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City Council

WNYC News

Funds for Council Members Should be Based on Need Not Politics: Report

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

City Council members received up to $578 million in Fiscal Year 2012 to fund construction projects and a variety of non-profits in their districts, according to a new report from the good government group, Citizens Union. Who got what was mostly decided by Council Speaker Christine Quinn — and the distribution, the group contends, was based more on politics than need.

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The Empire

As Expected, City Council Passes Living Wage Bill by Wide Margin

Monday, April 30, 2012

After months of citywide debate, amended bills and two lengthy legislative hearings, city council members officially passed the so-called living wage bill by a 45 to 5 vote. But not before one final bit of drama.

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WNYC News

Council Reevaluates Street Vendor Rules

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The City Council waded into the issue of how much street vendors should be fined for infractions large and small. There was a committee hearing on several bills, including one that would decrease the maximum fine levied on vendors from $1,000 to $250, and another that would revise the escalating fine structure.

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WNYC News

Police Oversight Board Ratifies New Prosecution Powers, but Critics Have Doubts

Monday, April 02, 2012

The Civilian Complaint Review Board unanimously ratified an agreement with the City Council, mayor and police department on Monday to allow it to prosecute all cases of police misconduct that its investigators substantiate. 

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WNYC News

City Council Asks for Quicker Fix for Sinkholes

Monday, April 02, 2012

The upside to this year’s mild winter in New York City is that fewer potholes need to be fixed. But the downside is that it’s still taking too long to fix other problems, according to some City Council members.  

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WNYC News

City Council NYPD Budget Hearing Goes Beyond Dollars and Cents

Thursday, March 15, 2012

A ritual City Council hearing on next year's NYPD budget turned into a heated two hour back and forth between NYPD Commissioner Ray  Kelly and his council critics on everything from the department's stop-and-frisk strategy to its covert surveillance of Muslim-Americans. Kelly was quick to dismiss calls from members of the council for an Inspector General to provide independent oversight of the NYPD.

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WNYC News

City Council Challenges Restaurant Grading System

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

A City Council survey released Wednesday showed 85 percent of restaurant owners say the letter grading system is "Poor" or "Fair." Less than 5 percent say it's "Very Good" or "Excellent."

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Schoolbook

Examining Teacher Rankings

Monday, March 05, 2012

Schools and teachers are still reeling from the release and publication of their performance ratings -- particularly at two Brooklyn schools, where teachers received low ratings despite the schools' otherwise excellent reputations. Also, how Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg's proposed budget could affect child care and after-school programs.

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WNYC News

NYC’s Plan to go Green in the Great Indoors

Sunday, March 04, 2012

The familiar smell of ammonia could soon be dissipating from the hallways of many city-government buildings.

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WNYC News

City Loses First Round in Legal Dispute Over Stricter Shelter Rules

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

A court ruled Tuesday that they city cannot move forward with its requirement for homeless single adults to prove they have no other place to go before being found eligible for shelter.

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Schoolbook

New Tactics on Reading at Middle Schools

Friday, February 10, 2012

To bolster student performance at some of the city’s lowest-performing middle schools, New York City is concentrating on boosting students’ reading and writing skills.The Education Department and City Council have embarked on a plan to train teachers in literacy instruction for adolescents who read at a third- or fourth-grade level.

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WNYC News

Sunlight for City’s Foreclosures, Contracts

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

City Council members approved a bill Wednesday that requires banks to notify the Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) within 15 days of the start of foreclosure proceedings. Banks who fail comply face a fine of up to $1,000 each week until they complete the notification process.

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The Takeaway

English Requirement for Public Office?

Friday, January 27, 2012

By her own admission, Alejandrina Cabrera does not speak English very well. Yet this didn't prevent her from running for city council in San Luis, Arizona, a town where 90 percent of its resident speak Spanish. Former Mayor Guillermina Fuentes — a former friend of Cabrera's but now a political enemy — asked a court to remove her name from the ballet because of "inadequate" language skills. Cabrera subsequently failed a court-ordered English language proficiency test.

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WNYC News

Fight Over City's Homeless Policy Moves to Court

Friday, January 20, 2012

In Manhattan Supreme Court Friday, attorneys for Legal Aid and the City Council argued against a policy that would allow city shelters to impose stricter eligibility rules.

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The Brian Lehrer Show

Revised Living Wage Bill

Friday, January 20, 2012

Letitia James, City Council Member from District 35 in Brooklyn, discusses the living wage bill, paid sick leave and other City Council issues. 

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WNYC News

Manhattan Councilman Wants to Give Stipend to Occupy Wall Street

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Manhattan Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez asked to donate his most recent $5,000 leadership stipend to the Occupy Wall Street movement, according to his letter to the Council Speaker.

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Schoolbook

The Hunt for the Missing Millions

Monday, January 09, 2012

How much should the city be receiving from the the state and federal government as reimbursements for services it provides to special needs students? By the city's own estimates, tens of millions more than it has been receiving. The City Council will hold a hearing on Feb. 28 to try to figure out why city schools are not getting the money they are due.

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Schoolbook

Council Mandates City Alerts on PCB Dangers

Monday, December 19, 2011

The City Council on Monday approved a new law that requires the Department of Education to give parents and school staff regular updates on the status of PCB light fixtures and the city's actions to replace them.

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Schoolbook

A Call for Parent Power. Real Power.

Friday, December 16, 2011

At a City Council hearing on parent involvement, parents were not shy about saying that they do not feel that they are as much of a priority as is frequently stated by Education Department officials, given they have no real say on the Panel for Educational Policy, the community education councils or in school closings.

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WNYC News

Manhattan DA Rips Conceal and Carry Laws After Officer's Shooting Death

Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Manhattan District Attorney spoke out against a proposal that would require New York to adopt conceal and carry laws — invoking the name of Officer Peter Figoski who died at the hands of an illegal gun this week.

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