If 2014 was the year of progressive change in New York City – with a liberal mayor and City Council coming to power after 12 years of a moderate technocratic administration – 2015 could be characterized as a regression to the mean. 

The honeymoon is firmly over for Mayor Bill de Blasio, who saw much of the public enthusiasm for his political agenda wane in his second year. Meanwhile, the promise of an activist City Council has begun to fade as Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and nearly half of the council approach lame duck status.

In fact, the 2017 election year played a role in the overall churn of this year’s list. Rumored mayoral challengers like Rep. Hakeem Jeffries made their Power 100 debut partly as a result of the constant intrigue around whether they will run. And several council members emerged on the list as possible successors to Mark-Viverito, a result of behind-the-scenes maneuvering that has already begun. Apparently it’s never too early to start campaigning.

There was also a reshuffling of the city’s lobbying, business, real estate and labor interests, now that a clearer picture has emerged of which organizations and individuals have access and clout in City Hall. And as de Blasio’s inner circle of advisers has winnowed to a select few, we tried to accurately reflect who the mayor listens to when shaping his policies.

This list will undoubtedly be met with some criticism, as is the case every year, but our rankings were not made lightly. We reached out to sources to get a sense of what they were seeing. We considered pitches from all corners of government. And we took all of the feedback we got with a grain of salt and a skeptical mind. In the end, we have come up with a list that we believe accurately reflects the current political landscape in New York City – one that will hopefully ignite a vigorous debate.

Principals, BerlinRosen

16

Valerie Berlin / Jonathan Rosen


Last Year's Rank: 17/18

Change: +1/+2

Commissioner, New York City Human Resources Administration /Department of Social Services

15

Steven Banks


Last Year's Rank: n/a

Change: n/a

New York City Intergovernmental Affairs Director

14

Emma Wolfe


Last Year's Rank: 16

Change: +2

New York State Comptroller

13

Tom DiNapoli


Last Year's Rank: 14

Change: +1

U.S. Senator

12

Kirsten Gillibrand


Last Year's Rank: 12

Change: 0

New York City Comptroller

11

Scott Stringer


Last Year's Rank: 7

Change: -4

Former New York City mayor, businessman and philanthropist

10

Michael Bloomberg


Last Year's Rank: 10

Change: 0

New York City Council Speaker

9

Melissa Mark-Viverito


Last Year's Rank: 13

Change: +4

New York Attorney General

8

Eric Schneiderman


Last Year's Rank: 15

Change: +7

New York City Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development

7

Alicia Glen


Last Year's Rank: 38

Change: +31

Assembly Speaker

6

Carl Heastie


Last Year's Rank: 6

Change: 0

NYPD Commissioner

5

Bill Bratton


Last Year's Rank: 8

Change: +3

U.S. Attorney

4

Preet Bharara


Last Year's Rank: 4

Change: 0

U.S. Senator

3

Charles Schumer


Last Year's Rank: 3

Change: 0

Mayor

2

Bill de Blasio


Last Year's Rank: 2

Change: 0

Governor

1

Andrew Cuomo


Last Year's Rank: 1

Change: 0