New York City Council

All of the speaker candidates agree, Crowley will have say in central staff

Ali Garber

Rep. Joe Crowley, leader of the Queens County Democratic Party, will likely have the biggest say in electing the next New York City Council Speaker. And you can expect him to have a say in staffing up the City Council as well.

All of the eight speaker candidates said they would take Crowley’s job recommendations for the City Council’s central staff if they were elected. Though some, like Manhattan City Councilman Corey Johnson, moderated their answers, saying Crowley wouldn’t have the only say.

“I’d take a recommendation from anyone,” Johnson said, “including Joe Crowley and (Bronx Democratic Party leader) Marcos Crespo, and anyone in this room who actually thought there was a good, qualified person who should work at the council.”

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The speaker candidates were asked about it as part of a debate at City & State’s New Council Member’s Retreat, an all-day event meant to prepare newly elected council members for their new position.

Other speaker candidates echoed Johnson’s comments, like Manhattan City Councilman Mark Levine, who praised the council’s central staff and said he would turn to “experts in every corner” for advice, including county leaders. And Brooklyn City Councilman Robert Cornegy Jr. recounted his own experiences working in central staff, agreeing he’d take recommendations from anywhere he could get them. 

But Bronx City Councilman Ritchie Torres kept it short: “I would be delighted to take job recommendations from both Joe Crowley and Marcos Crespo,” he said.

You can hear their answers and watch the whole debate, including questions about where the city budget could be cut and whether they have ever voted against the sentiments of their districts, here: