Bills passed by the Council go to the mayor for to be signed into law. The Council can override a veto from the mayor with a vote of at least two-thirds of the members.
The Council also negotiates with the mayor to pass the city budget every year. Each Council member has his or her own discretionary budget to fund local projects and groups. The Council holds oversight hearings through its many committees. And, critically, the body votes to approve or reject development projects that need public approval.
You can think of the Council as like Congress for the City of New York, as this guide from the Council puts it. The city’s Campaign Finance Board created the below video outlining some of the duties and responsibilities of the City Council:
Sumptuous Gifts from a Black Women-Owned Harlem Business
If you want a gift from Harlem to take to a friend’s (now that you’re both fully vaccinated), the Harlem Chocolate Factory on ACP at 139, is a great place to consider.
A lovely 1935-1940 postcard with dapper pedestrians and depression era cars taking in the Triborough bridge with Manhattan in the background.
This painting (then turned into a postcard) shows the fashion (and hats) of the day.
Note the hatless man on the right who appears to be the only one without a suit on a warm, sunny day. And while the Manhattan skyline appears to be generalized, Riverside Church stands out on the left-horizon.
Marcus Garvey Park’s Little Free Library Has Plexiglass
The doors on the 3 Little Free Library’s in Marcus Garvey Park now have plexiglass on them.
Property Tax Reform Coming
Dear New Yorker: The NYC Advisory Commission on Property Tax Reform recently announced three new virtual hearings on its 10 preliminary recommendations, scheduled for Queens on June 9, The Bronx on June 14, and Manhattan on June 16. All three hearings will begin at 6 pm. Flyers with additional details about the hearings are available in multiple languages on the Commission’s website here. On January 31, 2020, the Commission released a Preliminary Report with the following 10 initial recommendations aimed at making the City’s property tax system simpler, clearer, and fairer: Moving coops, condominiums, and rental buildings with up to 10 units into a new residential class along with 1-3 family homes. Using a sales-based methodology to value all properties in the residential class. Assessing every property in the residential class at its full market value. Annual market value changes in the new residential class being phased in over five years at 20 percent per year. Creating a partial homestead exemption for primary resident owners with income below a certain threshold. Creating a circuit breaker within the property tax system to lower the property tax burden on low-income primary resident owners, based on the ratio of property tax paid to income. Replacing the current class share system with a system that prioritizes predictable and transparent tax rates for property owners. Current valuation methods should be maintained for properties not in the new residential class (i.e. rental buildings with more than 10 units, utilities, and commercial). A gradual transition to the new system for current owners, with an immediate transition into the new system whenever a property in the new residential class is sold. Instituting comprehensive reviews of the property tax system every 10 years. The Commission was formed by Mayor de Blasio and City Council Speaker Corey Johnson in 2018 with a mandate to reform NYC’s property tax system while ensuring there’s no reduction in revenue used to fund essential city services. An in-person hearing following the report’s release was initially scheduled for March 12, 2020, in Staten Island, but was later postponed due to COVID-19. However, the hearings resumed virtually this past May, with hearings for Staten Island and Brooklyn on May 11 and May 27, respectively. The Commission is soliciting input from the public on the 10 initial recommendations in the Preliminary Report, specifically whether they would achieve the goals of a fairer system, would be improved by certain modifications, or should be enhanced with additional recommendations. The public can submit feedback by emailing it to [email protected] or uploading it through the Commission’s online portal. The public may also register to testify at the upcoming hearings for Queens on June 9, The Bronx on June 14, and Manhattan on June 16. To do so, speakers must register on the Commission’s website here. Anyone wishing to testify must register no later than 24 hours in advance of the hearing. Following registration, speakers will receive further instructions. Speakers may (but need not) submit their presentations ahead of time.
You can testify at any borough hearing, not just the borough where you reside.To request interpretation services please email [email protected] or call 212-676-3072 by 5 pm three business days before the hearing. For ASL, or to request an accommodation for a disability, please email or call by 5 pm five business days before the hearing. Thank you and, as always, stay safe.
New York City Council
In-Person, Open Mic, Candidates Forums
FORUM ONE – Your chance to see the candidates and to ask them questions
Amid complaints that East Harlem has been neglected by the city government, a forum next week will force candidates for mayor to explain how they would serve the neighborhood if elected.
Monday’s mayoral forum will be hosted by the East Harlem Community Alliance, a collection of more than 200 organizations across the neighborhood. It will start at 6 p.m., broadcast live on Facebook and on Manhattan Neighborhood News.
The six participants include five of the leading candidates in the June 22 Democratic mayoral primary: Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, Comptroller Scott Stringer, former Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Garcia, former finance executive Ray McGuire and the nonprofit leader Dianne Morales.
“East Harlem is one of the most underserved communities in New York City, and so it is vitally important that we hear directly from the candidates how they plan to address the needs of this community,” said David Nocenti, executive director of Union Settlement and chair of the Alliance, in a statement.
It will be moderated by Nocenti and Nilsa Orama, director of the East Harlem Multi-Service Center and chair of Community Board 11.
After Monday’s mayoral forum, a panel of representatives from East Harlem organizations will discuss the issues raised during the event.
Participants will be: Walter Roberts, executive director of Hope Community Inc.; Eric Donovan Estades, C.O.O. and General Counsel of East Harlem Council for Human Services; Ana Chireno, director of government and community affairs for El Museo del Barrio; and Shirley Annan, ministry programs coordinator at Bethel Gospel Assembly.