New York (N.Y.). City Council

Variant names

Hide Profile

Stanley M. Isaacs served as a Council member for Manhattan from around 1954 to 1958.

From the description of Records pertaining to automobile accident compensation plans, 1957-1959. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 122484686

The New York City Council has the power to adopt local laws and reviews the service goals, performance and management of City agencies. In addition to its legislative role and oversight powers over City agencies, the Council approves the City's budget and has decision-making powers over land use issues.

The first city charter granted by the Dutch West India Company to the people of New Amsterdam on February 2, 1653 provided for a schout, two burgomasters and five schepens to represent the people. These officials sat as a court of inferior jurisdicaiton as well as a legislative body. In 1686, the Dongan Charter provided for a body consisting of the Mayor, recorder, six aldermen and six assistants known as the City Council. In 1730, the Montgomerie Charter increased the number of aldermen and assistants by one. In 1830, the Board of Aldermen and the Board of Assistants together formed the Common Council. Each ward of the City was entitled to elect one alderman and one assistant. Laws or ordinances could originate in either board but had to be approved, rejected or amended by the other. Ordinances passed by the two boards were sent to the Mayor for acceptance or rejection. If vetoed by the Mayor and repassed by a majority of both boards, the ordinance becomes a law. The Board of Assistant Aldermen had sole power of impeachment of all city officers not otherwise provided for.

The Board of Assistant Aldermen was abolished in 1853 and replaced by a Board of Councilmen only to reappear as the Board of Assistant Aldermen in 1868. In 1873, the Board of Aldermen consisted of 15 members elected from the city at large and the Board of Assistant Aldermen consisted of one member from each assembly district. Together as the Council, the Boards had no power to impose taxes or assessments, borrow money, contract debts, lease real estate or grant franchises except under restricted conditions.

In 1874, all powers and duties of the Board of Supervisors of the City and County of New York were conferred on the Board of Aldermen. Beginning in 1875, the Board of Assistant Aldermen was abolished and the Board of Aldermen constituted the Common Council. The Council now regulated street traffic, sidewalks, noises, street beggars, firearms and fireworks, licensing of cartmen, weights and numerous other functions. The annual election of the President of the Board of Aldermen was provided for in Chapter 74 of the laws of 1884. Prior to this time the president had been elected by the Board from its own members. In 1901, the city was divided into 73 aldermanic districts and one alderman was elected from each district. The City Council President was elected from the city at large. In 1905, the power to grant franchises was transferred to the Board of Estimate and Apportionment.

Home rule was established in New York City in 1924. Legislative power was vested in a two-chambered body known as the Municipal Assembly, of which the Board of Estimate and Apportionment formed the upper house and the Board of Aldermen formed the lower house. The Board of Aldermen had the right to pass local laws concerning property and affairs of government. Local laws could originate in either house but had to pass both houses by a majority and then recieve the approval of the Mayor.

The 1938 Charter vested full legislative authority in the City Council with control over certian functions still subject to approval by the Board of Estimate. All local laws amending the charter, modifying the duties of city officers, or reducing taxes required the approval of the Board. Control over pedestrian and vehicular traffic was transferred to the Police Department. Power over the budget was strictly limited to review and subject to the Mayor's veto. The City Council also reviewed the capital outlay budget.

Starting in 1949, one City Councilman was elected from each state senate district, abolishing the practice of proportional representation that began in 1938. The 1963 Charter provided for one councilman from each state senate district within the city and for two councilmen-at-large from each borough. This raised the number of councilmen to 35. The 10 councilmen-at-large were first elected at the November 1963 election. Redistricting under Local Law 55 of 1965 increased the number of councilmen to 37.

The President of the Council is elected by the city at large for a term of 4 years. The President does not cast a vote on ordinances except in case of a tie. The President may be removed by the Governor only on charges after a hearing. In case of a vacancy, the Speaker and Majority Leader of the Council acts as president for the remainder of the term, but when acting as president, the Majority Leader retains his/her right to vote.

The Charter provides that the President of the Council shall be acting mayor whenever the mayor is sick or absent from the city and shall act as mayor, in case of a vacancy in that office, for the remainder of the term.

Presently, in 1990, as a result of the new City Charter, current Council members serve two-year terms. In 1991, following the redrawing of district lines based on the 1990 Census count, a special election will be held to increase the Council to 51 members, each of whom will represent about 139,000 people. In 1993, a review of the new districts will be performed and a third election held. Those members elected to the Council in 1993 will then serve the regular 4-year term. A Council member must be a U.S. citizen and a resident of the Councilmanic District from which he/she is elected.

From the description of Agency history record. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 122517003

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Guide to the Simon W. and Sophie Gerson Papers, 1925-2001 Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives
referencedIn Guide to the Harry Laidler Papers, 1902-1970 Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives
referencedIn Davis, Benjamin J. (Benjamin Jefferson), 1903-1964. Benjamin J. Davis papers, 1949-1964. New York Public Library System, NYPL
referencedIn Goldberg, Louis Palatnik, b. 1888. Papers, 1929-1957. Duke University Libraries, Duke University Library; Perkins Library
creatorOf Alter, Susan D. The Papers of Susan D. Alter, 197?-199? Brooklyn College
creatorOf Williamsburgh (Brooklyn, N.Y.). Common Council. Minutes, 1852-1854. Municipal Reference & Res Center/Doris
creatorOf Clarke, Una. The Una Clarke Papers, 1983-2002 1992-2002 Brooklyn College
referencedIn Earle, Genevieve B. Papers, 1909-1949. Campbell University, Wiggins Memorial Library
referencedIn Harrison, Julia, 1920-. Councilwoman Julia Harrison Records, 1942-2001, 1968-2001. Queens Borough Public Library
creatorOf New York (N.Y.). Mayor. Tavern accounts, 1728 and 1732. Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Library
referencedIn Benjamin J. Davis papers, 1949-1964 The New York Public Library. Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Manuscripts, Archives and Rare Books Division.
referencedIn New York Shakespeare Festival records. Series VI: Development Office, 1954-1989 The New York Public Library. Billy Rose Theatre Division.
referencedIn Guide to the Harry Laidler Papers, 1902-1970 Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives
referencedIn Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters. Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters records, 1920-1968 (bulk 1950-1968). Library of Congress
referencedIn Queens Borough Public Library. Long Island Division. Government - politics, New York City City Council / [compiled by Queens Borough Public Library, Long Island Division]. Queens Borough Public Library
creatorOf Williamsburgh (Brooklyn, N.Y.). Common Council. Committee reports, 1853-1855. Municipal Reference & Res Center/Doris
creatorOf New York (N.Y.). City Council. Agency history record. Municipal Reference & Res Center/Doris
referencedIn Goldberg, Louis Palatnik, b. 1888. Papers, 1926-1957. Duke University Libraries, Duke University Library; Perkins Library
referencedIn Carol Bellamy Papers, 1977-1985 Fales Library & Special Collections
referencedIn Miriam Sigel Friedlander: New York City Council and Women's Issues Papers, undated Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives
referencedIn Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters Records 1920-1968 (bulk 1950-1968) Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
referencedIn Stanley M. Isaacs papers, 1889-1962, 1930-1949 New York Public Library. Manuscripts and Archives Division
creatorOf New York (N.Y.). City Council. Letter, 1826 April 28, New York, [New York] to Thomas Jefferson, n.p. William & Mary Libraries
creatorOf Isaacs, Stanley M. (Stanley Myer), 1882-1962. Stanley M. Isaacs papers, 1889-1962, bulk (1930-1949). New York Public Library System, NYPL
referencedIn O'Connor, Frank D. Papers, 1966-1968. Campbell University, Wiggins Memorial Library
creatorOf New York (N.Y.). City Council. Records pertaining to automobile accident compensation plans, 1957-1959. Municipal Reference & Res Center/Doris
referencedIn Guide to the Simon W. and Sophie Gerson Papers, 1925-2001 Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives
referencedIn Earle, Genevieve. Papers, 1935-1950. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
creatorOf Brooklyn (New York, N.Y.). Common Council. Minutes and committee reports, 1800-1897. Municipal Reference & Res Center/Doris
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Alter, Susan D. person
associatedWith Brooklyn (New York, N.Y.). Common Council. corporateBody
associatedWith Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters. corporateBody
associatedWith Clarke, Una. person
associatedWith College of William and Mary. Swem Library. Jefferson Project. corporateBody
associatedWith Davis, Benjamin J. (Benjamin Jefferson), 1903-1964. person
associatedWith Earle, Genevieve B. person
associatedWith Friedlander, Miriam Sigel, 1914-2009 person
associatedWith Gerson, Simon W. person
associatedWith Goldberg, Louis Palatnik, b. 1888. person
associatedWith Harrison, Julia, 1920- person
associatedWith Isaacs, Stanley M. (Stanley Myer), 1882-1962. person
correspondedWith Jefferson, Thomas, 1743-1826 person
associatedWith Laidler, Harry Wellington, 1884-1970. person
associatedWith New York (N.Y.). Mayor. corporateBody
associatedWith New York Shakespeare Festival corporateBody
associatedWith O'Connor, Frank D. person
associatedWith Papp, Joseph person
associatedWith Queens Borough Public Library. Long Island Division. corporateBody
associatedWith United States. corporateBody
associatedWith Williamsburgh (Brooklyn, N.Y.). Common Council. corporateBody
associatedWith Williamsburgh (Brooklyn, N.Y.). Common Council. corporateBody
Place Name Admin Code Country
Erie Canal (N.Y.)
New York (State)--New York
New York (N.Y.)
Subject
Traffic accidents
City Council
City council members
Legislative bodies
Local government
Municipal government
Reparations
Occupation
Activity
Legislating

Corporate Body

Active 1852

Active 1854

Information

Permalink: http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6f52gbm

Ark ID: w6f52gbm

SNAC ID: 57604396