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City Council

City Council

  • council cojo hearing

    Council Members Dromm & Gibson with Speaker Johnson in between (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    The City Council held its first hearing on Mayor Bill de Blasio’s $95.3 billion preliminary budget on Monday, calling on the administration to find more agency efficiencies and savings and to fund the Council’s own priorities, while also asking for a contingency plan should potential state budget cuts and cost-shifts go through this year.

    The mayor’s budget proposal this year increases spending by $2.5 billion over last year’s adopted budget,

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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 news that New York has its first positive case of the new coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, with a Manhattan resident infected, reportedly from a trip to Iran.

    Governor Andrew Cuomo issued the following statement on Sunday evening:
    "This evening we learned of the first positive case of novel coronavirus — or COVID-19 — in New York State. The patient, a woman in her

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  • cm preliminary

    De Blasio and the City Council talk budget (photo: William Alatriste/City Council)


    The New York City Council will on Monday begin its public examination of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s $95.3 billion preliminary budget proposal for the 2021 fiscal year, which begins July 1. As in previous budget cycles, the Council and budget watchdogs are pushing the mayor to find more savings in city operations and sock away more money for fiscal emergencies.

    First with Monday’s overall discussion of de Blasio’s budget plans -- both the $95.3 billion annual operating budget and

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  • ydanis rod ste levin rec

    Taxi driver-owners protest at City Hall (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    Last May I wrote a column criticizing the practice of including taxi medallion sales revenue in the city’s operating budget and pointed out the perverse incentive it creates to encourage high sales prices. My comments were triggered by the publication of a compelling investigative series on the New York City taxi medallion market ...

  • cm alicka as joins ps

    DOE Chancellor Richard Carranza visits a classroom (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    In the Campaign for Fiscal Equity case, the state’s Court of Appeals concluded in 2003 that class sizes were too large in New York City schools to provide our students with their constitutional right to a sound basic education, writing that “[T]ens of thousands of students are placed in overcrowded classrooms… The number of children in these straits is large enough to represent a systemic failure.”

    And yet despite this decision, and the fact that

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  • comm eco dev

    Council Member Ritchie Torres (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    The New York City Department of Investigation, a watchdog agency that monitors corruption and more broadly evaluates the functioning of city agencies, will launch a database next month to track each and every reform recommendation it makes, going back to 2014 when Mayor Bill de Blasio took office, and how agencies are complying with them.

    Every year, DOI issues hundreds, if not thousands, of Policy and Procedure Recommendations (PPRs) to city agencies to help them eliminate inefficiencies and

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  • Rosenthal City Council

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


    The City Council is set to pass a bill requiring more reporting from mayoral agencies “on efforts to prevent and address sex- and gender-based discrimination and harassment.” The bill, which passed the Council’s Committee on Women and Gender Equity Tuesday and is likely to pass the full Council on Thursday, deals with the city’s Commission on Gender Equity (CGE) and the Department of Education.

    According to Council Member Helen Rosenthal, a Manhattan Democrat who chairs the

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  • ballot ref

    Brad Lander and others in support of ranked-choice voting (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    City Council Member Brad Lander, a Brooklyn Democrat, is introducing legislation on Thursday that would close a loophole in city campaign finance law that currently allows groups to hide their donors when they try to influence voting on a ballot referendum.

    The city’s campaign finance law is fairly robust, having been updated repeatedly over the years to reduce the effect of big money on politics, including independent expenditure groups that seek to sway elections. But

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  • city oversight hearing

    (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    The Department of Investigation, an independent city agency that monitors and investigates government corruption, waste, and mismanagement, has yet to complete thousands of background checks on workers currently employed in city government. At a hearing of the City Council’s Committee on Oversight and Investigations on Monday, DOI Commissioner Margaret Garnett sought to explain why the agency had fallen behind and assured Council members that the problem would not carry on into the future.

    As of Friday,

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  • New York City Hall

    New York City Hall


    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    After his win in Nevada over the weekend, many eyes in the New York political world and beyond are on a surging Bernie Sanders presidential campaign and questions around whether his nomination is becoming all-but-certain. Another Democratic primary debate is set for Tuesday night in South Carolina, just ahead of that state’s primary on Saturday. Michael Bloomberg will surely be looking for a stronger performance than

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  • primary voting chi bdb

    (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    Though a new system for holding many city elections was overwhelmingly approved by voters last fall, new details about how ranked-choice voting will actually work continue to emerge.

    Ranked-choice voting, which will apply to only special and primary elections for New York City government positions, allows voters to rank up to five candidates in order of preference. If no candidate hits a majority of votes, a system of vote redistribution based on second and possibly subsequent choices is

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  • council andy king

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


    Another day, another egregious ethics violation, and it’s still business as usual in the City Council. Last week, the Council’s Committee on Standards and Ethics announced yet another investigation, the third to be precise, into Council Member Andy King’s behavior.

    New charges allege that King actively tried to circumvent the Council-imposed ‘monitor,’ seemingly a glorified babysitter since he could not be trusted to act appropriately with his staff, and violated a majority of the

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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 a holiday and Mayor Bill de Blasio flying back from Nevada, where he was campaigning on behalf of Bernie Sanders for president after endorsing the Vermont senator. After a tortured 2016 process that led to a humiliating endorsement of Hillary Clinton in that year’s Democratic primary over Sanders, de Blasio attempted his own run for president this time around, quickly bowing out of the race after

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  • spk co jo ste lev

    Council Member Steve Levin & Speaker Corey Johnson (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    February 12, 2020 - Max & Murphy Podcast: The City Council's Plan to Reduce Homelessness

    ste levin wbaiCity Council Member Stephen Levin joined the show to discuss the City Council's new report and plan to reduce homelessness in New York City. Levin, chair of the Council committee with oversight of

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  • jumaane williams alan maisel attend

    (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    The City Council is set to pass legislation requiring two city agencies to collaborate on a plan to ensure more older New Yorkers who are eligible for food assistance are enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), otherwise known as food stamps.

    It is one of four bills related to food access passed by the Council’s Committee on the General Welfare during a Monday hearing, just ahead of the full Council meeting on Tuesday where the legislation is expected to

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  • corey jphnson participate

    Council Speaker Johnson at a food pantry (photo: John McCarten/CityCouncil)


    The City Council is expected to pass a package of food policy legislation on Tuesday, central components of an agenda laid out by Speaker Corey Johnson last August to strengthen relevant governance and food policy planning, while combating inequality and waste in the food supply chain.

    One bill, sponsored by Council Member Vanessa Gibson, would require the Mayor’s Office of Food Policy to develop a ten-year plan to address food access and build a sustainable

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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 a great deal of attention on the shootings of two NYPD officers in separate weekend incidents in the Bronx, allegedly committed by the same assailant. Both officers, one who was sitting in an NYPD van and the other who was in an NYPD precinct house, are in stable condition (the officer shot on Saturday night was released from the hospital on Sunday).

    NYPD officials and others are calling

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  • 3 chancellor receiving

    Saving for college (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    Across every borough, neighborhood, and community in New York City, families are united behind one wish: that their children will have the access and opportunity to fulfill their dreams. Making this wish a reality, however, is more complicated.

    Increasingly, current household income determines a child’s future. Nationally,...

  • city planning

    (rendering via the Mayor's Office)


    The New York City Council is crafting legislation to mandate the creation of a comprehensive plan for the city that would guide long-term decisions on land use, zoning, and investments in infrastructure. The effort is being led by Council Speaker Corey Johnson and Council Members Brad Lander and Antonio Reynoso.

    Last year, the City Council urged the 2019 Charter Revision Commission to propose to voters an

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  • New York City Hall

    New York City Hall


    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    This week 

    The week begins with anticipation of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s 2020 State of the City address, likely his next-to-last as mayor, which he’ll deliver on Thursday, but much of the week will be dominated by national politics. The Iowa caucuses, the first Democratic contest of the presidential election, are on Monday; President Donald Trump will deliver his State of the Union address on Tuesday; and

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  • cojo adv

    (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson on Thursday released a plan that he said takes a “smarter, more strategic, holistic, long-term” approach to addressing the city’s homelessness crisis, seeking to end what he called the siloed policies of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration and calling for more funding from the city and state to both help homeless individuals find permanent housing and prevent people from becoming homeless in the first place.

    “This is, without exaggeration, a humanitarian crisis in the wealthiest city in

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  • dept corr joseph ponte island

    Mayor de Blasio on Rikers Island (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    In the wake of a series of damning reports showing a rise of violence and use of force in city jails -- even as the inmate population has plummeted and city government has significantly increased its spending on the Department of Correction -- lawmakers are looking at ways to address the problem, beginning with court-mandated reforms, which seem to have fallen by the wayside.

    The City Council’s Committee on Criminal Justice will be holding an oversight

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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, the New York political world is reacting to the announcement by Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr. that he will not be running for Mayor in 2021. First reported by the New York Times on Sunday, Diaz Jr. said he didn’t feel that his heart was really in the early stages of the race

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  • electeds yr

    Thursday's rally (photo: Samar Khurshid)


    About 1 million foreign-born New York City residents who have permanent residency status or are legally authorized to work in the United States could become eligible to vote in municipal elections under a new bill introduced before the New York City Council on Thursday.

    Sponsored by Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez, a Manhattan Democrat, the bill (Intro. 1867) would extend the franchise to green card and work permit holders who can show they have lived in the five boroughs for at least 30 days. The bill is the latest

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  • office mayor kierker

    DVS Commissioner Hendon (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    At a City Council oversight hearing on Tuesday, the new commissioner of the city’s Department of Veterans’ Services (DVS), James Hendon, outlined two main priorities for the next chapter of his department’s work and its efforts to help the city’s hundreds of thousands of military veterans.

    Testifying before the Council’s Committee on Veterans, Hendon, who was appointed by Mayor Bill de Blasio in October 2019, said he is focused on internal restructuring of DVS and outreach to the

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