Author Archive

Mark-Viverito Scores 100 on Environmental Scorecard, Ferreras Tied For Last

Written by Nick Powell on . Posted in Environment, Features, Heard Around Town, News

Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito The New York League of Conservation Voters released its annual environmental scorecard for New York City Council members in 2012-2013, an evaluation of the members based on casting pro-environment votes or for co-sponsoring pro-environment legislation. The report lavishes praise on former speaker Christine Quinn, calling her “the most pro-environment speaker New York City has seen thus far,” noting Quinn’s achievements on solid waste management, food access, and green buildings. Eleven Council members received perfect scores of 100, including Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito,… [More]

Unsettled Teacher Contracts Could Raise Cost of De Blasio’s Universal Preschool Program

Written by Nick Powell on . Posted in Budget/Taxes, Daily, Economic Development, Education, Features, Government Operations, Labor/Unions, Latest, News, Social Services

During his back-and-forth with the state Legislature’s Joint Fiscal Committees on Monday—pitching the merits of his proposed universal preschool and after school programs—Mayor Bill de Blasio listened while state Sen. Diane Savino expressed shock that his predecessor, Michael Bloomberg, left him very little in the way of reserve money to negotiate long-expired municipal labor contracts. When Savino, who chairs the Senate Labor Committee, suggested that de Blasio use the labor contract conundrum to bolster his case for a tax increase… [More]

Ambassador Big

Written by Nick Powell on . Posted in News

New York Knicks point guard Raymond Felton may be best known for his day job, but off the basketball court his role as ambassador for the Big Brothers Big Sisters of New York City is one he takes seriously. Throughout January he will be one of many athletes and celebrities—as well as elected officials including several borough presidents and City Council members—who will participate in recruiting events, workshops and fundraisers hosted by the organization. Starting this season Felton and the… [More]

Cuomo, De Blasio Hold Firm on Opposing Funding Plans for Universal Pre-K

Written by Nick Powell on . Posted in Blog, Budget/Taxes, Daily, Education, Features, Heard Around Town, Latest, News

Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio agree on the need for universal pre-kindergarten, but the remain sharply divided over how to fund it. In his budget address on Tuesday afternoon, Cuomo unveiled a five-year, $1.5 billion pre-K proposal, with $100 million for the 2014-15 school year and at least $100 million to be added in each subsequent year. “The state will pay for it, and the state will be proud to pay for it,” Cuomo… [More]

Jumaane Williams Has Inside Track for Housing Committee Chair, Sources Say

Written by Nick Powell on . Posted in Blog, Daily, Features, Government Operations, Heard Around Town, Housing, Latest, News

New York City Councilman Jumaane Williams A number of high-profile New York City Council committee chairmanships are expected to be announced at the Council’s stated meeting Wednesday afternoon, and multiple sources have indicated that Brooklyn Councilman Jumaane Williams, a member of the Council Progressive Caucus, is the frontrunner to chair the Housing and Buildings Committee. Several New York City housing sources told City & State that Williams was a likely pick for the chairmanship, in part owing to his early backing of Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito but… [More]

Ouster of HDC President Marc Jahr Raises Questions in New York City’s Housing Community

Written by Nick Powell on . Posted in Blog, Daily, Economic Development, Features, Government Operations, Housing, News

A central tenet of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s policy agenda is his promise to build or preserve 200,000 units of affordable housing, a lofty goal that would add to the 160,000-plus units created or preserved under former mayor Michael Bloomberg’s New Housing Marketplace Plan, one of the largest urban affordable housing plans in United States history, if not the largest. However, the de Blasio administration has already discarded a key figure in seeing that plan through. Marc Jahr, the president… [More]

Public Advocate Letitia James Names Ibrahim Khan Chief of Staff

Written by Nick Powell on . Posted in Blog, Campaigns/Elections, Daily, Features, Government Operations, Heard Around Town, Latest, News

New York City Public Advocate Letitia James has begun to fill out her office, hiring Ibrahim Khan, a communications consultant with the MirRam Group, as her chief of staff. James has also brought aboard several members from her City Council staff, including Press Secretary Aja Worthy-Davis. James previously announced general counsels Larry Schimmel and Chaumtoli Huq and Policy Director Amber Greene, among a handful of other top appointments. In total, James’ office is expected to have 25 to 30 paid… [More]

City & State TV: Angela Sung Pinsky

Written by Nick Powell on . Posted in Latest, News, News & Features, Video

Angela Sung Pinksy is one of the Real Estate Board of New York’s top lobbyists, a sharp mind who pushes the powerful trade organization’s agenda on the city, state, and federal level. She sat down with our City Hall Bureau Chief Nick Powell for a video interview to talk about her time with the Bloomberg administration and the future of real estate in New York City. Pinsky’s roots are in the public sector, having worked in former Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s… [More]

Council Speaker Vote: A Healing Moment or Political Theater?

Written by Nick Powell on . Posted in Daily, Features, News, News & Features, Opinion

The scene on the floor of the New York City Council at Wednesday’s stated meeting was an exercise in political theatrics. After weeks of vote-wrangling, deal-making and somewhat one-sided muckraking surrounding the Council speaker’s race, supporters of the two candidates, Melissa Mark-Viverito and Daniel Garodnick, converged on the Council floor, exchanging pleasantries and warm embraces. It was an anticlimactic denouement to a drawn-out, occasionally nasty battle. There was some initial suspense before the meeting as Mark-Viverito’s supporters patiently waited for… [More]

On Eve of Speaker Vote, de Blasio Evasive On Mark-Viverito and Quinn Comparison

Written by Nick Powell on . Posted in Blog, Campaigns/Elections, Daily, Features, Government Operations, Heard Around Town, Latest, News, Other News

Despite numerous reports indicating Mayor Bill de Blasio’s involvement in pushing Councilwoman Melissa Mark-Viverito for speaker, the mayor continued to evade questions on his involvement in the speaker’s race, insisting that the Council will make their decision independent of his involvement. As a way of comparing de Blasio’s behind-the-scenes advocacy for Mark-Viverito to former Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s alliance with former Council Speaker Christine Quinn, the mayor was asked why he relentlessly criticized Quinn during the Democratic mayoral campaign for being… [More]