Gotham Gazette

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City Council

City Council

  • presidential state city

    New Yorkers soon head to the polls (photo: Edwin J. Torres/Mayoral Photo Office)


    The 2020 general election results in New York City may not be known until mid-December, six weeks after Election Day, according to Michael Ryan, the executive director of the New York City Board of Elections.

    Ryan told members of the New York City Council Friday that New Yorkers could expect election results between December 8 and 15, around the same length of time it took in the primaries but ages beyond the unofficial results New Yorkers have come to expect on election

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  • wtdp industry city

    Council Member Menchaca and others tour part of Industry City (photo: William Alatriste/City Council)


    What's The [Data] Point? Episode 96: 20,000 - The Industry City Rezoning Proposal Falls Apart, with Industry City CEO Andrew Kimball and City Council Member Carlos Menchaca[You can download What's The [Data] Point? wherever you get your podcasts, including on iTunes]

    Industry City CEO Andrew Kimball and City Council Member Carlos Menchaca joined the show to discuss the demise of the Industry City rezoning

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  • comm hospital chair

    Council Member Carline Rivera, the author (photo: Emil Cohen/City Council)


    Like most New Yorkers who lived through the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, I am still reeling from the trauma and chaos we experienced this spring. But until I set foot on Rikers Island last week, I had an incomplete understanding of what the true horrors of COVID-19 were for some of our most vulnerable New Yorkers.

    At the height of the pandemic, Rikers saw an infection ...

  • requests despite mayor

    Mayor de Blasio (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)


    Mayor Bill de Blasio continues to insist that New York City needs authorization from the state to borrow billions of dollars in operating funds to balance its budget, at least in the absence of federal aid to cover some of the massive loss in revenue from the pandemic fallout. The drastically-slashed new city budget for this fiscal year passed July 1 included $1 billion in undefined labor savings, which de Blasio said could be covered by federal aid or borrowing, or, if neither of those come through,

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    Council Member Cohen (left) passing out masks in his Bronx district (photo: @AndrewCohenNYC)


    Bronx City Council Member Andrew Cohen’s recent nomination for a Supreme Court judgeship at the Bronx Democratic Party’s judicial convention in August means that the already-underway contest to replace him in the Council will likely move up from a June 2021 primary to a February or March 2021 special election, assuming Cohen assumes his judgeship in January. The special election in Council District 11, along with contests for soon-to-be-vacant seats in Council Districts 15 (Ritchie

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    City Council Member Donovan Richards (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    August 19, 2020 - Max & Murphy Podcast: Donovan Richards on Police Reform, Jobs & His Vision for Queens

    City Council Member Donovan Richards, very likely the next Queens Borough President, joined the show to discuss how he plans to operate as borough president and what's next as he chairs the Council's public safety committee.

    Listen to the conversation and let us know what you think -- we're on Twitter ...

  • melissa life camp

    Mayor de Blasio with local activists (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    Every morning, Joaquin Soto wakes up to participate in Summer Bridge, New York City government’s 2020 summer youth employment program. Instead of commuting to a work site, Soto turns on his computer, attends Zoom meetings, watches videos on professional development, and takes quizzes to show what he’s learned.

    “The application was really straightforward and very accessible,” said Soto, a 17-year-old from Cypress Hills. “But I feel like there’s definitely been some kind of trouble for

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    Speaker Corey Johnson (photo: Jeff Reed/City Council)


    When the coronavirus pandemic hit New York and the mayor vacillated before closing schools and imposing social distancing guidelines and restrictions on large gatherings, City Council Speaker Corey Johnson beat him to the punch in calling for all three. The Council speaker, a Manhattan Democrat and likely 2021 mayoral candidate, made regular appearances on local TV and radio, and tweeted constantly from his

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  • vanbramer carlos

    City Council (photo: Emil Cohen/City Council)


    We are at a critical turning point in New York City’s history. Large-scale development projects, pushed by big real estate interests and the business class after September 11, 2001, did not give New Yorkers the promised security to avoid the Great Recession, or the next crisis, COVID-19. Meanwhile, a lack of investments in social programs shredded the social safety net New Yorkers were told would save them if they lost their jobs or homes.

    If there is any time to insist on accountability before approving massive

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    Outgoing City Council Member Margaret Chin (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    Although it’s a race to replace her, in some ways the Democratic primary in Manhattan’s City Council District 1 will be a test of term-limited Council Member Margaret Chin’s performance in office and political clout, as her current chief of staff will run to continue her legacy against multiple insurgent candidates who argue it’s time for a change, including one who narrowly lost a bid to unseat Chin in her 2017 reelection campaign.

    Many of the most controversial issues

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


    All of us who care about New York City – and if you are a regular reader of Gotham Gazette that surely includes you – are worried about its future. COVID-19 has shuttered our economy and seriously impaired the lives and livelihoods of millions of our residents. It is clear that things will never go back to the way they were and that we must turn this disaster into an opportunity to bring back a different, better, fairer city. 

    But fear of change and the demonizing of ‘development’ risk

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  • 2 very pathetic

    Charles, left, & Inez Barron, right, at a ceremony with the Mayor & others (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    Anything short of a revolution won’t satisfy Charles and Inez Barron, the married Brooklynites who hold seats in the State Assembly and City Council, respectively, and the police reforms and city budget passed in the wake of recent widespread Black Lives Matter protests serve merely as a distraction to their radical idea of Black-led politics. 

    Assemblymember Charles Barron and City Council Member Inez Barron, both Democrats, have a

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  • juan ardila park

    Juan Ardila (photo: campaign website)


    First-term City Council Member Bob Holden, a conservative Democrat from Queens known for controversial statements and criticism of the de Blasio administration, is facing a 2021 challenge from Juan Ardila, a first-generation immigrant and Maspeth native who says Holden is failing the 30th Council District.

    Ardila, the son of a Honduran-Cuban mother and Colombian father, says he is running to fight for working class families in a district plagued by rising costs of living, lack of mass transit, limited employment opportunities,

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  • 7 press conf regard

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


    With City Council Member Ritchie Torres declaring victory in the Bronx’s 15th Congressional District Democratic primary and all but assured to advance to Congress at the start of next year, a special election to replace Torres in the City Council’s own District 15 looks likely for sometime in February or March of 2021. The race in the heavily-Democratic Council district is already shaping up to be hotly-contested, with community leaders, the son of a state senator, and at least one member

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  • pre conf hearing

    Council Speaker Corey Johnson (photo: Emil Cohen/New York City Council)


    The union effort launched last year by City Council staff members could soon be recognized by the City Council as negotiations near conclusion, according to a Council spokesperson and a member of the union.

    The Association for Legislative Employees, an unaffiliated union that represents hundreds of City Council aides working both for individual Council members and on the Council’s central staff, launched with a card campaign in November, and a majority of staff members signing a

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    City Council members at a Pride march (photo: Emil Cohen/City Council)


    The City Council’s LGBT Caucus could shrink after the 2021 elections, with all five current caucus members -- including Council Speaker Corey Johnson -- prevented by term limits from running for reelection next year, when all of city government will be on the ballot. However, there are more than a dozen openly LGBTQ candidates running throughout the city to replenish and perhaps grow the ranks of LGBTQ representation in city government, encouraged by advocates and current Council members who ...

  • Eric Garner police reform NYPD

    Eric Garner's mother, Gwen Carr, at a recent press conference (photo: Emil Cohen/City Council)


    New York, and the nation, was teetering on the edge when it was suddenly and violently pushed over it on May 25, as George Floyd was killed in Minneapolis, Minnesota by police officer Derek Chauvin. It was an incident as shocking as it was familiar, an unarmed Black man dying at the hands of a police officer with the episode caught on video and broadcast to millions of people.

    “I can’t breathe,” Floyd cried out, as Chauvin knelt on his

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  • rosenthal absentee ballot mailbox

    Voting absentee (photo: @HelenRosenthal)


    A law passed by the New York City Council in 2016 could have helped prevent some of the many problems plaguing the absentee ballot process from the June 2020 primary elections. But that law was never implemented by the New York City Board of Elections, a quasi-state agency that routinely refuses to abide by local mandates.

    The June primaries saw a record number of absentee ballots cast by voters, facilitated by an executive order from Governor Andrew Cuomo that mandated that local boards of

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  • Bill de Blasio speaking street group

    The mayor is behind on a plan for disconnected youth (photo: Ed Reed/Mayor's Office)


    A city task force meant to address the needs of out-of-school, out-of-work youth in the city, who pre-pandemic numbered at over 118,000 in New York City, has not yet released its report, over two years after it was due. Now, with over 35% of young adults in the city unemployed and gun violence increasing, advocates like Marjorie Parker of JobsFirstNYC, an advocacy group that was a ...

  • Cumbo NYPD city budget

    Council Member Cumbo (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    Defending her vote in support of a new city budget that did not cut NYPD funding by at least $1 billion (as New York City faces a $10 billion COVID-19-related revenue shortfall) Brooklyn City Council Member Laurie Cumbo told protesters criticizing the plan: "Work under the

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  • cm chairs

    City Council Member Brad Lander (photo: Jeff Reed/City Council)


    July 1, 2020 - Max & Murphy Podcast: Council Member Brad Lander on the New City Budget

    City Council Member Brad Lander, a Brooklyn Democrat and 2021 candidate for city Comptroller, joined the show to discuss the new city budget, which he had voted "no" on just hours before this discussion.

    Listen to the conversation and let us know what you think -- we're on Twitter @TweetBenMaxand ...

  • de blasio city

    City budget announcement from 2019 (photo: Ed Reed/Mayor's Office)


    The New York City Council approved an $88.2 billion budget for the 2021 fiscal year shortly after midnight in one of the most divided votes for the legislative body in recent history. The new budget, which takes effect immediately for the July 1 start of the new fiscal year, is a sharp decline in expected city spending given cratering revenue brought on by the coronavirus pandemic and includes significant cuts to and funding shifts from the NYPD in response to recent mass protests against

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  • cojo del

    The Mayor and Speaker at an NYPD press conference (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    Update

    As pressure mounted on the city to drastically reduce spending on policing in the budget that is due before Wednesday, Mayor Bill de Blasio and the City Council reached a tentative agreement on Monday to cut $1 billion from the NYPD and to reinvest funds in youth and social services. Nearly half the reduction, however, involves shfiting spending on school safety to the Department of Education rather than actual cuts. 

    The agreement would reduce the NYPD's

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  • city budget negotiations council de blasio johnson

    The Mayor and City Council discuss the budget (photo: William Alatriste/City Council)


    New York City’s next fiscal year begins Wednesday, July 1, and there is no clear picture of the city’s fiscal future. The fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic has been catastrophic for the city’s economy, gutting revenue streams and necessitating major cuts in planned city government spending, along with tapping into billions of dollars in reserves.

    Mayor Bill de Blasio and the City Council are engaged in intense negotiations as they seek to

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  • mdbd briefs cm

    City Council Member Helen Rosenthal, the author (photo: William Alatriste/City Council)


    By the end of the month, just a few days from now, New York City will have to pass a balanced budget. With additional drops in revenue, looming state cuts to education and health-care funding, and the growing unlikelihood of federal support for states and localities, piecing together a budget that does not cut critical programs and services will be almost impossible. 

    What does this mean for our future? How can we keep residents from giving up on New York City? How can we bring

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