Mark Weprin Unanimously Elected Chair of City Council Queens Delegation

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

City Councilman Mark Weprin was unanimously elected this morning as chair of the Council’s Queens delegation,  a sign that the wounds from the protracted Council Speaker race between Dan Garodnick and Melissa Mark-Viverito might be starting to heal. The speaker battle had fractured the Queens delegation, with several Progressive Caucus members, including Julissa Ferreras, Jimmy Van Bramer, Daniel Dromm and Donovan Richards supporting Mark-Viverito, while the rest of the delegation stuck with Garodnick, the choice of Queens Democratic County Chairman… [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]

Rules Reform Deformed

Written by Seth Barron on . Posted in Blog, Features, Government Operations, News, Other News

The Progressive Caucus that now dominates the New York City Council leadership came to power promising sweeping reforms to how the body functions. These changes, according to the drafters of the agenda that 32 Council members have pledged to support, will increase transparency, empower committee chairs, establish equitable discretionary funding and make the Council generally more democratic. What is missing from the reform agenda, however, is the one item that has been pointed to year after year as a key… [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]

New York City Agency Voiced Past Concerns about Paid Sick Leave

Written by Kristen Meriwether on . Posted in Blog, Daily, Features, Government Operations, Health Care, Latest, News

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, along with Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, announced a proposal for expansion of the paid sick leave bill on Friday. Both expect the bill to breeze through committee hearings and be passed into law before April 1. The proposed bill would require five paid sick days per year for businesses with five or more employees. Similar to the watered-down version of the paid sick leave legislation that passed the Council in March of 2013, this bill… [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]

Slim Capital Budget Leaves de Blasio With Few Options

Written by Kristen Meriwether on . Posted in Blog, Budget/Taxes, Daily, Economic Development, Features, Government Operations, Latest, News

Mayor Bill de Blasio will have a year to submit his capital budget plan, which will set a road map for new infrastructure projects during his term. That plan, however, will not come without challenges, some of which were discussed at an infrastructure panel hosted by the General Contractors Association of New York at Fordham University on Monday. De Blasio spent much of the last year touting the need for a tax on the wealthy to pay for pre-kindergarten and… [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]

De Blasio, Miner Applaud Cuomo’s Agenda, But Call for Changes

Written by Jon Lentz on . Posted in Economic Development, Government Operations, News

On his first trip to Albany as mayor of New York City, Bill de Blasio played up what he has in common with Gov. Andrew Cuomo and emphasized that he shares many of the goals that the governor laid out in the State of the State address. Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner, Cuomo’s hand-picked co-chair of the state Democratic Party, was singled out by the governor in Wednesday’s speech as a role model for her efforts to cut costs by sharing… [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]