Albany power 100

Who are the most powerful people in state politics?

It’s not an easy question to answer.

Power is an amorphous concept, defined differently by different people. So as we at City & State compiled this year’s list, we identified a few general principles to guide the process.

One criterion is an individual’s track record: What bills has a governor or lawmaker passed? What policies have top aides, advocates or activists shaped? What programs have top deputies or commissioners run, and how effectively have they carried them out?

Another criterion is a public figure’s capacity to effect change. The governorship of New York, for example, is a powerful office, and the current occupant has tested its limits. Others who have been appointed or elected to influential roles have not fully capitalized on them – at least, not yet.

A related factor is one’s constituency. The mayor of New York City has faced obstacles in Albany, but the fact that he runs a government serving around 8.5 million people means he cannot be ignored. Others – elected officials and leaders of unions or corporations – also have a responsibility to represent their constituents and empower them.

Finally, we took into account proximity to power – Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s ever-changing inner circle, longtime allies of legislative leaders, loyalists of the new president who hails from New York.

As we applied these principles, we reached out to trusted sources, reviewed major news developments over the past year and spent hours debating where each and every person on this list deserved to fall.

So without further ado, we present the 2017 Albany Power 100.

Founding Partners, Brown & Weinraub

37

David Weinraub & Patrick Brown


Last Year's Rank: 29 & 28

Change: Down 8 & 9

New York City Managing Director, SKDKnickerbocker

36

Jennifer Cunningham


Last Year's Rank: 23

Change: Down 13

Secretary, Assembly Ways and Means Committee

35

Blake Washington


Last Year's Rank: 44

Change: Up 9

Counsel, State Senate Republicans

34

Elizabeth Garvey


Last Year's Rank: 43

Change: Up 9

Host,

33

Liz Benjamin


Last Year's Rank: 39

Change: Up 6

Albany Bureau Chief, Daily News

32

Kenneth Lovett


Last Year's Rank: 41

Change: Up 9

Bronx Borough President

31

Rubén Diaz Jr.


Last Year's Rank: 37

Change: Up 6

New York City Mayor

30

Bill de Blasio


Last Year's Rank: 20

Change: Down 10

Executive Deputy Secretary to the Governor

29

Jill DesRosiers


Last Year's Rank: N/A

Change: New to list

Chancellor, State Board of Regents

28

Betty Rosa


Last Year's Rank: 36

Change: Up 8

President, United Federation of Teachers

27

Michael Mulgrew


Last Year's Rank: 34

Change: Up 7

Commissioner, State Department of Education

26

MarryEllen Elia


Last Year's Rank: 32

Change: Up 6

State Senate Deputy Majority Leader

25

John DeFrancisco


Last Year's Rank: 40

Change: Up 15

U.S. Senator

24

Kirsten Gillibrand


Last Year's Rank: 15

Change: Down 9

Founder and President, Kasirer Consulting

23

Suri Kasirer


Last Year's Rank: 61

Change: Up 38

Principal, Jackson Lewis

22

Kenneth Shapiro


Last Year's Rank: 25

Change: Up 3

Founder and CEO, Metropolitan Public Strategies

21

Neal Kwatra


Last Year's Rank: 22

Change: Up 1

President, Real Estate Board of New York

20

John Banks


Last Year's Rank: 27

Change: Up 7

Deputy Secretary for Intergovernmental Affairs

19

Joseph Rabito


Last Year's Rank: N/A

Change: New to list

State Medicaid Director

18

Jason Helgerson


Last Year's Rank: 35

Change: Up 17

Chairman, Cuomo 2018

17

Bill Mulrow


Last Year's Rank: 16

Change: Down 1