Gotham Gazette

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City Council

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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  • vaccine hearing covid

    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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  • jjbers wendys

    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 ...

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    Letitia James, the author, celebrating the likely women's Council majority (photo: @21in21NYC)


    New York’s biggest strength – by far – is its diversity. New Yorkers speak more than 700 languages, represent hundreds of countries, and span every level of socio-economic status. We’re every color, every religion, and every identity. Our communities thrive when we lean into our diverse cultures, ensuring voices from all corners of our city are heard and represented. Unfortunately, our City Council has historically failed to achieve that.

    For a city with a

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  • brave heart bk

    Fast food drinks (photo: @brraveheart)


    A fast-food combo meal, perfect for lunch in a New York minute, right? Not so fast. A recent study of fast-food chain restaurants found that the default drink size included with combo meals at most restaurants contains more than an entire day’s worth of added sugars.

    With New Yorkers resorting to fast food out of convenience or necessity due to limited access to healthier options, it becomes an issue of public health and equity

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  • 1 advo ele ca

    A celebration of women heading to City Hall (photo: @21in21NYC)


    Triumphant speeches and words of solidarity filled the air at City Hall Park on Tuesday morning. A historic expected majority of women likely to fill City Council seats in January gathered at a press conference, pledging to bring a culture of mutual support and a commitment to underrepresented constituents to the legislative body. They were joined by current and former elected officials, advocates, and others who had been part of the yearslong effort to bring the 51-seat Council, where there are

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    (l-r) Council Members Keith Powers, Adrienne Adams, Justin Brannan, Carlina Rivera


    The New York City Council is set for seismic change, as new members will be elected to more than two-thirds of the 51 seats this year. With those new members will come the election of a new Council speaker to preside over the legislative body and exert control of its agenda, and four Democrats are already vying for the powerful position.

    Council Member Justin Brannan from Brooklyn, Council Members Carlina Rivera and Keith Powers from Manhattan, and Council Member Adrienne Adams of

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    Mayor and Council Speaker in 2019 (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    Mayor Bill de Blasio and City Council Speaker Corey Johnson on Wednesday announced an agreement on a $98.7 billion “recovery budget” for the 2022 fiscal year, which begins Thursday.

    The budget, the final one for both de Blasio and Johnson as they reach term limits, was $100 million more than the executive budget that the mayor unveiled in April, flush with billions in

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  • effort elect more

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


    The New York City Council is set to experience a seismic shift in composition, with dozens of Council members term-limited out after this year, and the changing of the guard in the 51-seat legislative body may wind up being most apparent in its gender balance.

    In 30 districts, there were “open” races for those seats and, in most cases, crowded Democratic primaries to fill them. With Democrats enjoying a significant voter enrollment advantage over Republicans, this month’s primaries

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  • holds stat cotu

    The City Council chambers (photo: Emil Cohen/City Council)


    Welcome to Council Countdown.

    Gotham Gazette, City Limits, City & State, and The Queens Eagle are teaming up to cover the dozens of competitive New York City Council races that are part of the 2021 city election cycle heading toward June primaries and the fall general election. From late April into June, the four publications will report on more than 40 competitive City Council races to help voters know the dynamics of those elections and about the candidates running in

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  • cm brad sl join gowanus

    Activists, Council Member Brad Lander & others (photo: John McCarten.City Council)


    With voting underway in this month’s primary elections, including for almost all 51 City Council seats, including about three dozen that are “open” due to term limits, crowded fields of candidates are pushing for every vote.

    The competition is especially hot, if civil, in Brooklyn’s 39th City Council District, one of the most politically-active areas in the city, with some of the highest voter turnout rates, and the home district of Mayor Bill de

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    Council Member Moya (photo: Emil Cohen/City Council)


    One year ago, COVID-19 swept across Corona, turning the Queens neighborhood into the epicenter of the pandemic — and leaving behind a trail of death, sickness, hunger, and unemployment. In the wake of the crisis, which hit Northern Queens harder than most of the city, incumbent City Council Member Francisco Moya says his work to address healthcare and food insecurity kept the pandemic’s effects on his 21st

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  • crowded field rep

    (l-r) Elizabeth Adams, Victoria Cambranes, Sabrina Gates, Toba Potosky, Lincoln Restler, Stu Sherman, Benjamin Solotaire & April Somboun at June 6 debate


    As Stephen Levin nears the end of his three terms in office representing Brooklyn’s 33rd City Council District, eight Democratic candidates are vying to replace him — bringing varied resumes and competing visions on key issues like policing, the crumbling Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, and the recent tide of development in the district’s neighborhoods.

    The 33rd District stretches along

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    Council Member Danny Dromm (photo: Emil Cohen/City Council)


    A crowded Democratic primary race is unfolding in Queens to select the successor for term-limited City Council Member Daniel Dromm, a trailblazing LGBTQ leader and powerful chair of the Council finance committee who has held the seat for nearly 12 years but is term-limited out of office. The primary

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    Council Member Menchaca & others at a community fridge (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    With City Council Member Carlos Menchaca among the three dozen members of the 51-seat Council facing term limits this year, there is a competitive Democratic primary unfolding to replace him in Brooklyn’s 38th District, which is centered in Red Hook and Sunset Park, and also includes parts of Greenwood Heights, Windsor Terrace, Dyker Heights, and Boro Park. Menchaca, a Democrat, has held the seat for two terms, nearing eight years. Given the

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  • de Blasio NYPD

    De Blasio and the NYPD (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    Even though cutting NYPD funding has become a popular position among many candidates running for mayor, City Council, and other offices this year, the city’s current leadership seems unlikely to embrace any significant cuts to the police department in the upcoming budget amid a sustained increase in gun violence and a glut of federal funding.

    “The voters of this city overwhelmingly, I'm convinced, want a balance. They want reform. They want non-discriminatory policing. They want respectful

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  • 3 city race ref

    Council Member Antonio Reynoso (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    Brooklyn and Queens residents in the 34th City Council District must vote on term-limited Council Member Antonio Reynoso’s replacement in this year’s election. The first and most important round of voting takes place in this month’s Democratic primary, the winner of which is all but certain to become the next Council member in January given the district’s overwhelming Democratic enrollment advantage.

    Voters have four candidates to choose from: Jennifer Gutierrez, Reynoso’s chief of

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  • 4 lower city race

    Council Member Margaret Chin and others (photo: Jeff Reed/City Council)


    Nine Democratic candidates are running in the City Council District 1 primary for a seat based in Lower Manhattan. The district includes parts or all of Battery Park, the Civic Center, Chinatown, the Financial District, Little Italy, the Lower East Side, NoHo, SoHo, South Street Seaport, South Village, TriBeCa, and Washington Square. Governors Island, Ellis Island, and Liberty Island are also a part of the district.

    The current City Council member, Margaret Chin, was elected

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  • 6 city budget looms

    Corey Johnson and Brad Lander (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    The war of words between City Council Member Brad Lander and Council Speaker Corey Johnson, both Democratic candidates for city comptroller, continues to escalate as Lander raises concerns that Johnson will leverage the city budget to help his chances of winning the June primary. 

    Johnson and Lander are among the top contenders in the Democratic primary for New York City comptroller, which also features a number of sitting state legislators and several first-time candidates

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  • bomb squad presser

    NYPD (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    As a City Council Member and Chair of the Council’s Public Safety Committee, I understand that people need to feel safe, particularly in their homes. One aspect of this safety is an assurance that authorities will not haphazardly burst in. This is enshrined in the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution, which grants everyone freedom from unreasonable search and seizure. That means there must be probable cause to raid a home.

    However, the NYPD and other law enforcement agencies seem to think

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  • farah louis senior

    Council Member Farah Louis (photo: City Council)


    New York City Council Member Farah Louis is among the 18 members of the 51-seat Council eligible for and seeking reelection this year, but she is not able to cruise to a full term representing Brooklyn’s 45th District, which includes Flatbush, East Flatbush, Midwood, Marine Park, Flatlands, Canarsie, and Kensington. Louis, a Democrat, has held the seat for part of one term so far after being elected in a 2019 special election to fill a vacancy created by Jumaane Williams winning his own special election

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  • Robert Holden Queens

    Council Member Robert Holden (photo: Emil Cohen/City Council)


    City Council Member Bob Holden, a first-term Democrat from Queens, is known for being one of the Council’s more moderate-to-conservative members, having won his seat running on the Republican ballot line in 2017 after losing the Democratic primary to the incumbent at the time. Especially in a legislative body that includes just three Republicans in 51 seats, Holden regularly takes among the more right-leaning positions on a number of issues, particularly policing, whether in his district or on a

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  • 6 candidates rich

    City Council District 10 Democratic primary debate


    Five Democratic candidates for City Council District 10, currently represented by term-limited Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez and covering parts of Upper Manhattan, met by Zoom for a debate hosted by Manhattan Neighborhood Network and moderated by Gotham Gazette editor Ben Max. Participating candidates included Carmen De La Rose, Angela Fernandez, Johanna Garcia, Francesca Castellanos, and James Behr. The primary is in June, with early voting June 12-20 and primary day June 22. Watch the debate:

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    Adrienne Adams and Ruben Wills


    City Council Member Adrienne Adams, a first-term Democrat, is among the several candidates seeking to become the next Speaker of the City Council. But her first hurdle will be defeating two challengers in the imminent June primary to win a second term representing Council District 28 in Southeast Queens. Among those challengers is her predecessor, Ruben Wills, who was expelled from the Council following a corruption conviction but was recently exonerated and is seeking a political comeback.

    District 28 includes

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    Mayor de Blasio and Police Commissioner Shea (photo: Ed Reed/Mayor's Office)


    Update, March 5, 2021: Shortly after the publication of this story and after having declined to comment for the story over multiple days, the de Blasio administration on Friday released the first of a three-part draft plan with 36 proposals. "The plan will now move through a public comment period where it will undergo further revision based on the feedback of the public and through a process with

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