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Archives: Searchlight on the City Council
May 17, 2012—The New York City Council passed a bill requiring banks receiving billions in municipal funds to detail their lending practices, including mortgages and foreclosures, in struggling neighborhoods.
May 7, 2012—A new study says that politics play too large a role in how the City Council's discretionary funds are divided among its members.
May 1, 2012—Council Speaker Christine Quinn took her sharpest stance against the Mayor yet — passing a Living Wage bill he has promised to veto— all the while defending the Mayor to his critics.
April 19, 2012—The City Council directed the Department of Environmental Protection to assess the possibility of hydroelectric projects that will generate electricity from New York's water supply system.
April 4, 2012—A landmark agreement will allow the Civilian Complaint Review Board to prosecute all confirmed cases of police misconduct. While advocates see it as a step forward, they also have major concerns.
March 29, 2012—The City Council passed bills aiming to make the city safer to navigate for New Yorkers with disabilities, and overrode a mayoral veto on parking enforcement legislation.
March 19, 2012—Participatory budgeting nears its end run of testing in New York City as community members get to vote on which projects they think deserve funding.
March 15, 2012—On the heels of the CityTime settlement, City Council has passed a bill to monitor contract revisions and let the Council know when capital projects are costing taxpayers millions more than planned.
March 1, 2012—The Council considers legislation that would make city operations more transparent, by giving the public access to agency information.
February 29, 2012—Councilman Michael Garodnick wants to pass a bill which would give anyone with a smartphone, the ability to pull up a detailed report from any city-issued certificate.
February 15, 2012—Council Speaker Christine Quinn uses her State of the City Speech to establish her independence from the Mayor and sets the stage for her mayoral run.
February 8, 2012—The Mayor's proposed budget spares teachers and uniformed employees and avoids raising taxes but it features hefty cuts to a number of other programs.
February 2, 2012—Fulfilling pledges Speaker Christine Quinn made in last year's State of the City address, the Council passed two bills that will protect tenants of buildings facing foreclosure and add more transparency to contracts.
January 31, 2012—A city-wide campaign warms New Yorkers away from for-profit education scams that can leave students in debt and without a job.
January 26, 2012—Will City Hall grant an exception to the hiring freeze so that the Civilian Complaint Review Board can hire a lawyer and independently prosecute police misconduct?
January 19, 2012—With two passed bills heading for a mayoral veto and a newly introduced bill aiming to curb the Mayor's power, the City Council is taking a stand against the Mayor in a big way.
January 18, 2012—Councilman Stephen Levin looks to help struggling street vendors who face "outrageous" fines for small infractions.
January 13, 2012—We take a look at Mayor Michael Bloomberg's State of the City address and examine what the city should expect in the coming months.
January 5, 2012—The Council takes on the U.S. Supreme Court and Citizens United, as well as addressing the budget and transparency issues.
December 26, 2011—Our roundup of prominent prognosticators make their picks for 2012.
December 20, 2011—Nearly 800 schools are expected to have PCB contamination and while the city plans a ten-year clean-up of the dangerous chemical, a new City Council bill will give parents the right to know — now — if their school has tested positive for the dangerous chemical.
December 15, 2011—With cuts to capital spending and labor concessions already in place experts say future cuts to the city budget seem likely to come in the form of layoffs.
December 9, 2011—The City Council overrides Bloomberg's veto of the Outsourcing Accountability Act. Is the Council getting tougher with the mayor in his third term?
December 2, 2011—Residents of four city districts can now do more than just complain about government spending. A new program lets citizens decide how council members should divvy up their discretionary dollars.
November 30, 2011—The City Council yesterday took steps to slow down a Transportation Department that some criticize for speeding in its drive to reshape New York's streets.
November 18, 2011—The bill to create a living wage gets a hearing in City Council next week as both sides lobby furiously and wonder what Christine Quinn will do.
November 10, 2011—City Councilmembers Stephen Levin, Annabel Palma and Jumaane Williams sharply criticized the city's plan to tighten eligibility requirement for homeless adults to gain access to the city's shelters.
November 4, 2011—A bill passed by City Council –- said to be the first of its kind in the U.S. -- will stop New York from routinely helping federal authorities detain and deport arrested immigrants.
October 6, 2011—After millions in cost overruns, fraud and even crime, the City Council has stepped into the fray, passing a bill putting controls on city government's hiring of private companies.
September 22, 2011—Many animal advocates celebrated as the City Council yesterday passed a bill expanding animal services, but others charge the measure is unfair to animals – and people.
September 19, 2011—New York City has increasingly sought out private donations to pay for public services. Is that any way to fund a government?
September 9, 2011—The City Council passed legislation yesterday to step up enforcement of the city rules on window bars to protect young children.
August 22, 2011—In a move that could irk the Obama and Bloomberg administrations, City Council members want the city to curtail detaining and spending that helps Washington deport illegal immigrants.
August 18, 2011—New Yorkers will find it easier to pray at work, take time off for religious holidays, and wear headscarves, turbans or yarmulkes in the office under a bill passed by City Council.
August 5, 2011—A commission will likely address that question in a report that could change the rules for advocacy and influence in New York City.
August 4, 2011—But advocates say New York needs to go beyond the cute and clever and join other cities in making masses of data available to the public – without delays or legal battles.
July 29, 2011—The City Council yesterday passed bills aimed at spurring the city to buy and serve food grown and processed in New York State.
July 8, 2011—As the parties anoint candidate for Sept. 13's special elections, voters in most of the affected districts can do little more than sit on the sidelines and prepare their rubber stamps.
June 30, 2011—The City Council congratulated itself yesterday as it passed a budget that, while slashing some jobs and services, staved off the mayor's most draconian cuts.
June 15, 2011—A law passed by City Council yesterday will make more official documents now all but hidden from public view readily available to ordinary New Yorkers.
June 13, 2011—Although the city restored thousands of daycare slots it had planned to slash, parents worry about the reductions and changes still facing programs for the littlest New Yorkers.
June 8, 2011—Budget cuts could padlock four city pools this summer, leaving residents hot, dry -- and bored.
June 3, 2011—Could New York save its teachers and fire companies if the city didn't pay out billions of dollars to consultants and private firms? Courtney Gross examines the issue.
May 27, 2011—The court case that has put fire department hiring on hold has delayed the dreams of many who wanted to join New York's bravest. Yesterday the City Council gave them some hope.
May 25, 2011—The election is in 2013, but donors are already voting with their wallets. Go to Councilpedia -- now updated with the latest data -- to find out which industry funds what candidate.
May 12, 2011—The disputes between city government and cabbies continue as the City Council passed a bill raising fines for drivers who reject passengers on the basis of race or destination.
May 9, 2011—After 10 rounds of budget cuts, the Bloomberg administration is taking aim at teachers and fire companies. Can the City Council save them?
April 29, 2011—Tourists love pedicabs, but New Yorkers have doubts. Yesterday, the City Council passed bills to regulate human-powered taxis and to make parking easier for other vehicles.
April 22, 2011—Four years after unveiling an environmental plan that called for charging people to drive in Manhattan, Mayor Bloomberg yesterday set forth a new, less-controversial agenda.
April 18, 2011—Four years after Mayor Bloomberg announced his plan for a sustainable city, is New York a more environmentally friendly city? Courtney Gross reports on PlaNYC's wins and losses.
April 13, 2011—Two years ago, Mayor Bloomberg promised to boost community colleges as a door to the middle class. Now, critics say that effort has faltered because of budget cuts.
April 11, 2011—Councilmember Brad Lander argues the city should do more to help homeowners facing foreclosure and communities saddled with blight.
April 8, 2011—In a stunning reversal, Mayor Michael Bloomberg replaced Schools Chancellor Cathie Black yesterday with a close deputy mayor. Will Dennis Walcott be able to accomplish the mayor's agenda?
April 7, 2011—The City Council approved a blizzard of bills Wednesday, which outline how the city should respond to future snow emergencies.
April 1, 2011—As school suspensions soar, even some elementary schools kids are barred from class. The city says the policies keep classrooms safe, but critics want to see a different approach.
March 31, 2011—The state budget may be on time, but according to Mayor Michael Bloomberg and some advocates it leaves the city in the dust.
March 30, 2011—Within a month, the city plans to select a new taxi model for the next decade. That vehicle may be less fuel efficient than the city's current fleet on the whole.
March 24, 2011—How's he doing? Not bad. City Council voted to splash the former mayor's name across the Queensboro Bridge despite objections from Queens loyalists and political opponents.
March 23, 2011—As costs of garbage disposal and energy skyrocket, Mayor Bloomberg considers building a plant to turn trash into fuel. Can he pull it off? A Gotham Gazette exclusive.
March 14, 2011—With cuts in state funding threatening to close 105 senior centers in the city, older New Yorkers worry about what it would mean to lose their "second home."
March 11, 2011—Does the mayor want to shut fire companies to save money -- or to shrink a department that now spends more time responding to heart attacks and less to battling blazes.
March 3, 2011—Amid rallies and rhetoric, the City Council passed a bill requiring pro-life 'pregnancy crisis centers' to disclose more about the services they do -- and do not -- provide.
March 2, 2011—With the Campaign Finance Board set to propose ways to monitor independent expenditures on behalf of candidates, some unions fear the rules could infringe on First Amendment rights.
February 18, 2011—Presenting his budget, the mayor again raised the specter of teacher layoffs, and closing senior centers and fire companies. This time, many officials say, it could actually happen.
February 17, 2011—As opposition to bike lanes increases, the City Council yesterday passed a package of bills that could lay the groundwork for slowing down the city's plans to encourage cycling.
February 16, 2011—The council speaker took on the city's rising debt, bloated contracts and shortage of affordable housing in a speech that many saw as an opening shot in her likely mayoral campaign.
February 14, 2011—With the city peppered with big box stores, many New Yorkers still want to keep Wal-Mart out. What makes the world's biggest retailer different from its rivals?
January 20, 2011—Picking up on a national drive to cut public employee benefits, Mayor Bloomberg spent much of his State of the City speech vowing to do away with benefits that city workers hold dear.
January 19, 2011—Black cab or yellow cab? Metered fare or flat rate? The Bloomberg administration plans to bridge the taxi gap and establish a new system for car services in the outer boroughs.
January 19, 2011—The City Council put budget battles aside yesterday and took up the more popular task of protecting New York's pets.
January 14, 2011—The City Council has spoken out strongly for improving workers' rights, but so far, an advocate argues, it has failed to pass laws that would make New York a fairer place to work.
January 10, 2011—Top officials will be on the hot seat today as the City Council holds the first of several hearings on the administration's 'unacceptable' response to last month's blizzard.
January 7, 2011—The City Council and the mayor managed to stave off some controversial budget cuts for this winter. But the pain may only have been delayed.
January 6, 2011—The City Council yesterday sharply expanded a program to fix New York's most dilapidated apartments and get some of the negligent landlords to foot the bill.
December 22, 2010—The budget ax is set to fall on the Administration for Children's Services, sparking outrage from some City Council member who say the move could put children's lives at risk.
December 21, 2010—A bill passed yesterday will require the Department of Education to provide the City Council with more data about crime, suspensions and other infractions in public schools.
December 21, 2010—Our not so fond look back at a year marked by scandals, budget cuts and education wars -- and a new governor.
December 17, 2010—With the opening of a new center on the East Side, the city says it is poised to lure cutting-edge jobs to the five boroughs. But New York has a lot of catching up to do.
December 9, 2010—Say sayonara to your neighborhood sidewalk ATM. The City Council cracked down on the illegal machines Wednesday.
December 6, 2010—Another budget hole hits the city's homeless. After nine rounds of cuts, will Mayor Michael Bloomberg ever fulfill his promise to reduce homelessness?
December 1, 2010—Many New Yorkers live in places that, quite literally, make them sick. Yesterday, the City Council expanded a program designed to change that.
November 19, 2010—The mayor yesterday unveiled $1.6 billion in cuts that will shrink programs, reduce the city workforce and shut fire companies at night. The next move goes to the City Council.
November 18, 2010—By approving the merger of two agencies dealing with young people, the City Council hopes New York will better serve troubled kids, save money and shut a notorious detention center.
November 1, 2010—As anonymous donors expand their role in national politics, New Yorkers on Tuesday will decide whether to require more disclosure of who provides campaign cash in city elections.
October 28, 2010—Following a recent rash of brutal hate crimes, the City Council moved to put statistics on bias attacks and domestic violence on line.
October 26, 2010—The latest effort to revise the City Charter barely scratched the surface, writes Scott Stringer, and so the mayor should name another commission. One in our series on Charter Choices.
October 25, 2010—Seven candidates, including Sean Bell's widow, a censured former council member and a Rikers Island imam, vie for a Queens City Council seat.
October 19, 2010—The Charter Commission took steps to undo the damage done by the extension of term limits, writes a commission member, but did not go far enough. One in our series on Charter Choices.
October 15, 2010—In killing a bill requiring paid sick leave, the council speaker sided with business and against progressive forces that have made the measure one of their top priorities.
October 14, 2010—City Council tried to plug leaks in the city's water supply yesterday with a package of conservation bills. But several Republicans say they go too far.
October 12, 2010—It's a line in the sand. The Bloomberg administration has vowed to control the ballooning cost of employee benefits. Unions have pledged to fight back. A look at the battle ahead.
October 5, 2010—A proposal on the ballot in November would help spread polluting facilities more evenly around the city, Eddie Bautista writes. Part of our series on "Charter Choices."
September 30, 2010—Shining a light on electricity usage, the City Council approved a package of legislation Wednesday that aims to increase efficiency, including a bill requiring commercial properties to use light sensors.
September 29, 2010—The mentally ill account for a rising share of inmates on the island, and many return to jail again and again. Is the city meeting the needs of these people? We take an in-depth look.
September 17, 2010—The City Council yesterday created a system designed to help find seniors with dementia who go missing on New York's streets.
August 26, 2010—The Empire State Building will get some competition on the New York skyline now that the City Council has approved another very tall building just a few blocks away.
August 12, 2010—After six months of hearings, the Charter Revision Commission has decided to put term limits on the ballot this fall. But many, many other issues were left off.
August 2, 2010—With many City Council members earning outside income, Councilmember Daniel Halloran proposes the city raise council pay and give New Yorkers the full-time public servants they need.
July 30, 2010—The City Council passed several bills yesterday to boost New York's low recycling rate and keep trash out of the landfill. Members also OK'd two controversial development projects.
July 21, 2010—City Council members get a base salary of $112,000. But that job still leaves some with ample opportunity to rake in other income. Our article and chart look at who made how much.
July 21, 2010—How much money did your council member make outside of City Hall lat year? Check out our member by member list.
July 15, 2010—In the latest on term limits, some members who voted in 2008 to let their colleagues serve three terms could see themselves forced from office after only two. How would that happen?
July 9, 2010—As advocates and officials seek ways to increase meager Election Day turnout in the city, some say the solution could lie with a little-noticed and sparsely funded commission.
July 8, 2010—Four years after the city revised its lobbying law, efforts to cast light on who lobbies for what remain mired in delays, confusion and allegations of mismanagement.
June 30, 2010—After months of negotiations, the City Council yesterday passed the 2011 city budget, avoiding the 'doomsday' cuts some had feared while reducing spending for many popular programs.
June 30, 2010—When it comes to bringing home the bacon, some City Council members do a lot better than others.
June 25, 2010—Facing the steepest cuts since 2002, the Bloomberg administration and the City Council reached a deal on the city budget last night with six days to spare.
June 21, 2010—With just over a week before the budget deadline, two City Council members argue the city should tax wealthy New Yorkers and hedge funds to save crucial programs from the budget ax.
June 18, 2010—The health department laid off 49 pest-control workers, but the city says a new technique of fighting rodents will mean fewer workers and fewer rats.
June 10, 2010—Following accounts of widespread overcharging by New York cab drivers, the City Council yesterday enacted measures to keep closer track of taxis.
June 9, 2010—New York's libraries face the most severe cuts in their history. If City Council approves the mayor's budget, branches will close and hundreds of workers will lose their jobs.
June 4, 2010—Legal defense funds financed by local unions have picked up the tab for at least three City Council members facing hefty penalties for violating city election laws.
June 1, 2010—Last year, labor and business called and canvassed to boost candidates but never had to reveal who did what for whom. Now an effort is building to close that gap in election law.
May 26, 2010—The City Council approved a bill yesterday to increase fines for unlicensed plumbing and fire suppression work.
May 19, 2010—As budget battles continue, administration officials propose slashing 248 AIDS workers to trim costs and reduce duplication. Advocates see the cuts as illegal and ill advised.
May 13, 2010—The City Council gave businesses their own bill of rights yesterday, attempting to snip away bureaucratic red tape.
May 10, 2010—Labor officials and City Council members are raising the alarm over the mayor's proposal to close 20 fire companies.
May 7, 2010—Mayor Bloomberg's budget released yesterday would cut more than 6,400 teachers and shut senior centers and fire companies. But the mayor says it's not his fault. It's Albany's.
May 4, 2010—Four years after approving a solid waste plan, the city hasn't come close to meeting its recycling goals, and the cost of dealing with New York's trash continues to climb.
April 30, 2010—New Yorkers tired of local lore and corny quips blaring from tour buses got some relief from the City Council yesterday. Guides likened it to using a sledgehammer to kill an ant.
April 27, 2010—For years, tenants sued by a landlord could find themselves on a blacklist that made it difficult for them to rent another home. Now courts and City Council have erased the stigma.
April 15, 2010—City Council approved legislation to whip the horse carriage industry into shape. But advocates say the new rules do not do enough to protect the animals.
April 13, 2010—Part II of our story on how the city hands out taxpayer subsidies.
April 13, 2010—An obscure city agency gives businesses tens of millions in tax breaks every year. Who gets the money, and what do New Yorkers get in return? An in-depth look by Courtney Gross.
April 9, 2010—As New Yorkers steel themselves for bad news in the mayor's 2011 budget, the City Council urges him to take a more surgical approach to saving funds and to put public safety first.
March 26, 2010—Many New Yorkers don’t know they're being sued until it’s too late. The legal papers went in the trash or down a drain -- and never reached them. A new law seeks to change that.
March 31, 2010—The proposed city budget calls for eliminating programs to help elderly victims of abuse. Two advocates argue the cut would threaten frail, isolated people with no place to turn.
March 25, 2010—Will a new bill, being introduced today, and a new City Council make paid sick leave a reality in New York?
March 22, 2010—The ballot challenges have ended, leaving two Democrats and one Republican competing for Simcha Felder's old seat in the City Council
March 15, 2010—To close a gaping budget hole, the Bloomberg administration is proposing to shutter 16 day care centers, many in gentrified areas. But the centers aren't going without a fight.
March 10, 2010—The capital budget has almost doubled during Bloomberg's tenure. Budget experts now wonder whether that was such a smart investment.
March 8, 2010—In naming a commission to revise the City Charter, the mayor put everything on the table. That means term limits, but what else? Douglas Muzzio looks at charter change past and present.
March 4, 2010—The City Council approved bills to improve New York's environment, including one increasing penalties for dumping in the waterways and another encouraging green technology.
February 19, 2010—In her fifth state of the city, Council Speaker Christine Quinn said she would hone in on one thing in 2010: jobs.
March 8, 2010—Placeholder
February 12, 2010—The City Council approved legislation to crack down on gang initiations. But will it target innocent minority youth instead?
February 4, 2010—The City Council is considering a proposal aimed at helping some immigrant children in foster care remain in the country.
February 1, 2010—The mayor warns that Gov. Paterson's budget would force the city to cut 8,500 teachers, reduce police to 1985 levels, and end street cleaning. Scary stuff, but maybe that's just the point.
February 8, 2010—Former Councilmember Alan Gerson introduced more legislation than any other councilmember in the last session.
February 8, 2010—Find out who has sponsored the most bills in the last session at the City Council -- and who has the least.
January 22, 2010—Kicking off a new term, the City Council finalized its new committees yesterday -- but not without drama. See who is in and who is out.
January 21, 2010—The State of the City was a speech not an extravaganza this time around, but the mayor did offer plans to improve juvenile justice and help New Yorkers weather the recession.
January 15, 2010—Want to know where your councilmember stands on the living wage issue? Check out Gotham Gazette's survey.
January 15, 2010—In the aftermath of the Kingsbridge Armory debate, a more widespread bill on living wages may not come as easily as some expect.
January 7, 2010—The new City Council, flush with 13 new members, re-elected Council Speaker Christine Quinn. But the vote was not without emotion and drama.
January 4, 2010—Can the mayor escape the curse of the third term? How will he deal with more combative public officials and a feistier City Council? And what does he plan to do in the next four years anyway?
December 22, 2009—The City Council approved a controversial rezoning, which community members cast as a political deal despite its promise of affordable housing.
December 16, 2009—Incumbency remained a huge advantage in the 2009 City Council contests, but it was not quite the ticket to victory it once was. Just ask five defeated council members and several others who managed to eke out only narrow victories.
December 15, 2009—In a rare move against a major project, the City Council rejected a proposal to redevelop the Kingsbridge Armory in the Bronx, putting the debate over paying living wages under a citywide spotlight.
December 10, 2009—The City Council passed legislation requiring energy audits for large buildings -- a move that some critics say weakens a key part of the mayor's sustainability plan.
December 1, 2009—The City Council yesterday banned those opaque sheets of metal used as security gates on businesses around the city, but the measure will not go completely into effect until 2026. Council also approved its final legislative response to the deadly fire at Deutsche Bank in 2007.
November 17, 2009—In its first meeting since the election, City Council took aim at the administration's policies on issuing traffic tickets, passing four bills, including one the mayor has vowed to veto. The council also approved a new police academy and went on record against drilling for natural gas in the city's watershed.
November 16, 2009—Amid worries about H1N1, City Council considers a bill requiring employers to give workers paid sick leave. Is this a needed public health measure or another burden on struggling city businesses?
November 9, 2009—For four years, the mayor and speaker have played as a team. Now, though, some members want City Council to be more assertive. Can Quinn lead them in this new era?
October 29, 2009—The City Council approves a 1,000 foot tower in Midtown, which will include additional space for MoMA, a hotel and luxury residences. The council also took aim at mortgage foreclosure consultants.
October 15, 2009—Just weeks after the federal government banned flavored cigarettes, the City Council goes a step further.
October 13, 2009—Labor has long wielded influence in heavily unionized New York. But last month's Democratic primary raised hopes -- and fears -- that the city's unions may be more powerful than ever.
October 1, 2009—The City Council attempts to make graffiti cleanup faster and rezones a large swath of Sunset Park.
September 18, 2009—The City Council approved a bill yesterday making a student's ride to school a little cleaner. Check out that and more in this week’s Searchlight on City Hall.
September 14, 2009—The real estate market is reeling but that has not stopped the industry from doling out $2.5 million to candidates for citywide office this year and more to various council contenders.
August 21, 2009—Handing out its own prescription for language access, the City Council approved legislation Thursday requiring large pharmacy chains to provide translation services in the city's most popular languages.
July 30, 2009—In an attempt to revitalize an area long known as "America's playground," the City Council approved a
27-acre redevelopment plan to turn Coney Island into a year-round destination, full of retail, hotels and entertainment.
Call it Las Vegas a la Brooklyn.
July 27, 2009—Despite a miniscule budget and little name recognition, Tony Avella thinks he can parlay his maverick reputation into victory in the Democratic primary for mayor. Most experts think that’s laughable.
July 20, 2009—Miguel Martinez pleaded guilty to felony charges, resigned from City Council and faces years in prison. But his closest advisors still get to help pick his successor.
July 1, 2009—
Holidays were the topic of conversation at the City Council yesterday, with the body approving a three-month penalty forgiveness period for environmental fines as well as a resolution that urges the city schools to give students two Muslim holidays off.
June 25, 2009—Who's the king (or queen) of pork this year? It’s time for our annual look at which City Council members got the most funding for their district, borough or favorite cause.
June 19, 2009—Who is slated to hand out the most member items this year? Find out before the City Council approves the new $59.4 billion budget today.
June 19, 2009—
June 16, 2009—
The City Council and the Bloomberg administration reached a budget deal last night, which will preserve the city's six-day library service but also raise the sales tax.
Though the agreement, which was solidified with the quintessential handshake, was announced two weeks before the city's budget deadline of July 1, it comes with a cloud of uncertainty since all of the city's proposed tax increases, worth a total of $887 million in revenue, need approval from the State Legislature. Though city officials say the state Assembly is ready to move the legislation forward, the State Senate is mired with political infighting over which party is in control, and it is in the process of settling the dispute in a courtroom.
June 22, 2009—With the State Senate mired in tragedy, soap opera and farce, reforms, budgets and more hang in the balance. We report from Albany and City Hall on the policies at stake.
June 11, 2009—In a rare move, the City Council approved a development project despite the vocal opposition of the local council member. Councilmember David Yassky opposes the project, known as Dock Street Dumbo because, he says, it will permanently taint the view of the Brooklyn Bridge.
June 8, 2009—Those 59 local groups face funding and staff cuts, but some fear the worst is yet to come. Will Mayor Michael Bloomberg try to restructure or even eliminate the boards?
June 2, 2009—
The City Council and the Bloomberg administration have reached an agreement on a tax revenue package, which will increase the city's sales tax by .5 percent and tax clothing purchases over $110.
The move represents the first step towards a budget agreement at City Hall, which must be approved by the City Council by July 1. The administration and the council have not yet agreed on a spending plan , which could reduce the city's workforce by 13,541 positions and slash spending at all city agencies, from the Police Department to the Fire Department.
May 28, 2009—Four clinics are set to shut, four mental health programs in New York City public schools won't be around next year, and three satellite pharmacies are about to fill their last prescriptions.
May 21, 2009—Patrick and Tari Kelly had no idea they were blacklisted.
They were Midtown subletters for two years, until their temporary landlord decided to renovate the building. They moved to Queens and six years later tried to relocate again to Washington Heights.
May 11, 2009—Can an affable but quiet career politician topple a popular mayor with billions of dollars at his disposal? Bill Thompson thinks he can. But how?
May 7, 2009—Carving out another obstacle for graffiti "vandals," the City Council approved legislation Wednesday requiring that merchants selling etching acid keep purchasers' personal information for a year.
May 4, 2009—The mayor's new budget sounds some familiar themes and gives a starring role to the sales tax. Will election year critics give it a thumps up or a thumbs down?
April 30, 2009—
Just two candidates currently running for public advocate or city comptroller contributed to the Working Families Party last year, according to the Campaign Finance Board. Coincidentally, they were the same two candidates who received the party’s endorsement.
Council members John Liu, a comptroller candidate, and Bill de Blasio, who is running for public advocate, each doled out $10,000 to the third party last October, both saying it to went to fight against the extension of term limits.
About six months later, though, their contributions may have been rewarded with an influential endorsement from the group, opponents allege. A Working Families Party spokesman said the donations did not curry any favor at the endorsement table. The group based its decision on merit, said spokesperson Dan Levitan, calling Liu and de Blasio brave for standing up against the term limit extension.
April 23, 2009—
Perfectly timed for Earth Day, the Bloomberg administration and the City Council introduced a package of legislation yesterday that seeks to improve energy efficiency in large commercial buildings and could require about 20,000 buildings to improve their use of electricity.
The plan hopes to reduce the city's carbon footprint by 5 percent -- roughly comparable to the carbon emissions generated by Oakland, Calif.
A combination of updating the energy code and creating efficiency and lighting benchmarks, the energy plan already has racked up criticism from a wide array of interest groups, including the real estate industry and tenants rights advocates. Many are concerned over the financial impact of the legislation.
April 13, 2009—
The call of "Don't forget to vote on April 21st" practically overpowers the latest Hot 97 hits pulsing from an audio store on the corner of Fordham Road and Jerome Avenue in the west Bronx.
Evening rush-hour riders depart from the screeching number 4 train, slide down two flights of stairs to the street to get a flyer, a handshake and a wide, mustached smile.
"I am running for Bronx borough president in two weeks," Assemblymember Ruben Diaz Jr. says, stretching out his hand.
Running might be an overstatement. For Diaz, who practically has a set of keys to borough hall already, walking would be a better characterization.
April 10, 2009—
Fiscal crises don't stop the legislative process, which can be fueled at a faster rate in an election year.
Here is a sample of bills introduced at the City Council lately, some of which are destined to drift about in legislative purgatory The council is ready to consider bills that include requiring food inspector grades be posted to mandating a super majority for tax hikes.
April 3, 2009—In an attempt to clear a path for patients at reproductive clinics, the City Council approved legislation strengthening the city's clinic access law, allowing police to arrest protesters that harass those seeking medical care.
March 25, 2009—
Rent stabilized tenants can rest assured their apartments will remain on regulated rolls for another three years.
The City Council approved a three-year extension of rent stabilization by a vote of 48 to 2 on Tuesday -- action that has been pro forma since the 1960s. Council members Jimmy Oddo and Vincent Ignizio, both Republicans from Staten Island, voted against the extension.
March 18, 2009—
The signs of eviction -- abandoned furniture dotting the hallways, renovation crews climbing stories with paint cans in tow -- characterize the latter years of Terry Bocanelli's stint on the West Side of Manhattan.
A resident there for more than 15 years, Bocanelli's 31st Street apartment building has become a revolving door: rent stabilized tenants leave and higher income residents swoop in. The newer transplants bring more than their belongings. They bring with them higher rents.
March 12, 2009—
The City Council tried to bite bed bugs back Wednesday when it unanimously approved legislation spurring the city to investigate the epidemic.
The bill requires the city form a task force to make recommendations on how to stop infestations currently ravaging apartments citywide.
The council also approved legislation requiring the registration of debt collectors, the reinstatement of a waterfront advisory board and an increase in fees for waste transfer station operators.
March 9, 2009—Which City Council member skips a third of all meetings, and who never misses one? Who is the chamber's top naysayer? And which committee chair held just six meetings in three years?
February 27, 2009—In a borough against borough battle over a well-paid political patronage position at City Hall Thursday, Queens won when the City Council approved the appointment of a Woodside resident to the post of city clerk.
February 17, 2009—
Council Speaker Christine Quinn, quite out of character, opposed the Bloomberg administration on two issues last week.
First, she led the council in overriding a mayoral veto of residency requirements for the city's largest municipal workers union. A day after, Quinn announced a plan to solve the city's fiscal woes: increase income taxes for the richest New Yorkers.
The proposal puts the speaker at odds with her governing partner, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who suggested in his preliminary budget that the city increase and broaden the city sales tax to close a $4 billion deficit.
So far, it seems Quinn has a more crowded corner.
For the past three budget cycles, the mayor and the speaker have had relatively mild-mannered -- even affable -- budget negotiations. With about five months to go in the negotiation process, they are already at odds.
February 12, 2009—In a rare disagreement with the Bloomberg administration, the City Council Wednesday overrode a mayoral veto of a bill that would allow certain municipal employees to live outside of the city after working for two years.
February 10, 2009—Have any questions about the administration’s new preliminary budget? Ronnie Lowenstein of the Independent Budget Office will join Gotham Gazette City Hall reporter Courtney Gross to answer your questions live. Check back here at 2 p.m. to participate.
February 9, 2009—Play Balance, Gotham Gazette's new game and see if you can fill New York's $4 billion budget gap. Cut, tax or spend -- as long as you make it balance.
February 2, 2009—The mayor calls for job cuts, a higher sales tax, hundreds of teacher layoffs and all-around slashing. How will such a gloomy plan play out in an election year?
January 29, 2009—If you're idling you car engine near a school, City Council wants you to shut it off. That's the message the council sent Wednesday when it passed two bills bolstering the city's ability to issue tickets for engine idling citywide and reducing the time a driver can idle near school grounds. The council also passed legislation that enables the city to track construction contractors' safety records and requires safety managers at sites with problem contractors.
January 23, 2009—
More than 230 pieces of legislation were introduced in 2008, most of which won't ever become law.
We waded through some of those bills to give you a roundup of those that were proposed more recently. Council members have proposed legislation spanning the policy spectrum, from banning the sale of dust remover to minors to regulating parking permits for teachers.
January 16, 2009—
Trumpeting, both literally and metaphorically, New Yorkers' ability to get through tough times, Mayor Michael Bloomberg revealed a nine-part "recovery package" during his annual State of the City address Thursday, confirming to many attendees that the 2009 campaign season has started.
Meticulously orchestrated and equipped with its own theme ("New Yorkers. Together."), the mayor's address was accompanied by came with a small marching band brandishing the Brooklyn Dodgers label, a chorus from a Brooklyn elementary school and a documentary short courtesy of Ric Burns, which retold stories of triumph against tragedy in New York City.
The address, which the mayor usually uses to lay out his policy agenda for the coming year, focused primary on getting the city through the current recession, including a j proposal to bring in 400,000 positions. The mayor also focused on quality of life crimes, in an attempt to keep the city from reverting back to the 1970s, when core city services were cut amid an economic downturn.
January 8, 2009—If police officers pull their triggers the City Council will now be put on notice under legislation passed unanimously by the council on Wednesday.
January 5, 2009—The extension of term limits uprooted the 2009 political landscape. Or did it? Many incumbents may now face challengers who hope anger over the extra term will work to their advantage.
December 18, 2008—
After six weeks of debate, the City Council approved a 7 percent property tax hike and approximately $500 million in spending cuts on Thursday to address a budget deficit that continues to widen as an economic recession grips the nation.
The property tax hike was approved by a vote of 33 to 18 with critics arguing a tax increase would further fray the empty pockets of New Yorkers.
December 9, 2008—The City Council has its own solution to New York's fiscal crisis: Don't tax New Yorkers. Tax tourists.
November 25, 2008—
For David De Porte, the Department for the Aging's intergenerational program doesn't just provide him with companionship. It gives him a set of eyes.
De Porte, a blind lifelong resident of the West Village, meets with teenage volunteers who help him shop for groceries, fill out paperwork and check prescriptions at the drug store.
November 19, 2008—New York City's most "endangered neighborhood" was rezoned by the City Council today in an attempt to stave off gentrification and boost affordable housing.
November 17, 2008—After much debate and opposition, the City Council Thursday approved a plan to develop Willets Point, a polluted industrial area of Queens. To win support, the administration agreed to provide more affordable housing on the site and to protections for local businesses.
November 10, 2008—As the steward of City Hall integrity, the Conflicts of Interest Board was thrust into the limelight during the term-limits debate. A look at how it balances government ethics and private interests.
November 3, 2008—
Scores of New York City residents filed into the mayor's side of City Hall -- a rare space for such a public spectacle -- for the city's final hearing on term limits Monday morning.
Despite the relentless opposition and at times piercing criticism, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, as expected, signed a term limits extension into law just before 2 p.m., effectively allowing dozens of term-limited officials, including himself, to seek another four years in office.
October 24, 2008—In its most divisive vote in recent memory, the City Council approved an extension of term limits clearing the way for nearly two thirds of its members, several borough presidents, the comptroller, public advocate and Mayor Michael Bloomberg to run for a third term.
Thursday afternoon’s vote reverses two referenda approved in the 1990s and drastically changes the circumstances for next year's city elections.
October 14, 2008—All of the city's attention may be turned to term limits, but at its stated meeting on Tuesday -- in addition to introducing legislation that would extend the limit from two to three terms -- City Council unanimously approved a bill to develop a master plan for the city's waterfronts.
September 29, 2008—Looking to save millions –albeit years from now – the City Council approved legislation on Wednesday that revises the city’s industrial and commercial development incentive program to further limit what type of projects can receive a tax break.
September 22, 2008—Mayor Michael Bloomberg's disclosure bill went pretty much unnoticed when it was introduced in June.
September 15, 2008—
September 8, 2008—After a fatal accident the same day, the City Council passed several bills to increase safety at construction sites that operate cranes.
August 18, 2008—The burst of cool air aimed at luring impulse buyers off of city streets will now come with a cost.
August 11, 2008—
August 4, 2008—
July 28, 2008—The City Council approved three additional construction safety items last week in an effort to improve conditions at works sites across the city.
July 14, 2008—
June 23, 2008—
June 16, 2008—Moving on the first pieces of legislation since a package of proposals was introduced last week, the City Council unanimously approved a bill requiring the city publish construction fatalities on its web site and notify the state of disciplinary action against industry professionals.
June 9, 2008—
June 2, 2008—After a three-year review, the City Council unanimously approved a revised fire code on Wednesday. The code was last revised in 1913. In response to changing times, the update requires more informative evacuation plans and includes construction sites into fire safety management.
May 27, 2008—
May 19, 2008—With the City Council in the thick of budget hearings, there were not many bills to vote on at the May 15 stated meeting. The measures the council did pass, though, dealt with three persistent city problems: solid waste, traffic and construction safety.
May 12, 2008—Faced with rebellious members and continuing reports about alleged abuses in the way City Council uses its discretionary funds, the speaker last week came up with a new plan. Will it end the furor?
May 5, 2008—Harlem's low-story buildings and epic institutions will now get a so-called facelift -- at least in the view of city officials and some developers -- as the City Council approved a rezoning plan for the neighborhood's busiest boulevard last week.
April 28, 2008—
April 21, 2008—
April 7, 2008—
March 31, 2008—In a rare sign of confrontation with the Bloomberg administration, the City Council at its Stated Meeting Wednesday overrode a mayoral veto prohibiting income discrimination in housing and approved electronic waste legislation the mayor is known to oppose.
March 24, 2008—
March 17, 2008—Following the Bloomberg administration's lead, the City Council approved a 4.3 percent cut in its operating budget for fiscal year 2009 in response to a looming budget deficit and trying fiscal times.
March 10, 2008—
March 4, 2008—Though it scaled back a bill to create green carts, the City Council approved legislation Wednesday creating this new class of street vendor.
February 25, 2008—
February 19, 2008—After two years and tons of computers strewn to the curb, the City Council overwhelmingly approved legislation that requires manufacturers to recycle certain types of electronic waste.
February 11, 2008—
February 4, 2008—A simple search on Craigslist reveals that many apartments across the five boroughs will not accept applicants if they pay their rent with government assistance. "No programs," reads a listing for a one-bedroom apartment in an elevator building near Prospect Park.
January 28, 2008—After years of budget surpluses, the mayor released a spending plan last week that calls for chopping expenses. The question on everyone's lips: How bad will it get?
January 22, 2008—Maybe his thoughts are elsewhere but in his speech Mayor Michael Bloomberg offered many familiar proposals but few major new ideas for New York City.
January 11, 2008—
January 4, 2008—
December 31, 2007—Council members make resolutions all year-round. But the council's resolutions often have no more impact than the promises the rest of us make for the New Year.
December 26, 2007—In what some called a rush to approval, the City Council lifted the final obstacle for Columbia University to expand its campus into Manhattanville in West Harlem at its stated meeting on Wednesday, Dec. 19.
December 13, 2007—The sign is iconic, rising above the East River reminding passersby that 3 million pounds of sugar were once produced there on a single day.
December 10, 2007—
December 7, 2007—
December 3, 2007—Watch out exhaust-spilling sports utility vehicles. Move over inefficient light bulbs. The New York City Council wants to replace you with more energy efficient technology.
November 19, 2007—Members of the City Council can say goodbye to their "Merry Christmas" or "Happy Hanukkah" holiday greetings in local media. Under new rules approved by the City Council at its stated meeting on Thursday, members will no longer be able to give well wishes in the local media at the taxpayer's expense, which some groups contend only boosts a member's visibility and serves no public purpose.
November 13, 2007—
November 5, 2007—
November 6, 2007—
October 30, 2007—Residents of two very different neighborhoods can look to the City Council this week with either appreciation or dismay after it approved a landmark designation for the private courts and row houses of Sunnyside Gardens and a rezoning for the brownstones of Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn.
October 29, 2007—Council Speaker Christine Quinn called an unannounced City Council meeting Tuesday morning, rushing council members into the chamber to give the state Legislature the go-ahead to approve a tax credit for small business owners.
October 23, 2007—In its latest evidence of displeasure with Con Edison, the City Council approved a resolution endorsing Council Speaker Christine Quinn's efforts to become an active party in the debate over the utility's proposed rate hike. At its stated meeting on October 17, the council also approved stricter reporting standards on the city's use of pesticides, closed a tax exemption loophole for a housing program and approved several modifications to the budget.
October 15, 2007—City Council members spend tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars on advertising, according to a new report. A look at who buys the most ads and why.
October 9, 2007—
October 1, 2007—At its stated meeting on September 25, the City Council cracked down on the lax replacement of missing and damaged street signs as well as the unauthorized removal of curbside recycling.
September 24, 2007—
September 19, 2007—The following Primary Election results are based on the unofficial vote tally as reported by the New York City Board of Elections. The results below are subject to change as the official count is made public.
September 17, 2007—
September 11, 2007—With the exception of three Queens council members, the City Council overwhelmingly approved a rezoning plan for Jamaica, Queens on Monday. Councilmember Thomas White, who represents part of Jamaica, did not attend the meeting. A staffer said White is out of town, and their office was unaware the vote was coming up.
September 11, 2007—
September 4, 2007—
August 27, 2007—New Yorkers will have to keep their residential trash out of public litter baskets or face a fine of up to $400 under legislation unanimously approved by the City Council.
August 20, 2007—
August 13, 2007—
August 6, 2007—The 51 members will eventually have to weigh in on any plan to reduce New York’s traffic. We report on who stands where in a sharply divided council.
July 30, 2007—In muted gesture of defiance of the Bloomberg administration, the City Council last week approved legislation guaranteeing a student's right to take a cell phone to and from school, despite a Department of Education ban on the devices inside school property.
July 23, 2007—In 19 months as speaker, Christine Quinn has opened up the council and forged a partnership with the mayor. But her most difficult tasks could lie ahead.
July 9, 2007—
July 2, 2007—
June 25, 2007—Our analysis of City Council figures reveals which members did best in capturing funds for projects in their districts – and who did not fare as well.
June 25, 2007—
June 18, 2007—Basking in the hefty surplus, the mayor and City Council smoothly reached agreement on taxes and spending. But as with any budget, some groups were left out.
June 11, 2007—The latest efforts to restrict campaign contributions have been widely hailed – but would the new law even be in effect in time for the 2009 elections?
June 4, 2007—Despite a demonstration on the steps of City Hall and apparent racial division among its members, the City Council excluded the revered and rebuked Sonny Carson from a street-naming bill at its stated meeting on May 30, turning a normally routine procedure into a controversy. The council also – and much less contentiously – adopted a bill to strengthen the repair process for the city's most dilapidated buildings and a measure requiring building owners to submit up-to-date floor numbering lists to the fire department.
May 21, 2007—
May 14, 2007—At the city council’s stated meeting on May 9, the council members unanimously approved a bill requiring that the fire department be notified of any substantial changes in existing buildings. During the meeting, which also featured the long-delayed swearing in of new City Councilmember Mathieu Eugene and continued debate over whether to rename a street for black activist Sonny Carson, the council passed a resolution in favor of a federal program that would provide money to help those who responded to and worked or lived near the World Trade Center collapse on September 11, 2001. A number of new bills were announced as well.
May 7, 2007—At each of the City Council's stated meetings, council members introduce bills, most of which will never become laws (for the process by which bills become laws, click here). As a regular feature, Gotham Gazette discusses some of the legislation proposed at each meeting.
April 30, 2007—On April 23, the New York City Council overrode two mayoral vetoes and so instituted new restrictions on pedicabs and banned metal baseball bats from high school sports leagues. In addition to these somewhat contentious votes, the council had the pleasure of doing what some say it does best: spend money. The members voted unanimously to approve an additional $1.8 billion in spending in this year’s budget. They also passed resolutions on the 9/11 cleanup, school funding and the Virginia Tech massacre.
April 23, 2007—
April 16, 2007—The City Council last week passed a bill that would protect "educational whistleblowers", setting up another conflict with Mayor Michael Bloomberg just two weeks after he rejected its plan to regulate pedicabs.
April 9, 2007—
April 2, 2007—The City Council passed bills intended to keep affordable housing available, and to protect the safety of construction workers at its most recent stated meeting on March 28, 2007. It also approved its budget for the upcoming fiscal year.
March 26, 2007—
March 19, 2007—
March 5, 2007—
February 19, 2007—
February 19, 2007—
February 19, 2007—
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February 19, 2007—
February 15, 2007—
February 12, 2007—
February 5, 2007—New construction is often regulated only by the companies doing the building. The City Council is trying to cut down on abuses.
January 22, 2007—At each of the City Council's stated meetings, council members introduce bills, most of which will never become laws. As a regular feature, Gotham Gazette discusses some of the legislation proposed at each meeting.
January 17, 2007—
January 15, 2007—
December 21, 2006—Developers in many parts of Manhattan and the Brooklyn would get a property tax exemption only if one fifth of the apartments in a new project are affordable, according to a bill passed by the City Council this month and awaiting the mayor's signature, and approval by the state legislature. The law would also create a fund to finance affordable housing.
December 12, 2006—Mayor Michael Bloomberg outlined the major challenges facing New York City as it tries to develop a 25-year sustainability plan, and its goals in forming such a plan, in a speech at the Queens Museum of Art on December 12, 2006.
December 11, 2006—
December 11, 2006—The City Council passed four bills designed to make taxis accessible to disabled riders and less harmful to the environment at its stated meeting on December 6, 2006. Council members who spoke in favor of the bills said their long-term goal is for every single taxi in the city to be environmentally friendly and accessible to the disabled. Today, less than one percent of all the city's taxis are so-called clean air vehicles – either hybrid-electric models, or vehicle that use efficient compressed natural gas as fuel. Only 81 of the more than 13,000 taxis in New York are wheelchair-accesible.
December 4, 2006—The City Council passed a bill making various changes to the electrical code at its most recent stated meeting on November 29, 2006. Under the bill, balconies, decks and porches would be required to have outlets, a safety measure intended to cut down on the dangerous practice of stringing extension cords from indoor outlets. The expiration of electricians' licenses would be staggered to avoid the annual backlog that starts December 31, when every single license in the city expires. Several other changes would also be made regarding the processing of applications and other documents, and the operation of emergency generators.
November 27, 2006—
November 20, 2006—The City Council voted to give elected officials raises last week, over the objections of those who argue that reforms should have been part of the deal.
November 6, 2006—At each of the City Council's stated meetings, council members introduce bills, most of which will never become laws (for the process by which bills become laws, click here). As a regular feature, Gotham Gazette discusses some of the legislation proposed at each meeting.
November 8, 2006—
October 30, 2006—
October 18, 2006—
October 16, 2006—The council unanimously expanded an existing law that reduces property taxes exemption for low-income senior citizens and disabled New Yorkers who own their homes. Currently, seniors and disabled people must have incomes must have incomes of less that$32,400 to be exempt from paying part of their property tax. Council now has raised that limit to $34,400 for this year and will gradually increase that to $37,400 in 2009. To receive the maximum benefit, the homeowners have to have income of $24,000 or less now. That will go up to $29,000 in 2009.
October 4, 2006— At each of the City Council's stated meetings, council members introduce bills, most of which will never become laws (for the process by which bills become laws, click here). As a regular feature, Gotham Gazette discusses some of the legislation proposed at each meeting.
September 27, 2006—
September 20, 2006—
September 13, 2006—
September 13, 2006—
September 13, 2006—
August 24, 2006—
August 17, 2006—Every two weeks the New York City Council meets for its Stated Meeting to introduce and pass legislation. As a regular feature, Gotham Gazette covers these meetings and posts a summary of the bills passed.
July 26, 2006—
July 20, 2006—
June 29, 2006—
June 21, 2006—The New York City Council introduced 20 new bills, including efforts to rid the city of illegal guns, clean-up graffiti, lower gasoline taxes, and protect the city’s drinking water.
June 13, 2006—
June 12, 2006—
June 12, 2006—
May 31, 2006—
May 24, 2006—
May 17, 2006—At its most recent meeting, City Council members proposed 27 new bills, including measures to create handicap accessible taxis, give out more food vendor licenses, require the mayor to share data from 311-call line with the public, and to ban politicians from using taxpayer money to buy ads in local newspapers.
May 10, 2006—
May 4, 2006—The City Council introduced 57 new bills, including measures to prevent gas stations from changing prices several times a day, create a more ethnically diverse Fire Department, and ban the sale of violent video games to minors.
April 26, 2006—
April 13, 2006—
April 6, 2006—
April 5, 2006—The New York City Council approved construction of a new Yankee Stadium in the Bronx.
March 30, 2006—
March 22, 2006—The City Council proposed a $50.7 million operating budget to cover the body's salaries and expenses. It also remembered former Councilmember Robert Dryfoos.
March 8, 2006—Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced the appointment of 32 civic leaders to the New York City Commission for Economic Opportunity, a public-private initiative charged with devising strategies to increase economic opportunity and reduce poverty in the city.
March 1, 2006—The City Council overrode its first mayoral veto under the leadership of Speaker Christine Quinn.
February 23, 2006—Speaker Christine Quinn fired 61 members of the New York City Council staff - and hired a new team.
February 15, 2006—
February 1, 2006—
January 26, 2006—
January 18, 2006—A complete list of appointments of New York City Council Standing committees.
January 18, 2006—
January 9, 2006—
January 9, 2006—
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January 5, 2006—
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January 3, 2006—
January 1, 2006—
January 1, 2006—
December 21, 2005—In its final meeting of 2005, the City Council passed more than a dozen new bills including a new noise code.
December 8, 2005—The City Council overrode three vetoes from Mayor Bloomberg; the council rejected a landmark in Brooklyn, instituted parking regulations on a Hindu holiday, and gave public administrators $32,000 raises.
November 30, 2005—The City Council rejected the Landmark Preservation Commission's decision to designate a Brooklyn warehouse as an official city landmark.
November 16, 2005—The City Council amended the Campaign Finance law to allow more donations from labor unions. It also adjusted the property tax rates to give relief to homeowners.
October 27, 2005—The City Council approved $1.3 billion in spending over the next 40 years to help develop the West Side of Manhattan. It also voted $31,000 for public administrators, court appointed city workers.
October 11, 2005—The City Council voted to override to vetoes from Mayor Michael Bloomberg - enacting legislation to provide health care to grocery workers and to eliminate parking meter regulations on Sundays.
September 28, 2005—The City Council passed legislation aimed at creating job centers for immigrant day laborers. It also added the Hindu festival of Diwali to the long list of parking holidays.
September 15, 2005—The City Council passed legislation on "green buildings," human rights, and workplace safety.
September 13, 2005—
August 17, 2005—The council passed a bill that requires grocery stores to give their employees health care. It also overrode vetos from Mayor Michael Bloomberg on food stamps and affordable housing.
July 28, 2005—
July 27, 2005—The council passed a measure to permit free parking on Sundays. It also approved tax exemptions for landlords who remove lead-paint from buildings and passed rent assistance for senior citizens and the disabled.
June 30, 2005—The City Council approved a $50.2 billion budget, the largest in city history. It also passed bills on hybrid taxis, fireworks, and the Jamaica Bay.
June 23, 2005—The City Council abandoned a vote on the proposed waste management plan, but it passed bills that give tenants the right to buy their buildings, expand food stamp programs, and protect dogs in kennels.
June 20, 2005—
June 8, 2005—The City Council blocked a key aspect of Mayor Michael Bloomberg's proposed waste management plan, which would ship the city's garbage out of the city by rail or barge.
May 24, 2005—
May 11, 2005—
April 20, 2005—
April 12, 2005—
April 4, 2005—Mayor Michael Bloomberg's address at the conference "Urban Conversations: U.S. Mayors and Innovative Leadership." March 30, 2005
March 23, 2005—
March 9, 2005—
February 24, 2005—Speaker Miller's 2005 State of the City address. The speech outlines the Speaker's priorities and his belief in New York City's future. The Speaker also discussed his new proposal for rezoning the West Side of Manhattan. The remarks were delivered to a live audience at Council Chambers, City Hall at approx. 12:00 PM.
February 16, 2005—
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February 26, 2003—
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November 10, 2004—
January 18, 2005—Governor's Remarks: 2005 Budget Address
January 12, 2005—Speaker Gifford Miller's Response to Mayor’s January 11, 2005 State of the City Address
January 11, 2005—The following is the text of Mayor Bloomberg’s State of the City Address as delivered at Hostos Community College in the Bronx
January 6, 2005—Pataki's January 5, 2005 State of the State speech.
January 6, 2005—
December 16, 2004—
December 8, 2004—
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November 23, 2004—
October 14, 2004—
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November 2, 2004—
September 15, 2004—
September 9, 2004—
September 14, 2004—
October 11, 2004—The New York State Legislature has been called the most dysfunctional legislative body in the country. A look at why the system is broken, how it hurts New York, and why it won't be fixed anytime soon.
November 20, 2003—
February 4, 2003—In a speech entitled "A Fare Share for New York," City Council Speaker Gifford Miller called on Albany and Washington to help the city solve its fiscal crisis. Miller wants the State Legislature to approve a tax on commuters and absentee landlords and to restore proposed cuts to education, Medicaid, and transportation. He is asking the federal government to release $3 billion in disaster aid for the September 11 attacks and enact an $80 billion revenue sharing program for local governments. Miller also launched a new web site to help New Yorkers lobby politicians. Read the text of Miller's speech and an op-ed in response to President George W. Bush's economic plan.
January 30, 2003—On January 29, 2003, the New York City Council passed five bills that it called "good government legislation" and a bill to require the schools chancellor to submit quarterly reports on spending. Also the council postponed a vote on a measure that would expand education opportunities for welfare recipients, but promised to override the mayor's veto on a bill that would ban cell phones in theaters and concert halls. "Ringing cell phones and loud, one-sided conversations offer only headaches," said Councilmember Phil Reed. Read the details.
January 23, 2003—In his annual address, Mayor Michael Bloomberg outlined his vision for making government more accountable, fighting crime, and stimulating the economy. He also called on New Yorkers to make sacrifices for a better future. "Taxes and frugality," the mayor said, "are far better than crime, filth and abandonment." Read the full text of his speech.
November 14, 2002—When Mayor Michael Bloomberg presented his recent budget plan, he said that he knew of no major company leaving the city, that closing 32 senior citizen centers was an "inconvenience," and that his plan to tax people who do not live in the city "is not a commuter tax." An edited transcript of the mayor's remarks.
November 14, 2002—Mayor Bloomberg has signed a budget agreement to close a $1.1 billion budget gap. Last week, the City Council approved a property tax increase of 18.5 percent by a vote of 41 to 6. Click here, for budget details and how each council member voted.
December 12, 2002—Remarks by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg given at the Regent Wall Street Hotel, December 12, 2002.
January 15, 2003—In an address on January 15, Mayor Michael Bloomberg unveiled the details of his new education plan. The mayor said students will be taught a uniform curriculum of reading, writing, and math in smaller classrooms. He will also end the separate administration of high schools and lower grades and replace the 32 community school boards with parental advisory boards, whose members must have a child in a school in that district.
January 13, 2003—An official plan to redraw the 51 City Council districts is now on the table and hearings will resume in February. Links to proposed City Council district maps and an updated schedule of public hearings.
March 25, 2002—
December 10, 2002—Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced a $3 billion plan to create and preserve more than 65,000 homes and apartments in neighborhoods over the next five years. Approximately 25,000 new housing units would be built and an additional 38,000 would be preserved in existing buildings. The mayor also called for new ways to streamline the city's zoning and construction regulations to encourage housing construction. Read a transcript of the mayor's speech and see the details of the mayor's plan, entitled "New Marketplace: Creating Housing for the Next Generation" (in PDF format) from the city's web site.
December 11, 2002—
December 16, 2002—
December 16, 2002—Gerard