Gotham Gazette

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City Council

City Council

  • Max Politics Podcast: City Council Member Diana Ayala on Mental Health Oversight, Running for Speaker, & More

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    City Council Member Diana Ayala (photo: Jeff Reed/City Council)


    November 24, 2021 - Max Politics Podcast: City Council Member Diana Ayala on Mental Health Oversight, Running for Speaker, & More

    City Council Member Diana Ayala joined the show to discuss her work in the City Council, especially on mental health policy oversight, her run for City Council Speaker, and more.

    Listen to the conversation and let us know what you think, on Twitter @TweetBenMax. You can listen to the

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  • Vision 2022: An Open Letter to New York City Council Members

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    Gale Brewer, the author (photo:  (Kevin P. Coughlin / Office of the Governor)


    As New York City faces the continuing challenges of COVID-19 and new opportunities, the next Speaker of the City Council will need to have the experience, relationships, and know-how to make government work for Council Members and their constituents.

    Traditionally, the New York City Council has functioned in a top-down decision-making process. As Speaker, I'll lead a more member-driven body that empowers Council Members to vote their conscience.

    I know

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  • Approving Blood Center Project, City Council Overrides 'Member Deference' for First Time in Over a Decade

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


    The New York City Council voted 43-5 to approve a rezoning of the New York Blood Center to create a new life sciences hub on the Upper East Side, in a rare vote that overrode the wishes of local Council Member Ben Kallos.

    The Council has typically followed the tradition of “member deference” on land use matters, voting along with the member whose district includes the proposed rezoning. In the case of the Blood Center, negotiations had been going on for many months among

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  • ‘The New Commissioner Really Has Her Work Cut Out For Her’: Adrienne Adams on Police Reform, Running for City Council Speaker, and More

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


    The New York Police Department needs a major culture shift, according to City Council Member Adrienne Adams, a Queens Democrat who chairs the Council’s public safety committee, and incoming Mayor Eric Adams can lead the way.

    Speaking at length on a recent episode of the Max Politics podcast from Gotham Gazette, Adams outlined key takeaways from a series of oversight hearings she has chaired and

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  • Max Politics Podcast: City Council Member Francisco Moya on Zoning Battles, Running for Speaker, & More

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


    November 20, 2021 - Max Politics Podcast: City Council Member Francisco Moya on Zoning Battles, Running for Speaker, & More

    City Council Member Francisco Moya joined the show to discuss his work chairing the Council's zoning subcommittee, recent land use debates and larger issues of development, and his bid to become the next Council Speaker.

    Listen to the conversation and let us know what you think, on Twitter ...

  • Max Politics Podcast: Gale Brewer on Her Tenure as Borough President, Running for City Council Speaker, & More

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    Borough President/Council Member-Elect Gale Brewer (photo: Gale A Brewer/flickr)


    November 17, 2021 - Max Politics Podcast: Gale Brewer on Her Tenure as Borough President, Running for City Council Speaker, & More

    Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, recently reelected to the City Council and seeking to become its next Speaker, joined the show to discuss her tenure as BP, a variety of issues facing Manhattan and New York City, her campaign for Speaker, her relationship with Mayor-Elect Eric Adams, and more.

    Listen to

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  • The City Council Should Vote Yes on the Blood Center Project

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    Blood Center project rendering (image: Ennead)


    As current and future leaders of four of New York City’s five boroughs, we strongly urge the full City Council to vote “yes” at the upcoming meeting, Tuesday, November 23, on the New York Blood Center’s proposal to modernize and expand its antiquated Upper East Side building to secure the future of a nonprofit that is essential to hospitals across the city and position our city as a global public health capital.

    For projects of citywide importance like the Blood Center’s, we must balance the needs of

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  • City Council Examines CUNY Employment of Adjunct Faculty Amid Pandemic Turmoil

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    A CUNY classroom (photo: @cunyedu)


    During a hearing this past Friday, November 12, the New York City Council sought new information about the use and treatment of adjunct faculty at the City University of New York (CUNY), a controversial topic that has become more fraught amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

    The virtual hearing, held by the Council’s higher education committee and chaired by Council Member Inez Barron, a Brooklyn Democrat, included testimony from two main CUNY officials: Interim Executive Vice Chancellor and University Provost Daniel

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  • Max Politics Podcast: Eric Ulrich on His City Council Tenure, the Future of New York City and Its Republican Party

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    City Council Member Eric Ulrich (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    October 26, 2021 - Max Politics Podcast: Eric Ulrich on His City Council Tenure, the Future of New York City and Its Republican Party

    City Council Member Eric Ulrich, a Queens Republican term-limited out of office at the end of this year, joined the show to discuss his tenure, the competitive race to replace him, his support for Democrat Eric Adams in the mayoral race, his own future, and more.

    Listen to the conversation and let us know what

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  • Max Politics Podcast: City Council Member Adrienne Adams on NYPD Oversight, Running for Speaker, & More

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    City Council Member Adrienne Adams (photo: Emil Cohen/City Council)


    October 26, 2021 - Max Politics Podcast: City Council Member Adrienne Adams on NYPD Oversight & More

    City Council Member Adrienne Adams, a Queens Democrat, joined the show to discuss her work chairing the Council's public safety committee, including recent NYPD oversight hearings, her bid to become the next Speaker of the City Council, and more.

    Listen to the conversation and let us know what you think, on Twitter ...

  • 'A Woman Must Be the Next Speaker of the Council': Carlina Rivera on Hospitals Oversight, Vaccine Equity, & Running for Speaker

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    Council Member Carlina Rivera, front, with Council Speaker Corey Johnson (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    “We have these populations of New York City that just alarmingly have not been vaccinated,” said City Council Member Carlina Rivera, a few days after co-chairing a recent Council oversight hearing on vaccine hesitancy and equity. “Like you can look at New Yorkers who are aged 85 years and older — they have the lowest vaccination rate of all age groups, there's only 58% of them that are fully vaccinated. These are some of our most vulnerable in

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  • City Council to Examine Bill Loosening Rules Around Mailing Constituents Before Elections

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    City Council chambers (photo: Gerardo Romo/NYC Council)


    With less than three months before the end of its term, the City Council is assessing legislation that could weaken rules meant to prevent the use of government resources for political purposes.

    City officials are banned, with few exceptions, from sending official mass mailers to constituents for 90 days before a primary or general election. The rationale behind that blackout rule is to thwart the potential use of city funds and resources to boost an elected official’s image and political

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  • City Council Passes Bill Requiring 'Citywide Climate Adaptation Plan'

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    Coastal resiliency project underway (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    Update: The City Council approved the Citywide Climate Adaptation Plan legislation on Thursday, October 7.

    After Hurricane Ida once again exposed New York City’s vulnerability to major climate events, the New York City Council is set to pass, and Mayor Bill de Blasio is expected to sign, a bill that will mandate the creation of a new “citywide climate adaptation plan.”

    The Council will vote on Thursday to approve the legislation, ...

  • Max Politics Podcast: City Council Member Carlina Rivera on Hospitals Oversight, Running for Speaker, & More

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    City Council Member Carlina Rivera (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    October 1, 2021 - Max Politics Podcast: City Council Member Carlina Rivera on Hospitals Oversight & More

    City Council Member Carlina Rivera, a Manhattan Democrat who chairs the Council's Committee on Hospitals, joined the show to discuss two recent hearings she chaired, including one on the city's covid vaccine program, her upcoming legislative priorities, her bid to become the next City Council Speaker, and more.

    Listen to the

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  • ‘It’s About Sweating the Small Stuff’: Council Member Brannan on Resiliency Oversight, Improving City Government, and Running for Speaker

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    City Council Member Justin Brannan (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    Following the severe destruction across the city from Hurricane Ida, City Council Member Justin Brannan is urging immediate measures to better equip the city to withstand severe storms in the future and “our new climate reality.”

    Brannan, a Democrat who chairs the Council’s Committee on Resiliency and Waterfronts, appeared recently on

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  • ‘The Mayor Should Be There’: Council Member Powers on Rikers Oversight, & Running for Speaker

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    Council Member Keith Powers (photo: City Council)


    City Council Member Keith Powers has the crisis in the city’s Rikers Island jail complex directly on his plate. The Manhattan Democrat is chair of the Council’s Committee on Criminal Justice and therefore responsible for one key layer of oversight of city jails.

    Just after convening an emergency meeting about conditions on Rikers with several key city officials and ahead of chairing a formal City Council oversight hearing on the subject, ...

  • Max Politics Podcast: City Council Member Carlos Menchaca on the Push for Noncitizen Voting & More

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


    September 22, 2021 - Max Politics Podcast: City Council Member Carlos Menchaca on the Push for Noncitizen Voting & More

    City Council Member Carlos Menchaca, a Brooklyn Democrat and chair of the Council's immigration committee, joined the show to discuss legislation that would extend municipal voting rights to permanent resident green card-holders and other issues he's working on.

    Listen to the conversation and let us know what you think, on

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  • Max Politics Podcast: City Council Member Justin Brannan on Resiliency Oversight, Running for Speaker, & More

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    City Council Member Justin Brannan (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    September 16, 2021 - Max Politics Podcast: City Council Member Justin Brannan on Resiliency Oversight & More

    City Council Member Justin Brannan, chair of the Council's resiliency and waterfronts committee and a candidate to be the next speaker of the Council, joined the show to discuss his recent oversight hearing and other issues related to resiliency and government effectiveness, as well as his bid for speaker and more.

    Listen to

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  • Differing Visions for Public Safety in Western Queens City Council Race

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     Tiffany Cabán, left, and Felicia Kalan


    As in many other races in New York City this election cycle, public safety is the defining issue in the general election in Queens’ City Council District 22, where a rising leftist political star who wants to abolish prisons and the police is facing a Republican pitching a far more conserative approach and ‘common sense’ moderation in the overwhelmingly Democratic district.

    The major party nominees are Tiffany Cabán, a democratic socialist and former public defender who won the Democratic

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  • Max Politics Podcast: City Council Member Keith Powers on Oversight of City Jails, Running for Speaker, & More

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    City Council Member Keith Powers (photo: Jeff Reed/City Council)


    September 8, 2021 - Max Politics Podcast: City Council Member Keith Powers on Oversight of City Jails & More

    City Council Member Keith Powers, a Manhattan Democrat who chairs the Council's criminal justice committee, joined the show to discuss the crisis in city jails and the steps he's taking and monitoring to improve conditions, including an emergency stakeholder meeting he coordinated and a Council oversight hearing he will soon chair. Powers also discussed efforts to

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  • City Council Schedules Oversight Hearing on NYC School Reopening

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    Council Speaker Johnson, right, and Council Member Treyger (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    UPDATE: On Saturday August 21, following the publication of this article on the evening of Thursday August 19, the City Council scheduled an oversight hearing by the education committee on the city's school reopening plans for Wednesday September 1. The hearing will come less than two weeks before the first official day of school for more than 900,000 public school students on Monday September 13. The article below has been

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  • Government Keeps Failing Social Service Providers, Now We’re Passing the Buck to Labor

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


    I am proud to support and fight for workers in the human services sector. The city’s 125,000-plus social service workers provide essential services to 2.5 million New Yorkers, especially seniors, children, people with disabilities, and our neighbors experiencing homelessness. Most recently, they have been absolutely central to New York City’s response to the pandemic, ensuring that the most vulnerable do not fall through the cracks.

    Human

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  • Public Safety Focus Could Look Different with Majority-Women City Council

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


    With women poised to take a majority of seats in the New York City Council for the first time come January, new ways of addressing public safety could be on the way.

    Jennifer Gutierrez, who won the Democratic primary by a wide margin in the 34th City Council District and is likely to win the general election easily, is among those expected to be part of that new Council majority. Gutierrez, who has worked in the office of term-limited Council Member Antonio Reynoso, the likely next

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  • City Council Goes More Than 5 Months Without Oversight Hearing on Covid Vaccination Effort

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    City Council Speaker Corey Johnson and Health Chair Mark Levine (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    After weeks of flagging covid vaccine rates, ongoing racial disparities among the vaccinated, and the troubling spread of the Delta variant, Mayor Bill de Blasio is taking his first steps to impose more coercive vaccine policies in New York City. The mayor announced on Monday an upcoming mandate for all city workers to be vaccinated or subject to weekly covid testing, while encouraging private sector actors to institute their own

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  • New York City Should Send a Message to Wendy’s, Which Refuses to Protect Its Farmworkers

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    Wendy's (photo: @jjbers)


    When the country’s largest fast food companies were pressured to step up to combat sexual violence, forced labor, and other human rights abuses in their supply chain, they all eventually agreed — except one. 

    After years of pressure, Wendy’s still refuses to follow its peers and join the Fair Food Program to protect farmworkers and uphold their human rights. But the movement to get Wendy’s to take this basic step is gaining momentum. It’s time for the New York City Council to pass ...