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”

Mark-Viverito Allies Ascendant After Committees Doled Out

Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito hugs Councilman Daneek Miller. (Photo: William Alatriste/NYC Council)
Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito hugs Councilman Daneek Miller. (Photo: William Alatriste/NYC Council)

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. Continue reading “Mark-Viverito Allies Ascendant After Committees Doled Out”

Mark-Viverito to Dole Out Choice Committee Chairs

Melissa Mark-Viverito and colleagues in the City Council chambers. (Photo: William Alatriste/NYC Council)
Melissa Mark-Viverito and colleagues in the City Council chambers earlier this month. (Photo: William Alatriste/NYC Council)

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.  Continue reading “Mark-Viverito to Dole Out Choice Committee Chairs”

Two Candidates Emerge as Front-Runners for City Council Finance Chair

Council members Jimmy Van Bramer (left) and Julissa Ferreras (second from left) march with the eventual Council Speaker Melissa Mark Viverito to City Hall. (Photo: William Alatriste/NYC Council)
Council members Jimmy Van Bramer (left) and Julissa Ferreras (second from left) march with the eventual Council Speaker Melissa Mark Viverito to City Hall. (Photo: William Alatriste/NYC Council)

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. Continue reading “Two Candidates Emerge as Front-Runners for City Council Finance Chair”

Julissa Ferreras Said to Be Quietly Maintaining Speaker Candidacy [Update]

Councilwoman Julissa Ferreras. (Photo: NYC Council)
Julissa Ferreras. (Photo: NYC Council)

After a bevy of forums and closed-door powwows, the field of City Council speaker candidates appears to be set at seven. But some insiders are increasingly buzzing about one dark horse contender for the second-most-powerful post in the city: Councilwoman Julissa Ferreras.  Continue reading “Julissa Ferreras Said to Be Quietly Maintaining Speaker Candidacy [Update]”

Pro-Business Group Tried to Push Ferreras Into Speaker’s Race: Source

Councilwoman Julissa Ferreras. (Photo: NYC Council)
Julissa Ferreras. (Photo: NYC Council)

One of the city’s leading big business organizations is said to have attempted to recruit Queens Councilwoman Julissa Ferreras to run for City Council speaker, though the group denies any lobbying effort took place. Continue reading “Pro-Business Group Tried to Push Ferreras Into Speaker’s Race: Source”

Village Voice Attorney Defends Her Company’s Sex Site At Contentious Council Hearing

village voice media sex Village Voice Attorney Defends Her Companys Sex Site At Contentious Council Hearing
Liz McDougall, right, testifying at the City Council hearing. (Photo: Hunter Walker)

This afternoon, the Women’s Issues Committee of the City Council held a hearing on a resolution proposed by Council members Brad Lander and Melissa Mark-Viverito that would call for Village Voice Media to shut down the “adult” section of its classified ad site Backpage.com. Village Voice Media, which publishes 13 alt-weeklies around the country including its the flagship Village Voice in New York, has faced mounting pressure over Backpage, which opponents claim encourages human trafficking. At today’s hearing, the company’s general counsel, Liz McDougall, spoke on behalf of Backpage and emotions ran high with tears, laughter and shouting all on display. Continue reading “Village Voice Attorney Defends Her Company’s Sex Site At Contentious Council Hearing”