By Paula Katinas
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
In a move touted as an effort to bring transparency to the City Council’s governing process, Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito announced the creation of a Policy Working Group within the legislative body.
Six Brooklyn council members – Vincent Gentile, Brad Lander, Laurie Cumbo, Inez Barron, Mark Treyger and Darlene Mealy – have been appointed to the panel. Other members appointed to the panel are Richie Torres, Peter Koo, Mark Levine, I. Daneek Miller and Rosie Mendez.
Councilmen Jimmy van Bramer and Vincent Ignizio and were named ex-officio members.
Council members will not be required to go to this group in order to get legislation considered in committee or to come to the floor for a vote, Mark-Viverito said.
“Our goal from Day 1 has been to open up the council and to make it more accessible to everyone and that’s just what this Policy Working Group will do. I look forward to helping build consensus on our shared priorities for New York City,” the council speaker said.
“I look forward to actively engaging in the Policy Working Group as a forum for interactive, substantive discussion on priority issues,” Gentile (D-Bay Ridge-Dyker Heights) said. “We’ve set ourselves an ambitious task and a unique opportunity for a more collaborative, democratic, transparent and inclusive legislative body.”
The new policy group will “ensure the priorities of the City Council reflect the needs of all of our communities,” Lander (D-Park Slope-Windsor Terrace) said.
Barron (D-East New York) said she is looking forward to working on the panel. “I hope to be able to serve as liaison between the various groups and committees of the City Council to make recommendations based on council priorities to provide effective legislation that will improve the social and economic conditions for the people of New York City,” she said.