The City Council came together yesterday after a sharp divide over the last few weeks to throw its support behind Councilwoman Melissa Mark-Viverito, making her the first Latina Speaker in the City’s history.
We look forward to what she has planned as the legislative body’s new leader, and we hope she stands firm in the promise she made on Wednesday to ensure that the City Council holds Mayor Bill de Blasio accountable to the City of New York.
It has been no secret that Mayor de Blasio wanted Mark-Viverito as City Council Speaker, and there is something to be said for having an ally when it comes to passing legislation. After all, de Blasio won with a commanding percentage of the vote in November, which means that voters are comfortable with his vision of the City’s future. But the Council needs to have an agenda separate from the Mayor’s as well.
A number of officials chastised former Speaker Christine Quinn for being too close to Mayor Mike Bloomberg’s agenda, and it likely cost her support last year when she ran for Mayor, not to mention some resentment with her colleagues in the Council.
Those potential problems are still off in the distance. If she keeps her promises, Mark-Viverito can avoid the appearance of being Bill de Blasio’s attack dog.
We look forward to what the new Speaker will bring to the table with this Council.