bok choy leaves they grew themselves. While they enjoy their snack, Ms. Montalvo-Teller engages them in a science lesson about what parts of the plant we eat. And, Ms. Montalvo-Teller says, many will then go home and pester their parents to buy more of the tasty greens for dinner.

    These kids are getting great food and nutrition education that will help them develop as healthy eaters and

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  • Rivera outreach census

    Council Member Rivera, one of the authors (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    Monday may be April Fool’s, but the one thing New Yorkers shouldn’t be joking about is the importance of the 2020 Census.

    April 1 marks one year until Census Day, and in preparation, elected officials are fanning out throughout the five boroughs to talk to New Yorkers about the importance of participating in the census. You may be asking – why is there so much urgency when we still have a year to get ready to fill out this form?

    The census

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  • New York City Hall

    New York City Hall


    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    This week will be dominated by dissection of and fallout from the new state budget, a $175.5 billion spending and policy plan agreed to by Governor Andrew Cuomo and the Legislature over the weekend. The budget, which takes

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  • council holds prelim

    OMB Director Hartzog testifies (photo: William Alatriste/NYC Council)


    As usual, the City Council’s March agenda was mostly dominated by preliminary budget hearings, evaluating the mayor’s initial spending plan for the next fiscal year, which begins July 1. This stage of the city budget process started and finished with a general hearing held by the Council’s Finance Committee, along with its Capital Budget Subcommittee, with a series of more specific agency- and service-related hearings in between.

    The preliminary budget hearings finished where

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  • city council rikers jail coreyjohnson

    Speaker Johnson, the author (photo: Jeff Reed/City Council)


    In New York, you can be locked up based on purported evidence that isn’t even disclosed to you, until a trial that can be postponed indefinitely, unless you are wealthy enough to pay your way out. That is the reality under our state’s antiquated laws governing cash bail, discovery, and speedy trial. With Democrats truly controlling both houses of the state Legislature and the governorship for the first time in decades, we now have a meaningful opportunity to

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  • cmmarlevinecomm

    (photo: Jeff Reed/City Council)


    The New York City Council on Thursday voted unanimously (47-0) to approve a local law to amend the city’s administrative code allowing for the redaction of physicians’ names from birth certificates when their medical license has been surrendered or revoked by the state’s Office of Professional Medical Conduct. To some, this may seem like administrative

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  • New York City Hall

    New York City Hall


    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    While the nation's attention is on the Mueller Report, in New York, a state budget is due in just a few days -- by the April 1 start of the new fiscal year -- and negotiations in Albany will take center stage this week. Unresolved issues include what "revenue raisers" will be included, how much will be spent on a variety of programs and services, most notably the two biggest areas of state spending: education and

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  • mayor bdb 200

    (photo: Edwin J. Torres/Mayoral Photo Office)


    Many New Yorkers know the city has trouble completing construction projects on time and under budget. Projects like school renovations and the build-out of park facilities are capital projects, the subject of increasing scrutiny and some reform, with more promised, as frustrations persist and residents, watchdogs, lawmakers, and other city leaders seek answers.

    Top officials from the administration of Mayor Bill de Blasio to City Council Speaker Corey Johnson to Comptroller Scott Stringer have taken a fresh

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  • Patchett EDC hearing

    EDC President James Patchett (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    In 2017, Mayor Bill de Blasio unveiled a plan to create 100,000 “good-paying” jobs, with annual salaries of $50,000 or more, within 10 years, giving New Yorkers a pathway to the middle class. On Monday, City Council members held an oversight hearing on that plan, attempting to more fully gauge how the de Blasio administration is doing on its promise.

    Bronx Council Member Ritchie Torres, chair of the Council’s Committee on Oversight and Investigation, co-led a

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  • New York City Hall

    New York City Hall


    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    The week begins with Mayor Bill de Blasio again returning from a trip to an early presidential primary state as he continues to tease a potential run for president. He's not a candidate at this time but he's not ruling it out, he regularly says. This weekend he was in New Hampshire, after a trip to South Carolina last weekend, and Iowa before that. De Blasio has also repeatedly said he will decide on whether to enter

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  • libraries rally city hall

    Library rally before the Council hearing (photo: @NYCLibraries)


    The presidents of the city’s three public library systems on Monday requested from the City Council an additional $35 million in operating support and $15 million in capital funding, allowing the libraries to maintain and expand collections, hire more workers, fund more programming, make necessary building repairs and expansions, and respond to emergencies.

    Mayor Bill de Blasio’s preliminary budget proposes a $388.8 million subsidy for the public library systems, which are

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  • New York City Hall

    New York City Hall


    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    Monday marks exactly three weeks until the April 1 start of the new state fiscal year, by which time a new state budget is due. Negotiations among the two houses of the Legislature and Governor Andrew Cuomo have already heated up, with key policy and funding issues outstanding, and the two Democratic legislative majorities set to introduce their one-house budget resolutions on Monday.

    There are four legislative

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  • cm i barron meeting

    Council Member Inez Barron (photo: William Alatriste/City Council)


    City Council members on Thursday questioned administrators for the City University of New York as part of a preliminary budget hearing regarding the public university system, which is funded through a variety of sources including city, state, and federal dollars, as well as tuition.

    The hearing was helmed by Higher Education Committee Chair Inez Barron, who represents parts of Brooklyn, is a Hunter College graduate and former public school teacher, and has ...

  • city council j mccarten premlim

    (Photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    City Council Speaker Corey Johnson appeared frustrated on Wednesday with the de Blasio administration budget at the Council’s first hearing to examine the mayor’s $92.2 billion preliminary budget proposal for the 2020 fiscal year, which begins July 1 of this year.

    Mayor Bill de Blasio released his preliminary budget proposal last month ...

  • citycouncil r bay

    Speaker Johnson (photo: William Alatriste/City Council)


    New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson unveiled an ambitious proposal for municipal control of the city’s mass transit system on Tuesday at his first State of the City speech at LaGuardia Community College in Queens.

    “I am not here to be typical,” Johnson, who is considering a run for mayor in 2021, promised early on as he delivered a speech focused on nothing but transit, including a forceful push for replacing the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, the state entity that controls the

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  • New York City Hall

    New York City Hall


    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    As the week begins, school is closed in New York City and much of the city and state will be focused on the Sunday-into-Monday snowstorm that is expected, and the government response to it. Keep in mind that some if not all Monday events may be canceled.

    We’re less than a month from the date, April 1, when a new state budget is due. As the State Legislature looks to continue moving bills over the next few weeks on issues like criminal justice

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  • city council sp co jo

    Speaker Johnson (photo: Jeff Reed/City Council)


    The New York City Council’s Democratic conference held on Thursday what officials said was its first ever public vote to appoint three new commissioners to the New York City Board of Elections.

    The BOE is a quasi-city agency, funded in the city budget but governed by state law. It has ten commissioners -- two from every borough, with one each recommended by the Democratic and Republican parties and appointed by the City Council for four-year terms. The board’s executive director is chosen by the

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  • New York City Hall

    New York City Hall


    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    The Public Advocate special election is Tuesday!

    The election is open to all registered voters across the city. Very low turnout is expected. Make a plan and be ready to vote!
    -Find all of Gotham Gazette's coverage of the election here.
    -...

  • Justin Brannan

    Justin Brannan, the author (photo: @JustinBrannan)


    Talk is cheap. The city needs to pay up.

    We have all been impacted by the important work of hundreds of human services providers across the city, many of which are deeply rooted in our communities. These vital non-profit organizations deliver services to New York City’s most vulnerable – the poor, the hungry, the homeless, our children, our grandparents. The clear and powerful impact of this sector makes it easy for politicians to praise the services these non-profits provide — but such talk is cheap if you

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  • birdride inc

    (photo: @BirdRide)


    With Governor Andrew Cuomo proposing the legalization of electric bikes and scooters in New York and the New York City Council considering several bills to achieve that goal, the two prominent e-scooter firms looking to do business in the state are ramping up efforts to lobby lawmakers and other officials.

    Bird and Lime are barnstorming New York with lobbyists as they seek to expand into what could be a massively profitable market. The e-scooter companies have already established a presence in hundreds of cities across the United States and

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  • Ampry-Samuel NYCHA

    Alicka Ampry-Samuel (photo: Jeff Reed/City Council)


    As Mayor Bill de Blasio recently announced his “NYCHA 2.0” plan to secure the future of the city’s public housing authority, an agreement with the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development that includes a new federal monitor of NYCHA, and a new interim chair to lead the authority, the City Council member charged with oversight of NYCHA has some questions.

    Alicka Ampry-Samuel is the chair of the City Council’s public housing committee and represents parts of central

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  • ruben diaz sr comm vehicles

    (Photo: John McCarten/NYC Council)


    In a rare move on Wednesday, the New York City Council voted to dissolve a standing committee after its chair, Council Member Ruben Diaz Sr., made homophobic remarks in a recent radio interview and repeatedly refused to apologize for them in the days after.

    Diaz Sr., a Pentecostal minister with a long history of anti-LGBT positions and actions, said last week in the radio interview that the City Council is “controlled by the homosexual community," ...

  • cm rtorres funding

    Council Member Ritchie Torres (photo: Emil Cohen/City Council)


    The polarizing issue of local retailers going cashless has gotten the attention of New York City Council members, and on Thursday a Council committee will hear testimony on the topic and consider competing legislative proposals.

    The Committee on Consumer Affairs and Business Licensing, chaired by Council Member Rafael Espinal, a Brooklyn Democrat, will hear the bills for the first time. One, ...

  • New York City Hall

    New York City Hall


    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    This week looks like it will be dominated by several storylines:

    -Controversy over comments made by City Council Member Reverend Ruben Diaz, Sr. that the City Council is "controlled by the homosexual community," as reported

    ...