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Keith Powers '01: Named #1 on The Best New York City Lawmakers

Friday, January 31, 2020   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Michael Graziano
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The top five based on City & State's calculations.


Laws enacted: 7, #9 (tie)

Bills introduced: 14, #16 (tie)

Attendance: 98.21%, #4

Constituent response: Yes

Communications response: Yes

The best New York City Council member of 2019 is (drumroll, please) … actually two lawmakers: Keith Powers and Helen Rosenthal! How did we end up with a tie? It’s a little complicated. Powers was initially ranked No. 7 on our list, with his lack of a response to our request for a headshot keeping him out of the top 5. While we found no evidence of ever receiving a headshot from his office – our test to assess responsiveness to the media – Powers’ staff subsequently provided email evidence that they had actually responded to our request, even though we never received it, possibly due to a technical problem. Since we had already designated Rosenthal as No. 1, we decided to recognize both lawmakers as sharing the top spot on our list this year – even though Powers technically has the better score. 

Powers, a first-term lawmaker from Manhattan, chairs the Criminal Justice Committee, which has played a key role in the debate over closing Rikers Island and replacing the complex with borough-based jails. He also spearheaded a new 2019 law limiting the operation of horse carriages on hot days and pushed for an expanded inmate bill of rights.