As the seven candidates for City Council Speaker jockey for the city’s most powerful legislative post, much attention has been paid to their agendas, their temperaments and their stances on various issues.
Far less attention has been paid to their legislative records in the body they’re hoping to lead. But an analysis of City Council records shows the candidates have had vastly different levels of success when it comes to passing bills–arguably a crucial indicator of the kind of legislative leaders they might be.
The candidates vying for City Council speaker mostly hailed Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio’s choice of Bill Bratton to lead the police department, though one was willing to openly criticize the pick.
In a lengthy statement yesterday, Councilman Jumaane Williams took issue with Mr. Bratton’s “mixed” record when he held the same job under former Mayor Rudy Giuliani, whose police force was repeatedly accused of crossing the line in its efforts to drive down crime.
Veni Vidi Veto
Police reform advocates denounced Mayor Michael Bloomberg on the steps of City Hall today, sharply criticizing the city’s repeated attempts to bat back a court decision clamping down on the NYPD’s controversial stop-and-frisk tactic.
“Let’s be clear, I have never seen such arrogance—some hardheadedness, it must be a psychosis,” declared Brooklyn Councilman Jumaane Williams, one of the leading advocates on the issue and a frequent critic of the Bloomberg administration. “That everybody can repudiate you as wrong on this issue and you still want your legacy to be as much damage to community and policing in this city as possible, that even on your way out you’re doing as much as you can to send us in the wrong direction.”
The City Council has voted to override Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s veto of two controversial bills aimed at reining in the NYPD’s controversial use of stop-and-frisk.
Despite aggressive attempts by Mr. Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Ray Kelly to peel away support, a bill to create an independent inspector general to oversee the department passed 39-10. A second bill, which would extend the definition of racial profiling and allow those who feel wronged to sue in state court passed 34-15.
A long train ride away from his Upper West Side home, comptroller hopeful Scott Stringer stumped at a bustling Brooklyn intersection yesterday, straining to introduce himself to voters who had never heard of the low-key Manhattan borough president.
Passing out campaign literature with Brooklyn Councilman Jumaane Williams near a Flatbush subway stop, the bespectacled, suit-clad Stringer struck a contrast with the many working class, black voters hustling into and out of the Flatbush Avenue station.
Occupy Wall Street
Every year, for the past 41 years, the nine members of the Rent Guidelines Board have gathered to reach a secretive consensus that sets the annual rent increases on rent-regulated apartments at somewhere around 3 percent, a move that without fail earns the ire of tenants and property owners alike.
It is unlikely that the Rent Guidelines Board harbors any illusions about its popularity at this point, but this year looks to bring unprecedented animosity. It’s only April and insults are flying, months before the board inevitably makes its rage-inducing decision.
“We need to move away from the days of a kangaroo court,” shouted City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, who took to the steps of City Hall Monday morning to call for reforms to the hated board. “Regardless of the data… the rents go up!”
New York City Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez has been arrested at the NYPD raid on Occupy Wall Street. David Segal, a spokesperson for Councilman Rodriguez, told the Observer he confirmed the Councilman's arrest through a staffer at City Hall.
"City Hall knows that he's been arrested, they've put in calls with the NYPD to see his status," Mr. Segal said. Read More
In jest. Also from the DeBlasio presser:
Why are not we focusing on the finance sector of society? There is no segment of society that has destroyed this city, this country, almost this world [more] than the finance sector. We have no peak and look policy when it comes to the books of the Read More
City Councilman Jumaane Williams has a message for the federal government.
Last week, the Brooklyn Democrat introduced a resolution in the Council that calls on Congress to restore federal funding to ACORN, the beleaguered housing advocacy group that shuttered most of its organization after the House passed a resolution blocking federal funds last year. Read More
A former Council staffer who plead guilty to misusing public funds in the slush fund scandal has agreed to pay a $2,500 fine for improperly employing his daughter.
Asquith Reid, who used to work for Councilman Kendall Stewart of Brooklyn, admitted in a deposition made public just now that his daughter Read More