What does the City Council Speaker do?

The City Council speaker serves as the leader of the city’s legislature and is considered to be the second-most powerful elected official in the five boroughs.

But it's not a position that regular New Yorkers get to vote on. The speaker is elected by the 51 members of the City Council, and just 26 votes are needed to secure the post.

The council speaker is given wide control over how the Council spends its budget, including what projects get funded in particular Council districts.

The speaker can be a partner with the mayor, shepherding through legislation the administration wants. Or the speaker can be a thorn in the administration's side, blocking bills the mayor proposes. All of that depends on who holds the post – and what issues can either take center stage or be shelved.