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 Speaker Christine Quinn ended her tenure leading the City Council yesterday with an emotional farewell to staff and colleagues, marking the end of what, by all accounts, was an extremely difficult year.
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. Continue reading “Council Members Move to Limit Next Speaker’s Power”→
It’s the city’s second most powerful public office, but the race to become City Council speaker has more in common with a papal conclave than a mayoral election.
For only the third time in modern history, the Council is in the early throes of the byzantine process by which the 51 members from every neighborhood, ethnic background and political stripe must select a new leader. Despite those differences, the process will ultimately generate consensus (or near-consensus) by January, if the past is a guide.
The normally fraught procedure is even messier than usual because nearly half of the City Council will be new in 2014—meaning that aspiring speakers must woo not only current seat-holders, but those likely to be elected in November as well.
A candidate running to fill disgraced ex-Assemblyman Vito Lopez’s empty seat said Wednesday he would be “hard-pressed” to vote for Shelly Silver as his speaker because of Mr. Silver’s mishandling of the sexual harassment allegations that forced Mr. Lopez out.
Assembly Democrats have thus far been reluctant to discuss leadership changes, despite the fact that a majority of voters would like to see Mr. Silver go. But attorney Jason Otaño, the favorite of anti-Lopez activists, was blunt when posed the question at a forum last night.
City Council Speaker Christine Quinn’s long-awaited memoir is set to come out next month–and Politicker got an early peek.
The 242-page hardcover–conveniently timed for released just as voters are starting to tune in to the mayor’s race–provides a deeply personal account of Ms. Quinn’s childhood growing up on Long Island, including coping with her mother’s losing battle with cancer, her insecurities, and her journey to becoming the city’s second-most powerful elected official, and potentially its first female and openly gay mayor.