Gotham Gazette

The Place for New York Policy and politics

 

City Council

City Council

  • may bdb census

    Mayor de Blasio with Census Director Julie Menin and others (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    As the U.S. Census Bureau prepares to send out questionnaires for the decennial population count beginning in March, city officials are working to make sure that New York City residents respond en masse. On Friday, the city is announcing a list of 155 organizations that will receive some part of a $19-million funding pot to conduct outreach in hard-to-count communities and populations across the city.

    The city’s Complete Count Fund makes up nearly half the $40 million

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  • lander successor piece

    Council Member Lander, right, with Shahana Hanif (photo: @ShahanaFromBK)


    New York City Council Member Brad Lander, a Democrat who represents parts of Brooklyn, has pledged to remain neutral in the crowded race for his current seat, which he’ll vacate at the end of 2021. Lander cannot seek reelection because of term limits and has declared a run for city Comptroller.

    Council District 39, where Lander has served since 2010, covers some of the highest voter turnout areas of the city and includes the neighborhoods of Cobble Hill, Carroll Gardens, Gowanus, Park

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  • New York City Hall

    New York City Hall


    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    Welcome to what promises to be a very busy December in New York politics. As the week begins there’s a great deal of scrutiny on the state campaign finance commission that controversially voted last week to adopt a new public matching system with lower (but still high) individual contribution limits that will become law unless the state Legislature returns to Albany before Christmas to overturn it. The commission also

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  • New York City Hall

    New York City Hall


    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    It looks like there will be a lot of political action this shortened Thanksgiving holiday week. The state campaign finance commission is expected to make key decisions at its final public meeting on Monday, followed by the release of its binding report on changes to New York’s campaign finance laws, including individual donation limits and a public matching system for certain contributions to candidate campaigns. The

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  • council comm womens

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


    The New York City Council’s Committee on Women and Gender Equity and Committee on the Justice System held a joint hearing on Wednesday to examine the effectiveness of the city’s programs meant to reduce domestic violence by holding abusive partners accountable through treatment and rehabilitation. But representatives of the de Blasio administration could not provide metrics about how many programs there are currently in place across the city or how they are working. And even as the city is exploring new

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  • fulton wt

    (photo: Benjamin Kanter/Mayoral Photo Office)


    Last month, two videos of incidents in Brooklyn emerged on social media that led to a public furor over policing in the city’s subway system. In one, several police officers aimed their guns at an unarmed young black man (and many fellow passengers nearby) and then aggressively arrested him despite him having shown no indication of resistance. In the second, an officer could be seen punching black teenagers in the face as other officers attempted to bring a stop to a brawl in a subway station.

    Those incidents were widely seen as a

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  • finance comm hearing

    (photo: Emil Cohen/City Council)


    The NYPD’s body-worn camera policies are a “work in progress,” a police official said at a hearing of the New York City Council’s public safety committee on Monday, seeking to allay concerns expressed by Council members about the program that now includes more than 20,000 uniformed officers. At the hearing, Council members had questions and criticisms about transparency and accountability taking a back seat to surveillance and police authority, particularly with regard to the NYPD’s control over body camera footage.

    The NYPD

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  • city council cm raf salamanca

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


    A year ago, a homeless woman confronted Mayor de Blasio during his gym workout in Park Slope to ask why the city doesn’t set aside more apartments for homeless people. The incident and a video of it in which the mayor refused to talk with the woman, Nathylin Flowers Adesegun, were widely ...

  • cm farah louis

    Council Member Farah Louis (photo: New York City Council)


    The New York City Council is considering legislation that would create a new office to assist non-profit organizations in navigating regulations and applying for city contracts and funding.

    Council Member Farah Louis, a recently elected Brooklyn Democrat, has proposed legislation that would mandate that the mayor institute an Office of Not-For-Profit Services. The bill is set to be examined by the Council’s Committee on Governmental Operations at a ...

  • cm cornegy richards press conference

    (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    The NYPD’s body-worn camera program is meant to provide transparency and accountability about policing activity in the city, particularly in cases of high-profile incidents of police officers’ use of force against civilians. But more than seven months after body cameras were rolled out to every uniformed patrol officer, there are many questions about how the cameras are used and about the policies that determine the release of the footage to the public and independent

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  • New York City Hall

    New York City Hall


    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    This week begins with renewed examination of former Mayor Michael Bloomberg's record on policing, particularly his administration's overuse of stop-and-frisk tactics that resulted in a court ruling of unconstitutionality based on racial profiling, and, more than six years later, ...

  • mmv sbs gregg

    (photo: William Alatriste/City Council)


    As the owner of a small retail shop it is stomach-churning to publicly state that I do not support a piece of city legislation that would mandate 10 days of annual paid leave for all working New Yorkers at businesses of five or more employees and comes in addition to the mandated five paid sick days assured under the 2014 Paid Safe & Sick Leave law.

    I believe paid time off is a just right and I am a fierce defender of my staff. Contrary to the words used by Mayor Bill de Blasio in stumping for this bill, I do not

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  • cm ritchie oversight

    DOI Commissioner Margaret Garnett (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    The Department of Investigation, a watchdog agency tasked with rooting out waste, fraud, and abuse in city government, issues hundreds of recommendations each year, urging other city agencies to reform their procedures and enhance the services they provide. It’s not always apparent to the general public, or even elected officials, whether agencies comply with those suggestions, which are typically based on extensive investigations.

    But the department has now promised a new

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  • 107 123 c3560 1

    One PBA IE on 2019 ballot question 2 (photo via Campaign Finance Board filing)


    Just after an election where the issue became especially apparent, a New York City lawmaker is planning to introduce legislation to close a loophole that has allowed independent expenditure committees to shield donors when they spend money to sway voters on ballot proposals. The potential change in city law would bring certain donor disclosure rules in line with state regulations and extend other city regulations to what is already required for political spending on candidates by

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  • ydanis rod ravi

    (photo: William Alatriste & John McCarten/City Council)


    What’s a majority of  51? It should be simple math, but in the world of City Council politics, the numbers don’t always add up. Take the Public Oversight of Surveillance (POST) Act, an NYPD reform bill that has been pending before the Council for over two-and-a-half years.

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  • escr rendering

    (rendering: City of New York)


    It has been seven years since Superstorm Sandy made landfall on our city, causing billions of dollars in damage and ravaging some of our city’s most critical infrastructure, including our parks. It took years for the famous boardwalks in Coney Island and the Rockaways to re-open. Trees across our coastlines died and continue to be at risk from exposure to salt water. And many of our coastal parks are no less protected from the next big storm today than they were in 2012.

    As a steward and advocate for our city’s parks, I know that we can’t

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  • New York City Hall

    New York City Hall


    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    This week begins with President Donald Trump in New York City for the 100th Veterans Day parade and many eyes watching to see what steps former Mayor Michael Bloomberg takes toward running for the Democratic nomination for president.

    After much of the New York political world spent the last several days in Puerto Rico for the annual SOMOS conference, with a good deal of buzz around Bloomberg announcing new

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  • Rikers Island inmate detainee

    (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    In an historic vote last month, the New York City Council approved the plan to close the Rikers Island jail complex and replace it with four borough-based jails by 2026. When the Council voted through the plan, estimated at $8.7 billion in new construction costs, it also announced, with Mayor Bill de Blasio, a $391-million package of citywide and community investments in criminal justice reforms and initiatives to responsibly accelerate the reduction of the city’s jail population.

    For city officials, one

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  • New York City Hall

    New York City Hall


    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    Election Day is Tuesday! New York's first-ever early voting period is over, ending its nine-day run on Sunday, and Monday is a day for near-final campaigning. In New York City there are very few races on the ballot in what is the quietest of the four-year election cycle that otherwise includes presidential (next in 2020), mayoral (next in 2021), and gubernatorial (next in 2022) elections, not to mention state

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  • cm carlina riv carlos m press

    (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    With the launch of the 2020 Census barely five months away, the New York City Council on Tuesday summoned officials from Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration for a progress report on the city’s preparations for the decennial population count. It is a count that has a great deal riding on it, from billions of dollars in federal funding to representation in Congress, and more.

    Convening a joint hearing of the Committees on Governmental Operations, Immigration, and State and Federal

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  • cm king do

    Council Member Andy King (photo: William Alatriste/City Council)


    The New York City Council voted on Monday to suspend Bronx Council Member Andy King for 30 days without pay and imposed several other disciplinary measures following repeated ethics violations by King that were recently substantiated by the Council’s ethics committee.

    King, a Democrat, was the subject of a monthslong investigation by the Council’s Committee on Standards and Ethics, the Office of General Counsel, and outside prosecutor Carrie Cohen, who found that the Council member engaged in a

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  • New York City Hall

    New York City Hall


    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    The inaugural session of early voting in New York began on Saturday and continues throughout this week. Find hours for each day in New York City here; find your poll site here. Early voting goes through Sunday, November 3, then there is one day with no voting before Election Day, November 5. See what's on your

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  • rikers island jails via lippman report

    Rikers Island (photo via Lippman Commission report)


    Late last week, the New York City Council approved the de Blasio administration’s plan to build four new borough-based jails to replace the detention complex on Rikers Island. The plan hinges on a continued reduction in the city jail population, in large part brought on by state and city criminal justice reforms and changes in city policing. Various aspects of the costs, and potential savings, involved in shuttering the Rikers jails and opening the four new ones – from

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  • New York City Hall

    New York City Hall


    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    This week will see continued analysis of the major political event of last week: the City Council’s vote to approve the construction of four new borough-based jails to replace the Rikers Island jail complex by the end of 2026.

    As the week begins, we’re also awaiting the discussion at the MTA Board this week after news broke on Friday, ...

  • homelessness rally

    The authors and others at a rally (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    More than 61,000 men, women, and children will sleep in New York City shelters tonight, and this historic homelessness crisis will continue to devastate the lives of even more people unless Mayor de Blasio embraces the common sense plans that we have put forward from a City Council office and the Coalition for the Homeless, respectively.

    The record number of homeless New Yorkers will continue to reach new highs every year, according to the latest report from the Coalition. In stark contrast to Mayor

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