Gotham Gazette

The Place for New York Policy and politics

City Council

City Council

  • how parks our

    Cunningham Park, Queens (photo: @NYCParks)


    New York City’s parks literally saved lives during the pandemic. In my community of Jackson Heights and Elmhurst, our open spaces allowed us to escape the physical, mental, and social constraints of quarantine into fresh air. Today, our parks, pools, playgrounds, and plazas are places of reconnecting and healing for a community pushing forward from its days as the epicenter of a global crisis.

    Across our city, parks and public spaces will be essential to meeting the multiple challenges we face, from health care

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  • Adrienne Adams City Council chairs

    Speaker Adams and several City Council members (photo: John McCarten/NYC Council Media Unit)


    City Council Speaker Adrienne Adams announced new members to her leadership team and chair appointments to the newly-seated Council’s three dozen committees on Thursday.

    Adams, a Democrat from Southeast Queens, had already named three members to key positions when she was elected speaker in an internal vote of the Council earlier this month. Council Member Diana Ayala of the Bronx and Manhattan was given the newly-created position of deputy speaker.

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


    In a near-unanimous vote on Wednesday, Adrienne Adams, a Queens Democrat, was elected the new Speaker of the City Council, making history as the first ever Black leader of the 51-member legislative body. The Speakership gives her a citywide purview with all its incumbent challenges, made even more pressing by the covid pandemic and the city’s ongoing recovery attempts. Rates of both gun violence and unemployment remain high, and the city is facing a number of other crises related to housing, education, and

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


    Adrienne Adams, a Democrat from Queens, was officially elected as the Speaker of the New York City Council on Wednesday in a near-unanimous internal vote of the 51-member legislative body. Adams is the first Black person to lead the New York City Council and will lead the first-ever women-majority Council, with 31 seats held by women.

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    City Council Member Adrienne Adams, the likely next Speaker of the Council (photo: Emil Cohen/City Council)


    City Council Member Adrienne Adams, a Democrat from Southeastern Queens, is poised to become the next Speaker of the City Council. Adams, who has represented District 28 since 2018, will be the first-ever Black Speaker of the 51-member legislative body and will lead the first-ever women-majority New York City Council.

    The Speaker is one of only four elected officials with citywide authority besides the Mayor, Public

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    Council Member and likely next Speaker Adrienne Adams (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    City Council Member Adrienne Adams, a Queens Democrat, declared victory on Friday in the race to become the next Speaker of the legislative body, issuing a list of supporters who will make up a majority in the next City Council.

    Announcing support from 33 members, including herself, well past the 26 required votes in the 51-seat Council, Adams is poised to be the first Black Speaker when the vote among the new City Council class is seated

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    Farah Louis, the author (middle, in green) with Adrienne Adams (second from left) & others (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    While tackling the global COVID-19 pandemic, New York City experienced a historic moment this year. We didn’t just break the proverbial glass ceiling; we demolished barriers that were created to leave marginalized communities out for generations. The next New York City Council is on track to be the most diverse in the city’s history, including the first Muslim woman; the first openly gay Black women; seven

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    Kids at the library (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    On Monday, the City Council’s Committee on Cultural Affairs and Libraries convened to hear updates from the city’s three library systems regarding their programming and COVID-19 recovery.

    According to the committee’s report, Monday marked the second hearing on libraries since they reopened in July of this year after COVID-19 suspended in-person operations for 15 months. The three systems are Brooklyn Public Library, Queens Public Library, and the New York Public Library

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    Mayor de Blasio at a budget briefing (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography)


    Some of us in government are old enough to remember when Mayor Bill de Blasio took office almost eight years ago, fulminating to any reporter in earshot about how his predecessor, Michael Bloomberg, left him with expired labor contracts that presented the city with an “unprecedented” fiscal challenge.

    “The future should not have been mortgaged in this way. But it was by the previous administration and we will have to grapple with it,” he told The Observer at the

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    Council Member Francisco Moya (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    New York City needs to revamp its approach to development, argues City Council Member Francisco Moya, and have the next City Council Speaker be an experienced official who can help usher in that new way of doing business while also crafting a budget that reflects the diverse needs of the city’s many districts..

    Appearing on a recent episode of the Max Politics podcast

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    Council Member Helen Rosenthal, the author (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    A few years ago, a staff member in my office who owed over $40,000 in student loans came to the realization that she might qualify for eventual loan forgiveness because she worked in local government. Neither her employer, the City Council, or her lender had informed her that working in public service made her eligible for debt relief.

    My staff person is just one of the estimated 1 million New Yorkers who owe student loans. Student loan debt in the United States has reached

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    Council Member Diana Ayala (photo: Jeff Reed/City Council)


    The New York City Council Speaker should be someone who deeply understands people’s struggles and will take a social services focus to the powerful leadership position, argues City Council Member Diana Ayala.

    During a recent appearance on the Max Politics podcast from Gotham Gazette, Ayala discussed her experience representing the 8th Council District, which includes East Harlem and

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    Voting (photo: Edwin J. Torres/Mayoral Photo Office)


    Update: The Council Democratic conference unanimously confirmed Jodi Morales as the Bronx Democratic commissioner for the New York City Board of Elections at the December 6 meeting. At the meeting, the Council's chief compliance officer, Charles Davis, said the Bronx Democratic Party voted to nominate Morales but failed to file the paperwork with the City Clerk, leaving it up to Council Democrats to appoint her. Council Member Ben Kallos, a Manhattan Democrat, said he

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  • Top (l-r) Adrienne Adams, Diana Ayala, Justin Brannan, Gale Brewer Bottom (l-r) Francisco Moya, Keith Powers, Carlina Rivera

    (l-r) Top: Adrienne Adams, Diana Ayala, Justin Brannan, Gale Brewer; Bottom: Francisco Moya, Keith Powers, Carlina Rivera


    The seven candidates to be the next City Council Speaker, all Democrats, have in recent months joined the Max Politics podcast from Gotham Gazette, discussing their government work and Speaker campaigns with host Ben Max. The candidates — Adrienne Adams, Diana Ayala, Justin Brannan, Gale Brewer, Francisco Moya, Keith Powers, and

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    Election happenings (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    The Republican conference of the New York City Council quietly confirmed all five GOP commissioners to the New York City Board of Elections on November 17 in a hearing with little public notice or scrutiny.

    In a six-minute hearing just six weeks before the end of this Council term, the body's three-member minority conference voted to officially install the slate of Republican commissioners for the remainder of a four-year term ending in 2024.

    The ten-commissioner New

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    City Council Member Diana Ayala (photo: Jeff Reed/City Council)


    November 24, 2021 - Max Politics Podcast: City Council Member Diana Ayala on Mental Health Oversight, Running for Speaker, & More

    City Council Member Diana Ayala joined the show to discuss her work in the City Council, especially on mental health policy oversight, her run for City Council Speaker, and more.

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

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  • Gale Brewer gov event

    Gale Brewer, the author (photo:  (Kevin P. Coughlin / Office of the Governor)


    As New York City faces the continuing challenges of COVID-19 and new opportunities, the next Speaker of the City Council will need to have the experience, relationships, and know-how to make government work for Council Members and their constituents.

    Traditionally, the New York City Council has functioned in a top-down decision-making process. As Speaker, I'll lead a more member-driven body that empowers Council Members to vote their conscience.

    I know

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


    The New York City Council voted 43-5 to approve a rezoning of the New York Blood Center to create a new life sciences hub on the Upper East Side, in a rare vote that overrode the wishes of local Council Member Ben Kallos.

    The Council has typically followed the tradition of “member deference” on land use matters, voting along with the member whose district includes the proposed rezoning. In the case of the Blood Center, negotiations had been going on for many months among

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    City Council Member Adrienne Adams (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    The New York Police Department needs a major culture shift, according to City Council Member Adrienne Adams, a Queens Democrat who chairs the Council’s public safety committee, and incoming Mayor Eric Adams can lead the way.

    Speaking at length on a recent episode of the Max Politics podcast from Gotham Gazette, Adams outlined key takeaways from a series of oversight hearings she has chaired and

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    City Council Member Francisco Moya (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    November 20, 2021 - Max Politics Podcast: City Council Member Francisco Moya on Zoning Battles, Running for Speaker, & More

    City Council Member Francisco Moya joined the show to discuss his work chairing the Council's zoning subcommittee, recent land use debates and larger issues of development, and his bid to become the next Council Speaker.

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

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    Borough President/Council Member-Elect Gale Brewer (photo: Gale A Brewer/flickr)


    November 17, 2021 - Max Politics Podcast: Gale Brewer on Her Tenure as Borough President, Running for City Council Speaker, & More

    Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, recently reelected to the City Council and seeking to become its next Speaker, joined the show to discuss her tenure as BP, a variety of issues facing Manhattan and New York City, her campaign for Speaker, her relationship with Mayor-Elect Eric Adams, and more.

    Listen to

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  • blood center east manhattan

    Blood Center project rendering (image: Ennead)


    As current and future leaders of four of New York City’s five boroughs, we strongly urge the full City Council to vote “yes” at the upcoming meeting, Tuesday, November 23, on the New York Blood Center’s proposal to modernize and expand its antiquated Upper East Side building to secure the future of a nonprofit that is essential to hospitals across the city and position our city as a global public health capital.

    For projects of citywide importance like the Blood Center’s, we must balance the needs of

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  • cuny bmcc greet

    A CUNY classroom (photo: @cunyedu)


    During a hearing this past Friday, November 12, the New York City Council sought new information about the use and treatment of adjunct faculty at the City University of New York (CUNY), a controversial topic that has become more fraught amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

    The virtual hearing, held by the Council’s higher education committee and chaired by Council Member Inez Barron, a Brooklyn Democrat, included testimony from two main CUNY officials: Interim Executive Vice Chancellor and University Provost Daniel

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    City Council Member Eric Ulrich (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    October 26, 2021 - Max Politics Podcast: Eric Ulrich on His City Council Tenure, the Future of New York City and Its Republican Party

    City Council Member Eric Ulrich, a Queens Republican term-limited out of office at the end of this year, joined the show to discuss his tenure, the competitive race to replace him, his support for Democrat Eric Adams in the mayoral race, his own future, and more.

    Listen to the conversation and let us know what

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    City Council Member Adrienne Adams (photo: Emil Cohen/City Council)


    October 26, 2021 - Max Politics Podcast: City Council Member Adrienne Adams on NYPD Oversight & More

    City Council Member Adrienne Adams, a Queens Democrat, joined the show to discuss her work chairing the Council's public safety committee, including recent NYPD oversight hearings, her bid to become the next Speaker of the City Council, and more.

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