Gotham Gazette

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City Council

City Council

  • Asian Advocates, Elected Officials Call on Redistricting Commission to Redo City Council Map

    A portion of the Unity Map proposal for new City Council districts


    Last month, the New York City Districting Commission released a preliminary map of new City Council district lines, redrawing boundaries across the city based on population changes enumerated in the 2020 Census. Uproar quickly ensued over several of the major changes in the draft maps for the 51 City Council districts across the five boroughs.

    In Brooklyn, the commission proposed a new Asian American majority district that could award political power to a growing constituency — what the commission itself deemed an “Asian opportunity district”

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  • City Council Redistricting Process Heads to New Round of Public Input After Draft Map Release

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


    Unlike the fight over new state legislative and congressional district maps, which focused on partisan lines earlier this year, the effort to redraw New York City's 51 City Council districts has become a battle defined by incumbency and ethnicity.

    Last Friday, the New York City Districting Commission released a

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  • Adams Administration Eyes Late 2022 Launch of 'MyCity' Portal for City Services

    Mayor Adams visits a small business (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)


    One of Mayor Eric Adams’ main gripes with city government is that it is too inefficient, part of rampant dysfunction that exacerbates inequality and stifles growth. There’s far too much red tape and redundancy between city agencies and New Yorkers looking to them for services, the new mayor says. And he’s vowed to ease that access by launching an online portal that will allow people to apply for city benefits, services, and permits at the touch of a button.

    When he was running for mayor, Adams proposed to

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  • City Council Examines Bills to Address Maternal Health, Racial Disparities in Reproductive Care

    City Council hearing on maternal health (photo: Emil Cohen/NYC Council)


    At a hearing this past week, New York City Council Members discussed a package of legislation related to maternal health, mortality, and morbidity and seeking to address healthcare inequities as well as the Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade constitutional abortion protections. The joint hearing held by the Council’s Committee on Health and Committee on Hospitals dealt with...

  • Better Managing Public Space is Key to New York City’s Recovery

    Public space (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    Summer is in full swing and street fairs, parades, and block parties are enlivening public space across New York City. But these vital signs of city life exist alongside indicators of the challenges we are facing: trash blocking sidewalks, lack of staff to keep crucial community spaces activated, and the threat of traffic violence.

    The activity on our streets, parks, and stoops helps define what makes New York special. These spaces would not thrive without committed

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  • New City Budget Incrementally Expands Composting Programs as Council Considers Citywide Mandate

    Community composting (photo: William Alatriste/City Council)


    When Mayor Eric Adams was running for City Hall, he pledged to expand the city’s incipient residential curbside composting program. But despite a push for more by some City Council members, the recently approved $101 billion budget for next fiscal year, beginning July 1, only marginally increases funding for other composting programs while halting the promised expansion of residential curbside composting. 

    The city’s voluntary curbside composting program has moved forward in fits and starts. Organics account for about a third of

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  • Mayor Adams and City Council Announce Deal on $101 Billion NYC Budget

    Mayor Adams, Speaker Adams, and Council Members (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)


    Mayor Eric Adams and City Council Speaker Adrienne Adams on Friday announced their first budget agreement, a $101 billion spending deal for the 2023 fiscal year beginning July 1, reflecting an increase of about $2.3 billion over the budget that was adopted in June of last year. 

    Buoyed by higher-than-expected tax revenues and federal aid, the administration and Council massively increased the city’s reserves and invested in a long

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  • Lost in Translation: We Need Meaningful Language Access in New York City

    Adult literacy programming (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    People from across the world come to New York City to build a new life, bringing with them their customs, cultures, and traditions. Our newest neighbors also bring with them their own languages, contributing to the wonderful diversity of our city, but also presenting a unique set of challenges as families build their new lives.

    Take my district in Flushing, which has more than 70,000 “limited English proficiency” Asian New Yorkers, roughly 70% of the total

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  • Majority of City Council Declares Opposition to Reauthorizing NYC Tax Lien Sale

    City Hall (photo: Benjamin Kanter/Mayoral Photo Office)


    New York City’s controversial tax lien sale program, which helps the city collect unpaid property debt, expired at the end of February and a majority of City Council members now say they will refuse to reauthorize it.

    The city government uses the tax lien sale program, created in 1996, to sell unpaid debts on property taxes and sewer and water bills to private entities, which pay the city about 75 cents on the dollar. Those private lien servicing companies then tack

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  • 'Still A Ways To Go': Last City Council Budget Hearing Sets Stage for Final Negotiations

    NYC Budget Director Jacques Jiha (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)


    The New York City Council held its final hearing Tuesday on Mayor Eric Adams’ $99.7 billion executive budget proposal for the 2023 fiscal year, pressing the administration to fund several outstanding requests ahead of the June 30 deadline for the next budget. 

    In her opening remarks, Council Speaker Adrienne Adams, a Queens Democrat, commended the Adams administration for funding several Council requests made in the official response to the mayor’s

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  • New Law Plus Population Shifts Means Significant Coming Changes for New York City Council Districts

    New York City Council Districts


    As New York wades through a chaotic congressional and state redistricting cycle, a new law could significantly alter the process for redrawing New York City's 51 City Council districts, which began earlier this month.

    The city's Districting Commission must contend with population increases in almost every City Council district and an overall influx of roughly 630,000 residents citywide since the last post-Census redistricting cycle ten years ago. This year, commissioners also have to adhere to a new state law limiting the amount each district's population can

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  • Adams Leaves $25 Million City Council Request for Implementing Noncitizen Voting Out of Updated Budget

    A rally for Our City Our Vote (photo: William Alatriste/NYC Council)


    The New York City Council called on Mayor Eric Adams to provide $25 million in his latest budget plan to implement the city’s noncitizen voting law, which went into effect in January. But the mayor’s $99.7 billion executive budget for the 2023 fiscal year, released last month, did not include that

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  • As City Council Continues Push for Sanitation Funding, Administration Touts Investments 'In a Lot of the Right Places'

    (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    Trash and sanitation have become a top issue for the City Council in this year’s budget season, but Mayor Eric Adams’s $99.7 billion executive budget proposal for the 2023 fiscal year that begins July 1 failed to fund many Council demands. At a hearing on Tuesday, Council members questioned administration officials on their sanitation priorities — from corner basket pickups to composting — and their approach to a problem that has

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  • ‘When we line up behind issues they’re going to get over the finish line’: City Council Progressive Caucus Co-Chairs on Priorities and Positioning

    Lincoln Restler & Shahana Hanif (photos: John McCarten/NYC Council Media Unit)


    The newly-seated 51-member New York City Council has a particularly large progressive wing, with a whopping 34 members, including Speaker Adrienne Adams, signing up for the Progressive Caucus. That caucus, which seeks to pull the Council leftward and is already acting as a counterweight to a more moderate mayor, especially on policing issues, is led by co-chairs Shahana Hanif and Lincoln Restler, two Brooklyn Democrats selected by their fellow caucus members.

    At City Council Budget Hearing, Commissioner Previews Adams Housing Plan

    Housing (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    In his State of the City speech last month, Mayor Eric Adams promised that he would in the coming weeks release a comprehensive housing plan to address perhaps the most intractable problem facing New York. At a hearing of the City Council on Monday, housing officials from his administration outlined the main principles of that agenda and gave a preview of the city's broad approach to building affordable and supportive housing, preserving public housing, and tackling the homelessness crisis.  

    Monday’s hearing concerned the

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  • How Trash Became a Top-of-the-Heap City Budget Issue

    Council Member Chi Ossé on a sanitation tour of his district (photo: John McCarten/NYC Council Media Unit)


    Trash has become among the most prominent issues in this year’s New York City budget negotiations, as well as the focus of larger policy debates about how the city handles its garbage and recycling.

    The infamous mountains of black bags that clutter sidewalks, the overflowing waste baskets at street corners, and the litter on city streets have all been the subject of significant attention from Mayor Eric Adams, Comptroller Brad Lander, and many members of the New York City Council,

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  • Civic Engagement Commission to Launch Citywide Participatory Budgeting After Pandemic Delay

    Dr. Sarah Sayeed (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)


    The first citywide participatory budgeting program is expected to launch later this year after a two-year delay largely due to the COVID-19 state of emergency, officials said at a City Council hearing last week.

    The program was approved by voters in 2018 as one of three City Charter-mandated functions of the new Civic Engagement Commission (CEC) created in the same ballot referendum. The two-year

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  • Max Politics Podcast: City Council Member Pierina Sanchez on Solving NYC's Housing Crisis

    City Council Member Pierina Sanchez (photo: Gerardo Romo/NYC Council)


    April 27, 2022 - Max Politics Podcast: City Council Member Pierina Sanchez on Solving NYC's Housing Crisis

    City Council Member Pierina Sanchez, a Bronx Democrat and chair of the Council's Committee on Housing and Buildings, joined the show to discuss her priorities in solving the city's housing crisis.

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

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  • Max Politics Podcast: City Council Member Crystal Hudson on Supporting Aging New Yorkers, Budget Priorities, & More

    City Council Member Crystal Hudson (photo: John McCarten/NYC Council)


    April 25, 2022 - Max Politics Podcast: City Council Member Crystal Hudson on Supporting Aging New Yorkers & More

    City Council Member Crystal Hudson, a Democrat representing parts of Brooklyn, joined the show to discuss her work chairing the Council's Committee on Aging, city budget priorities, housing policy, and more.

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

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  • City Council Pushes for $25 Million in Next Budget for Implementation of Noncitizen Voting

    Then-Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez leads a rally for noncitizen voting (photo: William Alatriste/NYC Council Media Unit)


    In January, the “Our City, Our Vote” law went into effect, allowing hundreds of thousands of noncitizens in New York City to vote in municipal elections. While there’s many months until they’ll be able to cast their votes, the New York City Council wants city officials and election administrators to be well prepared and conduct outreach to raise awareness, and is calling for $25 million in the next city budget to fund the implementation of the law.

    The new ...

  • Adams Administration Officials Outline Preparations for Massive Influx of Federal Infrastructure Funding

    Infrastructure underway (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    The $1.2 trillion infrastructure law enacted in November by Congress and President Joe Biden is expected to funnel about $27 billion to New York State, with a hefty portion of that funding flowing to New York City. The City Council wants to ensure that those resources will be used well and distributed equitably across the city, and at a hearing on Tuesday, Council members sought plans from Mayor Eric Adams’ nascent administration to accomplish that goal. 

    Tuesday’s joint hearing was held by the Council’s Committee on

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  • City Council to Examine Adams Administration's Preparations for Spending Billions in Federal Infrastructure Funding

    Infrastructure in action (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)


    In November, Congress approved President Joe Biden’s $1.2 trillion infrastructure plan, which is expected to deliver tens of billions of dollars to New York City for crucial needs. As the city prepares for the influx of federal funds, experts are pointing to several priorities that they believe Mayor Eric Adams should pursue, and the new Democratic mayor will no doubt be evaluating his priorities as he continues to map out his own infrastructure plans, including through budget negotiations with the

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  • Max Politics Podcast: City Council Progressive Caucus Chairs Shahana Hanif & Lincoln Restler

    City Council Members Shahana Hanif, left, and Lincoln Restler are co-chairs of the Council's Progressive Caucus


    April 13, 2022 - Max Politics Podcast: City Council Progressive Caucus Chairs Shahana Hanif & Lincoln Restler

    New York City Council Progressive Caucus Co-Chairs Shahana Hanif and Lincoln Restler joined the show to discuss the formation of the caucus in the new class of City Council members, its membership and priorities, and their stances on a number of key issues. 

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

  • 'A Very Unique Political Character': Eric Adams' First 100 Days as Mayor of New York City

    Mayor Eric Adams (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)


    On Mayor Eric Adams’ 100th day in office on Sunday, he announced he had contracted COVID-19, a setback following an event and media blitz in which he touted his early accomplishments and the policy priorities of his incipient administration. It has been a demanding few months for the new mayor, with a series of tragedies and soaring crime posing the most immediate test of the former NYPD captain’s public safety-focused promises, threatening to hobble the city’s pandemic recovery and erode New Yorkers’ patience

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  • In Budget Response, City Council Pushes Mayor on Spending Priorities

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


    The New York City Council wants Mayor Eric Adams to add billions in spending to the city budget for agency operations, city initiatives, and infrastructure to ensure a strong and equitable recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. In issuing its official response to the mayor’s $98.5 billion preliminary budget proposal for the 2023 fiscal year, which begins July 1, the Council has advanced city budget negotiations into their next phase.

    Adams’ budget reflects

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