Gotham Gazette

The Place for New York Policy and politics

 

Corey Johnson

Corey Johnson

  • Corey Johnson City Council hearing

    Speaker Johnson & Council members (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    The New York City Council has been pushing for temporary relief for lower- and middle-class homeowners in this year’s budget, calling on Mayor Bill de Blasio to fund a one-time $400 property tax rebate that would cost about $187 million in total. Council Members, some of whom are homeowners themselves and could potentially qualify for the rebate, say it’s a much needed measure that could help thousands of New Yorkers reduce their annual tax burden.

    The

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  • de Blasio corey johnson meeting

    (photo: Benjamin Kanter/Mayor's Office)


    Mayor Bill de Blasio says he doesn’t have the money. The City Council says it is very much there.

    On April 26, the mayor released his executive budget proposal for the 2019 fiscal year, an $89.06 billion spending plan that he called “a downpayment on a more fair future for New Yorkers.” But the plan didn’t include major priorities previously outlined by the City Council, namely $212 million to fund half-priced MetroCards for thousands of low-income New Yorkers, a one-time $400 property

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  • speaker corey johnson council members

    Speaker Johnson, center, CM Dromm, and Finance Director McKinney, background (photo: Emil Cohen/City Council)


    Last month, before the New York City Council issued its budget demands for next fiscal year to Mayor Bill de Blasio and before the mayor eventually ignored nearly all of them in his Executive Budget plan, the Council called in administration budget officials to testify on a modification to the current year’s budget.

    In past years, budget modifications have been subject to the same perfunctory hearing.

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  • guvandrcuomo comm center

    Gov. Cuomo with top NYC officials and others (photo: Governor's office)


    Governor Andrew Cuomo’s executive order earlier this month to impose an external monitor on the crisis-plagued New York City Housing Authority has turned into a potential budget boondoggle for the city, with Mayor Bill de Blasio warning on Thursday of the “unforeseen consequences” the order could have on the city’s fiscal future.

    The governor’s

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  • de Blasio budget presentation

    Mayor de Blasio presents a budget (photo: Ed Reed/Mayor's Office)


    Mayor Bill de Blasio unveiled an $89.06 billion executive budget proposal for the 2019 fiscal year on Thursday, decrying new spending that the city must undertake to meet shortfalls and unfunded mandates imposed by the new state budget approved last month, and cautioning of federal actions that could affect the city’s fiscal future.

    The latest budget proposal reflects a net spending increase of about $390 million from the mayor’s preliminary budget released in

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  • De Blasio town hall smile

    Mayor de Blasio (photo: Mayor's Office)


    Mayor Bill de Blasio on Wednesday denied any real or perceived conflicts of interest arising from his choice of appointments to his Charter Revision Commission, which includes individuals who have donated to his past campaigns for elected office.

    “Of course, whether someone was a supporter or donor was not a factor,” de Blasio said at an unrelated news conference at City Hall, when asked by Gotham Gazette whether

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  • govcuomobreakfast

    (Don Pollard/Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo)


    Following completion of the fiscal year 2019 state budget late last month, Mayor Bill de Blasio was forced into a decision whereby the city will pay half the $836 million MTA Subway Action Plan. De Blasio had for months refused to match the state’s $418 million pledge, put forth immediately by Governor Andrew Cuomo upon MTA Chair Joe Lhota’s release of the plan.

    Now, the mayor says, the ball is even more clearly in Cuomo’s court to get the subways running reliably. But just a week after the budget

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  • speaker johnson presents preliminary budgetresponse 3 credit william alatriste

    Speaker Johnson and colleagues (photo: William Alatriste/City Council)


    The New York City Council appears to be gearing up for a tense budget fight with Mayor Bill de Blasio, releasing a telling early counter on Tuesday in its official response to the mayor’s $88.7 billion proposed budget for next

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  • Government Operations

    Council Member Cabrera and others (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    Note: The City Council passed this bill on Wednesday, April 11

    The New York City Council is moving ahead with a bill to create a Charter Revision Commission to review the city charter, the city’s seminal governing document, with a committee vote on the bill set for Tuesday, and the full Council likely to vote it through on Wednesday. The Council’s commission is a separate effort from Mayor Bill de Blasio’s own commission, called by the mayor a few weeks

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  • Carlina Rivera City Council

    Council Member Carlina Rivera (photo: Emil Cohen)


    The New York City Council’s Women’s Caucus, comprised of the 11 women in the 51-member legislative body, will soon have additional support for its legislative and programmatic agenda with new funding for a full-time paid staff person added to the Council’s operating budget for the next fiscal year.

    The Council’s finance committee voted last week to approve a $17.3 million

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  • Johnson Dromm City Council budget

    Council Members Cumbo, Johnson & Dromm (l-r) (photo: John McCarten)


    The City Council’s Committee on Finance voted on Thursday to increase the Council’s operating budget to $81.3 million, an increase of nearly 27 percent from the current fiscal year’s budget of $64 million, following through on Speaker Corey Johnson’s promise to increase internal resources and produce a stronger role for the legislative body in areas such as land use and oversight.

    The City Charter allows the Council to decide its own budget, with no required oversight and

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  • vanessa gibson

    Council Member Gibson (photo: William Alatriste)


    As the New York City Council continues to examine Mayor Bill de Blasio’s $88.67 billion preliminary budget for 2019, a newly created committee under Council Speaker Corey Johnson is paying extra attention to the ‘other’ budget - the capital plan - the administration’s proposed spending on schools, parks, jails and other long-term infrastructure projects.

    Over the last few weeks, the

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  • Fernando Cabrera

    Council Member Fernando Cabrera (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    A day after Mayor Bill de Blasio announced initial appointments to a Charter Revision Commission that he is convening to examine the city’s campaign finance laws, Public Advocate Letitia James and Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer testified before the City Council on their own alternative proposal to create a Commission to examine the structure of city government.

    The Charter is the city’s seminal governing document, laying out the powers and functions of every level of

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  • Corey Johnson

    Speaker Johnson (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    City Council Speaker Corey Johnson said last week that the Council would forge ahead with legislation to create a Charter Revision Commission to review the broad structure of city government, bucking Mayor Bill de Blasio’s intention to unilaterally create a commission meant to explore campaign finance and electoral reforms. And Johnson’s support of the bill -- first proposed in December by Public Advocate Letitia James and Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer -- also came with one significant change to

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  • Corey Johnson Stuart Applebaum

    Above: Speaker Johnson and Stuart Applebaum (photos: William Alatriste/City Council)


    Political action committees affiliated with prominent unions in the city invested heavily in the 2017 municipal election cycle, contributing to candidates in races for City Council, borough-wide and citywide positions. And that giving continued after the election was over, with many of the same unions having another opportunity to donate to elected officials. The new City Council Speaker Corey Johnson was one of the beneficiaries of that giving, taking in

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  • Johnson Rodriguez City Council

    Speaker Johnson, center, & CM Rodriguez, right (photo: William Alatriste)


    City Council Speaker Corey Johnson said Thursday that the elected Council members of the body he leads will get “deference” but “no veto” on land use matters.

    Even before he was officially elected the new speaker of the Council, Johnson had already begun to define how he would approach the job. In clear breaks from his predecessor, Melissa Mark-Viverito, Johnson promised greater independence from the mayor, expanded oversight over city agencies, and a

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  • Johnson City Council staff

    Speaker Johnson and others (photo: William Alatriste/City Council)


    Last week, the City Council proposed a legislative package aimed at confronting sexual harassment in private and government work environments. It includes 11 bills, four of which would apply to city agencies should they become law. Council members sponsoring the bills, including Speaker Corey Johnson, touted the legislation as evidence of the Council taking

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  • Speaker Corey Johnson podium

    Council Speaker Johnon (photos: John McCarten/City Council)


    City Council members pressed budget officials from Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration for more transparency and a better accounting of spending and revenue plans at a Monday hearing on the mayor’s $88.67 billion proposed preliminary budget for the 2019 fiscal year, which begins July 1. It was the first hearing of what will be weeks of public discussions, and the first under the new City Council speaker and new Council finance committee chair.

    “I want to focus on what will

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  • Corey Johnson Mayor de Blasio budget briefing

    Speaker Johnson talks with Mayor de Blasio (photo: William Alatriste)


    The City Council is set to begin hearings next week on Mayor Bill de Blasio’s $88.67 billion preliminary budget proposal for fiscal year 2019, with a smaller but significant figure likely to become an issue of controversy in negotiations between the two sides of City Hall.  

    Council Speaker Corey Johnson

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  • Corey Johnson Mark-Viverito City Council

    Speaker Johnson and former Speaker Mark-Viverito (photo: William Alatriste/City Council)


    The Manhattan Democratic County Committee is dropping a lawsuit against the New York City Council over a nomination for a commissioner to the Board of Elections.

    In December, the Manhattan Democratic Party, led by Chair Keith Wright, filed a legal challenge against then-Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito’s attempt to confirm her preferred candidate to a Manhattan BOE commissioner seat over the county party’s choice. A lawyer for the

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  • Bronx jail site NYPD tow pound

    Planned Bronx jail site (photos: Samar Khurshid/Gotham Gazette)


    When Mayor Bill de Blasio and City Council Speaker Corey Johnson announced last week that they’d reached a deal to speed up the closure of Rikers Island by creating or expanding jail facilities in every borough except Staten Island, it seemed to be a clear sign of a productive partnership between the administration and local elected officials.

    The mayor and speaker made the announcement at a news conference at City Hall, alongside four Council members -- Diana Ayala, Karen

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  • union square tech hub

    Union Square tech hub rendering via the mayor's office


    This past week, two Manhattan Community Board 3 committees voted to approve the city's application for the proposed Union Square Training Center, also known as the Union Square tech hub, which the de Blasio administration says will create 800 construction jobs and then 600 permanent jobs in the growing technology sector. The land use and economic development committees of CB3 opted not to condition their vote in favor of the proposal on rezoning several blocks south of the proposed project as the

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  • Corey Johnson Fernando Cabrera City Council

    Above: Corey Johnson and Fernando Cabrera (photo: William Alatriste) (photo below: John McCarten)


    When new City Council Speaker Corey Johnson, the first openly gay and openly HIV-positive person to hold the powerful position, unveiled his leadership team and Council committee assignments, he appointed two anti-LGBT Council members to chair committees, and named one to senior leadership in the 51-member legislative body. The moves seemed to have raised few eyebrows despite the stark contrast with Johnson’s life story and

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  • Johnson podium stated meeting

    Speaker Johnson (photo: William Alatriste/City Council)


    After weeks of mostly procedural activity to start its new four-year term, the New York City Council convened Wednesday afternoon for its first legislation-focused 2018 meeting, which included discussion and reintroduction of bills from the previous session that had not passed, as well as the introduction of new bills.

    Some of the 408 pieces of legislation reintroduced deal with tenant

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  • Kallos Salamanca City Council

    Council Members Ben Kallos, left, and Rafael Salamanca (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    When new City Council Speaker Corey Johnson reshuffled committee portfolios earlier this month, Council Member Ben Kallos lost his position as chair of the Committee on Governmental Operations. Sources say the move was punishment for Kallos’ approach to Board of Elections commissioner nominations and because of his support for one of Johnson’s opponents in the speaker race.

    By virtually all accounts, Kallos had done an exceptional job chairing

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