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City Council

City Council

  • Max Politics Podcast: Council Finance Chair Justin Brannan on City Budget Negotiations

    City Council Member Justin Brannan (photo: Gerardo Romo/NYC Council Media Unit)

    June 5, 2023 - Max Politics Podcast: Council Finance Chair Justin Brannan on City Budget Negotiations

    City Council Member Justin Brannan, a Brooklyn Democrat and chair of the Council's Finance Committee, joined the show to discuss city budget negotiations with just weeks to go until a new spending plan is due by the July 1 start of the new fiscal year. He also discussed his participation in a small Council delegation trip to Washington, DC, to pursue a variety of priorities, including

  • City Council to Examine Low Voter Turnout, Moving Local Elections to Even Years

    Mayor Adams at the polls (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)

    In the last municipal election in 2021, only one out of every four registered voters cast ballots for mayor and other city offices, a major drop-off from the 2020 presidential election and little more than half the turnout seen in the 2022 state and congressional elections. The poor showing was the latest in a decades-long trend of dropping voter participation in local elections, in both the party primaries and general contests.

    On Wednesday, the New York City Council will hold an oversight hearing examining ways to

  • 5G Towers: To Increase Digital Connectivity, Start by Connecting with the Community

    A 5G tower (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)

    If you have walked around New York lately, you may have noticed a new addition to the streetscape: 32-feet-tall 5G towers looming over city sidewalks. As expected, these towers have inspired a range of colorful descriptions from New Yorkers for their uninspired design and massive size. From Washington Heights to Carnegie Hill, everyone seems to be raising the same questions and concerns about the design and placement of the 5G towers.

    The city’s goal of expanding 5G communications is both laudable and necessary; in the

  • Digital Literacy Programming for Older New Yorkers to be Required Under Bill Passed by City Council

    Seniors ready to learn (photo: John McCarten/City Council)

    When the COVID-19 pandemic struck and forced a lockdown of physical access to many government agencies and services, it highlighted New York City’s stark digital divide. Some of the city’s most vulnerable people lacked access to high-speed internet connection or the knowledge and training to use them. Now, a City Council bill expected to pass on Thursday aims to address that gap for the city’s rapidly growing older adult population. 


  • Council Passes Bill Pushing Summer Youth Employment Program Across City Agencies

    Summer Youth Employment Program celebration (photo: John McCarten/NYC Council Media Unit)

    New York City’s Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP) could be seeing a boost despite proposed budget cuts, thanks to legislation in the City Council that could lead to greater participation from city agencies.

    The Council is expected to pass a bill Thursday that would set a goal for each city agency to offer youth job slots as part of the landmark program, which connects tens of thousands of students with paid job opportunities in and out of city government during the summer months when school is

  • Mayor, City Council Negotiate Priorities for Mental Health Care Workforce Funding

    Mental health plans (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)

    The New York City Council is seeking greater investment in the behavioral health workforce as leaders at all levels of government grapple with the longstanding crisis of untreated severe mental illness.

    The Council and Mayor Eric Adams are negotiating the mayor's $106.7 billion executive budget for the next fiscal year, which begins July 1. On the table is tens of millions of dollars to help boost staffing levels for a range of needed services – some new and some depleted by the pandemic — both in and out of city

  • What Advocates and Electeds Say Mayor Adams Should Be Doing Differently About the Asylum-Seeker Crisis

    Mayor Adams and others tour a HERRC (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)

    As the migrant asylum-seeker crisis continues to escalate, and another surge of arrivals has begun after a federal pandemic-era border policy expired last week, Mayor Eric Adams is taking increasingly desperate steps to ease the impact on New York City.

    While virtually everyone agrees that the federal and state governments should do more to help the city, critics say there are still several concrete measures the mayor has failed to

  • Max Politics Podcast: The City Council's Mental Health Roadmap, with Council Member Linda Lee

    City Council Member Linda Lee, with Speaker Adrienne Adams & others (photo: John McCarten/NYC Council)

    May 10, 2023 - Max Politics Podcast: The City Council's Mental Health Roadmap, with Council Member Linda Lee

    City Council Member Linda Lee, a Queens Democrat and chair of the Council's mental health committee, joined the show to discuss the CIty Council's mental health roadmap, specific legislation that's part of it, a recent Council hearing on the package, and more.

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

  • Advocates, City Council Members Push Mayor to Invest More in Parks

    City Council Members & advocates rally for parks funding (photo: William Alatriste/NYC Council)

    As Mayor Eric Adams continues to propose sweeping cuts across city agencies, Council members and advocates are calling on him to restore, and increase, funding for the Department of Parks and Recreation.

    Mayor Adams’ proposed $102.7 billion preliminary budget provided $520 million to the parks department, a drop of $42 million compared to the budget adopted last June and nearly $58 million lower than the latest budget modification in November.

    “As our council budget response made clear, the

  • City Council's Black, Latino, and Asian Caucus Releases City Budget Priorities

    Council Speaker Adams with BLAC members (photo: Emil Cohen/NYC Council)

    As Mayor Eric Adams prepares to release his executive budget proposal, the New York City Council's Black, Latino, and Asian Caucus (BLAC) is making a push for investments in education, economic mobility, housing, and health care in neighborhoods of color.

    The BLAC, co-chaired by Council Members Kevin Riley and Oswald Feliz, two Bronx Democrats, includes 34 out of 51 members on the City Council, giving it significant influence in legislative matters and city budget negotiations. Council Speaker Adrienne Adams is an ex-officio

  • City Law Department Defends Approach to Lawsuits Over NYPD Misconduct

    Corporation Counsel Sylvia Hinds-Radix (photo: Ed Reed/Mayor's Office)


    With the NYPD costing taxpayers tens of millions of dollars every year in lawsuit settlements over misconduct claims, City Council members on Wednesday questioned the city’s Law Department about its approach to defending the police department and whether the city could benefit from being less combative when taken to court for police misconduct.

    A Legal Aid Society ...

  • City Council Members Question Mayor Adams' Decision to Create New Office for Asylum-Seeker Operations

    MOIA Commissioner Castro, center-left, with Mayor Adams & others (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)

    Earlier this month, Mayor Eric Adams announced the creation of a new office to handle the influx of tens of thousands of migrant asylum-seekers in the city. But, at a City Council budget hearing focused on immigration services that same day, March 7, administration officials offered barebones details about the new office’s structure and budget, and how it would interact with an existing mayoral office that is already dedicated to immigrant affairs and has been coordinating services for

  • At the City Council, Library System Heads Argue Against Mayor's Budget Cuts

    Linda Johnson, Tony Marx, & Dennis Walcott (l-r) (photo: @nypl)

    The leaders of New York City’s three public library systems appealed to the New York City Council on Monday for its help in pushing back against tens of millions in possible budget cuts in Mayor Eric Adams’ $102.7 billion preliminary budget plan for the 2024 fiscal year.

    The New York, Brooklyn, and Queens Public Libraries, along with the city’s Research Libraries, together face a $20.5 million budget cut in the next fiscal year, which starts July 1, as part of a Program to Eliminate the Gap (PEG) that the mayor instituted to cut city

  • How the Adams Administration is Thinking About Blockchain and Cryptocurrency

    Mayor Adams at a tech conference (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)

    At a February oversight hearing held by the New York City Council Committee on Technology, the city’s Chief Technology Officer, Matthew Fraser, defended blockchain as a useful tool for stimulating the economy and enhancing government services.

    As head of the city’s Office of Technology and Innovation (OTI), Fraser is at the forefront of the Adams administration’s plans to integrate blockchain and other digital tools into municipal operations while also continuing to evaluate the cryptocurrency marketplace. At the

  • City Libraries Launch Push to Beat Back Mayor Adams' Budget Cuts

    At a library in Queens (photo: John McCarten/City Council)

    The city’s public library systems launched a campaign on Monday to push back against tens of millions of dollars in budget cuts in Mayor Eric Adams’ proposed budget. Adams’ $102.7 billion preliminary budget for the 2024 fiscal year, which begins July 1, is now the focus of a series of City Council hearings.

    For the past several months, the mayor’s budget moves have invited criticism as he pushed major cuts to city spending. Ahead of a mid-year November

  • NYCHA Officials Sound Alarm at City Council Budget Hearing

    City Council Member Alexa Avilés leads the NYCHA budget hearing (photo: William Alatriste/NYC Council)

    The New York City Housing Authority is facing a fiscal crisis as rent revenue has plummeted in the wake of the pandemic, affecting its operational budget, constraining its ability to hire personnel, and forcing it to suspend dozens of infrastructure improvement projects. Amid the city's larger affordable housing and homelessness crisis, the public housing authority is also struggling with a worsening ability to get vacant units repaired and filled with new tenants, a problem apparently

  • Adams Administration to Launch 'MyCity' Portal in Coming Weeks with Child Care Services First

    Mayor Adams (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)

    Mayor Eric Adams’ campaign promise to launch the “MyCity” centralized portal for city benefits will soon become reality, administration officials told the City Council on Thursday. 

    At a budget hearing held by the Council’s Committee on Technology, New York City Chief Technology Officer Matthew Fraser said that MyCity will be “rolling out in a few weeks,” initially offering a child care subsidy application portal before expanding to other city benefits.

    MyCity was one of the signature proposals that Adams, a first-term

  • With 16% Vacancy Rate, City Planning Department ‘Laser Focused’ on Staffing to Advance 'Ambitious' Agenda

    City Planning Head Dan Garodnick (photo: William Alatriste/City Council)

    The acute staffing crisis at city agencies threatens to undo the many ambitious plans announced by Mayor Eric Adams, and has become the central concern for the City Council as it examines the mayor’s proposed $102.7 billion preliminary budget for next fiscal year.

    On Thursday, at a Council hearing focused on the Department of City Planning, a similar refrain emerged as the agency currently faces a 18%

  • Council Speaker Adams Outlines State of the City Agenda Focused on Housing and Economic Mobility

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

    City Council Speaker Adrienne Adams, a Queens Democrat, on Wednesday dedicated her second State of the City speech to the essential workers of New York City who “kept going and kept us going” during the pandemic. In her speech Adams announced an agenda for the year ahead focused on “economic mobility, housing, and healthier and safer neighborhoods.”

    “Workers run this city. They put the people of this city over everything, and so should we,” Adams said, speaking at the Justice Sonia Sotomayor Houses and

  • City Council Questions Mayor's Additional Planned Cuts to Internal City Government Watchdog

    City Council Member Gale Brewer (photo: Emil Cohen/NYC Council Media Unit)

    The New York City Department of Investigation has lost 86 budgeted positions, 21% of its staff, in the last two fiscal years, and is being hit with further vacancy reductions in Mayor Eric Adams’ proposed $102.7 billion preliminary budget for 2024. Those cuts threaten to undermine the agency’s work to root out waste, fraud, and abuse in city government, as it continues to handle an unchanged workload with fewer resources.

    The Department of Investigation (DOI) is a mayoral agency with law enforcement powers meant to be

  • At First Hearing on Mayor's Preliminary Budget, City Council Takes Aim at Agency Staffing Crisis

    Budget Director Jacques Jiha (photo: John McCarten, NYC Council Media Unit)

    City Council members repeatedly clashed with budget officials from Mayor Eric Adams’ administration at a hearing on Monday, pressing for answers about an ongoing staffing crisis at city agencies that has affected the delivery of municipal services. The hearing kicked off the weeks-long process of the Council’s public examination of Mayor Adams’ $102.7 billion preliminary budget proposal for the 2024 fiscal year, which starts July 1.

    The first part of the

  • Is Mayor Adams' Spending Plan an 'Austerity' Budget?

    Mayor Adams and his spending plan (photo: Benny Polatseck/Mayor's Office)

    In January, Mayor Eric Adams proposed a $102.7 billion preliminary budget proposal for the 2024 fiscal year, stressing the fiscal restraint of his administration amid various budgetary risks and uncertainties facing the city. But while it would be a near-record sum in city spending if passed as-is, progressive City Council members and advocates have called it an “austerity budget” that proposes cuts to critical services that will hurt the city’s most vulnerable populations at a time when the city can afford to invest more in its

  • Despite Growing Need, City Struggles to Fill and Expand Programs Dedicated to Combating Youth Unemployment

    Mayor Adams at a youth employment event (photo: Ed Reed/Mayor's Office)

    The New York City Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD) is struggling to fill and expand career programs dedicated to unemployed, out-of-school youth, despite a dramatic increase in their numbers during the pandemic.

    According to a recent report from State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, unemployment among city residents aged 16 to 24 hit 17.9% in October 2022, a nearly 8 point

  • The City Council Should Reject Misguided Housing Bill

    Affordable housing in the Bronx (photo: @NYCHousing)

    A new consensus is taking shape in New York City: politicians, advocates, and policymakers are prioritizing ways for the city to produce more housing. Of course, there are still plenty of housing disagreements, but most now agree that New York’s severe affordability crisis is caused by the fact that there is not enough housing to go around.

    While this is progress, New York City still has plenty of work to do if Thursday’s City Council Housing and Buildings Committee hearing is any indication.

    City Council Members will hear feedback on a

  • Promising Projects Faster and Cheaper, Adams Administration Pursues Capital Construction Reforms

    Mayor Adams hails housing construction (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)

    New York City’s infrastructure construction process is broken and Mayor Eric Adams wants to fix it. 

    The city’s capital budget funds infrastructure projects across the five boroughs, including new construction, maintenance, and repairs to everything from parks, schools, hospitals, and libraries to mass transit, sewers, courts, jails, police precincts, and more. But as New York City is in desperate need of sweeping infrastructure upgrades,