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District 4

Keith Powers

Midtown South-Flatiron-Union Square, Midtown-Times Square, Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village, Murray Hill-Kips Bay, East Midtown-Turtle Bay, United Nations, Upper East Side-Carnegie Hill

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

In The News: Highlights

March 6, 2024: I Tried to Fix My Block’s Honking Problem, Curbed
Living in the city means accepting a certain amount of noise, but does it mean ceding our peace of mind to so much honking? I decided to try to fix all the noise on my block. In the process, I discovered that noise cameras, similar to those used for red lights and speeding, might be a promising solution. Here in New York City, Council Member Powers passed a bill into law last year that establishes a citywide program. While the cameras have their technical limits, they might be our current best bet. 

February 25, 2024: NYC Lawmakers to Crack Down on Unlicensed Cannabis Shops, New York Daily News
The new year is seeing a renewed push to close down the city’s thousands of illegal cannabis shops. At the city level, Council Member Keith Powers is leading a novel approach that would amend the city’s nuisance abatement law to allow the city to padlock illegal shops. The bill is expected to be reintroduced in the coming week and pricked up over 22 co-sponsors last session. He expects it to pass at some point this year. 

December 7, 2023:  Hear, Hear: NYC Council Crackdown on Noise is Most Welcome, New York Daily News
Since the pandemic, New York City has gotten louder. Noise complaints are up and enforcement is down. The City Council’s passage of the Stop Spreading the Noise Act is a welcome step forward to crack down on the city’s excessive and harmful noise pollution. The series of bills will improve transparency and accountability around 311 noise complaints and any enforcement action taken, which can be maddeningly difficult to find at the moment. The Act also requires the rollout of a citywide noise camera program that will detect and ticket excessively loud vehicles, like those with modified mufflers. At least 5 cameras must be placed in each borough. 

December 5, 2023: Can NYC Curb E-Bike Fires? The Brian Lehrer Show
Following a string of recent – and deadly – lithium-ion batteries, New York City Council Member Keith Powers joins the show to break down where e-bike fires occur and what policies are in the works to curb these dangerous fires. 

November 1, 2023: NYC Council Members Push Bill to Crack Down on Illegal Pot Shops, NY Post 
A new bill introduced by Council Member Keith Powers aims to make it easier and quicker for authorities to close down illegal cannabis shops. The new bill will update the city’s Nuisance Abatement Law, a 1970s era law originally passed to crack down on prostitution in Times Square, to include illegal cannabis shops as a type of nuisance that can be immediately closed down. 

September 28, 2023: Discussing a Bill to Transform the City’s Vehicle Fleet, NY 1
The City Council today passed a bill that will transform the city’s fleet of over 30,000 vehicles – the largest municipal fleet in the nation – to being zero emissions by 2035. Starting in 2025 the city must only purchase zero emission vehicles, and by 2035 vehicles that are currently in service must have been replaced with a zero emission model. The new law will codify and accelerate  the city’s commitment to a cleaner, more sustainable by reducing its carbon emissions and improving health outcomes for numerous communities. 

September 13, 2023: New Trade In Program Aims to Prevent E-Bike Fires , New York Times 
A new bill expected to pass the City Council will create a first of its kind trade-in program for lithium-ion batteries, commonly used to power e-bikes. Uncertified and repurposed batteries are a major fire hazard that have caused over 175 deadly fires this year alone and killed 14, already more than double last year’s death toll. The elements contained within the batteries also cause the fires to spread rapidly and are especially difficult for the FDNY to extinguish. Under the new trade in program, users will be able to swap their unsafe, uncertified battery for a safe, certified one at no cost. The trade in program will compliment several other new laws the City Council has recently approved, such as banning the sale of uncertified batteries, and a recently introduced bill requiring food delivery apps to ensure their drivers are using certified batteries. 

September 13, 2023: Neglected Parts of Midtown Could Transform Under Proposed Rezoning, Crain’s
Older commercial buildings are struggling to get workers to return to the office. At the same time, New York City faces a dire housing crisis, with record rents and limited inventory. Converting older office buildings to residential offers the opportunity to kill two birds with one stone, but outdated zoning regulations greatly complicate this. However, city officials are now proposing a new Midtown South rezoning that would span from 23rd to 42nd Streets and from 5th to 8th Avenue. The rezoning will allow buildings built before 1990 to be converted to apartments as of right, meaning the owner would not require special permits, exceptions, or other approvals. It is estimated that the rezoning will unlock some 20,000 apartments, helping to put a major dent in the city’s housing crisis. 

August 23, 2023: New York City Leaders Push to Close Hate Crime Loopholes, ABC 7
Elected leaders are pushing for state action to close loopholes in existing hate crime laws that are resulting in people not being properly charged when they commit a hateful act. Leaders gathered outside Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun on the Upper East Side, which was recently the target of anti-Semitic graffiti. As the law is currently written, graffiti cannot be prosecuted as a hate crime, despite the clear intent by the perpetrator. City officials said they plan to meet with the Manhattan DA and state level colleagues to introduce legislation updating hate crime laws. 

August 14, 2023: Corner of 42nd and 2nd Avenue Officially Named PIX Plaza, PIX 11
In celebration of PIX 11’s 75th anniversary, City Council Member Keith Powers today unveiled a street sign officially naming the intersection by the station’s longtime home at 220 east 42nd Street as PIX Plaza. “PIX represents the very best in local journalism,” said the Council Member. “I grew up watching PIX and am pleased to be here today to commemorate the station’s decades of service to New York City and wish it another 75 years of continued success.” 

July 24, 2023: New York Launches Plan to Overhaul Scaffolding ‘Sidewalk Sheds’, FOX 5
The city today announced a new set of reforms to improve and modernize scaffolding regulations. Once installed, the signature green structures seem to stick around for years at a time, harming small businesses and diminishing quality of life. The package of reforms announced by Mayor Adams builds upon a series of bills introduced in March by City Council Member Keith Powers and Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine.

July 17, 2023: NYC Councilman Pushes to Monitor Indoor Air Quality, PIX 11 
New York City Council Member Keith Powers is sponsoring a series of bills that will require real-time monitoring and reporting of the air quality across schools, municipal, commercial, and residential buildings. 

July 12, 2023: New York City to Consider Indoor Air Quality Regulations Following COVID-19 and Summer’s Smoky Haze, Wall Street Journal
New York City officials are set to propose indoor air quality regulations in the coming days. The legislation, originally inspired by COVID-19, found new urgency this summer after Canadian wildfires shrouded the East Coast in record-breaking amounts of smoke. Now more than ever, it is crucial that individuals have easily accessible information to the air that they are breathing. 

July 7, 2023: Julie Menin and Keith Powers Outline $35 Million Budget Infusion into UES, Our Town 
Following the end of GY 2024 budget negotiations, Council Members Julie Menin (District 5) and Keith Powers (District 4) announced today that they secured $35 million in investment for Upper East Side neighborhoods. Schools, community groups, and cultural institutions were among the big winners. 

June 8, 2023: New York City Residents Will Soon Have to Compost Their Food Scraps, New York Times 
The City Council has approved a signature Zero Waste Package that will help advance the city’s sustainability and climate goals. The package establishes a citywide composting program that will be active by the end of 2024, as well as requires the set up of easily accessible e-waste recycling centers. The goal is to prevent the millions of tons of organic waste that the city generates each year from ending up in landfills, where they decompose and emit methane, a greenhouse gas 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide. The program will also save the city money as it spends less to ship out trash. 

May 31, 2023: Manhattan Park Reopens with New Flood Protections, Fox 5
Local officials and neighborhood residents gathered today to celebrate the reopening of Stuyvesant Cove Park, which has been closed for several years as part of the East Side Costal Resiliency Project. The renewed park opens up 1,400 feet of prime waterfront space and includes a new floodwall, two floodgates, and several dozen new trees. 

April 30, 2023: On the Record with NYC Councilman Keith Powers: Breaking Down the City Budget, Pix 11  
Council Member Keith Powers, helping to negotiate the FY 2024 budget, joins Dan Manarrino to discuss the state of play and what he expects to see in the final budget.

April 24, 2023: Council Puts Out First Ever Mental Health Roadmap, New York Daily News 
The New York City Council unveiled its first ever Mental Health Roadmap on Monday. The plan will compliment and counterbalance Mayor Adams’ mental health policies, and includes several bills that are expected to pass relatively quickly. 

April 24, 2023: More Mental Health Crisis Respite Centers in NYC Council Plan, City and State  
New Yorkers experiencing a mental health crisis could soon have more options for care. A new bill introduced by Council Member Keith Powers will double the number of Crisis Respite Centers (CRCs) found throughout the city. CRCs are a proven alternative to hospitalization and would help plug critical holes in the city’s mental health infrastructure. 

April 20, 2023: NYC Searching for Effective Measures to Regulate Lithium-Ion Batteries, ABC 7 
New Unregulated lithium-ion batteries can quickly catch fire, and it’s happening in record numbers across New York City. City government is organizing a “whole of government” response that includes robust PSA campaigns to teach people how to safely charge batteries and spot unsafe ones, crackdown on selling unlicensed batteries, and, crucially, working to remove the thousands of unsafe batteries that are already out on the streets. 

April 17, 2023: City Council Considers New Lithium Ion Battery Legislation, NY1
New legislation introduced by City Council Majority Leader Keith Powers takes aim at preventing the increasing number of fires caused by lithium-ion batteries commonly found on e-bikes. The two bills received a hearing today in front of the City Council’s Committee on Fire and Emergency Management. 

March 24, 2023: 2 Midtown Lawmakers Pledge $200k for Homeless Outreach, Patch
Amidst record-breaking levels of homelessness in the city, City Council Members Keith Powers and Erik Bottcher announced in Times Square that they would each allocate $100k to expand homeless outreach efforts. The additional money will support Community First, an innovative outreach organization in the Times Square area that has seen significant success in reducing the homeless population there. The increased funding will allow the nonprofit to expand its service area to other parts of Midtown. 

March 18, 2023: City Council seeking to overhaul scaffolding abuse in NYC, New York Post
A total of nine bills were introduced Thursday seeking to curb the rampant amount of scaffolding on NY sidewalks. “It’s time we reclaim our streets,” said City Council Majority Leader Keith Powers, a prime sponsor of the package. There are more than 9,000 scaffolding sheds throughout the city, with some dating back over a decade. The series of bills will introduce new design standards, raise heights, and create stricter timelines for how long scaffolding can be up. 

March 16, 2023: Local lawmakers look to reduce scaffolding across the city, NY1
A new package of bills has been introduced by City Councilmembers to reform and modernize scaffolding regulations across the city. The bills would ensure that scaffolding goes up and comes down in a timely manner and that it better integrates with buildings while it’s up. Among the several changes would be new design standards on colors and height, legalizing alternatives to scaffolding, better coordinating building inspections, and introducing timelines for how long scaffolding can be up without active construction taking place. 

March 9, 2023: City Council to invest $3 million in arts programs at schools, New York Daily News
Today the City Council announced a $3 million investment to support art programs across 120 schools throughout the 5 boroughs. Schools span all age levels and were selected based on geography, enrollment, and current access to arts education. Advocates lauded the move, noting that close to two-thirds of principals say their school arts funding is insufficient and only 34% of middle school graduates meet a state requirement to take at least two arts classes taught by a certified arts teacher. 

March 6, 2023: Manhattan Lawmakers propose ways to dismantle scaffolding faster, NY1
There are currently more than 4,000 scaffolding structures in Manhattan alone that, if laid out linearly, would stretch to Montreal. These temporary structures often stay up for years at a time, cluttering sidewalks and harming small businesses. A group of Manhattan pols recently released a report, Shed the Shed, examining ways to reform the scaffolding process, and will soon be introducing legislation to turn these recommendations into reality.  

March 2, 2023: Exclusive: New City Council bills introduced to fight battery fires, amNY
City Council Majority Leader Keith Powers will introduce two new bills to fight the growing amount of dangerous fires sparked by lithium-ion batteries, commonly used in e-bikes. One of the bills will establish a buy-back program for riders to swap second-hand, unregulated batteries for a new, safe one at little to no cost. The other will require delivery apps to equip their workers with a fire-proof container so they can safely store their batteries while they’re charging. 

February 28, 2023: Escalators and elevators operated by MTA contractors break down more frequentlyNew York Daily News
A new report issue by Council Member Keith Powers found that subway escalators and elevators operated by MTA contractors are less reliable. The report surveyed accessibility across the system throughout January, and found that broken MTA elevators are returned to service nearly three times as quickly as those by third parties. The study comes as the MTA renews its effort to boost accessibility, and sheds light on the importance of not just expanding accessibility infrastructure, but maintaining what has already been built.

October 12, 2022: New Bill Passed to Ensure NYC Bars Stocked with Anti-Overdose Kits, Eater
Mayor Eric Adams is set to sign Intro 56-A into law today: The bill — which would require the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene to provide harm-reduction tools like naloxone, the opioid reversal, free of charge to nightlife spots, as well as associated training — was first introduced by Council Members Chi Ossé and Keith Powers earlier this year and passed in September.

September 13, 2022: NYC pol pushes to extend sugary-drink warnings at local chains, NYPost
“We have to start taking clear measures to make sure that New Yorkers are informed,” Powers told The Post. “Whether it’s calorie counts, restaurant grades or sodium counts, giving New Yorkers better information … has a positive impact on the decisions they make.”

September 12, 2022: Upper East Side Panel Supports Crosstown Bike Lanes — AgainCity & State
“We all have a shared goal of ensuring that every New Yorker is safe. In the wake of the incident, we respectfully request that DOT take measures to improve safety at this intersection, including revisiting the proposed bike lane on 85th Street, evaluating the utilization of trucks along this route, and installing other safety infrastructure that can prevent another death. We have to act with urgency to prevent another death from occurring on our city streets,” pols Keith Powers and Julie Menin wrote on Sept. 6. 

September 2, 2022: Chi Ossé and Keith Powers Want Narcan Kits in Every BarPaper Magazine
To address the growing need for harm reduction in the city, activists have been shepherding the Narcan Behind Bars program across NYC to increase access to the overdose-reversing drug Naloxone, commonly known as Narcan, and decrease overdose deaths due to Fentanyl-laced drugs.

August 15, 2022: The 2022 Manhattan Power 100City & State
City & State’s Manhattan Power 100 highlights the public officials, business executives, hospital CEOs, community leaders, consultants and reformers who have made the borough what it is – and are making sure it gets back on track this time around. 

August 9, 2022: Criminal Background Checks May Be Banned in N.Y.C. Housing ApplicationsNew York Times
Keith Powers, a councilman from Manhattan and one of the sponsors on the bill, said he hears daily from New Yorkers who are worried about homelessness and making housing more accessible. “Right here we have a tool that can accomplish that,” he said. 

July 13, 2022: City Council member attempting to ban horse-drawn carriages, NY1
A coalition of City Council members are attempting to ban horse-drawn carriages in the city and replace them with electronic alternatives. 

June 30, 2022: In a first, NYC Forms DNA Gun Crimes Unit, Patch
“This is an announcement that I hope is not going to fly under the radar,” said Council Member Powers. “I hope New Yorkers recognize that with this unit we’ll have the better tools that we need to catch those individuals, like the one last night, and to put them away and to get them off our streets.”

June 15, 2022: New NYC Council bills intend to widen access to elite public high schools, NYPost
City Council Members Justin Brannan, Keith Powers and Oswald Feliz will introduce three proposals Thursday to promote test preparation for specialized high schools that rely on the Specialized High School Admissions Test (SHSAT) for entry. 

June 3, 2022: Bill seeks to pause commercial rent tax for three years, Crain’s New York
“Our city’s recovery is contingent on Manhattan,” Powers said. “We need to be doing everything possible to support these establishments as owners work tirelessly to pay bills, bring back customers and keep their doors open.”

June 2, 2022: Exclusive: BP Levine and CM Powers push for municipal public bank in New York CityamNY
Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine and Council Member Keith Powers are introducing two new bills and a resolution to pave the way for a public municipal bank in New York City.

June 1, 2022: NYC lawmakers propose rent tax rollback for Manhattan businesses hit hard by COVIDNew York Daily News
City lawmakers plan to introduce a bill Thursday that would roll back a commercial rent tax on Manhattan businesses — a move designed to provide relief after the pandemic and its economic aftermath left business owners struggling to survive.

June 1, 2022: Adams, Nightlife-Loving Mayor, Offers Plan to ‘Let the People Dance’New York Times
Large establishments that want to offer dancing will still come under review as they apply for a liquor license, and be subject to fire and noise rules and community review, said Keith Powers, the City Council’s majority leader.

May 26, 2022: Warrior poet, Audre Lorde, gets her ‘Way’Amsterdam News
“I am very proud to have sponsored the co-naming of East 68th Street as Audre Lorde Way,” Powers said.

May 25, 2022: In Response to Covid, Manhattan Borough President Seeks to Mandate Improved Air Quality Standards, Gotham Gazette
Levine, who previously served on the City Council and made a name for himself during the pandemic as chair of the Council’s health committee, is working with Council Member Keith Powers, a fellow Manhattan Democrat.

May 7, 2022: Businesses cheer City council bill to suspend liquor license surcharge, NY1
A newly introduced City Council bill, backed by Mayor Eric Adams, seeks to alleviate some of the economic stress that restaurants, bars, liquor and wine stores, and bodegas are feeling.

April 25, 2022: City Council Calls for More Social Service Spending in FY 2023 Budget, TAPinto
Mayor Eric Adams is delivering his proposed $98.5 billion executive budget for Fiscal Year 2023 tomorrow and numerous City Council members discussed today the need to include $1.3 billion in spending on a variety of social programs that reflect the Council’s priorities.

April 16, 2022: Councilman Keith Powers: Tenants ‘insulted’ by proposed rent hikes, NY1
“People are insulted that they’re getting such a potential high rent increase,” Powers said. “We were in a global pandemic, the rent is already too high, and for my constituents and for most New Yorkers, they’re insulted that this would be even a potentially a 9% or 5% or 7% increase at a time when it’s already so difficult.”

March 20, 2022: New bill would require lifesaving Narcan to be stocked at NYC nightclubs and bars, news12
New York City nightclubs and bars may soon be carrying Narcan, with their staff fully trained to use it, if a new bill is passed.

March 7, 2022: St. Pat’s for All celebrates Irish heritage and LGBTQ+ pride, amNY
“This parade has been symbolic for its inclusivity throughout its time here and really at a moment where we need it to embrace and show every New Yorker they can be part of our community,” Powers said. 

February 28, 2022: The 2022 New York City Power 100, City & State New York
The political players thriving in a new era. 

February 8, 2022: NYC Restaurants are still on the brinkNew York Daily News
Without local restaurants like Il Sole, New York City’s economy, workforce and culture will never be the same. We need our federal, state and local partners to take immediate action to save these businesses—and make sure that the Big Apple stays the best city.

February 8, 2022: Council Member Powers: The Stuy Town Guy, City & State
He may be a millennial, but has an old school record collection. 

January 19, 2022: New Plans announced for Park Avenue traffic median redesign, 6sqft
New York City Council Member Keith Powers announced this week the next steps in a plan to bring new life to Midtown’s Park Avenue traffic medians.

December 9, 2021: City Council Speaker candidates try to draw contrasts at NY1 forum, NY1
At a forum hosted by NY1, the only televised such event of the speaker’s race, [the Speaker candidates] agreed with the need for COVID vaccine mandates while challenging Mayor Bill de Blasio’s implementation plan — or lack thereof.

December 2, 2021: The NYC Council Speaker Candidates on their Legislative Priorities, City Limits
“As a speaker, I think the next few years is going to be really about creating an economic recovery that includes every single New Yorker and creating stability for a lot of New Yorkers who have struggled in the last two years during the COVID pandemic,” Powers told City Limits. 

December 2, 2021: The Cold Is Coming. Will New Yorkers Still Eat Outdoors?, New York Times
Keith Powers, a City Council member, and Mayor-elect Eric Adams, who takes office Jan. 1, urged Mr. de Blasio to end the ban, saying in a letter that “many diners still prefer the safety of outdoor dining to dining indoors, and restaurants are still struggling financially to recover.” Mr. Powers introduced legislation on Nov. 23 that would allow propane heaters in the city this winter.

November 30, 2021: NYC Restaurants Get One Step Closer to Firing Up Propane Heaters Again, Eater
NYC restaurants should be able to legally reignite last year’s propane heaters after all, at least according to one local politician. Council member Keith Powers, who represents areas of Manhattan including the Upper East Side, Times Square, and Murray Hill, recently introduced legislation to the City Council in late November that, if passed, would reinstate propane heater usage for outdoor dining.

November 30, 2021:  New bill seeks to bring back propane heaters for outdoor dining in NYC, 6sqft
New York City Council Member Keith Powers last week introduced legislation that would allow the ongoing use of propane heaters for outdoor restaurant dining. The heaters, given the green light last year but banned again in October, helped restaurants stay afloat last winter by keeping diners cozy at Covid-safe outdoor tables.

November 30, 2021: New Legislation, Supported by Eric Adams, Would Allow Propane Heaters for Outdoor Dining, Gothamist
Council member Keith Powers has introduced legislation that would reinstate the use of propane heaters this winter, as well as establish new safety precautions around the operation and handling of them.

November 18, 2021: Eric Adams, lawmaker team to demand de Blasio allow propane dining heaters, NY Post
Adams, the Brooklyn borough president and in six weeks mayor of New York, and Councilman Keith Powers called on de Blasio to “reconsider” his prohibition of the devices, which were allowed on sidewalks during winter 2020.

October 29, 2021: The 2021 New York City Council speaker contenders, City & State
Powers has been touring the city helping colleagues get elected. Now he’ll ask for their vote as a compromise candidate.

October 13, 2021: Could Keith Powers be the consensus speaker candidate?, City & State
Since the primary, Powers has continued to forge relationships with Democratic nominees and returning members. He’s also working those closed-door rooms filled with the power brokers who have historically had influence in choosing the speaker.

October 13, 2021: Beloved NYC chocolate shop’s future at risk amid rent battle, NY Post
City & State’s Manhattan Power 100 highlights the public officials, business executives, hospital CEOs, community leaders, consultants and reformers who have made the borough what it is – and are making sure it gets back on track this time around. 

October 4, 2021: The Manhattan Power 100 2021, City & State
City & State’s Manhattan Power 100 highlights the public officials, business executives, hospital CEOs, community leaders, consultants and reformers who have made the borough what it is – and are making sure it gets back on track this time around. 

Press Releases from the Council Member

Reports from the Council Member