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Few policies more closely affect everyday people—just ask any parent frustrated by standardized test prep. Fariña will also be tasked with finding a way to make specialized schools more diverse, helping to smooth over union outrage on teacher evaluations, and navigating the choppy waters between City Hall and charter schools—all while seeking to engage parents and teachers in a way Mr. The taciturn Bronxite was a relative nobody until January, when Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver was arrested on corruption charges. Silver, a top ally of the mayor, was forced to resign, paving the way for the election of Mr.de Blasio has long insisted his predecessor, who wanted to be the “education mayor,” never did. Heastie, the body’s first African-American speaker. A liberal with a thin legislative record, he suddenly became the man Mr. Much of the mayor’s political fate rests in his hands.
Perhaps most important, he’s kept crime stats low, even as some wonder if it’s possible for crime to keep dropping. Bratton also says things that probably drive the mayor mad behind the scenes. Bratton is careful, calculated and clever, and the back-and-forth among allies has become both the stuff of tabloid fodder and probing broadsheet analysis. Bratton’s penchant for the spotlight and propensity to take credit prematurely ended his first turn as police commissioner here.2014’s majordomo, New York City’s first lady, Chirlane Mc Cray, is still characterized as a top adviser to her husband. They are clearly the two most important political figures in New York City; to rank them ruins the suspense of the list. The upcoming battle is reflected on this list by the presence of Albany-centric lawmakers, who the mayor will need to get his affordable housing plan off the ground; real estate industry players, who will no doubt have their deep-pocketed say in the legislative skirmish to come; and the city officials who will lobby hard for tenant-friendly rent laws in the state capital, or cut a few deals that alienate their progressive base.But while many expected her to take a Hillary Clinton-like approach to byzantine matters of policy, she has instead receded into a role more traditional for a first lady, pushing for mental health awareness at heavily choreographed events where she does not take questions. While housing laws may dominate the minds of politicos this year, two other issues are more front-of-mind for the everyday public’s interaction with government: public safety and education.Mark-Viverito to Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. But his client list also includes some of the biggest real estate firms in city, like Two Trees and Forest City Ratner. As other top staffers like Larry Schwartz, Howard Glaser and Steven Cohen departed the Cuomo administration—if not Mr. Percoco is someone city officials are likely to turn to when they need to get something done. Emma Wolfe Director of Intergovernmental Affairs Ms.His wife, Debbie, served as deputy chief of staff to the indicted Mr. Wolfe’s formal title is director of intergovernmental affairs, which is bureaucracy-speak for saying she has her hands in just about everything—from City Council legislation to last year’s State Senate races to the selection of the new assembly speaker, Carl Heastie.He’s even gotten most of the uniformed unions on board—except the rank-and-file bargaining units, which are eagerly awaiting a deal with the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, locked in arbitration with the city after bitter talks stalled. John Banks President of the Real Estate Board of New York Mr. Suri Kasirer Founder, Kasirer Consulting The founder of Kasirer Consulting has been the city’s best-paid lobbyist for nearly a decade. Mc Cray now has focused her work on issues of mental health and child development and has largely avoided the press, conducting interviews only in writing. Louis, Mo., has forged a working friendship with Mr. Figueroa’s union is always a coveted endorsement on Election Day because so many Latinos, a fast-growing demographic in the city, belong to it.
Banks will take over the reigns of the real estate industry lobby from Steven Spinola, who held the highly influential post for nearly 30 years. Malatras has been particularly visible in pushing Mr. While his term expires at the end of June, it is likely he will be re-appointed—and in an era when fares seem perpetually on the rise, and the MTA shuts down the trains without giving the mayor advance notice, few have more influence on the daily lives of New Yorkers than Mr. A Democrat married to Bruce Teitelbaum, former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani’s chief-of-staff, Ms. It didn’t help that her former chief of staff, Rachel Noerdlinger, became a major distraction for the administration before departing. Mc Cray remains her husband’s “closest advisor,” even if she hasn’t taken on the high-profile role some expected. George Gresham President, 1199 SEIU Of all the city and state labor leaders in 2013, none had more foresight than Mr. de Blasio despite the Cardinal’s conservative social views. But the Brooklyn native leads one of the most influential unions in the city, cutting a deal last year that could raise the salary of a maid to nearly $70,000 in a decade. Beyond winning campaigns and driving a hard bargain with building owners, Mr. Mark-Viverito is the second most powerful pol in the city, Pitta Bishop Del Giorno & Giblin will be a preeminent behind-the-scenes player. Bruce Ratner Founder, Forest City Ratner The controversial stadium he erected in Brooklyn won’t host next year’s Democratic Party convention, but the Forest City Ratner founder remains a major player on the city’s political scene. de Blasio’s closest friends and fundraisers in the real estate community, with ties stretching back to the latter’s days in the City Council, Mr. Al Sharpton Reverend, National Action Network Whither the Reverend? Sharpton’s influence in City Hall seemed to be cemented when the mayor’s wife hired his top aide, Rachel Noerdlinger, to be her chief of staff.
Her influence on the day-to-day City Hall machinery, particularly after her chief of staff drew City Hall into weeks of controversy before stepping down, has been less felt. de Blasio’s New York, outsized characters who give the mayor the cachet he needs to manage competing constituencies—or undercut him, showing off their own clout. Recent months have been marked by friendly fire from Gov. de Blasio at every turn—on mayoral control, on minimum wage proposals, on Ebola, on snowstorms. In those areas, New Yorkers have their most direct connections with the policies and personalities of City Hall.
And particularly in public safety, after a bruising feud with police unions, Mr.
A year and a half into progressive rule, it’s a little more clear who actually matters in Mayor Bill de Blasio’s New York. But the Observer did open up this year’s list to elected officials, a departure from 2014, to take stock of some of the rising and falling stars whose names you might know, sizing them up against the strategists, lobbyists and industry types shaping the city in the shadows.
Plenty has changed in the year since we last ranked the city’s power brokers. Among the mayor’s biggest challenges this year will be dealing with the expiration of rent control laws in Albany, a place that has proven to be hostile for a big city liberal.
With the expiration of numerous rent laws this June, Mr. Del Cecato is the man behind the “Dante” ad that helped Mr. Ken Thompson Brooklyn District Attorney Brooklyn’s first black district attorney has already made wide progressive strides during his first year in office since defeating longtime incumbent Charles Hynes. Hynes’ controversial convictions, he announced that he would stop prosecuting low-level marijuana offenders months before Mr. Bratton declared that they would stop arresting them. Barrios-Paoli lacks the higher profile of some of Mr. William Rudin Chairman, Association for a Better New York The billionaire scion of the Rudin family’s real estate empire also leads the Association for a Better New York, a civic group composed of the city’s business and labor elite. de Blasio, even as he has sought to duck the building requirements of the mayor’s affordable housing initiative. Ross’ 28-acre Hudson Yards mega-project, the largest housing development undertaking in American history. Cuomo and State Senate Republicans, and at odds with Mr. Jeffries has already made a name for himself as a rising political player in predominantly black central Brooklyn. Olatoye in 2014 took the helm of the largest reserve of low-income apartments and renters in the city: the New York City Housing Authority.