Gotham Gazette

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City Council

City Council

  • mayorcommappleton

    (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    Last week the City Council presented its response to Mayor de Blasio’s preliminary budget for the fiscal year that begins on July 1. It proposes to add $1.5 billion in annual operating expenditures and more than $1 billion in capital spending to the budget proposed by the mayor. Among the proposals are four that would significantly increase spending on the Fire Department and for which there is no clear justification other than political expediency. Two of them would not only be expensive, but would

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  • Kallos City Council

    Council Member Kallos (photo: Emil Cohen/City Council)


    The City Council’s Committee on Governmental Operations heard testimony on Monday on a bill to expand the public matching funds available to candidates under the city’s campaign finance program.

    The campaign finance system incentivizes individuals to seek small dollar donations when running for office, matching those contributions with public funds. Under a recent city charter amendment approved by voters, a citywide candidate can receive public funds at an 8-to-1 ratio for the

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  • New York City Hall

    New York City Hall


    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    We may get the answer this week as to whether Mayor Bill de Blasio is indeed running for the Democratic nomination for President of the United States. The mayor has been visiting early primary/caucus states and saying for weeks that a decision will be coming "sooner rather than later." He stayed in the city this weekend, perhaps preparing for an announcement one way or the other. Stay tuned. De Blasio begins his week

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  • city council point prelim mayor

    The Mayor and the Council in a budget briefing (photo: William Alatriste/City Council)


    The City Council on Tuesday released its response to Mayor Bill de Blasio’s fiscal year 2020 preliminary budget, calling its own outline “a fiscally responsible plan that safeguards the city’s financial future and secures the city’s social safety net for New Yorkers.” Council Speaker Corey Johnson and Council members are calling for additional reserves and targeted investments, while also saying they’ve identified roughly $1 billion in savings

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  • lead emil cohen

    Speaker Johnson with Max & Murphy at City Hall (photos: Emil Cohen/City Council)


    April 10, 2019 - Max & Murphy Podcast: City Council Speaker Corey Johnson

    inset emil cohenCity Council Speaker Corey Johnson joined Max & Murphy for an extended, wide-ranging onversation about his leadership of the City Council, his relationship with Mayor Bill de Blasio, city budget negotiations,

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  • New York City Hall

    New York City Hall


    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    Mayor Bill de Blasio is back from Nevada and the state Legislature is back in session post-budget. Melissa DeRosa, secretary to Governor Andrew Cuomo, will speak about the administration's accomplishments and priorities and the City Council will pass bills. The first state Senate hearing on the city's

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  • cm gjonaj town hall district

    City Council Member Mark Gjonaj (photo: Jeff Reed/City Council)


    At an April 2018 constituent forum, City Council Member Mark Gjonaj found himself taking a particularly tough question from a community member.  

    It was a unique problem for the Council member of the tight-knit City Island community of the Bronx, where he is popular. A constituent asked Gjonaj why a notorious heroin dealer was allowed to live and sell drugs in an apartment building previously managed by Gjonaj and owned by Gjonaj’s family for

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  • nyccouncil grod

    Council Member Grodenchik (photo: Emil Cohen/City Council)


    New York City Council Member Barry Grodenchik, a Democrat from Queens, will face formal disciplinary charges after a complaint of sexual harassment against him was found to be credible by the Council’s Committee on Standards and Ethics on Thursday.

    Council Member Steven Matteo, chair of the standards and ethics committee, announced at a hearing Thursday afternoon that the committee would initiate formal disciplinary proceedings against Grodenchik regarding Section 10.80 of the Council’s

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  • citycouncil cm

    Jumaane Williams (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    Jumaane Williams’ victory in the February special election for Public Advocate has created a ripple effect, namely a special election for his former City Council seat, representing Brooklyn’s Council District 45, set for May 14.

    The district encompasses parts of the Central Brooklyn neighborhoods of Flatbush, East Flatbush, Flatlands, Midwood, and Canarsie. According to 2010 Census data, the district is majority black, at 76.1%, with Afro-Caribbeans like Williams making up the bulk of the population.

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  • 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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