Wednesday evening, Professor Doug Muzzio moderated a council speaker forum at Baruch College. Seven contenders participated; Jumaane Williams, Dan Garodnick, Melissa Mark-Viverito, Annabel Palma, James Vacca, Mark Weprin and Inez Dickens.
Following the forum, we spoke with Council Member Karen Koslowitz about the race, how it’s shaping up with her fellow council members and when she expects the winner to be identified. Koslowitz, a Queens Democrat, was elected to office in 2009 and re-elected this year. She previously served on the Council from 1991-2001.
(Lots more video on the full page.) Continue reading Speaker Selection: The Muzzio Edition (Updated x 2)
Last night, city council speaker contenders met in the Mt. Eden section of the Bronx for the second in a series of five public forums. Council members Jimmy Vacca, Annabel Palma, Mark Weprin, Melissa Mark-Viverito, Dan Garodnick and Inez Dickens appeared before an energized crowd, in a discussion moderated by BronxTalk radio host Gary Axelbank.
The series of public forums is unprecedented for selection of the city council speaker. The city council speaker is not elected by voters, but is selected by the 51 members of the city council without any direct role for the public. Several newly elected council members, including Ritchie Torres and Helen Rosenthal, conceived and organized the series in an effort to change, or at least expand, the way the speaker is selected. We spoke with Torres and Rosenthal about their purpose in doing so and whether the forums have, so far, met their goals. Continue reading Speaker Selection: The Bronx Edition (Updated)
On Thursday evening, five City council members hoping to succeed Christine Quinn as Council Speaker participated in a public forum. It was an unusual event, held for an office that only the 51 members of the next council will vote for yet mirroring the format of forums held for countless public offices.
We spoke with each of the five participating council members: Dan Garodnick, Mark Weprin, Annabel Palma, Jimmy Vacca and Melissa Mark-Viverito. I asked each the same question: what do they think of the Speaker Quinn/Mayor Bloomberg relationship and do they see it as a good model their speakership and relationship with Mayor de Blasio. Here’s how each responded.