Find updates, alerts, and the latest news from Council Member Powers here.
January 2021 News: COVID-19 Vaccine FAQs
December News: Help for the Holidays
November News: Managing a Second Wave of COVID-19
October News: Flu Shots, Love Your Neighborhood Day, and More
Voting: What You Need to Know
Find them all here.
In The News: Highlights
December 2020/January 2021, Year-in-Eater Series
- NYC Restaurant Headline Predictions for 2021
- Biggest Hopes for the Restaurant Industry in 2021
- NYC Restaurant Innovations From 2020 That Should Continue in 2021
- The Top NYC Restaurant Newcomers of 2020
- Go-To NYC Spots for Takeout, Delivery, and Outdoor Dining in 2020
December 9, Grand Central Terminal Businesses Get Rent Break From the MTA, NY1
Sisters Anyuta and Inna Zelikson own Inaya Jewelry at Grand Central Terminal, a showcase for the jewelry they design and make. They came from the former Soviet Republic of Belarus in 1992 with their parents to escape anti-Semitism there.
December 6, De Blasio Promised Nearly Six Months Ago to End Solitary Confinement. So Where’s the Plan?, THE CITY
In June, when Mayor Bill de Blasio announced he would end solitary confinement in city-run jails, he said he expected a working group to give him recommendations on how to do it “in the fall.”
December 2, Covid Shifts Discussion on ‘Future of Open Space’ in New York City, Gotham Gazette
In New York City, virtually every square foot of open space is highly contested, considered, or counted on. Because of COVID-19 restrictions, open spaces have become more important than ever.
December 1, Helicopter Noise Complaints Soar On Parts Of Upper East Side, Patch
As Upper East Siders have spent the bulk of this year cooped up in their homes, complaints to 311 about noisy helicopters hovering over the neighborhood have risen compared to last year, city data shows.
November 17, NYC Green New Deal, Income Discrimination Bills Become Law, Patch
Mayor Bill de Blasio signed bills that set strict emissions reductions for buildings and provide protections for low-income renters.
November 13, Newly Signed Law Makes It Easier For New Yorkers To Cancel Gym Memberships, Gothamist
A new law will make it easier for New Yorkers to quit the gym—a task made more infuriating for some gym-goers during the COVID-19 pandemic.
November 4, Op-ed: Here’s How We Can Bring Back Midtown, Crain’s
Midtown Manhattan is the center of it all for our city: retail, tourism, the arts, and entertainment. While many of the office buildings, hotels, and event venues that make this neighborhood so vibrant currently sit empty, Midtown will not be so quiet forever. No place will be more central to New York’s economic and social recovery.
November 3, The Other Eviction Moratorium: Storefront and Office Tenants are Hanging on. But for How Long?, THE CITY
When the pandemic began, Eneslow Shoes and Orthotics operated four stores in the city. Now it is down to three — two in Manhattan and one in Little Neck, Queens — and by early next year owner Robert Schwartz believes he may be operating only one.
October 29, Op-ed: Our Opportunity to End Solitary Confinement in New York City Jails, Gotham Gazette
This is a year we would all sooner forget. But 2020 can be remembered as the year New York City ended solitary confinement.
September 29, Council Bills Could Pave the Way for a Public Bank in NYC, City Limits
The City Council is considering measures that would scrutinize the city’s relationship with corporate banks and other financial entities—disclosures that could pave the pathway to creating a municipal public bank in the future.
September 29, NYC Council Member Keith Powers Calls Outdoor Dining ‘A Smashing Success’ , Cheddar
New York City Council Member Keith Powers is co-sponsoring a bill introduced by Council Member Antonio Reynoso to set permanent guidelines for outdoor dining after Mayor Bill de Blasio extended the lockdown exemption beyond October 31.
September 25, City Abandons Plan To Evict Residents From Midtown Shelter, Patch
After weeks of indecision, the city reversed course Friday in its plans to transfer dozens of homeless families from the Harmonia shelter in Midtown to make way for men being evicted from the Lucerne Hotel on the Upper West Side, who will now be moved to a different shelter downtown.
September 22, NYC Outdoor Dining Could Become A Permanent Fixture With This New Legislation, Cheddar
Several NYC Council members have introduced new legislation that would make outdoor dining a permanent fixture in the city.
September 14, Fight Over Manhattan Hotel Shows Challenges of Housing Homeless During Coronavirus Pandemic, Wall Street Journal
New York City has halted a controversial decision to move people experiencing homelessness out of a luxury hotel-turned-shelter on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, as opposition has mounted on both sides of a fiery debate over where to house the city’s homeless during the pandemic.
September 13, Op-ed: Time to save New York’s music venues from pandemic woes, amNY
Broadway, Carnegie Hall, and Lincoln Center sparkle as New York’s revered beacons of culture, but it’s the legendary independent music venues that round out New York City’s artistic identity as authentic. They form the beating heart behind the city’s sublime reign as the cultural capital of the world.
September 10, Midtown Pols, Advocates Rally For 5th Avenue Busway, Patch
A cohort of transportation advocates and elected officials braved a Thursday morning drizzle to call on Mayor Bill de Blasio to follow through with plans to construct a busway along Fifth Avenue, following news last month that the project would be scaled back.
September 4, Car drives through Black Lives Matter protesters in Times Square: NYPD, ABC7
Officials are investigating after a car drove through a crowd of protesters in Times Square on Thursday evening.
August 28, Op-ed: New Yorkers with conviction records need homes, too, Daily News
As our city continues to face challenging economic and public health outcomes from the COVID-19 pandemic, concerns around access to safe and affordable permanent housing are intensifying. But already, when someone leaves the criminal legal system, far too often, returning home is simply not an option.
August 28, Is curbside dining the future for American restaurants?, NBC News Now
The coronavirus pandemic devastated the restaurant industry. Curbside dining offered a lifeline, but is this the future of dining in America or just a COVID-19-era necessity?
August 19, Should The NYPD Get To Decide Who’s A Journalist?, WNYC/Gothamist
The NYPD is considering changes to the rules regarding when it can suspend or revoke the credentials it issues to members of the press.
August 18, New Legislation Aims to Grant Landlords Tax Breaks In Exchange for Rent Relief During the Pandemic, Eater
Several New York politicians have introduced two new bills to help small businesses, including restaurants and bars, manage their sky-high rent payments during the pandemic.
August 16, NYC pols propose tax breaks for landlords who go easy on small businesses’ rent, Daily News
As small businesses across the city struggle to make rent, some local lawmakers are pushing to give landlords tax breaks if they provide more lenient leases.
August 2, Powers Pushes to Help Small Businesses, Our Town
As New Yorkers continue to struggle to get by during the pandemic and businesses are barely surviving, one elected official has proposed several measures to help the economy.
July 29, Councilman Powers Visits Rikers Island to Ensure Proper Heat Protocol, TapInto
City Council member Keith Powers visited Rikers Island on Monday as the temperature hit almost 90 degrees to check up on the state of air conditioning in some facilities that date back to the 1930s. The recorded temperature in buildings without air conditioning was as high as 90 to 94 degrees.
July 28, City Councilman Wants To Make Outdoor Dining In NYC Permanent, WCBS880
There are calls to make New York City’s outdoor dining program a permanent fixture in the five boroughs. The programs began as a means for restaurants to make some extra money while their dining rooms were closed.
July 26, Manhattan pol pushes for permanent outdoor dining, rent relief and other help for small biz, Daily News
The city would make outdoor dining permanent, provide rent relief for small businesses and suspend the commercial rent tax for some shops, under a forthcoming plan from a Manhattan lawmaker and business groups.
July 23, Does the Coronavirus Pandemic Spell the End for Small Music Venues?, NY1
There may not be a live audience, but singer/songwriter and Queens native Jesse Malin puts his all into his performances from Bowery Electric, the East Village club he co-owns. He has been producing weekly live streams that he calls “The Fine Art of Self-Distancing.” It’s an an effort that began in his apartment on an iPhone when the pandemic erupted.
July 15, DA Vance Drops Assault Charges Against Subway Rider Punched by Police, The City
Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance announced plans to drop cop-assault charges against a homeless person after watching police body-camera video that shows an officer pummeling the man on the subway.
July 15, Editorial: Why Does the N.Y.P.D. Want to Punish Journalists?, New York Times
Increased public scrutiny of American policing — through cellphone videos, social media and mass protests — has revealed in recent weeks an urgent need for sustained and systemic reform. The New York Police Department has chosen to respond by pressing ahead with new rules to grant wider latitude to bar journalists from covering official police activity.
July 1, ‘There’s Got to Be a Way’: Concert Venues Continue to Face Hardship, Optimism Amid COVID, Rolling Stone
Billy Jones has been stuck in Los Angeles for three months. In February, the New York booker and promoter went west to break ground on a second outpost for Baby’s All Right, his beloved Brooklyn indie venue that has hosted acts like Beach House, Ariel Pink, and Girlpool. Jones was in L.A. on March 12th when he learned that New York restaurants, bars, and venues were shutting down due to the spread of COVID-19.
June 29, New York City to end solitary confinement in jails: Mayor de Blasio, Daily News
New York City ordered Monday its jails to end the use of solitary confinement to punish some inmates as part of a broader push to end the practice altogether.
June 26, Councilman demands booze bill break for struggling NYC restaurants, New York Post
A New York City councilman wants state officials to give restaurants a break on strict rules for ordering booze that are weighing on their reopening plans.
June 24, Canine Owners Vow to Hound NYC Mayor Until Dog Parks and Runs Reopen, NY1
The last few months have been “ruff” for dogs and dog owners. With dog runs and parks closed since April, leash free activities have been virtually off-limits citywide.
June 17, NYC pol proposes outdoor haircuts for safer reopening from coronavirus, New York Post
A city councilman is proposing curbside trims and perms as a creative way to help barbershops and hair salons safely reopen from the coronavirus lockdown.
May 29, Council: Mayor Must ‘Think Outside The Box’ When It Comes To Open Streets for Restaurants, StreetsBlog
Mayor de Blasio is too myopic when it comes to rethinking street space to help struggling New Yorkers during the COVID-19 crisis, lawmakers charged on Thursday as they discussed legislation that would require the city to create space for outdoor dining amid the pandemic.
May 27, Fed Up With Lockdown, New Yorkers Gather Outdoors to Drink, Wall Street Journal
Drinking from an open container in public is against the law in New York. Perhaps it is the weather or the understanding that two months of the pandemic lockdown is a hardship, but the city has loosened its enforcement, and in fact is encouraging people to keep walking with their to-go cups because it is better than having them stop in groups.
May 21, As New Yorkers Rush Outside, Officials Urge Mayor to Implement Outdoor Dining Rules, Eater
With more New Yorkers crowding outside bars and restaurants over the past couple of weekends, there are growing calls from both restaurateurs and City Council members for the mayor and the governor to urgently address the need for more outdoor dining in the city.
May 17, New City Council Bills Would Bring Back Composting Drop-Off Sites, Gothamist
Two City Councilmembers are pushing legislation that would create composting and electronics waste drop-off sites to compensate for recycling reductions resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.
May 13, City Council Passes Legislation Capping Commissions on Food Delivery Apps, NY1
After the COVID-19 pandemic, the New York City dining experience may never be the same. As the prospect of reopening to full capacity dims by the day, restaurant owners are looking to the city to innovate. In particular, they want New York City leaders to come up with a plan that will allow them to serve food outdoors, close streets to traffic to allow social distancing, and limit the number of fees restaurants must pay to renew their licenses.
May 12, NYC May Allow Restaurants To Use Street Space For Dining During Pandemic, Gothamist
With the NYC restaurant industry facing financial disaster and signs that social distancing guidelines will continue throughout the summer, Mayor Bill de Blasio said last week that the city was open to the idea of allowing restaurants to use street space for seating, which could help them to reopen.
April 30, City Council members call on city to test new inmates to curb spread of coronavirus, Daily News
The heads of two City Council committees who oversee criminal justice issues say the city must do more to keep newly incarcerated people away from others behind bars to curb the spread of coronavirus.
April 22, Despite stimulus bills, New York’s small businesses face huge challenges, MarketWatch
Some of the city’s mom-and-pop shops are in desperate need of more help, and haven’t seen the infusion of cash that’s been promised.
April 17, City Council seeking up to 75 miles of open streets amid COVID-19 pandemic, QNS
Weeks after Mayor Bill de Blasio launched and then quickly canceled an “open streets” program, the City Council wants to overturn that decision with a bill that would close up to 75 miles of roadways for public recreation amid the coronavirus pandemic.
April 13, Could part of Broadway go car-free to encourage social distancing?, Curbed
Could a large swath of Broadway go car-free for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic? Some city officials argue that it’s possible—if Mayor Bill de Blasio would stop being resistant to the idea of pedestrianizing more of New York City’s streets.
April 9, NYC Council members call for point person to coordinate multi-agency response to coronavirus on Rikers Island, Daily News
City Council members are calling on Mayor de Blasio and Gov. Cuomo to consider the release of more people in custody at Rikers Island, and to name a point person that can coordinate a multi-agency response to the coronavirus outbreak in city jails.
Press Releases from the Council Member
- Release: New York City Council Members Keith Powers and Adrienne Adams to Introduce Legislation to Transfer Oversight of Press Credentials
- Release: New City Council Resolutions Push for Overhaul to School Admissions Process
- Release: Commercial Rent Tax to be Suspended Under New City Council Bill
- Release: City Council Set to Vote on Legislation to Strengthen City’s Response to Public Health Emergencies in City Jails
- Release: Criminal Justice Committee Chair City Council Member Keith Powers Introducing Package of Legislation to Address COVID-19 in City Jails
- Release: New York City Council Members Keith Powers and Antonio Reynoso Introduce the “Community Organics and Recycling Empowerment (CORE)” Act
- Release: In First Tenant-Led Test of New York’s New Tenant Protection Laws, Residents of Stuy Town Launch Legal Action to Protect More Than 6,200 Apartments Likely Facing Illegal Deregulation
- Release: City Council Members Keith Powers and Eric Ulrich Propose Change to the City’s Special Elections
- Release: JPMorgan Chase Headquarters Approved in East Midtown
- Release: New York City Council Votes to Eliminate Bail Payment Fees
- Release: City Council Approves Affordable Housing Deal at Waterside Plaza
- Release: New York City Council Passes Landmark Legislation to Permit Campaigns to Cover Childcare Costs
- Release: Council Member Keith Powers Releases Report on Campaign Finance Reform, Introduces Bill to Require Citywide Candidates to Raise 50 Campaign Contributions from Each Borough
- Release: Council Member Keith Powers and Tenant Leader Janet Handal Announce Support of Agreement to Preserve Affordable Housing at Waterside Plaza For 75 Years
- Release: Council Member Keith Powers and Majority Leader Laurie Cumbo Introduce Legislation to Use Campaign Funds for Childcare
Statements from the Council Member
- Statement: Criminal Justice Chair Keith Powers on Solitary Confinement Announcement
- Testimony: Rent Guidelines Board, 2020
- Statement: For Our City: Reforming and Rebuilding
- Statement: Council Member Keith Powers on Governor’s Allowance of Security Deposits for Rent Payment
- Statement: Council Member Powers on Limiting Security Deposits
- Statement: Council Member Powers on Departure of Andy Byford
- Statement: Council Member Powers and Borough President Brewer on 5th Avenue Traffic Mitigation Plan
- Statement: Council Member Powers on Rikers Island
- Statement: Council Member Keith Powers Announces Membership and Subscription Legislation
- Statement: Council Member Powers on JPMorgan’s Investment in Midtown
- Statement: Council Member Keith Powers on Fatality at 7th Avenue Subway Station
- Statement: Council Member Keith Powers on L Train Announcement
- Statement: Council Member Powers on Cases of Legionnaires’ Disease at Rikers Island
- Statement: Council Member Powers on Arrest of Proud Boy Geoffrey Young
- Statement: Council Member Powers and Assembly Member Quart on Incident at Metropolitan Republican Club
- Statement: Council Member Powers and Lancman on Violence at Raise the Age Facility
- Testimony: Council Member Powers Testifies for 0% Rent Increase at Rent Guidelines Board Hearing
- Statement: Council Member Powers Introduces Sexual Harassment Legislation
- Statement: Council Member Powers on Rikers Island Timeline
- Statement: Council Member Powers Responds to Department of Investigation (DOI) Report
- Statement: Council Member Powers Responds to RFP Award of Rikers Island Design Firm
- Statement: Council Member Powers Supports Dreamers’ Access to State College Education
- Statement: Council Member Powers Named Chair of Criminal Justice Committee
Reports from the Council Member
- Report: Open for Business: Saving our Small Businesses Post-COVID
- Report: 50 Ways to Leave Your Borough: A Campaign Finance Reform Proposal
Pledge: Path to Justice
Officials who sign the Path to Justice Pledge commit to support policies that:
- End police brutality and killings by restricting the use of force, creating non-lethal response teams, and demilitarizing police forces.
- Hold law enforcement accountable by creating committees for oversight with subpoena powers, and eliminating exceptions for law enforcement such as qualified immunity.