The Rev. Al Sharpton drew a large contingent of elected officials to his annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration at National Action Network’s House of Justice. Headliners included U.S. Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, Mayor Bill de Blasio and U.S. Reps. Jerry Nadler, Hakeem Jeffries, Yvette Clarke and Carolyn Maloney. NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer, Council Speaker and Acting Public Advocate Corey Johnson, NYS Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie and NYS Senate Temporary President and Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins also spoke.
Several of the public advocate candidates participated, including Assembly Members Latrice Walker, Michael Blake and Danny O’Donnell, Council Members Jumaane Williams and Rafael Espinal, former Council speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and Dawn Smalls. Walker, Blake, O’Donnell and Smalls were given speaking slots. Former mayor David Dinkins and former congressman Charles Rangel appeared, sitting onstage in the front row for the full program.
Our full photo gallery is available here.
Today Melissa Mark-Viverito was elected speaker of the New York City Council, prevailing over Council Member Dan Garodnick in what was initially a seven person contest.
Immediately after the council meeting, Speaker Mark-Viverito held her first press conference as speaker. Here is the full video of that press conference.
Six council members were defeated by Melissa Mark-Viverito in the quest to be speaker. We look at what those six said at the council meeting.
Three of those six members made extended remarks. Here are full statements by:
Last night the council speaker forum series rolled into the Talking Transition tent for a forum moderated by Errol Louis and Juan Manuel Benitez and broadcast live on NY1 and NY1 Noticias.
Here’s an insightful question asked by Louis: Describe one piece of legislation that you think speaks most directly to why you would be a good city council speaker? Their answers:
Weprin: Workplace Religious Freedom Act.
Vacca: Pregnancy Rights Act.
Palma: a bill to provide shelters with adequate food and supplies in the event of a future severe storm (not specifically named in her answer).
Mark-Viverito: ICE Out of Rikers.
Garodnick: Tenant Protection Act.
Dickens: a bill centralizing plumbing complaints to the Department of Buildings (not specifically named in her answer).
Update – Corey Johnson:
We spoke with Council Member-elect Corey Johnson about the public forums, the speaker selection process and the progressive bloc’s timing and process.
Update #2 – Full Forum:
Here is the full forum:
Be sure to watch our coverage from the prior forums held in Jackson Heights, the Bronx, Brooklyn and Manhattan. Also watch some lighter moments from this forum here.
This brief clip features six of the contenders for city council speaker, just before a forum broadcast live on NY1. The six are seated onstage, in place just a few minutes before the broadcast is to begin. As last minute tech checks are completed and the clock ticks toward air time, the production team played a few songs, both in the hall and on the sound feed. (The sound was not edited or dubbed for this video.)
Update – Busting Out …:
The pre-forum fun also included a brief dance move by one of the speaker aspirants.
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) →