Gotham Gazette

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City Council

City Council

  • Fast-Tracking New York’s Transit Future

    CM Brooks-Powers, left, with MTA CEO Lieber (photo: William Alatriste/NYC Council)


    This week President Biden visited New York to celebrate a major milestone. 

    More than a decade after Superstorm Sandy badly damaged the century-old train tunnels between New Jersey and New York, we’refinally

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  • Queens City Council Member and Community Board Pursue Northern Boulevard Neighborhood Rezoning

    City Council Members Julie Won, left, & Rafael Salamanca (photo: Emil Cohen/NYC Council)


    Last week, the City Council rejected a proposed lot rezoning on Northern Boulevard in Woodside, Queens that would have replaced a dilapidated one-story restaurant with a shiny new two-storey auto dealership. Opponents of the rezoning, which included the local City Council Member, first-term Democrat Julie Won, made it clear that the last thing their community needs is another auto industry business that will add more cars, particularly large dangerous SUVs, to their

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  • City Council Considers Manhattan Board of Elections Nominee Who Ruled in Ranked-Choice Voting Case

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


    Some members of the New York City Council continue to have questions about ranked-choice voting, the new voter-approved system that went into effect in 2021 for party primary and special elections for city government positions. Council members aired those concerns at a hearing on Wednesday as they questioned a nominee to become a commissioner at the New York City Board of Elections. The nominee, Carol Edmead, is a State Supreme Court judge who once ruled against a City Council-led

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  • 'Critical to the Future': City Council Considers Two Board of Correction Nominees

    Mayor Adams on Rikers Island (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    The New York City Board of Correction, a nine-seat panel with oversight over city jails, may soon have two new members including a former Rikers Island doctor critical of mass incarceration and a national expert on corrections policy who now leads the advocacy group that successfully advocated for the planned closure of the Rikers jail complex.

    The City Council’s Committee on Rules, Privileges and Elections on Wednesday held a hearing to question two of its own Board of Correction nominees – Dr. Rachael Bedard, former senior

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  • City Council Passes New Disclosure Requirements for Spending to Influence Votes on Ballot Referendums

    Passing out ballot info (photo: John McCarten/NYC Council Media Unit)


    Update: The New York City Council passed the campaign finance amendment on January 19, 2022.

    The New York City Council is set to pass legislation this week that would require entities spending to influence voters in local referendums to disclose their funders.

    The law would close a loophole in the city's campaign finance law that lawmakers, good government groups, and campaign finance regulators have decried for years. If signed by the mayor, so-called independent expenditures (IEs) of $5,000 or more would be

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  • Race for New ‘Asian Opportunity’ Brooklyn City Council District Set to Take Off

    A community event in Sunset Park (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    The decennial redistricting process in New York created a new “Asian opportunity” City Council district in Brooklyn, and three candidates have declared their intentions to run for the seat in the fast-approaching June primary.

    Asian Americans were the fastest growing population in New York City between 2010 and 2020, according to the U.S. Census, accounting for more than half of the increase in the city’s population. South Brooklyn is home to one of the

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  • A Step Into the 2023 City Council Elections as Campaign Finance Board Approves First Public Funds Payment of Cycle

    Tony Avella at City Hall (photo: NY City Council)


    The 2023 City Council election is kicking off, as the New York City Campaign Finance Board approved its first public funds payment to a single campaign on Thursday and announced a series of completed campaign audits from the previous election cycle.

    The upcoming elections are taking place just two years after all 51 City Council seats were on the ballot in 2021 because of the decennial redistricting process. Based on the 2020 Census, City Council districts were redrawn to

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  • Max Politics Podcast: City Council Member Shekar Krishnan on Priorities for NYC Parks

    Council Member Krishnan outlines his parks agenda (photo: Emil Cohen/NYC Council Media Unit)


    December 9, 2022 - Max Politics Podcast: City Council Member Shekar Krishnan on Priorities for NYC Parks

    City Council Member Shekar Krishnan, a Queens Democrat, joined the show to discuss his work as chair of the Council's parks committee, his vision for the future of NYC parks and public open spaces, and more.

    Listen to the conversation and let us know what you think, on Twitter @TweetBenMax. You can listen to the show

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  • At Hearing, City Council Criticizes Mayor Adams on Budget Decisions, Depleted Agencies

    Mayor Adams and City Council Members Announce Budget Deal (photo: Emil Cohen/NYC Council Media Unit)


    Mayor Eric Adams recently ordered most city agencies to halve their budgeted vacant positions as a means of cutting costs amid fiscal portents. The plan was not accounted for in the mayor’s latest modification to the city budget, released a week prior to the personnel order, and members of the City Council are incensed about the move. Already frustrated by the large number of city agency vacancies, blamed in part on Adams’ workforce policies, many Council members are raising red flags about further

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  • City Council Pushes State on Climate Plan, Allocation of Environmental Bond Act Funds

    Council Members Lincoln Restler, center, & Jim Gennaro (photo: John McCarten/NYC Council Media Unit)


    The New York City Council is calling on Governor Kathy Hochul, the State Legislature, and other environmental leaders to strongly consider New York City as they plan and implement the next phases of the state’s sweeping climate agenda.

    In a resolution adopted Wednesday the Council is urging the state to allocate New York City its

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  • City Council Passes Bill Codifying Public Service Corps Program

    Council Member Ung, with Speaker Adams (photo: Emil Cohen/NYC Council Media Unit)


    The New York City Council on Wednesday passed a bill that would codify the city’s Public Service Corps program, which offers undergraduate and graduate students paid internships at city agencies to introduce them to careers in civil service. The bill, and accompanying legislation, are aimed at recruiting more diverse young people into the city’s workforce.

    Intro.

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  • Series of Major Housing Approvals, Announcements Mark Progress in Adams’ ‘City of Yes’

    Mayor Adams releases his housing plan (photo: Ed Reed/Mayor's Office)


    New York City is soon to be awash in new housing construction with the City Council approval in recent months of over 12,000 new units and a mayoral administration promising to bring thousands more through major development projects and changes to city zoning rules.

    The development is essential to meet the city's demand for housing, particularly affordable housing, where the vacancy rate for the lowest income apartments is less than 1% while tens of

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  • City Council Progressive Caucus Announces 2023 Legislative Agenda Focused on Solitary Confinement, Affordable Housing, Police Accountability, & More

    City Council Progressive Caucus Co-Chairs Hanif & Restler (photo: John McCarten/NYC Council)


    The New York City Council’s Progressive Caucus is announcing its legislative agenda for 2023 on Thursday, pursuing 20 bills in seven categories on criminal justice reform, police transparency, housing affordability, public banking, waste and emissions reduction, and gig worker benefits. 

    The Progressive Caucus’ membership, all Democrats, is the largest it has ever been in the 51-member City Council, with 35 members in its ranks, including Speaker Adrienne Adams as an ex-officio member, up from 12

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  • How Could the City Council Cut Affordable Housing in Gowanus?

    Housing construction (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)


    If you listen to progressives in New York City talk, you'd think they're focused on addressing our worsening housing crisis. Endless rally cries for tenant protection and increasing affordability make up the bulk of their campaign promises and slogans.

    And they would be right to — everyone, from democratic socialists to President Biden agree housing production is a problem. Over half a million units are needed by 2030, according to a...

  • With the Massive Bronx Building Still Vacant, Officials are Again Asking: What's the Future of the Kingsbridge Armory?

    Officials touring the Kingsbridge Armory (photo: William Alatriste/NYC Council Media Unit)


    The Kingsbridge Armory, the largest of its kind in the world at 520,000 square-feet, has sat vacant for more than three decades as plans to redevelop the structure have repeatedly failed. But the city is undertaking yet another attempt to reenvision the armory for modern use, and local lawmakers are optimistic that this time they will succeed.

    Built in 1917 for the New York National Guard, the armory had been used for myriad purposes until it was decommissioned in 1991 and then given over to the city

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  • Council Examines City's Renewable Energy Progress, Future Plans

    Rooftop solar (photo: Governor's Office)


    As Mayor Eric Adams’ administration follows ambitious mandates to achieve carbon neutrality over the next few decades, the City Council on Thursday examined the state of renewable energy infrastructure in the city, needs for the future, and both city and state legislation that could help expedite the path towards a zero-emissions energy grid and economy.

    At a hearing of the Council’s Committee on Environmental Protection, chaired by Queens Council Member Jim Gennaro, administration officials testified to ongoing efforts at sourcing and converting to

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  • Redistricting Commission Sends New Map to City Council for Review

    The Mayor & City Council (photo: John McCarten/NYC Council)


    In a near-unanimous vote, the New York City Districting Commission voted on Thursday to send its latest plan for redrawing the 51 City Council districts to the Council for its review. The Council now has three weeks to either approve the map or reject it and send it back to the Commission with proposed changes. 

    The Commission’s latest proposal made few major changes to a proposed map that a majority of members ...

  • 'Alarming to Not Have a Goal': City Council Pushes Adams Administration on Affordable Housing for Seniors

    A push for senior affordable housing (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    Older New Yorkers, aged 65 and above, are the fastest growing age group in the city, currently numbering at about 1.24 million and expected to grow to as many as 1.4 million residents by 2040. They are also a population that experiences significant housing insecurity and other housing challenges, with more than half considered rent-burdened. As the city continues to grapple with a deepening affordable housing crisis, City Council members on Monday sought answers from Mayor Eric Adams’ administration about efforts to support and prioritize

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  • City Council Redistricting Drama Underscores Dropped Commission Ethics Policy

    The NYC Districting Commission at a hearing (photo: @DistrictingNYC)


    [Update: On October 6, the Districting Commission passed, by near-unanimous vote, a new City Council map very similar to the one it previously voted down, as discussed in the story below. That map now goes to the City Council for review.]

    New York City's redistricting process

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  • Council Speaker Outlines Priorities, Weighs In On Key Issues Facing the City

    City Council Speaker Adrienne Adams (photo: Gerardo Romo/NYC Council Media Unit)


    City Council Speaker Adrienne Adams said she wants more transparency at the Department of Education, more discretion for judges in setting bail, and more federal intervention in the city's current shelter crisis – and weighed in on a host of other issues during a public appearance on Wednesday.

    Speaking at a breakfast hosted by good-government group Citizens Union, the speaker discussed some of the most pressing issues of the day along

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  • Redistricting Commission Votes Down Latest City Council Draft Map

    Districting Commission Chair Dennis Walcott (photo: New York City Council)


    In an 8-7 vote, the New York City Districting Commission on Thursday rejected its latest proposal to redraw the city’s 51 Council districts, sending the electoral map back to the drawing board.

    After months of analysis and more than 9,000 submissions from the public, the 15-member commission could not find consensus on redefining City Council district lines to accommodate population shifts shown in the 2020

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  • Key Takeaways from New City Council Map Redistricting Commission Will Vote On

    City Council members at City Hall (photo: John McCarten/NYC Council Media Unit)


    The New York City Districting Commission tasked with redrawing the city's 51 Council districts is expected to vote on a new draft map on Thursday, marking one of the last stages in the city's controversial redistricting process.

    The new map, which was first reported on by the New York Times and previewed by Gotham Gazette on Tuesday, addresses some of the biggest points of contention

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  • City Council Examines Digital Divide, Bills to Improve Internet Access

    Students getting connected (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)


    The City Council’s Committee on Technology held a hearing Monday to examine disparities in internet broadband access across the city and to discuss legislation that would ameliorate that digital divide. The hearing took place just hours after Mayor Adams announced the new “Big Apple Connect” program to provide free internet and cable TV services to thousands of NYCHA residents to better connect

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  • With Queens Development Decision, Cabán Recasts Progressive Approach to Housing

     

    City Council Member Tiffany Cabán, left, unveils her housing agenda (photo: @CabanD22)


    *This article is published in partnership withNew York Focus*

    New York City Council Member Tiffany Cabán on Tuesday announced her support for a proposed rezoning that will allow a three-tower, 1300-unit housing development in Astoria known as Halletts North, in a shift from how other progressive lawmakers have

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  • 'Everything's On The Table' as Redistricting Commission Draws Next Version of City Council Map

     

    Commissioners hold a public hearing of the NYC Districting Commission (photo: @DistrictingNYC)


    This month, the commission tasked with redrawing the 51 New York City Council districts is set to unveil a second and potentially final map following a process that has unfolded behind closed doors to a significant degree.

    The New York City Districting Commission has been working since March on the new map, which must be redrawn each decade after the U.S. Census to account for population shifts. Those lines must be finalized by the end of this year and will be in place for the 2023 elections, where all 51 City

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