Mark-Viverito and Garodnick vie for a chance to lead a new City Council

mark viverito dan garodnick city council speaker
Harlem Councilwoman Melissa Mark-Viverito and East Side Councilman Dan Garodnick are vying to be the next City Council Speaker.
Credit: William Alatriste for New York City Council

There are no voting booths in the City Council Chambers.

Yet, noon Wednesday, 51 members will determine the next City Council Speaker, a position many believe to be the second most powerful in City Hall.

Since November, a handful of council members vied for support from their colleagues until two frontrunners emerged: Harlem Councilwoman Melissa Mark-Viverito and East Side Councilman Dan Garodnick.

Mark-Viverito declared victory in December shortly after Mayor Bill de Blasio privately called council members noting his preference for her.

mark viverito de blasio
Councilwoman Mark-Viverito endorsed Mayor Bill de Blasio early on in his campaign and he supported her during the speaker’s race.
Credit: William Alatriste for New York City Council

Co-chair of the council’s Progressive Caucus, Mark-Viverito said she is hoping to make the council more democratic. Namely, she said she supports the creation of an independent legislative drafting unit to make sure the process is equal and transparent, as well as reforms to how discretionary spending is dolled out by the speaker.

Both she and Garodnick pledged to support such rules reform in October.

“There’s been discussion about reforms that many of us would like to see happen, making the council more open,” she said in a brief interview Tuesday. “That’s something that I would push for.”

While the majority of members — 31, including herself — publicly declared support for Mark-Viverito, Garodnick remains defiant.

“It’s not a prescription for City Council independence where the mayor is involved in picking the leadership and that is a concern to many of us,” he said.

dan garodnick
Councilman Garodnick said Mayor de Blasio’s support of a speaker could threaten the City Council’s independence.
Credit: William Alatriste for New York City Council

During the mayoral campaign, de Blasio frequently criticized former Speaker Christine Quinn for her close working relationship with former Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

He said Tuesday that that would not be the case should Mark-Viverito win.

“The council members are going to make the decision,” he said. “And then I know they will be independent and she will be independent.”

De Blasio added that he had similar values to Mark-Viverito, who has a history of speaking out on issues of inequality.

Responding to criticisms of her relationship with the mayor, the councilwoman said she has a proven “trajectory” of independence.

Garodnick remains hopeful he will win. In the last days leading up to the vote, he has tried making his case.

As speaker, the councilman said he would make the city’s economy a focus, as well as the environment.

Garodnick would also “create a more open dynamic where we have more willingness to debate and dissent on issues” than under Quinn, empowering individual council members.

“I would want to put myself in the background,” he said.

Follow Anna Sanders on Twitter @AnnaESanders



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Mutant worms stay sober, even on alcohol

U.S. researchers have developed "mutant worms" that do not get drunk by alcohol, a breakthrough that could lead to new treatment for people trying to quit drinking

Local

K-9 nose helps capture $150K in cocaine at…

A furry, four-legged security agent helped authorities stop an illegal cocaine shipment from sneaking past JFK customs.

National

Minnesota man asked to leave Southwest flight after…

A man and his two sons were asked to leave a Southwest Airlines flight after the man sent a tweet complaining about being treated rudely by a gate agent.

National

Man sues hospital after surprise penis amputation

An Alabama man who went in to a hospital last month for a circumcision awoke after surgery to find his penis had been amputated, his lawyer said on Thursday.

Arts

Scientists recreate world's smallest Monet copy

Scientists have reproduced a famous Impressionist painting using nano-printing, to create what has been described as the world's smallest work of art. Reworked at the…

Television

Jerry Seinfeld is ambidextrous, and other Reddit AMA…

See some of the weirder highlights of Jerry Seinfeld's recent Reddit AMA.

Going Out

Grab a pedestrian and start dancing at What…

As a New Yorker, I’ve mastered the art of focusing my gaze straight ahead. Though it occasionally piques my interest, the absurdities that play out…

Movies

Shia LaBeouf disorderly conduct case pushed to September

A judge on Thursday adjourned until September the disorderly conduct and harassment case against actor Shia LaBeouf, who was charged with disturbing a Broadway theater…

NFL

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player…

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player rankings

U.S. Soccer

NYCFC announce signing of Frank Lampard

The tease of a big signing Thursday by new MLS side NYCFC ended up being one rumored for weeks. England midfielder Frank Lampard agreed to…

NBA

NBA great LeBron James sends 800 cupcake apologies…

By Kim PalmerCLEVELAND (Reuters) - NBA star LeBron James, whose recent return to the Cleveland Cavaliers in his home state of Ohio sparked a frenzy…

NFL

Jerry Reese confident with Giants, skipping countdown clocks…

Last year, Giants GM Jerry Reese installed a countdown clock in the locker room to inspire Big Blue to play in their own stadium for Super Bowl XLVIII.

Tech

Forget Wi-Fi: Li-Fi could be the future

Li-Fi technology – developed by Mexican company Sisoft – is wireless internet connectivity using specialized LED light.

Tech

Weather app Climendo might be the most accurate…

The wait for a truly accurate weather forecast could finally be over thanks to a nifty new app called Climendo.

Tech

Napkin Table puts focus off the phone and…

Michael Jan, a design student at Tunghai University in Taiwan, has invented a serviette-picnic blanket hybrid called the Napkin Table.

Style

Essie's new Color Boutique

Essie launches high-tech kiosks at major airports and malls across the country.