NEW YORK — At a recent forum, City Council speaker candidates Diana Ayala, Justin Brannan, Gale Brewer, Francisco Moya, Keith Powers and Carlina Rivera agreed that municipal voting rights should be expanded to lawful permanent residents.

“Will you commit to passing the ‘Our City, Our Vote’ bill next year as speaker of the council?” asked moderator and New York state director of the Working Families Party Sochie Nnaemeka. “Keep your hands up.”

A seventh speaker contender, Adrienne Adams, voiced support at an earlier event.

“We are a multi-culturally inclusive body, so we’re talking about the people that I support, that I represent,” the Queens Democrat said.

With those jostling to lead the 51-member legislative body aligned on many progressive policies, securing the 26 colleague votes needed to win could mean outreach to moderates and conservatives.

What You Need To Know

  • Seven declared candidates have been courting colleagues all over political spectrum

  • Support could well come in blocs, including from conservative and progressive members

  • City Council speaker vote set to come in early January

At the forum the Working Families Party co-hosted, just Ayala and Rivera raised their hands to signal opposition plainclothes policing units. The four others — Brannan, Brewer, Moya and Powers — were signaling that they support bringing back the disbanded NYPD anti-crime unit in another form.

Mayor-elect Eric Adams had made reconstituting it as an anti-gun unit a centerpiece of his policing platform.

He says he wants to stay out of the speaker race, but he could be an influence nonetheless.

As could the council’s expanding — albeit still small — GOP caucus. Republican Council Member Joe Borelli, the likely next minority leader, tells NY1 that six speaker candidates have reached out to him. He has not decided who he’ll support.

And in place of — or in addition to — reaching across the aisle, a winning strategy could be forming alliances with fellow left-leaning legislators.

Council Member-elect Tiffany Cabán tells NY1 she sees the internal contest as a chance to build community, create a bloc and establish leverage.

She is still undecided on who she’ll back.


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