Gotham Gazette

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City Council

City Council

  • As Mayor Adams Takes on the Issue, City Council Examines NYC Workforce Development Programs and Plans

    Mayor Adams visits a factory (photo: Michael

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  • New Investigations Commissioner Says Department Needs More Funding to Do Its Job Fighting Corruption in City Government

    Mayor Adams holds a cabinet meeting (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)


    New York City Department of Investigation Commissioner Jocelyn Strauber critiqued Mayor Eric Adams' proposed cuts to her agency's budget Tuesday in testimony before the New York City Council, and called for a partial restoration of funds for what she said are "necessary" enhancements.

    Officials at the DOI, which investigates city government corruption, estimate the department would, baed on the mayor’s spending plan, see a reduction in funding of approximately $2 million in its Fiscal Year 2023 budget even after the agency makes

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  • What is New York City Doing to Boost Covid Vaccination Where Rates Remain Persistently Low?

    (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)

    Getting vaccinated (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    Uptake of COVID-19 vaccines remains persistently low in pockets of New York City two years into the pandemic, despite being shown to reduce the severity and spread of the virus that has killed nearly 40,000 New Yorkers.

    A city health department study in August found a vast majority of covid-related hospitalizations

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  • 'Clear Proof Lives Have Been Saved': Will New York Expand on First Overdose Prevention Centers?

    An Overdose Prevention Center (photo: @nycHealthy)


    In December, New York City became the first municipality in the country to establish Overdose Prevention Centers to allow people with substance use disorders to safely use drugs under medical supervision while receiving services such as medical care, mental health treatment, and more. After years of consideration and discussions with other levels of government, the de Blasio administration gave a longtime nonprofit service-provider the go-ahead to offer safe injection sites.

    Within the first three months, the two sites in East Harlem and Washington

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  • Two Housing Budget Items the City Council Should Push the Adams Administration On

    Housing in the Bronx (photo: Edwin J. Torres/Mayoral Photography Office)


    When the New York City Council’s Committee on Housing and Buildings hosts its first preliminary budget hearing on Monday morning, it will be held against the backdrop of severe economic uncertainty for many New Yorkers. Inflation rose nearly 8% last month, driven by soaring food and energy costs, putting immense pressure on low- and middle-income families even as the job market remains robust for workers. Rents are also on the rise, in some cases increasing as much as 33% between January 2021 and 2022.

    In New York, this

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  • Ensuring Transportation Equity in New York City

    Council Member Brooks-Powers, the author (left), with MTA CEO Lieber (photo: William Alatriste/NYC Council)


    For too long, New York City’s transportation conversations have focused largely on communities – both geographic and otherwise – that are best able to navigate our city’s streets, sidewalks, waterways, and subways. New York City is now at a pivotal moment where we are seeing historic funding from Washington, D.C. and the first female majority City Council. It is time to reshape the transportation and infrastructure conversation that for too long has left out the outer-boroughs and transportation

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  • Will the New City Council Reform Its Rules?

    City Council Speaker Adrienne Adams (photo: John McCarten/NYC Council Media Unit)


    With a new City Council class and new speaker leading the legislative body, there is another opportunity to change the Council’s internal rules, which haven't been formally revised since 2014.

    It's a relatively obscure corner of public policy because in a city of 8.8 million people the rules apply only to the 51 elected Council members and a few hundred Council staff. But Council members and advocates have for years pointed to measures that

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  • Elected Officials and Activists Call on Mayor to Fully Implement NYC 'Green New Deal'

    Thursday's rally (photo: @NYCComptroller)


    With climate crises bearing down on New York City, including hurricanes and tropical storms that flooded landlocked neighborhoods and killed more than a dozen New Yorkers last year, elected officials and activists are pressing Mayor Eric Adams to act with urgency in implementing a law to tackle carbon emissions in the city.

    At a rally in midtown Manhattan on Thursday morning, climate activists gathered with officials including Public

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  • Questioning ‘Austerity,’ City Council Begins Examining Mayor Adams' $98.5 Billion Preliminary Budget

    Speaker Adams with Council Members Brannan & Brewer (photo: William Alatriste/NYC Council)


    The New York City Council on Wednesday kicked off the process of examining Mayor Eric Adams’ $98.5 billion preliminary budget proposal for the 2023 fiscal year, which begins July 1. It was the first of many hearings that will take place over the next several weeks as the Council digs into the first spending plan of Adams’ four-year term.

    Last month, Adams proposed a somewhat cautious budget while stressing “fiscal discipline.”

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  • Will New York City Be Ready to Implement Landmark Building Emissions Law?

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


    New York’s Climate Mobilization Act of 2019, billed a “Green New Deal” for the city, included a groundbreaking law to cut carbon emissions by the biggest buildings, and the biggest polluters, in the city through caps and mandated energy upgrades and retrofits — or face financial penalties. The first set of emissions caps are set to go into effect in 2024, and the city has the complicated task ahead of setting new rules and regulations by the start of 2023, a formidable task with 10 months to go.

    While Mayor Eric Adams’ administration

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  • 'Laser-Focused on Fiscal Discipline': Mayor Adams Presents First Budget Plan

    (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)

    Mayor Adams at City Hall (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)


    Mayor Eric Adams on Wednesday released a $98.5 billion preliminary budget proposal for the 2023 fiscal year, which begins July 1. The plan makes for a reduction in spending of about $4.3 billion compared to the last modification of the current fiscal year 2022 budget in November by Adams’ predecessor, Bill de Blasio. With his first budget proposal, Adams outlined cost-cutting measures at city agencies, added funds to the city’s reserves, and made investments in

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  • Max Politics Podcast: The Future of NYC Trash, with City Council Sanitation Chair Sandy Nurse

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    City Council Member Sandy Nurse (photo: @SandyforCouncil)


    February 4, 2022 - Max Politics Podcast: The Future of Garbage and Trash, with City Council Member Sandy Nurse

    City Council Member Sandy Nurse, the new chair of the Council's Sanitation Committee, joined the show to discuss her background in recycling and green jobs, her approach to chairing the committee, the future of organics recycling, commercial waste zones, curbside trash containerization, and more.

    Listen to the conversation and let us know what

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  • New York City Council Redistricting Process Set to Kick Off

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    City Council chambers (photo: William Alatriste/City Council)


    The New York City Council is set to kick off the process of redrawing the boundaries of the city’s 51 Council districts on Monday with Council members appointing eight members to an redistricting commission. The new districts, reflective of data from the 2020 Census and other factors, will be at play for the 2023 elections when all 51 seats of the City Council will again be on the ballot, as well as the subsequent 2025 and 2029 elections.

    Under the city Charter, the new

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  • Max Politics Podcast: The New City Council Chairs for Public Health and Hospitals

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    (l-r) City Council Members Linda Lee, Mercedes Narcisse, & Lynn Schulman


    February 1, 2022 - Max Politics Podcast: The New City Council Chairs for Public Health and Hospitals

    Newly-elected New York City Council Members Linda Lee, Mercedes Narcisse, and Lynn Schulman are, respectively, the new chairs of the Council's Committees on Mental Health; Hospitals; and Health. The three lawmakers joined the show to discuss their backgrounds, vision, and plans for chairing these interdependent and overlapping committees that are charged

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  • How Our Parks Can Save Our City

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    Cunningham Park, Queens (photo: @NYCParks)


    New York City’s parks literally saved lives during the pandemic. In my community of Jackson Heights and Elmhurst, our open spaces allowed us to escape the physical, mental, and social constraints of quarantine into fresh air. Today, our parks, pools, playgrounds, and plazas are places of reconnecting and healing for a community pushing forward from its days as the epicenter of a global crisis.

    Across our city, parks and public spaces will be essential to meeting the multiple challenges we face, from health care

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  • Speaker Adams Names City Council Leadership, New Committee Chairs and Members

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    Speaker Adams and several City Council members (photo: John McCarten/NYC Council Media Unit)


    City Council Speaker Adrienne Adams announced new members to her leadership team and chair appointments to the newly-seated Council’s three dozen committees on Thursday.

    Adams, a Democrat from Southeast Queens, had already named three members to key positions when she was elected speaker in an internal vote of the Council earlier this month. Council Member Diana Ayala of the Bronx and Manhattan was given the newly-created position of deputy speaker.

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  • Advice for Adrienne Adams from Her Predecessors as City Council Speaker

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    City Council chambers (photo: Emil Cohen/NYC Council)


    In a near-unanimous vote on Wednesday, Adrienne Adams, a Queens Democrat, was elected the new Speaker of the City Council, making history as the first ever Black leader of the 51-member legislative body. The Speakership gives her a citywide purview with all its incumbent challenges, made even more pressing by the covid pandemic and the city’s ongoing recovery attempts. Rates of both gun violence and unemployment remain high, and the city is facing a number of other crises related to housing, education, and

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  • Adrienne Adams Elected Speaker of the New York City Council

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    City Council Speaker Adrienne Adams (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    Adrienne Adams, a Democrat from Queens, was officially elected as the Speaker of the New York City Council on Wednesday in a near-unanimous internal vote of the 51-member legislative body. Adams is the first Black person to lead the New York City Council and will lead the first-ever women-majority Council, with 31 seats held by women.

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    Who is Adrienne Adams, Presumptive Next New York City Council Speaker?

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    City Council Member Adrienne Adams, the likely next Speaker of the Council (photo: Emil Cohen/City Council)


    City Council Member Adrienne Adams, a Democrat from Southeastern Queens, is poised to become the next Speaker of the City Council. Adams, who has represented District 28 since 2018, will be the first-ever Black Speaker of the 51-member legislative body and will lead the first-ever women-majority New York City Council.

    The Speaker is one of only four elected officials with citywide authority besides the Mayor, Public

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  • Announcing Majority Support, Adrienne Adams Declares Victory in City Council Speaker Race

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    Council Member and likely next Speaker Adrienne Adams (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    City Council Member Adrienne Adams, a Queens Democrat, declared victory on Friday in the race to become the next Speaker of the legislative body, issuing a list of supporters who will make up a majority in the next City Council.

    Announcing support from 33 members, including herself, well past the 26 required votes in the 51-seat Council, Adams is poised to be the first Black Speaker when the vote among the new City Council class is seated

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  • A Black Woman as the Next Leader of the New York City Council

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    Farah Louis, the author (middle, in green) with Adrienne Adams (second from left) & others (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    While tackling the global COVID-19 pandemic, New York City experienced a historic moment this year. We didn’t just break the proverbial glass ceiling; we demolished barriers that were created to leave marginalized communities out for generations. The next New York City Council is on track to be the most diverse in the city’s history, including the first Muslim woman; the first openly gay Black women; seven

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  • NYC Library Leaders Outline Reopening and Recovery Efforts at City Council Hearing

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    Kids at the library (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    On Monday, the City Council’s Committee on Cultural Affairs and Libraries convened to hear updates from the city’s three library systems regarding their programming and COVID-19 recovery.

    According to the committee’s report, Monday marked the second hearing on libraries since they reopened in July of this year after COVID-19 suspended in-person operations for 15 months. The three systems are Brooklyn Public Library, Queens Public Library, and the New York Public Library

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  • De Blasio Leaves Adams a City Budget Mess

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    Mayor de Blasio at a budget briefing (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography)


    Some of us in government are old enough to remember when Mayor Bill de Blasio took office almost eight years ago, fulminating to any reporter in earshot about how his predecessor, Michael Bloomberg, left him with expired labor contracts that presented the city with an “unprecedented” fiscal challenge.

    “The future should not have been mortgaged in this way. But it was by the previous administration and we will have to grapple with it,” he told The Observer at the

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  • ‘What I Bring to the Table is My Experience’: Francisco Moya on Housing Development, Running for City Council Speaker, & More

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    Council Member Francisco Moya (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    New York City needs to revamp its approach to development, argues City Council Member Francisco Moya, and have the next City Council Speaker be an experienced official who can help usher in that new way of doing business while also crafting a budget that reflects the diverse needs of the city’s many districts..

    Appearing on a recent episode of the Max Politics podcast

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  • Let’s Spread the Word About Student Loan Forgiveness

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


    A few years ago, a staff member in my office who owed over $40,000 in student loans came to the realization that she might qualify for eventual loan forgiveness because she worked in local government. Neither her employer, the City Council, or her lender had informed her that working in public service made her eligible for debt relief.

    My staff person is just one of the estimated 1 million New Yorkers who owe student loans. Student loan debt in the United States has reached

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