New Year's Eve revelers (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)
As we usually do around this time of year, Gotham Gazette asked New York politicos to look into their crystal balls for predictions for the year ahead. Below you'll find insights from elected officials, advocates, consultants, analysts, and others who are tuned in to New York politics.
2023 will undoubtedly be another year of importance and intrigue in New York politics, with Mayor Eric Adams entering his second year in charge, Governor Kathy Hochul starting the full term she just won, the full New York City Council on the ballot after redistricting, and much more.
We know that there will be many political races, debates, and decisions. But what *exactly* will happen? Read below for some ideas.
Before (or after) seeing this year's predictions for 2022, revisit last year's predictions for this year here — there were some really good ones, and many that missed the mark.
Have something to add to the conversation? Tweet @GothamGazette with your reactions or predictions for 2022 in New York politics.
Predictions for 2023 in New York Politics
City Council Majority Leader Keith Powers
-2023 will be a banner year for new housing throughout the city and state with Albany & New York City combining to address a citywide crisis in affordability.
-New York City sports teams will make the playoffs across the board in 2023.
City Council Minority Leader Joe Borelli
Eric Adams will discover the virtue of quiet evenings by the Gracie Mansion fireplace. A standard soirée now includes chamomile and comfy flannels. A prompt 8:30 lights out will be the norm, unless it’s Yellowstone night, the Mayor’s new favorite western drama which ends at 9.
Marc Molinaro, Dutchess County Executive & Rep.-Elect NY-19
-Bipartisan solutions will be developed to provide greater federal support for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities; and for those living with mental illness.
-Runaway spending will cause New York’s fiscal condition to continue to unravel…somehow this will be a surprise.
-The Mets will win the World Series. Yeah, I still believe!
Dr. Christina Greer, political scientist & co-host FAQNYC
-Eric Adams and Kathy Hochul may have some growing pains but neither will let their differences devolve into a de Blasio-Cuomo street fight.
-Covid will continue to seep into all areas of our lives - school, work, transportation, hospitals - and conversations about Long Covid will become more prominent.
-The lies of Rep.-elect George Santos will continue to unfold but the GOP will double down in support of the troubled lawmaker.
-The MTA will continue to need influxes of cash and the quality of service will continue to decline leaving riders stranded, frustrated, and sometimes scared.
Rachel Fee, Executive Director, New York Housing Conference
2023 will be the year of housing in New York. Governor Hochul and the Legislature will pass long overdue land use changes to spur housing supply in response to a decades-in-the-making affordability crisis. There will be pushback, but housing advocates and our allies will hold firm and ultimately win out to the benefit of tenants and communities across the state.
Betsy Gotbaum, Executive Director, Citizens Union
There will be a vibrant discussion about bold, transformative ideas to increase voter turnout in municipal elections in New York City.
Kathy Wylde, President & CEO, Partnership for New York City
Strong and steady, Governor Hochul will prevail over the loud voices of far left advocates on key budget issues as well as winning the confirmation of the first Latino Chief Judge in New York State history.
Olivia Lapeyrolerie, progressive political consultant
The emboldened state Republican Party will leverage their gains in the 2022 election and Eric Adams’ misguided crusade to roll back bail reform to make a serious play for more seats in the New York City Council. It’ll be a hot mess but at least we’ll have (legal) weed to get through it!
Vishaan Chakrabarti, founder, PAU, practice for architecture and urbanism
In 2023 there will be an unprecedented level of coordinated New York City-State land use actions that accelerate Gotham’s recovery from the pandemic including (1) the creation of new public spaces across Midtown to help attract and retain workers and residents; (2) the conversion of vacant obsolete office space into mixed-income housing and social infrastructure; and (3) the widespread approval of affordable housing projects across the five boroughs.
Bradley Tusk, political strategist and venture capitalist
-Finally fed up with all the endless scaffolding and the quality of life problems it breeds, the City Council legalizes building-exterior inspection via drone. This saves residents and landlords billions of dollars and makes the city a much nicer place to live.
-In response to southern states cracking down on tele-abortion, Albany passes the toughest shield law in the nation, protecting New York doctors and medical professionals from civil litigation and criminal prosecution who prescribe abortion pills to patients in red states via telemedicine.
-The Adams administration opens podcast studios in every library in New York City that are completely free for anyone to use. This helps amplify our city’s story to the world and makes people really happy. (Disclosures: Tusk’s venture capital firm has drone investments. Tusk’s foundation is helping run Mayday Health, a tele-abortion non-profit. Tusk’s bookstore, P&T Knitwear, currently has the only podcast studio in NYC that’s free for anyone to use.)
Maritza Silva-Farrell, Executive Director, ALIGN
-2023 will be the year of the worker — we'll see contracts finalized for Starbucks, Amazon, UPS Teamsters, New York's nurses, and more — and with the cost of living continuing to rise, the state will raise the minimum wage to keep up.
-We saw Swifties band together against Ticketmaster this fall; with a Beyoncé tour on the horizon, there will be major progress in breaking up corporate monopolies this spring!
-After New York voters overwhelmingly supported the Environmental Bond Act at the polls, Governor Hochul will make historic investments in climate and green jobs expansion.
William F. B. O'Reilly, political consultant, The November Team
-Buoyed by Asian, Eastern European, and Orthodox voters, Republicans will win seven New York City Council seats for the first time.
-Congressman-elect George Santos will reveal a genealogical link to President Theodore Roosevelt and declare his candidacy for the White House on the Bull(shit) Moose Party line.
-At least one more member of the U.S. Senate will become a political independent.
Eli Valentin, political analyst and professor
-Tensions between Mayor Adams and the City Council will dramatically increase, particularly during budget season. 2023 will be a make-or-break year for Adams as he inches closer to re-election in ‘25.
-We will see surprisingly close contests in some City Council districts, making a normally dull election season unusually exciting.
-Governor Hochul will not have enough State Senate votes to pass through her nominee for Chief Judge, setting off an unprecedented fight.
Annemarie Gray, Executive Director, Open New York
-By June, Governor Hochul will sign at least two major bills that will kick our housing production into a higher gear — building on a moment when we are seeing a consensus among top elected officials that building significantly more housing of all kinds is central to addressing our housing affordability crisis across the city and state, and that we must do so in more comprehensive ways than one-off project approvals.
-A growing coalition will fight for and win tenant protections and policies that increase housing supply, which can go hand in hand in a more holistic approach to how we address our severe housing affordability crisis — having more housing options includes having the option to stay.
Trip Yang, political consultant and founder, Trip Yang Strategies
-The Asian American electorate will continue to make its case as a political force, electing the first ever Asian American City Council Member in Brooklyn.
-Most incumbent City Council Members will sail to re-election, but at least one will lose in the primary election.
-Former Lieutenant Governor Brian Benjamin, who had federal corruption charges recently dismissed but still faces two counts of falsifying records, will attempt to make a political comeback.
Tom Grech, President and CEO, Queens Chamber of Commerce
In addition to the previously announced activity at Willets Point, look for some wonderful visioning at Citi Field to reimagine unused space.
JC Polanco, attorney and professor
-Mayor Adams' popularity increases as his plan to help New Yorkers with untreated severe mental illness shows promise.
-Speaker Heastie and Senate Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins finally agree with me and allow us independent voters to vote in primary elections. The law won't allow Republicans to vote in Democratic primaries or vice versa, but allows independent voters to vote in the primary of their choosing. New York's second largest group of voters, currently without a say in primary elections where 90% of New York City elections are decided, will have their voices valued.
-Dangerousness will become part of conditions on bail. To assure the elimination of racial disparities in bail, new chief judge Hector LaSalle will allow for the creation of a judicial equity panel to evaluate its implementation.
-My Buffalo Bills win the Super Bowl.
Carol Kellermann, civic leader
-The MTA's critical need for more operating revenue sparks a movement to revive the NYC Commuter Tax on that was killed in 1999 and could generate hundreds of millions from suburbanites.
-Governor Hochul joins with Mayor Adams to press the legislature to adopt the recommendations of the NYC Advisory Commission on Property Tax Reform along with a modified version of the now-expired "421a" program to incentive construction of mixed income rental housing in the City.
Sara Lind, Chief Strategy Officer, Open Plans
-Mayor Eric Adams will create a Director of the Public Realm and an Office of Public Space Management to foster well-resourced, joyful, and livable public spaces in every neighborhood in New York City.
-New York City’s elected leaders will realize that ending mandatory parking minimums is one of the simplest ways to create the city New Yorkers living in 2023 really want, helping make a more livable city for everyone.
-After much delay, Mayor Adams and the City Council will agree on a framework for the permanent Open Restaurants program, smoothing out logistical challenges, allowing restaurants to offer outdoor seating year-round, and empowering the Department of Transportation to manage our curb space as the valuable public good that it is.
-Recognizing the ongoing tragedies of traffic fatalities and injuries and vehicle emissions, Governor Kathy Hochul will champion the SAFE Streets Act so that every New Yorker can use our streets safely.
David C. Bloomfield, Professor of Education Leadership, Law & Policy, Brooklyn College and The CUNY Graduate Center
-The New York State Education Department will eliminate Regents Exam requirements for high school graduation, making them optional.
-After 2022's wildly unpopular cuts to schools in the New York City Department of Education budget, the City Council (with elections in redrawn districts in mind), will refuse Mayor Adams' proposed additional cuts, throwing budget negotiations into a tailspin.
-Tens of thousands of ultra-orthodox yeshiva students will still be denied required secular instruction despite new state regulations, New York Times exposés, and a court order while politicians continue the schools' massive subsidies.
Evan Roth Smith, Slingshot Strategies Founding Partner
-The typical power dynamic of the City Council and Mayor will invert, with Speaker Adrienne Adams leading a body increasingly unified by frustration with Mayor Eric Adams and a growing willingness to confront him. Watch for the Council to move a more aggressive agenda and vision of its own rather than reacting to the Mayor, and for the large class of first-term Council Members to find their footing with increased confidence as both legislators and political actors. The ideological lines dividing Council Members will blur as they find common purpose, and outmoded conventions such as ‘member deference’ will continue to erode. If the Council does indeed assert itself, watch for its emerging leaders to begin teasing 2025 challenges to citywide incumbents.
-The embattled leadership of the New York Democratic Party and the Brooklyn Democratic Party will hold on, despite the sound and fury over party failures in the 2022 elections. The loss of multiple winnable House seats across the state, a close shave re-election for the Governor, and anemic Democratic voter turnout (particularly in New York City) are deeply troubling for insiders, but it will take a front-page political catastrophe to spur a genuine shakeup in New York’s Democratic political establishment. Unfortunately, after this year’s dismal Democratic underperformance, an eventual catastrophe seems possible, if not probable.
Jake Oliver, Vice President, Anat Gerstein, Inc.
-The New York City Council will protect discretionary funding for nonprofits, despite the Mayor's recent suggestion that this funding may be on the chopping block.
-In 2022 the Mayor and Comptroller took steps to improve on-time contract payments and reduce contracting red tape. In 2023, with the Council leading the way, more work will be done to address decades old problems the sector has faced -- including improving wages for frontline workers doing incredibly challenging and important work.
Tweet us @GothamGazette to add your predictions for 2023 in New York politics, or to react to something you read here. And happy new year, New York!