Council conquest: Corey Johnson elected new speaker

Photos by Tequila Minsky

On Wednesday, by a vote of 48 to 1, Corey Johnson was elected the new speaker of the City Council.

After Johnson, above left, had won the Council’s support to be its leader for the next four years, he posed for a photo with his mother, Ann Queenan Richardson, a homeless-services provider from Massachusetts, and his political mentor, former state Senator Tom Duane. Johnson called his mom “my best friend.”

Johnson, 35, has represented City Council District 3 — which includes the West Village, Chelsea and Hell’s Kitchen — for the past four years and recently won re-election with no opposition in the September primary and easily against a third-party candidate in November.

Honing his political chops and community savvy, he previously chaired Community Board 4 (Chelsea / Hell’s Kitchen).

Check for a full report on the Council vote and look for The Villager’s interview of the new speaker soon.

Gotta have a selfie of this one!

Johnson acknowledged his supporters in the balcony, including representatives of labor unions.

The Honorable Speaker Corey Johnson. … He’s got a lot of ideas in mind for what he wants to do with his new powers. In an interview with The New York Times published Wednesday before he had won the election, Johnson said he plans to support congestion pricing f0r for-hire vehicles, and also to have the city use some of its surplus funds to aid the ailing subway system — something Mayor de Blasio has refused to do. Johnson also wants to create an investigative body for the City Council that conceivably could probe the mayor’s doings. Such a body previously existed under former Council Speaker Peter Vallone. At the same time, while vowing that the Council will be independent under him, he said he plans to be a “productive partner” with the mayor. Johnson even voiced support for implementing a municipal single-payer healthcare plan. The young new speaker promised he would operate the Council by consensus, not with “an iron fist.” Advocates for small businesses are also hopeful he will let the Small Business Jobs Support Act finally come up for a vote before the full City Council — something previous speakers have not allowed.

Behind every successful run for City Council speaker — a great mom!

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