To the Viverito Goes the Spoils
As the new councilman for District 34, which includes Williamsburg and portions of Bushwick in Brooklyn and South Ridgewood in Queens, Councilman Antonio Reynoso personally understands the issues of his constituents.
He was born, bred and still lives in Williamsburg, a neighborhood he hopes never to leave. Plus, Mr. Reynoso spent seven years under the tutelage of his predecessor, Councilwoman Diana Reyna, working as her budget director, legislative director and, eventually, chief of staff until he quit to campaign for her seat.
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.
To the Viverito Goes the Spoils
Although the first full meeting of Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito’s tenure is scheduled for this afternoon, discussions continue about which council members will take top slots in the council.
Both Politicker and Capital New York have detailed many of the gigs expected to be doled out, but some question marks remain. Last-minute discussions with a number of insiders suggest several other plum posts have been assigned, however.
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.
How you Doin'?
The race for City Council speaker is beginning to shape up.
So far, six candidates have RSVP’d to the first forum of the race: Dan Garodnick, Melissa Mark-Viverito, Mark Weprin, Jumaane Williams, Jimmy Vacca and Jimmy Van Bramer, according to the good government group Citizens Union, which is co-hosting the November 20 event along with the Baruch College School of Public Affairs.
a share of the occupie
At a press conference today celebrating the success of New York City’s film industry, Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer took some time to jokingly compliment Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s dashing good looks:
“I did just want to say there’s a bit of a saying: Politics is show business for ugly people,” he began to the audience’s laughter. “I did want to make note that our Mayor is such a glaring exception to that rule, as incredibly and dashingly handsome as he is. Coming from a gay man, that is a big compliment.”
The City Council’s progressive wing and their labor allies threw their support behind the Occupy Wall Street protesters, backing “the day of action” the movement has planned for Thursday.
Remember those expensive taxpayer funded garbage cans that some City Council members purchased for their district, that prominently featured their names on it?
Well, some of those Councilman have left, but the garbage cans — with their names on it — still remain.
Now, one freshman Councilman found a way to get rid of his predecessors name without getting rid of the garbage can themselves.
On Sunday evening, shortly after the city’s clerks brought the first day of same-sex marriages to a close, Queens City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer and his partner Dan Hendrick organized a celebration at the Claret Wine Bar, a block from their home in Sunnyside, Queens.
“I’d like to answer a question that is on the minds of many today, and the answer is no,” said Mr. Hendrick. “Not until I see the ring, and it better be a very big rock.”