Trump-aligned Republicans Should Play No Role in Determining NYC Council Speaker

Make the Road Action
3 min readDec 1, 2021


Republican Council Members aligned with former President Donald Trump are trying to position themselves for influence in the NYC Speaker’s race.

Dear Candidates for Speaker of the New York City Council:

We are a group of community and labor organizations committed to the fight for social, economic, and racial justice, who are eager to partner with the Council to win respect and dignity for all New Yorkers in the coming years. As the race for Council Speaker takes shape, we write to articulate our strong belief that the Speaker of the City Council should be determined solely by the Democratic members of the City Council.

New York City is an overwhelmingly Democratic city. Voters across the city voted decisively to reject Donald Trump in 2020. They then voted in 2021 to elect Democrats to every citywide position and to the overwhelming majority of the City Council. Trump-aligned Republicans should play no role in determining who leads the New York City Council.

New York already experienced the disastrous results of Democrats making power-sharing deals with Republicans. It was called the Independent Democratic Conference (IDC), and Democrats resoundingly rejected its catastrophic empowerment of Senate Republicans, who blocked critical progress on affordable housing, workers’ rights, voting rights, protections for immigrants, and more. Thankfully, the IDC was ultimately defeated, and New York State was able to move forward and pass historic legislation on all of these fronts in the years since.

As the Council moves toward determining its new leadership, it must not turn to this type of regressive arrangement — particularly with a fringe group of Republican Council Members who openly support Donald Trump’s racist, authoritarian politics.

The Speaker, of course, will be determined by which candidate can get 26 of the 51 votes. As is the case with other legislative bodies like the US House of Representatives and NY State Assembly, we firmly believe that the decision should first be made within the Democratic caucus. As is the case in these other bodies, a majority of the Democratic caucus should determine whom the caucus will advance for speaker, and those who are not the choice of the Democratic majority should commit to supporting the choice of the caucus. This will ensure that whoever wins the caucus also secures at least 26 votes on the floor and becomes Speaker. While the City Council’s Democratic members may not always agree on everything, it is imperative that they draw this line for this pivotal decision.

We urge every Speaker candidate to publicly commit to rejecting alliance and support from the Republican caucus to achieve the majority needed to secure this leadership post. We urge all candidates to only declare victory in the Speaker’s race when you have secured the support of a majority of the Democrats in the incoming Council — and that, regardless of who wins the majority of the caucus, you will support that person.


Make the Road Action

Jews for Racial & Economic Justice

New York Communities for Change

Communities United for Police Reform Action

VOCAL Action Fund

Committee of Interns and Residents SEIU

Citizen Action of New York

Met Council Action

CUFFH Action

DRUM Beats

(This letter was sent to declared New York City Council Speaker candidates Adrienne Adams, Diana Ayala, Justin Brannan, Gale Brewer, Francisco Moya, Keith Powers, and Carlina Rivera on December 1, 2021.)



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