25 Years of New York City Charter Revisions

Process, Powers, and Lessons for the Future: 25 Years of New York City Charter Revisions


8:15 a.m. – 12:00 noon, Friday, February 8, 2013 at New York Law School

Recordings of the panel and keynote remarks are available under Program.  Photos from the event are available here.

Articles from this event have been published by the New York Law School Law Review.  Articles are available here.

2013 marks nearly 25 years since the 1989 revisions of the New York City Charter that fundamentally changed the structure of the city’s government. Among other things, these revisions expanded the powers of the City Council, enhanced the Mayor’s executive powers, reshaped the duties of the Public Advocate (formerly the City Council President), and redefined the powers of the Comptroller and Borough Presidents. Several Charter Revision Commissions, established by Mayors Giuliani and Bloomberg, have since amended the Charter. This symposium:

  • examined the allocation of powers under the 1989 charter, including how the Mayor, City Council, Public Advocate and others have exercised their powers in relation to each other and other participants in city government;
  • drew lessons from the 1989-2010 Charter Revision Commissions; and
  • discussed the future of NYC government, changes that may be needed to improve its structure and operations, and whether and how those changes could be achieved through revisions to the Charter.

In Memoriam—We were proud to honor, through this symposium, the extraordinary lives and legacies of two titans of New York City who dramatically shaped City government. Frank Macchiarola (1941-2012), a man of thought and action with a vision for a stronger and more inclusive City, left all of the institutions he touched, and our entire City, a far better place. NYC Mayor Edward I. Koch (1924-2013) led the city with a devotion, drive, pride and accountability that helped transform our city at a time when it faced an uncertain future. Their work continues to influence NYC’s governance, culture and economy to this day.

This event was sponsored by the Center for New York City Law at New York Law School and the New York Law School Law Review.

For more information contact the Law Review at 212-431-2109 or law_review@nyls.edu.