- Introduce and vote on legislation (proposed laws) having to do with all aspects of City life.
- Negotiate the City’s budget with the Mayor and approve its adoption.
- Monitor City agencies such as the Department of Education and the NYPD to make sure they’re effectively serving New Yorkers.
- Review land use and make decisions about the growth and development of our city.
Similar to Congress at the federal level, we are New York City’s legislative body. The Council is separate from the Mayor’s administration but an equal partner in how our City is run.
So, for example, while the Mayor has the option of vetoing legislation that we have approved, the Council can respond with an override to turn a bill into a law. The Council negotiates to ensure that certain services are included in the City’s budget.
The Speaker is elected by Council Members and leads us in setting priorities, passing laws, and directing public money for the benefit of New Yorkers. Currently, Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito heads the Council.
The Majority Leader of the Council comes from the political party with the most representation. Currently, the Majority Leader is Democrat Jimmy Van Bramer.
The Minority Leader of the Council comes from the political party with the second most representation. Currently, the Minority Leader is Republican Steven Matteo.
How we work(committees, hearings, caucuses)
Most of our legislative work happens in committee meetings and hearings focused on human services, infrastructure, and government affairs. These committees discuss proposed laws, receive updates from agency representatives, and hear feedback from New Yorkers like you.
Each committee is chaired by a Council Member and meets at least once every other month, except in July and August. Every Council Member is assigned — through a voting process by all Council Members — to serve on various committees and subcommittees.
The Council also meets in caucuses to ensure that the needs of specific communities are represented. There are currently five caucuses: Black, Latino and Asian (BLA) Caucus; Jewish Caucus; LGBT Caucus; Progressive Caucus; and Women’s Caucus.
via BRIC TV
Where we meet, vote, and listen
Members have offices in each of their districts, and also a legislative office at 250 Broadway. We discuss issues in the Council side of City Hall and hold Stated Meetings in the Council Chambers to vote on legislation.
Hearings are generally held at City Hall or 250 Broadway. And we spend a great deal of time in each of our districts, ensuring your needs are being met and your voice is being heard.