New ‘Working Group’ Being Built to Steer City Council Legislation

Councilman Brad Lander with Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito. (Photo: William Alatriste/NYC Council)
Councilman Brad Lander with Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito. (Photo: William Alatriste/NYC Council)

In a departure from the unilateral leadership style of her predecessor, Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito is currently in the process of creating a “policy working group” that would set the City Council’s agenda and even vet new legislation, sources say.

The council’s 10-member leadership team is hashing out the details of the group, which is still remains in the planning stages. But it will likely meet twice a month and take on a very formal structure, sources say. Continue reading “New ‘Working Group’ Being Built to Steer City Council Legislation”

Mark-Viverito Says District Office Doubling as Command Post After Explosion

Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito at the scene of the East Harlem Building Collapse. (Photo: Rob Bennett for the Office of Mayor Bill de Blasio)
Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito at the scene of the East Harlem Building Collapse. (Photo: Rob Bennett for the Office of Mayor Bill de Blasio)

City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito was on her way to City Hall from her home in East Harlem this morning when she noticed Twitter erupting with early reports of a massive explosion that had rocked her district, leveling two buildings and leaving at least two dead and 22 injured, according to fire officials.

“I left my home at about 9:15, 9:20. I was on my way to City Hall when I started seeing some activity on Twitter from constituents that had heard the explosion or had been rocked by the explosion, some that live on 118th Street. So I turned around, came uptown,” Ms. Mark-Viverito told the Observer after an emergency briefing this afternoon a block from the site, which remains ablaze. Continue reading “Mark-Viverito Says District Office Doubling as Command Post After Explosion”

Council Meeting Could Be Delayed After East Harlem Explosion

A deadly blast rocked East Harlem this morning. (Photo: NY1)
A deadly blast rocked East Harlem this morning. (Photo: NY1)

A massive building collapse this morning in East Harlem may delay today’s scheduled City Council meeting.

Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito represents the neighborhood and has been on the scene for the last hour, according to her spokesman. The City Council’s stated meeting, where the entire council meets to introduce and vote on legislation, is scheduled for 1 p.m. today and Ms. Mark-Vierito has already canceled a pre-stated press conference.  Continue reading “Council Meeting Could Be Delayed After East Harlem Explosion”

Ex-Councilman Lew Fidler Returning to City Council

Lew Fidler. (Photo: NYC Council/William Alatriste
Lew Fidler. (Photo: NYC Council/William Alatriste

Former Councilman Lew Fidler is going back to the City Council–but this time, he won’t be serving as an elected official. 

Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito has hired Mr. Fidler, a 12-year Brooklyn lawmaker and attorney, to join the City Council as a part-time counsel, a spokesman for Ms. Mark-Viverito confirmed. Mr. Fidler is working in the office of the general counsel, where he helps represent the entire council body, not just the speaker.  Continue reading “Ex-Councilman Lew Fidler Returning to City Council”

De Blasio Budget Director Gets Praise, Muffins at First Council Hearing

Finance Chair Julissa Ferrera and Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito speak at budget hearing
Finance Chair Julissa Ferrera and Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito speak at budget hearing

Mayor Bill de Blasio’s budget director appeared in front of the City Council today–but instead of the usual heated grilling, was met with apologetic and thankful council members who celebrated the mayor’s agenda.

They even offered him muffins. Continue reading “De Blasio Budget Director Gets Praise, Muffins at First Council Hearing”

City Council Releases ‘35 State Budget and Legislative Priorities’

Melissa Mark-Viverito. (Photo: William Alatriste/NYC Council)
Melissa Mark-Viverito. (Photo: William Alatriste/NYC Council)

As Mayor Bill de Blasio and other advocates gather in Albany today, Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito released a report outlining the council’s legislative agenda. Continue reading “City Council Releases ‘35 State Budget and Legislative Priorities’”

Councilman Says GOP Under Siege by de Blasio Administration

Councilman Vincent Ignizio, the Republican minority leader. (Photo: NYC Council/William Alatriste)
Councilman Vincent Ignizio, the Republican minority leader. (Photo: NYC Council/William Alatriste)

Councilman Vincent Ignizio, the minority leader of the overwhelmingly Democratic City Council, sounded a warning bell this morning over the impact of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s progressive policy agenda.

In an interview on Geraldo Rivera’s WABC radio show, the host asked whether Republicans and conservatives should “feel under siege by this progressive administration.” Continue reading “Councilman Says GOP Under Siege by de Blasio Administration”