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City Council

City Council

  • 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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  • The City Council’s First Test to be The City of Yes We All Need

    New housing (photo: @NYCHousing)


    The housing market in New York City is more unaffordable than ever. How we got here may be complicated, including decades of zoning barriers to building affordable housing and insufficient overall production, but the way out is simple: every neighborhood must do its part to add to our affordable housing supply, without exception or delay. Rejecting the outdated attitude of “no” is the only

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  • A Fall To-Do List for the City Council’s Veterans Committee

    At a Veterans Day parade (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    When City Council Member Robert Holden was appointed chair of the Council’s veterans committee in January, there was optimism in the city’s military veterans advocacy community as many felt his predecessor was caretaking the committee and holding hearings that didn’t press the city’s Department of Veterans Services (DVS) for answers.  

    Yet over the past several months, veterans have been surprised at the Council Member’s seeming unwillingness,

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  • Max Politics Podcast: Dennis Walcott on New York City Council Redistricting

    Dennis Walcott (photo: Spencer Tucker/Mayor's Office)


    September 1, 2022 - Max Politics Podcast: Dennis Walcott on New York City Council Redistricting

    Dennis Walcott, Chair of the New York City Districting Commission, joined the show to discuss the commission's ongoing work to draw new City Council districts, as mandated after each U.S. Census.

    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 download the episode wherever

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  • Officials Celebrate Additional Library Funding in New York City Budget

    City Council Speaker Adrienne Adams & Queens Public Library President Dennis Walcott (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    The new fiscal year 2023 New York City budget includes $452.8 million in expense funding for the city’s three library systems and research libraries — a $20 million increase from last year’s $431.9 million. Additionally, the City Council put another $15.7 million in operating funds from its discretionary monies, set to be shared among the three systems, bringing the total expense funding for libraries in this year’s city budget to $468.5 million.

    That money helps operate

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  • 'Uncharted Waters': City Council Speaker Adrienne Adams' First 8 Months

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


    Adrienne Adams, a Queens Democrat and the first Black Speaker of the New York City Council, gives herself a “B+” grade on her tenure so far. In an interview with Gotham Gazette, Adams said that when she took over, she found herself “in uncharted waters, where no other speaker has begun their career,” having to deal with the continuing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, ushering along the city’s recovery, and negotiating a complicated budget with a new mayor intent on reigning in city spending.

    For the past seven-plus

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  • 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.

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