Gotham Gazette

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City Council

City Council

  • mbdb cmmv idboroughs

    (photo: Demetrius Freeman/Mayor's Office)


    It’s hard to think that winning your legislative campaign can cause a problem, but when you combine progressive victories with the territorialism of New York politics, you can get disturbing results.

    Case in point, this past legislative session was a triumph for the immigrant rights movement across New York State. We enacted the Dream Act, securing in-state tuition for undocumented New Yorkers. We

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  • New York City Hall

    New York City Hall


    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    As is often the case this time of year, it is a somewhat quieter Rosh Hashanah week in the city, but there are a number of events to be aware of and several overarching issues to watch.

    Those include the continued response to the killing of NYPD Officer Brian Mulkeen, who was killed during an attempted arrest and altercation late Saturday night in the Bronx. Details of the incident are still

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    (photo: William Alatriste/City Council)


    Domestic violence continues to be a leading cause of homelessness in New York City and ahead of Domestic Violence Awareness month, the New York City Council sought to examine how Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration has provided services to survivors of domestic violence who rely on the city’s shelter system. 

    Under state law, counties are required to provide shelter and services to domestic violence survivors. In New York City, that responsibility falls to the Human Resources Administration (HRA), which administers

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    De Blasio, Council members, AARP members & others rally (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    Just days after he ended his presidential campaign that was focused on issues affecting working people, Mayor Bill de Blasio rallied with AARP volunteers and City Council Members at City Hall on Monday to push for a proposal that could help millions of New York workers save for their futures.

    The Retirement Security for All proposal, which de Blasio first raised three years ago and then again in his State of the City speech this year, would establish a retirement

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  • voter student reg

    (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    In a process likely to last years, the New York Board of Regents is considering changing high school graduation requirements, which may include revising or creating a substitute for the Regents exams. To graduate, most students must currently pass five Regents exams. But while the education policy-setting board recently announced its exploratory plans, another path to a New York high school diploma already exists: a set of performance-based tasks that test students on an array of skills meant to be more in line with college- and

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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 started his post-presidential campaign mayoralty on Friday, and continues it this week, which could set the tone for how he will approach his final two years, three months, and several days. The mayor jumped into several local public appearances on Friday and Saturday, before having no public events on his Sunday schedule. A potentially consequential legislative push by de Blasio ...

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    Speaker Johnson at food policy speech (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    The City Council is set to consider a number of bills related to food policy at a hearing Wednesday, including a proposal to codify an Office of Food Policy, a month after Council Speaker Corey Johnson unveiled an expansive food equity plan with the creation of the office at its center.

    The Council’s Committees on General Welfare, Economic Development, and Education will meet at City

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    (photo: Edward Reed/Mayor's office)


    While city officials and elections administrators clash over what changes the Board of Elections should make to improve operations and the voting experience, one widely-supported option the city could pursue sits on the back-burner.

    A municipal poll workers program would allow the Board of Elections to hire Election Day poll workers from a pool of city employees, significantly reducing the hiring and training burdens for administrators and helping to ensure poll sites are more effectively

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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 begins the week in South Carolina, where he has been campaigning for president over the past few days. De Blasio is set to return to the city Monday evening. De Blasio missed another annual event he has traditionally attended when on Sunday the African American Day Parade took place without him; he's previously missed the Puerto Rican and Dominican Day Parades while campaigning for the Democratic

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  • mayor bdb pieces

    (photo: Ed Reed/Mayor's Office)


    Many New Yorkers are expressing frustration at Mayor Bill de Blasio’s lack of attention to his job as he travels around the country campaigning for president. But his laid-back attitude toward the mayoralty manifested itself long before he announced his presidential candidacy.

    One particularly illustrative and significant aspect of the job that he has neglected is his role in the legislative process. 

    First, a quick refresher on how, pursuant to the City Charter, a bill becomes a law in New York City: 

    -If

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  • mayor bdb voting

    (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    This is part two of a two-part series. Read part one: New York's Election Administration Accountability Vacuum: ‘Bad Choices at Every Step'

    New York City’s Board of Elections, the maligned ten-member commission responsible for overseeing the administration of voting in the five boroughs, has been the subject of criticism for decades owing to inefficiency and

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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 see the 18th anniversary of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. There will be rememberances throughout the city, state, country, and world.

    Also this week: Mayor Bill de Blasio begins the week on a presidential campaign trip to Puerto Rico, where he went after a stop in New Hampshire this weekend. The mayor will not be on the Democratic stage Thursday evening for the third primary debate

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    (photo: William Alatriste/City Council)


    The Trump administration’s changes to the “public charge” policy are so ambiguous and poorly communicated as to leave little doubt about whether the resulting fear rippling through immigrant communities nationwide was baked into this bigoted scheme.

    Here in New York City, we refuse to follow the White House down this dark path. We are the home of Ellis Island, a town built with immigrant hands and made great by the diversity we celebrate. We will fight the imminent public charge policy changes with

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  • retirement saving event

    Feb. 2016 (photo: Demetrius Freeman/Mayoral Photography Office)


    In his State of the City speech in January, Mayor Bill de Blasio promised that the city would create a system of retirement security for millions of New Yorkers who work in the private sector and may not have access to employer-provided savings plans. It was a revival of an effort the mayor had first pushed in 2016 but that bumped up against the change in presidential

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    (photo: Rob Bennett/Mayoral Photography Office)


    Setember 4, 2019 - Max & Murphy Podcast: Recommendations from the Mayor's School Diversity Task Force & What Comes Next

    gonzales treyger wbaiMayor de Blasio's School Diversity Advisory Group recently released its second and final set of recommendations for how to desegregate and improve the city's schools. The panel made

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    (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    The New York City Council’s effort to reduce the criminalization of low-level, non-violent offenses through legislation passed in 2016 has continued to further achieve its aims for the third year in a row, as the NYPD makes fewer arrests and hands out fewer criminal summonses, opting instead for civil fines. But there remain concerns about racial disparities in law enforcement, as an overwhelming number of citations are handed out to black and Latino New Yorkers.

    In 2016, the Council under former

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    (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    Earlier this week, the School Diversity Advisory Group (SDAG) released its second and final set of recommendations to integrate city schools, a significant development in the current chapter of the city’s response to deep racial and economic segregation in its school system, which is the largest in the country and home to 1.1 million students.

    This chapter began in 2014, 60 years after Brown v. Board of Education and Bill de Blasio’s first year as Mayor, when ...

  • New York City Hall

    New York City Hall


    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    Mayor de Blasio was back in the city to march in a wet West Indian Day parade in Brooklyn on Monday after Nevada and California presidential campaign stops (and a family trip to Connecticut). The mayor is continuing with his presidential bid even as several others, such as New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, have dropped out recently. Neither de Blasio nor Gillibrand qualified for the Democratic primary debate set for

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  • council holds oversight

    (photo: William Alatriste/City Council)


    The New York City Council regularly passes bills mandating that city agencies create reports on their work, ostensibly as part of the Council’s oversight responsibilities. From city jail populations to hate crimes statistics to use of force by police officers, the Council has passed bills requiring a report be delivered to it.

    The Council passes so many reporting bills that last year, it passed ...

  • New York City Hall

    New York City Hall


    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    This week, we'll find out whether Mayor Bill de Blasio and U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York will qualify for the next Democratic presidential primary debate scheduled for September 12 and 13. The debate qualification deadline is Wednesday, August 28, and both candidates have struggled to meet the dual donor and polling threshold – each must hit at least 2% in 4 DNC-approved polls and at least 130,000

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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 returned to the city on Sunday evening after spending two days campaigning in New Hampshire. The mayor continues to struggle to drum up support for his presidential campaign and has yet to meet the donor threshold for the next Democratic primary debate, which will be held in September. But he may receive a much-needed boost when he appears at a CNN town hall to discuss his campaign on Sunday,

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  • spcojo borelli

    Joe Borelli, center (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    Joe Borelli, the Republican City Council Member from Staten Island’s South Shore, has made a name for himself as one of the most vociferous pro-Donald Trump supporters in the president’s home city. But, Borelli is a realist and knows that Trump is unpopular in very-Democratic New York, and that the Republican Party has a lot of work to do to regain a foothold in city or state government after several disappointing elections.

    During ...

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    Speaker Johnson, the author, at a construction site (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    Opportunity Zones, which were part of the 2017 federal tax package, have the potential to improve low-income communities. But the way they are currently structured, they will only benefit neighborhoods already in the midst of building booms and gentrification.

    Here is how they are supposed to work: Investors get tax breaks if they invest in businesses and property development in low-income communities. In New York City, investors are eligible to save

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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 many eyes on the apparent death by suicide of Jeffrey Epstein in federal prison in Manhattan, news of which broke on Saturday morning. While conspiracy theories are swirling, Mayor Bill de Blasio and many others are calling for a full investigation. Federal prosecutors who were bringing a child prostitution case against Epstein said that the "conspiracy" case against Epstein's alleged

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  • city council c s protecting

    Donovan Richards and John Miller (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    As the internet continues to transform the landscape of threats to the United States and New York City specifically, the NYPD has had to adapt, and the police department in the country’s largest city, what some call its ‘number one terror target,’ uses monitoring and surveillance tools that have raised questions. Advancements in technology and tactics -- as well as age-old concerns about privacy, free speech, and due process, plus prior departmental errors in

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