The Importance of City Council Elections to Local Communities – Bronx Times


Subscribe to our Policy NewsletterNY for the latest coverage and to stay informed about the 2021 elections in your district and across New York

If we are to retain and reap the benefits of our beautiful quality of life, we must endure the fatigue of sustaining it. This maxim strikes a chord that resonates strongly in various places. With 35 of the 51 city council seats up for grabs, uncertainty is at the heart of our local political climate.

The New York City Council functions as the New York City congressional body serving as a control in mayor-council dynamics. The city council is a powerful and influential body that makes legislation and can override the mayor’s veto with a 2/3 majority vote. This government body collectively influences land use and zoning, property taxes, public safety, health and social services, essential services and other things related to our quality of life.

The politics of Council members can quickly change communities. In matters of land use and zoning changes, the city council usually observes the practice of member deference by following the preferences of the district council member of the areas concerned. When initiated, member deference directly links politicians with politically-affected voters and cuts the cord of developers and lobbyists motivated to monetize. The deference of Council members creates strong responsibilities at the ballot box, especially during the Council’s shortened two-year terms; 2021 and 2023 are shortened two-year terms, standard four-year board terms return in 2025.

In upstream and land review situations, indifference to a council member’s deference or an orchestrated blockade would place low-density communities under a blanket of uncertainty. It is our responsibility; civic duties to ensure that our communities are not affected by candidate ideologies.

Sentiments among residents of low density communities strongly suggest that the quality of life is on a downward spiral. Nuisance issues, once resolved quickly, became low priority complaints 311; too often put on the back burner to shut down. It is quite clear that in our current state, low density communities will not meet the criteria to justify an additional police presence. To compensate for labor shortages, it may be time to introduce technology to low-density communities. The installation of NYPD crime cameras at strategic locations could benefit low density areas in their serious efforts to combat nuisance and criminal behavior.

Community Footnotes:

Upzoning: If allowed, the Bruckner upzone project will create long-term amusement parks for investor-developers and ultimately place low-density communities on life support. Bronx Coalition Against Up-Zoning: RALLYE – Saturday October 16 at Bufano Park. Go out to support the preservation of low density zoning that has long been fought for and much sought after. More information at

It’s back !! Sanitation Department Orchard Beach SAFE Disposal Event – Saturday October 23 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Properly dispose of electronics, household products, automotive products, etc. Registration is required at or call 311 for more information.

Our next meeting is scheduled for Wednesday October 20 at 7:30 p.m. at the Knights of Columbus. Please spread the word, the voices must be heard. Our community has traditionally displayed a “We are a family” attitude. Now is the time to let it shine. Communicate; make that phone call, text or email. Please check with family, friends and neighbors, especially the elderly and vulnerable. Any owner or tenant in the area interested in the Spencer Estate Civic Association attends a meeting or sends an email to [email protected]

Remember: Community = Common Unity and Inclusion brings solutions.

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.