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The Evolving City Council

The Evolving City Council

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

The Committee on New York City Affairs presented a panel discussion addressing the governance of the City Council and the following issues:

  • What impact do the recent amendments to the Council’s Rules (the “Rules”) have upon the Speaker’s powers, independence of Council Members and Committee Chairs, and the effectiveness of the Council in performing its obligations under the Charter?
  • Is a strong Speaker necessary for the Council to act as a check and balance to the Mayor?
  • What further amendments to the Rules are necessary, or should any of the recent amendments be reconsidered?
  • What additional powers, if any, does the Council need to perform its duties effectively and to act as a check and balance to the Mayor?

Speakers: Hon. Gale Brewer, Manhattan Borough President; Christopher Collins, Executive Vice President, Capalino & Company; Hon. Melinda Katz, Queens Borough President; former City Council Member; Susan Lerner, Executive Director, Common Cause New York; Hon. Brad Lander, New York City Council, District 39; Chair, Committee on Rules; Eric Lane, Dean and Eric J. Schmertz Distinguished Professor of Public Law and Public Service, Hofstra University School of Law; former Counsel to New York City Council Speaker and Executive Director/ Counsel to Charter Revision Commission; Hon. Mark Levine, New York City Council, District 7; Chair, Committee on Parks and Recreation; Hon. Helen Rosenthal, New York City Council, District 6; Chair, Committee on Contracts; Hon. Peter F. Vallone, Sr., former Speaker, New York City Council

Moderators: Audrey J. Isaacs, Chair, Subcommittee on City Council Governance; Robert M. Brill, Principal of Law Offices of Robert M. Brill, LLC

Sponsored by: Committee on New York City Affairs, Cathleen Clements, Chair