To the Viverito Goes the Spoils
As part of his State of the City address this afternoon, Mayor Bill de Blasio promised to expand living wage legislation using a tool he has previously rarely mentioned: an executive order.
Mr. de Blasio announced that he will move to drop a lawsuit filed by his predecessor, Michael Bloomberg, to halt legislation passed by the Council guaranteeing so-called “living wage” salaries to employees of projects that receive more than $1 million in city subsidies.
To the Viverito Goes the Spoils
For the prescient and lucky council members who backed Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito from the beginning, yesterday’s committee assignments represented the dawn of a new era of influence. For those who battled Ms. Mark-Viverito to the anxious end, meanwhile, there were few plums to be had.
Though Ms. Mark-Viverito and her allies have claimed they want to usher in a new regime committed to good government principals and not the classic carrot-and-stick diplomacy that has long governed the council, yesterday showed that Ms. Mark-Viverito, like her predecessor Christine Quinn and endless pols before them, is more than happy to use influence to reward allies and punish dissenters.
changing of the guard
Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito will preside over the first full meeting of her tenure tomorrow, doling out prized committee assignments to early backers while trying to appease those who fought her in the hours leading up to her election as speaker.
One of the most influential committees on the City Council may be coming back to Queens.
Julissa Ferreras and Jimmy Van Bramer–two Queens council members who bucked their county’s Democratic organization to support the eventual winner of the speaker’s race–are now the leading contenders to chair the powerful finance committee, multiple sources said.
Charles in Charge
Councilwoman-elect Laurie Cumbo, who caused a national controversy after writing a letter on racial violence that blamed recent attacks partially on resentment of ”Jewish success” and “Jewish landlords”—is sorry.
A week after the controversy first emerged, Ms. Cumbo is out with a new statement, apologizing “for any pain I have caused” and insisting she meant to help bridge the gap between the African-American and Jewish communities as a purported “knockout game” continues in city streets.
His lame-duck status on the City Council certainly has not tempered the fiery Charles Barron.
The term-limited Brooklyn Councilman blasted Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio and the City Council’s Progressive Caucus in an interview on NY1′s Road to City Hall last night, accusing Mr. de Blasio of being a faux-liberal and the caucus of reinforcing a white male power structure.
The Boogie Down
The candidates for City Council speaker will face a key test this weekend when they sit in front of member of the Progressive Caucus for formal candidate interviews.
According to a caucus source, all of the speaker hopefuls have been invited to meet with the left-leaning group, which is hoping to play an outsize role in the race.
The Tall Man Cometh
In a year when the city’s political zeitgeist has drifted far to the left, Councilman Jimmy Vacca is hoping to govern the City Council from the relative center.
One of the Bloomberg administration’s most ardent ex-foot soldiers and a leading progressive ally of Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio faced off today at an animated panel discussion, providing a stark picture of the contrast between the incoming and outgoing administrations.
Speaking on a panel at a “City in Transition” forum sponsored by Crain’s New York Business and the pro-business nonprofit Partnership for New York City’s, Seth Pinsky, the former president of the New York City Economic Development Corporations, staunchly defended the mayor’s legacy on issues of economic development and inequality.
The next speaker of the New York City Council is going to have far less power than Christine Quinn, if a large bloc of members have their way.
More than a dozen incumbent members and likely-to-be-elected Democratic nominees gathered on the steps of City Hall this afternoon to press for sweeping reforms to council rules that would reduce the speaker’s power by eliminating many of the mechanisms used to keep members in line.