New York City Council

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The New York City Council is the lawmaking body of the City of New York. It comprises 51 members from 51 council districts throughout the five boroughs. The Council serves as balance of power against the mayor in a "strong" mayor-council government model. The council monitors performance of city agencies and makes land use decisions as well as legislating on a variety of other issues. The City Council also has sole responsibility for approving the city budget and each member is limited to two consecutive terms in office.

The current speaker of the City Council is Christine C. Quinn. There are 48 Democratic council members led by Majority Leader Joel Rivera. The three Republican council members are led by Minority Leader James Oddo.

The Council has several committees with oversight of various functions of the city government. Each council member sits on at least three standing, select or subcommittees (listed below). The standing committees meet at least once per month. The Speaker of the Council, the Majority Leader, and the Minority Leader are all ex officio members of every committee.

Council members are elected every four years, except for two consecutive two year terms every twenty years (starting in 2001 and 2003 and again in 2021 and 2023). The head of the City Council is called the Speaker, and is currently Christine Quinn, a Democrat.


[edit] History of the City Council

The History of the New York City Council can be traced to Dutch colonial days when New York City was called New Amsterdam.

On February 2, 1653, the town of New Amsterdam, founded on the southern tip of Manhattan Island in 1625, was incorporated as a city under a charter issued by the Dutch West India Company. A Council of Legislators sat as the local lawmaking body and as a court of inferior jurisdiction.

After a number of changes through the ensuing years, the present Council was born in 1938 under a new charter which instituted the Council as the sole legislative body and the New York City Board of Estimate as the chief administrative body. Certain functions of the Council, however, remained subject to the approval of the Board.

A system of proportional representation seated a 26-member Council in 1938 to serve two-year terms. The term was extended to four years in 1945 to coincide with the term of the Mayor. Proportional representation was abolished in 1949. It was replaced by a system of electing one Council Member from each State Senate district within the city. The Charter also provided for the election of two Council Members-at-large from each of the five boroughs. In June 1983, however, a federal court ruled that the 10 at-large seats violated the United States Constitution's one-person, one-vote mandate.

In 1989, the Supreme Court ruled that the Board of Estimate also violated the one-person, one-vote mandate. In response, the new Charter abolished the Board of Estimate and provided for the redrawing of the Council district lines to increase minority representation on the Council. It also increased the number of Council Members from 35 to 51. The Council was then granted full power over the municipal budget, as well as authority over zoning, land use and franchises.

A two-term limit was imposed on City Council members and citywide elected officials after a 1993 referendum. In 1996, voters turned down a Council proposal to extend term limits. The movement to introduce term limits was led by Ronald Lauder, a cosmetics heir, who spent $4 million on the two referendums.

[edit] City Council Standing Committees

  • Aging
  • Civil Rights
  • Civil Service & Labor
  • Community Development (Select Committee)
  • Consumer Affairs
  • Contracts
  • Cultural Affairs, Libraries & International Intergroup Relations
  • Economic Development
  • Education
  • Environmental Protection
  • Finance
  • Fire & Criminal Justice Services
  • General Welfare
  • Governmental Operations
  • Health
  • Higher Education
  • Housing & Buildings
  • Immigration
  • Juvenile Justice
  • Land Use
  • Mental Health, Mental Retardation, Alcoholism, Drug Abuse & Disability Services
  • Oversight and Investigations
  • Parks & Recreation
  • Public Safety
  • Rules, Privileges & Elections
  • Sanitation & Solid Waste Management
  • Small Business
  • Standards & Ethics
  • State & Federal Legislation
  • Technology in Government
  • Transportation
  • Veterans
  • Waterfronts
  • Women's Issues
  • Youth Services

[edit] City Council Subcommittees

  • Drug Abuse
  • Landmarks, Public Siting and Maritime Uses
  • Libraries
  • Planning, Dispositions and Concessions
  • Public Housing
  • Senior Centers
  • Zoning and Franchises

[edit] City Council Partisan Makeup

Affiliation Members
  Democrat 48
  Republican 3

Borough Members

[edit] Members of the City Council

1Alan GersonDemocratManhattan
2Rosie MendezDemocratManhattan
3Christine QuinnDemocratManhattan
4Daniel GarodnickDemocratManhattan
5Jessica LappinDemocratManhattan
6Gale BrewerDemocratManhattan
7Robert JacksonDemocratManhattan
8Melissa ViveritoDemocratManhattan
9Inez DickensDemocratManhattan
10Miguel MartinezDemocratManhattan
11G. Oliver KoppellDemocratBronx
12Larry SeabrookDemocratBronx
13James VaccaDemocratBronx
14Maria BaezDemocratBronx
15Joel RiveraDemocratBronx
16Helen FosterDemocratBronx
17Maria del Carmen ArroyoDemocratBronx
18Annabel PalmaDemocratBronx
19Tony AvellaDemocratQueens
20John LiuDemocratQueens
21Hiram MonserrateDemocratQueens
22Peter Vallone, Jr.DemocratQueens
23David WeprinDemocratQueens
24James GennaroDemocratQueens
25Helen SearsDemocratQueens
26Eric GioiaDemocratQueens
27Leroy ComrieDemocratQueens
28Thomas White, Jr.DemocratQueens
29Melinda KatzDemocratQueens
30Dennis P. GallagherRepublicanQueens
31James Sanders, Jr.DemocratQueens
32Joseph Addabbo, Jr.DemocratQueens
33David YasskyDemocratBrooklyn
34Diana ReynaDemocratBrooklyn
35Letitia JamesDemocratBrooklyn
36Albert VannDemocratBrooklyn
37Erik Martin DilanDemocratBrooklyn
38Sara M. GonzalezDemocratBrooklyn
39Bill DeBlasioDemocratBrooklyn
40Yvette Clarke
41Darlene MealyDemocratBrooklyn
42Charles BarronDemocratBrooklyn
43Vincent J. GentileDemocratBrooklyn
44Simcha FelderDemocratBrooklyn
45Kendall StewartDemocratBrooklyn
46Lewis FidlerDemocratBrooklyn
47Domenic M. Recchia, Jr.DemocratBrooklyn
48Michael C. Nelson, Jr.DemocratBrooklyn
49Michael McMahonDemocratStaten Island
50James OddoRepublicanStaten Island
51Andrew Lanza
RepublicanStaten Island

[edit] Council Leadership Information

Position Name Party Borough District
Speaker Christine Quinn Democratic Manhattan 3
Majority Leader Joel Rivera Democratic Bronx 15
Minority Leader James Oddo Republican Staten Island 50

[edit] See also

[edit] External link

New York City governmental institutions

Government · Mayor · City Council · Judiciary · Brooklyn Public Library · City University of New York · Economic Development Corporation · Department of Education · Fire Department (FDNY) · Lower Manhattan Development Corporation · Department of Parks and Recreation · New York Public Library · Police Department (NYPD) · Queens Borough Public Library

New York City Council

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