About

NYC Councilmatic is a tool for understanding and tracking what’s happening in New York City Council.

This site connects NYC residents to local city council offices, for greater online public dialogue about issues in their communities.

Councilmatic helps you:

  • Keep up with what your local representatives is up to
  • See the schedule of public events
  • Track and comment on issues you care about

NYC Councilmatic is free, non-profit, and non-partisan and the easiest way to access official New York City Council information.



What is New York City Council, and how does it work?

New York City Council is the lawmaking body of New York City.

The Council is made up of 51 council seats, with each representative typically serving a four year term.

The Council is an equal partner with the Mayor in governing New York City. Its responsibilities include:

Below are the primary types of city council activity.

Type Description
Introduction

A proposal for a NYC local law.
Ways for an introduction to become a local law:

  • the Council approves & the Mayor approves,
  • the Mayor vetoes & the Council achieves 2/3 vote within 30 days, or
  • the Council approves & the Mayor does not act within 30 days

Resolution

An expression of the Council's opinion on public policy issues that may or may not fall under City jurisdiction. Resolutions can be used to:

  • support/oppose federal or state legislation,
  • commemorate people and events, or
  • adopt budget and land use items

SLR (State Legislation Resolution)

A special resolution that serves as an official home rule request from the Council to the State Senate and State Assembly to pass pending legislation in the New York State Legislature. The initial request for a SLR must come from the Legislature in Albany.

Land Use Application

Land use proposals to be considered by the Council’s Land Use Committee

Land Use Call-Up

Land use proposals that don't require Council approval, but have been chosen by a Council Member for discretionary Council review.

Mayor’s Messages

Communications from the Mayor. These generally include appointments to boards and commissions, as well as veto messages.

Communications

Communications from the City, County or Borough offices. These usually concern appointments to boards and commissions.

Petitions

Communication from individuals or entities other than the Mayor, City, County or Borough Offices. These generally include communications from the City Council, and usually concern City Council appointments and resignations.

Introductions are the most interesting type of legislation because they are proposals for new laws. Once an introduction is passed, it becomes a Local Law - see all Local Laws for 2015.

Most of the Council's legislative action happens in committees. Each committee meets in public hearings 2-3 times per month where proposed legislation is debated. Members of other government branches, as well as the public, are able to attend and comment at these hearings.

Meetings of the entire Council, referred to as Stated Meetings, occur twice a month at City Hall.



We're open source!

This website is open source and on GitHub - meaning that anyone can re-use or adapt the code.



Data

The data from this website comes from New York City Council's Legislative Research Center, a system built by Granicus using their Legistar Legislative Management Suite.

This data is then collected daily using the Open Civic Data standard and platform. Open Civic Data standardizes information about people, organizations, events and bills at any level of government and was built in collaboration with The Sunlight Foundation, Google, Granicus and Open North.



Team

NYC Councilmatic is brought to you by the Participatory Politics Foundation, a NYC-based 501(c)3 non-profit organisation with a mission to increase civic engagement. David Moore is the program manager, based out of the Civic Hall community space.

The site was built by DataMade, a civic technology company. They build open source technology using open data to empower journalists, researchers, governments and advocacy organizations.

Funding for this project was provied by The Rita Allen Foundation, which is actively interested in promoting civic literacy and engagement, investing in young leaders in the sciences and social innovation, and building stronger communities.



Contact us

Have a question about information you were seeking to find, or explanations of how NYC Council works? Send us an email info@councilmatic.org.

You can also follow us Twitter and Facebook.

Developer people: if you notice a bug, file an issue on our issue tracker!



Bring Councilmatic to your city!

The Participatory Politics Foundation and DataMade are committeed to spreading the Councilmatic platform to every city so everyone can stay informed on the actions of their local city council.

If you're interested in bringing Councilmatic to your city, sent us an email at info@councilmatic.org!



Credits

Councilmatic was originally created by Mjumbe Poe for Philidelphia, during his time as a 2011 Code For America Fellow. It was the first fully-developed open data site for municipal legislation in the United States.

Additional credits