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District 4

Keith Powers

Upper East Side, Carnegie Hill, Yorkville, Central Park South, Midtown East, Times Square, Koreatown, Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village, Waterside Plaza, Tudor City, Turtle Bay, Murray Hill, Sutton Place

Find updates, alerts, and the latest news from Council Member Powers here.

Press Releases from the Council Member

Statements from the Council Member

Reports from the Council Member

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

In The News: Highlights

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.

March 31, Stuyvesant Town To Allow Tenants to Pay Rent with Security Deposits, NY1
The company that runs Stuyvesant Town says tenants who lost income due to the coronavirus may apply their security deposits toward rent.

March 30, NYC officials look to convert security deposits to rent in relief push, Daily News
Renters hit hard in the pocketbook by the coronavirus outbreak would be able to use their security deposits as April rent payments under a new proposal from four city elected officials.

March 24, City officials say $8B in security deposits should be liquidated to pay rents, Crain’s
A group of city officials is proposing that renters be allowed to liquidate their security deposits to pay next month’s rent, which is due in just a week.

March 18, New York state needs to throw our bars and restaurants an urgent lifeline, New York Post
New Yorkers don’t always love the tourists who visit the Big Apple. But now that they are mostly gone, it’s fair to say that many New Yorkers miss the normalcy their presence represents. With the coronavirus outbreak requiring the closure of bars and restaurants, especially, and the departure of tourist eaters, it is as if our city’s commercial soul has been temporarily suspended.

March 5, Stuy Town Tenants Go To Court To Keep More Than 6,000 Apartments From Deregulation, Gothamist
In a lawsuit that could have broader implications for residential buildings receiving special city tax breaks, a group of tenants in Stuyvesant Town on Manhattan’s east side are going to court to protect more than 6,000 apartments from possible deregulation.

March 2, Parents, school officials grapple with school attendance policy amid coronavirus fears, Daily News
City schools officials urged parents Monday to keep their kids at home if they’re feeling sick after New York confirmed its first coronavirus case, but some parents argue an Education Department attendance policy sends the opposite message.

February 25, Plastic Puzzler, How to make sense of the new bag ban, Our Town
On Sunday, March 1, New York joins California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Maine, Oregon, Vermont and a handful of cities and towns including Albuquerque and Chicago to ban single-use plastic bags.

February 19, New York City to Extend Protected Bike LanesWall Street Journal
Cyclists will soon be able to ride more safely through Midtown Manhattan as the city extends Sixth Avenue’s protected bike lane from Herald Square to Central Park.

February14, Repealing commercial rent tax on restaurant industry’s 2020 wish listCrain’s

Mayor Bill de Blasio promised policies that would “save our small businesses” in his State of the City last week. The city’s restaurant and nightlife lobbying group has 20 ideas they say will help.

February 5, Surprise for New York Renters: No More Broker FeesNew York Times
Regulators unexpectedly banned broker fees for renters, which in the city have long amounted to as much as 15 percent of the annual lease.

January 26, The Best New York City Lawmakers, City & State
The best New York City Council member of 2019 is (drumroll, please) … actually two lawmakers: Keith Powers and Helen Rosenthal!

January 23, Lawmakers Worry Byford Resignation Puts MTA Progress on Hold, NY1
City Council Speaker Corey Johnson said he was disappointed to learn Andy Byford, the MTA’s Chief Executive Officer of the New York City Transit Authority, is resigning.

January 7, New York City Leaders Say Rockefeller Center Street Closures Should Be Permanent, Wall Street Journal
Some officials are pushing the city to make the holiday street closures around Rockefeller Center permanent, saying the recent experiment to limit the crowded block to pedestrians has been a success.

January 3, One-On-One With Council Member Keith Powers, NY1
In his time in office, Powers has introduced and passed legislation relating to the topics of more affordable housing, government reform, and social issues. The council member recently introduced a bill to manage pedestrian flow in Times Square to make individuals feel safer and travel through the area more efficient. He joined Pat on Mornings On 1 to discuss these 2020 initiatives and more.

January 3, Bike Safety Improves On UES Amid Deadly Year For City, Pols SayPatch
Bike safety measures taken on the Upper East Side in recent years have reduced the number of cyclists hurt and killed in collisions in the neighborhood despite an uptick in cyclist deaths in 2019, local elected officials announced this week.

December 19, Analysis Shows 14th Street Busway Has Slashed Commute Times On Notoriously Congested Route, Gothamist
The 14th Street busway is making the notoriously slow cross street bus routes run faster, and riders are taking notice, according to a new report released by City Hall on Wednesday.

SantaCon has canceled plans for five party boats offered as part of the annual bar crawl, citing concerns from local politicians and a lack of planning from the event’s organizers.

November 14, What 2.5 Miles of Barriers Along the East River Mean for Manhattan, NY1
City Council Members Carlina Rivera and Keith Powers joined Bobby Cuza to talk about the passage of their bill that aims to protect the East Side of Manhattan from future storms like Hurricane Sandy.

November 8, De Blasio needs to do something serious about Rockefeller Center holiday horrors, New York Post
Every New Yorker, and every tourist trekking to see the Rockefeller Center tree, knows it: The holiday streets in Midtown are mayhem.

October 31, City May Close Fifth Avenue Lanes to Handle Holiday Crowds, NY1
The Transportation Department responded that it will test what it calls a “Holiday Pedestrian Congestion Mitigation Plan” on Fifth Avenue from 48th to 51st streets. 

October 15, One-On-One with Manhattan Councilman Keith Powers, NY 1
City Councilman Keith Powers stopped by “Mornings On 1” to discuss the 14th Street busway as well as the ongoing efforts to open community based jails and shut down Rikers Island

October 2, New York City Council Proposes a Plan for Jails After Rikers, Wall Street Journal
An expanded inmates’ bill of rights and other reforms are aimed at creating better conditions in new facilities.

September 24, Bipartisan NYC Council duo wants to reform ‘byzantine’ special elections, Daily News
The city would do away with its “byzantine” and costly system for holding special elections under forthcoming legislation from two councilmen Manhattan Dem Keith Powers and Queens Republican Eric Ulrich.

August 9, New Yorkers are trying to cancel their Equinox memberships over Trump. A city councilman wants to make that easier. , CNN
In light of Equinox gym members looking to cancel their memberships over the chain’s owner fundraising for President Donald Trump, a New York City council member wants to make it easier to cancel gym memberships.

July 14, The 2019 Manhattan Power 100, City & State
First-term New York City Councilman Keith Powers has generated as much buzz as some of his colleagues by being involved in some of this year’s hottest topics, including Rikers Island, affordable housing, restricting car traffic on 14th Street and a contested proposal to limit brokers’ fees that are charged to tenants.

July 1, Supporters Rally To Make 14th Street Open To Buses Only, CBS
City transit advocates are up in arms Monday after a judge put a stop to a big part of the 14th Street busway plan. New York City’s Department of Transportation wanted to restrict traffic on 14th Street – only allowing buses – while repairs continue on the L train’s Canarsie Tunnel.

June 21, Council Hears 3 Campaign Finance Bills to Enhance Low-Dollar Impact, Limit Criminals, Curb Conflicts, Gotham Gazette
The City Council’s Committee on Governmental Operations held a hearing Wednesday to discuss three bills related to campaign finance reform. Two of the bills would prohibit candidates convicted of felony corruption or misuse of public funds from receiving public matching funds and reduce the matching funds contribution minimum from $10 to $5.

May 29, Pol Blasts Company Responsible for Fixes on Subway’s Worst Escalator, THE CITY
The subway system’s lousiest escalator should be on track for a replacement, said a Manhattan City Council member who decried “inexcusable” constant breakdowns in the city’s ninth-busiest station.

May 8, JPMorgan’s new Midtown East HQ approved by City Council, Curbed
The City Council approved JP Morgan Chase’s plans Wednesday for a soaring 70-story tower to replace the Union Carbide Building in East Midtown.

April 17, ‘A New Day in New York’: City Council Passes Sweeping Climate Bill, Common Dreams
Manhattan lawmakers today took a major step in criminal justice reform, passing legislation aimed at changing bail payments.

April 9, Powers’ Bill Passes Council, Eliminates Bail Payment Fees, New York County Politics
Manhattan lawmakers today took a major step in criminal justice reform, passing legislation aimed at changing bail payments.

March 26, JPMorgan Agrees to Fund Transit Upgrades Near Its New Manhattan Headquarters, Bloomberg
JPMorgan Chase & Co. agreed to contribute to transit improvements near its expanding midtown Manhattan headquarters after city officials called on the company to shoulder more of the costs of its growth.

March 19, “Condo on stilts” paused, Our Town
As the city prepares to tighten restrictions on developers’ use of mechanical voids — large, empty spaces within buildings that primarily serve to inflate the height, views and market value of the floors above — a planned Upper East Side tower frequently cited by critics as among the most egregious examples of the practice is in limbo as the Department of Buildings evaluates void-related objections concerning the project.

March 17, Local officials, interfaith leaders speak out against attacks on religious communities, Pix11
Local officials and religious leaders came together across city Sunday afternoon to speak out against recent attacks on religious communities.

March 12, New York City Looks to Eliminate Hidden Bail Fees, The Appeal
New York City may soon take an important step toward reducing the burden placed on people entangled in the criminal legal system.

February 13, New City Council Proposals Would Slash Obscene Brokers’ Fees And Limit Security Deposits, Gothamist
Avoiding a broker by finding a no-fee rental has long been the holy grail of New York City apartment hunting. Now, the City Council is weighing a plan to reduce the often burdensome and upfront costs faced by renters.

February 12, New York City Legislation Would Make it Cheaper to Rent an Apartment, Wall Street Journal
Two New York City Council members will introduce a package of bills on Wednesday that aim to make renting apartments more affordable.

February 11, Parking placards, legal and not, anger many New Yorkers, Fox5
 Many drivers in New York City find themselves circling and searching for an open parking spot for a half hour or longer. Now city lawmakers want to—hopefully—free up some of those occupied spots with five bills aimed at better enforcing illegal use of government parking placard.

January 25, Waterside Plaza tenants get rent relief due to city deal, Curbed
The City Council approved a deal Thursday that brokers a new affordable housing agreement for tenants at the Waterside Plaza apartment complex.

January 24, Councilman seeks to chip away at commercial rent tax, Crain’s
More Manhattan businesses would be exempt from the commercial rent tax under a new City Council bill that aims to ease the financial burden on mom-and-pop shops.

January 8, Report: Serious Injuries To Inmates Are Vastly Under-Reported In NYC Jails, Gothamist 
The City Council has introduced a package of 18 bills that take aim at landlords who use shady tactics to empty their buildings on lower-rent paying tenants.

January 7, ‘Will this be more of the same forever?’ New Yorkers react to L train shutdown cancelation, Curbed
With the news that the L train shutdown may be effectively dead—Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced last week that the MTA could instead use a “new, innovative” design to implement repairs on the Canarsie Tunnel without closing the line as previously planned—many questions have arisen: Will this actually end up happening?


January 1, 2018 — June 15, 2018

June 16, 2018 — January 15, 2019

January 16, 2019 — June 15, 2019