Adams, the Council’s first Black Speaker, will continue to lead historic women-majority and most diverse legislative body in city history, naming first Latina Majority Leader and all women in top leadership positions

City Hall, NY – Today at the New York City Council’s Charter Meeting, Council Members re-elected Speaker Adrienne E. Adams to lead the legislative body for a second two-year term. Speaker Adams will continue to lead the most diverse and women-majority New York City Council, which includes four new Council Members: Yusef Salaam of Council District 9, Kristy Marmorato of Council District 13, Chris Banks of Council District 42, and Susan Zhuang of Council District 43.

Council Members Diana Ayala and Selvena N. Brooks-Powers will continue to serve in their roles as the Council’s Deputy Speaker and Majority Whip, respectively. Council Member Amanda C. Farías was named Majority Leader, the first Latina to hold the position. It places another member that is not in their final term in the Council on the leadership team to prepare the institution for its next generation and expand representation. It also marks the first time the top leadership positions of the New York City Council will all be women, and all are women of color. 

“Leading this historic City Council is the honor of a lifetime, and I am grateful for the opportunity to continue serving New York City and our diverse communities,” said Speaker Adrienne Adams. “I’m proud of the work we have accomplished together over the past two years to address long-standing issues through the lens of equity, and I look forward to building on this momentum to continue delivering for all. I thank our returning members for their support and commitment, and I welcome our new members who bring their diverse experiences and expertise to this legislative body. Together, this Council will continue to confront the challenges facing our city and make meaningful changes that prioritize the health, safety, and well-being of every New Yorker.”

See here for a copy of the Charter Meeting remarks, as prepared for delivery.

Under the leadership of Speaker Adams during the previous term, the New York City Council confronted major crises facing the city by advancing solutions and prioritizing equity through legislation and the budget. These include:

Prioritizing Women’s Health + Public Health Equity

  • Enacted historic NYC Abortion Rights Act, 12 pieces of legislation that safeguard and expand access to abortion and reproductive health care (2022).
  • Passed 11-bill legislative package to address persistent disparities in maternal and birthing health that disproportionately impacts the health and safety of Black and Latina women and birthing people (2022)
  • Delivered $1 million Council allocation to provide access to abortion health care for people in need of financial assistance/support – the largest municipal funding commitment of any city in the nation to support direct access to abortion care (Began in 2022)
  • Passed a bill to confront the historic racial disparities in treatment of sickle cell disease that primarily affects people of African descent (2023).
  • Released the Mental Health Roadmap, first in May, to address existing challenges in the City’s mental healthcare landscape and strengthen the infrastructure and investments in evidence-based solutions to improve mental health outcomes for New Yorkers. 
    • The legislation affiliated with the first part of the roadmap was passed in June and July 2023, with an initial focus on increasing access to community-based preventative services and addressing the mental health workforce shortage. 
    • As part of the second part on the roadmap, released in November, legislation to address the mental health needs of veterans passed in December.
  • Passed a package of legislation building on the previous efforts to protect children from the dangers of lead poisoning, including relating to lead-paint investigations and remediation in housing units
  • Passed several bills to improve public health, including bills to increase access to vision testing for low-income individuals and require added sugar notifications for menu items in chain restaurants. (2023)
  • Passed three pieces of legislation to address addiction and overdoses, including bills to establish a community-based working group to create plans that respond to the crisis holistically and with local solutions, prevent opioid overdoses in nightlife establishments, and track spending from the Opioid Settlement Fund, respectively. (2022)
  • Passed several bills that expand education on and access to menstrual products in city facilities and change terminology to be gender inclusive with the goal of making the city safer, healthier, and more just for every New Yorker who menstruates (2023)

Addressing the Housing & Homelessness Crises

  • The Council approved nearly 60 land use projects that will produce more than 14,500 units of housing,67% of which are affordable. Major projects include:
    • Innovation QNS – Over 3,100 housing units, 45% of which are affordable, and over 800 units reserved for extremely or very low-income households. It is the largest private affordable housing project in the history of Queens. Amenities include two acres of open space for the neighborhood, as well as community spaces for non-profit organizations, small businesses and startups. Additionally, the project includes a commitment of $2 million to fund free legal advocacy services for low-income tenants in the surrounding area to help protect against housing discrimination, displacement, and harassment (2022).
    • Hallets North – 1,340 total housing units, 335 of which are permanently affordable (the majority for extremely and very low-income households). Amenities include commercial space, community facilities, and public open space, including a waterfront esplanade. The development also provides $1 million to support NYCHA’s nearby Astoria Houses (2022).
    • Innovative Urban Village – 11 new mixed-use buildings with 1,975 affordable residential units, commercial areas, a performing arts center, and open space. Over 1,100 units are reserved for extremely or very low-income households (2022).
    • 1460-1480 Sheridan Boulevard – 970 units of 100% affordable housing. Amenities include commercial space, bike, and car parking spaces (2023).
    • 2560 Boston Road– 333 affordable housing units. Amenities include a new supermarket and community facility space (2023).
    • 521 East Tremont Avenue– 205 affordable units, including 61 units of supportive housing, with ground floor commercial and community space (2023).
  • Passed CityFHEPS bill package that removes barriers to the rental assistance program that helps move people out of the shelter system more expeditiously and prevent evictions to keep people in their homes during eviction and homelessness crises (2023)
  • Speaker released Planning and Land Use Guidelines Toolkit and Housing Agenda with a proposal to pass Fair Housing Framework legislation that would require targeted housing goals for each community district, ensuring that every neighborhood contributes fairly to affordable housing development production (2022).
  • Passed Speaker Adams’ Fair Housing Framework Legislation, establishing targeted housing production goals for each Community District to help hold every neighborhood accountable for their role in equitably addressing the city’s housing crisis, with a focus on affordable housing. The legislation also creates a citywide fair housing assessment and plan every five years, a strategic equity framework that would report on obstacles and strategies to achieve the housing targets, and focuses on anti-displacement resources, and neighborhood investments for under-served communities (2023).
  • Approved several bills designed to provide assistance for homeowners, including establishing a program to provide financial assistance for the purchase and installation of backwater valves, the creation of an office of the homeowner advocate within HPD, and eliminating permit and filing fees for green building projects (2022 and 2023).
  • In FY23 budget:
    • $237 million to expand CityFHEPS to fully fund and increase the rental voucher rate to match Section 8 levels
    • $171.3 million to expand funding for Drop-in Centers, Safe Haven Beds, and Stabilization Beds to provide effective alternatives to congregate shelters for unhoused New Yorkers
    • $90 million to protect working and middle-class homeowners with a property tax rebate
  • In FY24 budget:
    • Secured a historic $4 billion in capital funding for affordable housing, including $2.5 billion for HPD and $1.5 billion for NYCHA in the FY24 budget.
    • Allocated $300 million for housing and tenant assistance programs, including CityFHEPS, Partners in Preservation, and Emergency Housing Voucher Assistance Payments.
    • Secured a $46 million increase (and $30 million baselined) in support for legal service provides, including Right to Counsel
    • Reversed $32.9 million in cuts to NYCHA’s Vacant Unit Readiness Program to expedite availability of vacant apartments
    • Funded $11 million in HPD programs to support homeowners, including HelpDesk, HomeFirst, and HomeFix.

Advancing Public Safety for All

  • Passed the “Support Survivors” package during Domestic Violence Awareness Month, two pieces of legislation requiring city agencies to establish a housing stability grant assistance program for crime survivors and create an online portal and resource guide for survivors (2022).
  • Created a new Speaker’s Initiative of $5.1 million in Council funding – Community Safety and Crime Victims Services Initiative – to provide each Council district with $100,000 to expand crime victim services and community safety programs (Began in 2022).
  • Established New York State’s first four Trauma Recovery Centers in New York City to support underserved victims of crime and stop cycles of crime in neighborhoods experiencing high rates of violence (Began in 2022).
  • Approved several pieces of legislation addressinggun violence, examining the flow of illegal firearms, defining Times Square as a sensitive area, requiring City training and operational support for violence prevention programs in the Crisis Management System, and evaluation of criminal justice programs. (2022).
  • Approved 6 pieces of legislation addressing fire safety, in the wake of the Twin Parks fire that took the lives of 17 New Yorkers, including eight children (2022).
  • Passed 6 bills to begin addressing the fire hazard posed by lithium-ion battery-powered devices, including city’s first battery swap program to remove uncertified batteries from circulation (2023).
  • Approved several bills with the goal of safely reducing the population of individuals detained on Rikers Island, ensuring people make it to court so lengths of stay aren’t inflated, protecting TGNCNBI detainees, banning solitary confinement and increasing transparency (2023).
  • Reappointed the Independent Rikers Commission to strengthen the roadmap to closing Rikers and work with stakeholders on successful implementation (2023).
  • Passed several police transparency laws that provide more complete data, facilitate increased trust, and enhance accountability to improve public safety.
  • Passed bills to advance street safety for all road users, including bills to require DOT to implement daylighting at 100 dangerous intersections, install traffic calming devices at senior pedestrian zones, prioritize equity in street safety investment, report on motor vehicles with unreadable license plates, creating off-street parking for tractor trailers, developing a map of bike infrastructure conditions, and reducing unnecessary bureaucracy in the processes for bike lane projects (2023).
  • Enacted four bills related to citywide swim access and safety, following through on a proposal outlined in the Speaker’s most recent State of the City address. The bills established water safety instruction to New York city’s public school children at no cost and mandated a DOHMH report on drowning deaths in the city, among other things (2023). 
  • Secured $86 million in FY24 budget for Crisis Management System (CMS) and violence prevention programs
  • Secured $121.2 million in FY24 budget for Alternatives to Incarceration and Detention programming
  • Secured $5 million in the FY23 city budget to prevent and respond to hate crimes for community-based programs.

Expanding Opportunities for New Yorkers

  • Passed Industrial Development Strategic Plan Law to require creation of a citywide plan for investing in the industrial sector to cultivate its growth for our city to achieve its green energy goals and expand equitable economic opportunities for New Yorkers (2023).
  • Created first-ever CUNY Reconnect Initiative in FY23 through a $4.4 million pilot program to bring back 10,000 working-age students who left CUNY with credits but no degree – majority of whom are people of color and women. The program surpassed its goal in the inaugural year, bringing back over 16,000 former students to CUNY. It was expanded in the FY24 budget to $5.8 million and the program has enrolled over 26,000 students in total thus far, the majority of whom are women and people of color (2022-2023).
  • Enacted 8 childcare bills to expand access for working families and advance professional opportunity for women (2022).
  • Passed a 5-bill package to increase thediversity of FDNY’s firefighters through recruitment and retention policies that support women and people of color being firefighters – the strongest effort to date by the City to address historic discrimination and lack of diversity in the FDNY (2022).
  • Passed legislation to expand access to Civil Service careers by establishing a Civil Service Ambassador Program, codifying the Public Service Corps, and creating pipelines to the civil service for marginalized communities and populations (2022).
  • Approved legislation to expand opportunities for persons with disabilities, relating to workforce development (2023).
  • Passed legislation requiring SBS to provide information on Community Development Financial Institutions, which can provide M/WBEs with access to capital (2023).
  • Created a new permanent outdoor dining program that is accessible and inclusive to more restaurants, while addressing concerns for more orderly and uniform regulation (2023).
  • Provided legal authorization for the City to establish pilot programs to support guaranteed income programs for eligible low-income families and individuals (2023).
  • Amended the City’s Human Rights Law to prohibit discrimination in employment, housing, and public accommodations on the basis of a person’s height or weight (2023).
  • Improved the Salary Transparency Law for successful implementation, helping to give clarity to job seekers and help eliminate inherent bias in setting employee salaries (2022).
  • Secured $75 million in baselined annual funding for Fair Fares to support subsidized public transit access for low-income New Yorkers in FY23 and expanded the program to $95 million baselined with wider eligibility for low-income New Yorkers in FY24.

Creating a Greener, More Sustainable City

  • Passed legislation to make New York City the largest municipality in the nation to require its fleet to consist of zero emission vehicles, exceeding the goals of the United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP27) in its international agreement (2023).
  • Approved the Zero Waste Act,” a legislative package that aims to advance the City’s efforts to divert organic waste from landfills, fight climate change and a create a more sustainable future (2023).    
  • Decreased Unnecessary Plastic Waste by passing the “Skip the Stuff” bill to reduce the provision of plastic eating utensils, condiment packets, napkins and extra containers in food orders, and “water bottle” legislation requiring sporting venues to allow fans to enter with reusable beverage containers (2023).
  • Enacted multiple bills pertaining to solar and green roofs, the tree canopy and urban forest plan (2023).
  • Passed legislation to expedite the phase out of oil grade No. 4, the most harmful heating oil still used in city buildings, to create cleaner air and reduce negative health outcomes that are especially felt in environmental justice communities (2023).
  • Enacted legislation to require the city’s first redesign of its truck route network in over four decades, with the goals of improving safety and health outcomes, increasing visibility, and reducing traffic congestion (2023).
  • Passed legislation to measure and reduce noise pollution, as well as cap compensation on civilian noise complaints, with the goal of curbing New Yorkers’ exposure to excessive noise, which affects quality of life and has been linked to negative health outcomes and eliminate complaint incentives that are harmful to small businesses (2023)

Budget Highlights:

  • FY23:
    • $60 million secured for long-sought wage adjustments to nonprofit human service workers
    • $277 million for the Summer Rising Program to provide free academic enrichment to students
    • $170 million to expand the Summer Youth Employment Program to a record 100K slots
    • $237 million to expand CityFHEPS to fully fund and increase the rental voucher rate to match Section 8 levels
    • $171.3 million to expand funding for Drop-in Centers, Safe Haven Beds, and Stabilization Beds to provide effective alternatives to congregate shelters for unhoused New Yorkers
    • $90 million to protect working and middle-class homeowners with a property tax rebate
    • First-time baselined allocation of $75 million for Fair Fares to support subsidized public transit access for low-income New Yorkers
    • $44.1 million for Parks Department Maintenance and Summer Workforce
    • $40 million to increase investments for cultural institutions
    • $22 million to support citywide 6-days/week, twice daily litter basket service pickup
    • $10 million for a new program to provide child care for undocumented children
    • Budget Transparency: Added a historic 18 new Units of Appropriation (U/As) as part of budget negotiations, including first-ever U/As added by Council to NYPD with six additions (nearly 50% increase in the departments total), four additions in DOC, four in HRA, and one each in DYCD, DOB, DOE, and ACS. The Council also secured terms and conditions on NYPD overtime reporting, DOC reporting on sick leave and unstaffed posts, information on city doula services, among other areas.
  • FY24:
    • $4 billion in capital funding for affordable housing, including $2.5 billion for HPD and $1.5 billion for NYCHA
    • $100 million baselined due to an additional $40 million for wage adjustments for nonprofit human service workers, plus an additional $50 million in the next fiscal year.
    • $46 million increase (and $30 million baselined) in support for legal service provides, including Right to Counsel
    • $20 million addition to the existing baseline for a total of $95 million baselined, with expanded eligibility for Fair Fares to serve more low-income New Yorkers
    • $32.9 million to reverse cuts to NYCHA’s Vacant Unit Readiness Program to expedite availability of vacant apartments
    • $47 million for supportive programs for K-12 students, including Mental Health Continuum, Community Schools, Immigrant Family Engagement, Restorative Justice, Arts Education, and Shelter-Based Coordinators
    • $16 million for Promise NYC to provide early childhood education services for undocumented families ($6 million increase)
    • $15 million to convert 1,800 school-day/school-year 3-K seats to extended day/extended year to better match supply with demand
    • $22.5 million for the Work, Learn, and Grow program to support young people in their careers
    • $32.4 million in restoration for CUNY programs, including Accelerate, Complete, and Engage (ACE), Accelerated Study in Associate Programs, CUNY Reconnect, and Academic Advisors
    • $6.7 million for Adult Literacy programs
    • $86 million for Crisis Management System (CMS) and violence prevention programs
    • $121.2 million for Alternatives to Incarceration and Detention programming
    • Budget Transparency: Adopted 11 new Units of Appropriation and a record 62 Terms and Conditions, including spending on care for asylum seekers, emergency contracting, DOE payments to early childhood providers, and Restorative Justice programming