Gotham Gazette

The Place for New York Policy and politics

 

Keith Powers

Keith Powers

  • dcc pont risland

    Mayor de Blasio on Rikers Island (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    In his second term in office, Mayor Bill de Blasio has worked with the New York City Council to usher through a plan that will close the scandal-ridden Rikers Island jail complex and replace it with four borough-based facilities by 2026. He has repeatedly decried the crumbling infrastructure and the well-documented incidents of violence, by detainees and guards, among the many issues of the sprawling Island facilities. But the mayor has not visited Rikers Island in three

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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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    (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    ‘Tis the season for improving public spaces.

    The 14th Street busway has been live for just over three weeks and the accolades are already enough to deem its opening as historic. New Yorkers are now seeking more innovative ideas to improve the pedestrian and commuter experience throughout the city. 

    With the holiday season approaching, we are hopeful that this embrace of open space can be adopted in Midtown. 

    Rockefeller Center is one of the centerpieces of Manhattan. Every year, the area

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  • mayor deblasio clears

    Mayor de Blasio shovels snow outside one of his two Brooklyn houses (photo: Rob Bennett/Mayor's Office)


    This is part one of a three-part series. Skip to part two - Deep and Complex Inequities - here.

    In May 2018, after years of criticism that New York City’s property tax system lacks equity, Mayor Bill de Blasio and City Council Speaker Corey Johnson announced they would empanel a commission of “blue

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  • council comm hearing

    Council Member Keith Powers (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    The City Council’s Committee on Governmental Operations held a hearing Wednesday to discuss three bills related to campaign finance reform. Two of the bills would prohibit candidates convicted of felony corruption or misuse of public funds from receiving public matching funds and reduce the matching funds contribution minimum from $10 to $5. They are sponsored by Council Members Fernando Cabrera and Keith Powers, respectively. Cabrera is the chair of the governmental operations

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  • stringer charter testimony

    Comptroller Stringer testifies at the 2019 Charter Revision Commission (photo: @NYCComptroller)


    The charter revision commission created through New York City Council legislation concluded its first round of public hearings last month, receiving dozens of suggestions about improving the functions and structure of city government. Unlike the commission established by Mayor Bill de Blasio, which has three proposals on this November’s ballot, the Council-created commission is set to propose changes to the city’s central governing document via the 2019

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  • City Council Cabrera Vallone

    CMs Cabrera, left, and Vallone (photo: Emil Cohen/City Council)


    How does the New York City Council check city government agencies without legislating agency operations, which it sometimes does not have the power to do? Reporting bills.

    The Council often passes legislation that requires an agency under the direction of the mayor to produce a report, like Local Law 47, which compels the NYPD to compile data on subway fare-beating arrests. This bill, and the NYPD’s response, quickly became another flash point in tensions between city agencies and the

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  • cm keith powers cc

    Council Member Keith Powers (photo: William Alatriste)


    City Council Member Keith Powers, a former lobbyist who ran for election on a platform that included a 22-point electoral and government reform agenda, has introduced a package of legislation to make small but significant changes to the city’s campaign finance program.

    Powers, a Manhattan Democrat, is proposing five bills, introduced at the full meeting of the City Council on

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  • Keith Powers Rikers Island

    City Council Member Keith Powers (photo: John McCarten)


    Last week, members of the New York City Council’s Committee on Criminal Justice toured Rikers Island to see for themselves the conditions at the problem-plagued jail complex, which is slated for closure within the next ten years. It was the first visit for the new chair of the committee, Council Member Keith Powers, who spoke with Gotham Gazette about what he and his colleagues saw, their conversations with detainees and corrections officers, and the issues it moved him to

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  • City Council Speaker Corey Johnson members

    Members of th new City Council with Speaker Johnson (photo: William Alatriste/City Council)


    The new class of the New York City Council took greater shape on Thursday with the appointment of chairs and members to the 40-plus committees and subcommittees that oversee the broad legislative, land use, and oversight roles of the 51-member body. Most returning Council members were reassigned to lead different committees while

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  • powers petitioning stuytown keithpowersnyc

    City Council candidate Keith Powers (photo: @KeithPowersNYC)


    Candidates across the city this year are running for City Council on all sorts of issues, but only one has released a detailed list of government, campaign finance, and voting reform proposals. That agenda, called “

    City Council chambers

    City Council chambers (photo: Sofie Hecht/Gotham Gazette)


    With seven sitting New York City Council members facing term limits and one having left the Council to join the state Assembly, this year’s municipal elections will feature a number of competitive open races and will bring fresh blood into the city’s legislative body.

    While the vast majority of those in the Council’s 51 seats can run for another term this year, and most are, the open seats will see the bulk of the electoral competition for the City Council.

    Come January, the Council will

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