The Council’s Capital Earmarks: Irish Arts, Libraries, Shakespeare

Member items—or earmarks—get much of the attention in the City Council, there’s a substantially bigger pot of discretionary handouts that doesn’t always gain as much focus: additions to the capital budget.

This year, the Council approved about $375 million a year in city spending for such additions, which typically go to schools, museums, and non-profit groups toward capital investments like new buildings, renovations, supplies or other infrastructure.

Council Speaker Christine Quinn has the most at her personal discretion out of her speaker pot, and more senior members seem to be bigger winners than the incoming members.

The full list is on the Office of Management and Budget’s website, and here’s a list of some of the biggest beneficiaries, along with a few other groups of interest (listed by the receiver of the funds; the amount; and the sponsor Council member):

Irish Arts Center; $7.5 million over three years; Christine Quinn

New York Shakespeare Festival; $4 million; Manhattan Delegation

Whitney Museum; $4 million over two years; Quinn

Manufacturing and Industrial Investment Fund; $10 million; Quinn

Brooklyn Public Library; $8 million; Brooklyn Delegation/Quinn

New Westchester Square Branch Library; $8 million over four years; James Vacca

Queens Public Library; $7.5 million; Queens Delegation/Quinn

New York Public Library; $10 million; Quinn

Abyssinian Development Corp.; $1 million; Inez Dickens

Ridgewood Bushwick Senior Citizen Council; $1.8 million; Steve Levin/Domenic Recchia/Brooklyn Delegation/Quinn

Urban Homesteading Assistance Board; $3 million; Quinn


The Council’s Capital Earmarks: Irish Arts, Libraries, Shakespeare