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Monday, July 25, 2011

"SAY" Advocacy Training Review: New York City Policy

Review of New York City Policy Making

New York City Mayor:

Michael R. Bloomberg; for more information:

New York City Council:

· The New York City Council is the law-making body of New York City.

· The City Council has 51 members, each one representing one of the council districts.

· Main responsibilities of the City Council:

1. To monitor the operation and performance of city agencies

· The Council holds regular oversight hearings.

2. To make land use decisions

· This includes the power to approve zoning changes, housing and urban renewal plans, community development plans, and disposition of city-owned property.

3. To approve the city’s budget

· The mayor proposes the budget for the coming year, but the Council has the final approval power.

4. Legislation

· The Council makes and passes laws that govern the City of New York.

· See the “Legislative Process” below for more information.

5. Committees

· Most of the legislative work is done in committee.

· Each Council Member serves on at least three standing committees, sub- and select committees and panels.

The Speaker of the Council:

Christine C. Quinn; for more information:

· The Council Speaker is elected by the Council Members.

· The Speaker’s primary role is to obtain a consensus on major issues.


NYC Council Black, Latino, and Asian Caucus

· The BLA Caucus meets to make sure that issues of concern to the City’s Black, Latino, and Asian communities are being addressed.

NYC Council Women’s Caucus

· The goal of the Women’s Caucus is to advance women’s rights and promote equality in New York City.

Legislative Process: Making a Bill into a Local Law

· A bill is filed by a Council Member with the Council Speaker’s Office.

· The bill is introduced to the Council during a Stated Meeting and then referred to the appropriate committee(s).

· In committee the bill may be debated and amended.

· The committee votes on the final version of the bill.

· If passed in committee, the bill is sent to the Council for more debate and a final vote.

· If the bill receives a majority of the vote in Council (at least 26 members), it is sent to the Mayor.

· The Mayor has 30 days to either sign or veto the bill.

· If the Mayor signs the bill, it immediately becomes a local law.

· If the Mayor vetoes the bill, it sent back to the City Council.

-The City Council has 30 days to override the Mayor’s veto.

-Overriding the veto (to make the bill into a law) requires two-thirds of the Council vote (at least 34 members).

· If the Mayor neither signs nor vetoes the bill within 30 days of receiving it from the Council, the bill automatically becomes a local law.

*Legislation pending in the Council is referred to as an “Introduction”.

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