Power 100 New York City 2017

How do we define power in New York City politics in 2017?

It’s safe to say that we are still parsing the ripple effects of the national election, and how it could impact the local power structure.

Look no further than Donald Trump himself. When we debuted our Power 100 list in February 2013, Trump was the symbolic No. 100 – Mr. Irrelevant in city politics – a reality TV star and carnival barker who openly flirted with running for political office, but was otherwise little more than the unofficial founder of the Barack Obama “birther” movement. Four years later, Trump is in the Oval Office and firmly in the top five on the 2017 power list.

But Trump’s election has also led to the mobilization of advocacy groups, nonprofits and even some legislators. Service providers and government bureaucrats who work on behalf of marginalized communities – including the homeless as well as undocumented immigrants – will join forces in resisting some of Trump’s controversial proposed policies. With Trump in power, we could no longer view political power strictly through the prism of proximity to City Hall. This year, we’re giving extra weight to individuals determined to protect New York City’s interests from the whims of an unpredictable president.

After all, in the city government landscape, the status quo is more or less entrenched. Mayor Bill de Blasio may not have the approval ratings to completely insulate him from a primary challenger as he begins his re-election campaign – and he is always at risk of being big-footed by his nemesis Gov. Andrew Cuomo – but as of press time, none of his biggest rivals has taken a brave step forward. Assuming that holds, de Blasio is likely to cruise to a second term, meaning those individuals and entities he counts as allies – including labor and business leaders, lobbyists, City Council colleagues and his top staff – get a nice boost on the list or remain mostly unchanged.

As is the case every year, our editorial team settled on these rankings after weeks of vigorous debate. We approached the list with the requisite diligence – pitches were considered, sources were consulted and nearly every individual drew healthy skepticism in some form. It goes without saying that some will disagree with our choices, but we are confident that the final product accurately reflects the political landscape.

So without further ado, we present the 2017 New York City Power 100.

Queens Borough President


Melinda Katz

Last Year's Rank: N/A

Change: New to List

President and CEO, Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce


Andrew Hoan

Last Year's Rank: N/A

Change: New to List

Senior Partner, Davidoff, Hutcher and Citron


Sid Davidoff

Last Year's Rank: 95

Change: Down 3

Partner, Mercury Public Affairs


Michael McKeon

Last Year's Rank: 59

Change: Down 38

New York Co-chairman, Greenberg Traurig


Edward Wallace

Last Year's Rank: 85

Change: Down 11

Outgoing Executive Director, Arab American Association of New York


Linda Sarsour

Last Year's Rank: N/A

Change: New to List

Commissioner, Mayor's Office of Media and Entertainment


Julie Menin

Last Year's Rank: N/A

Change: New to List

Executive Director, Good Shepherd Services


Paulette LoMonaco

Last Year's Rank: N/A

Change: New to List

Chairman and CEO, Red Apple Group


John Catsimatidis

Last Year's Rank: 100

Change: Up 8

President, New York City Central Labor Council


Vincent Alvarez

Last Year's Rank: 87

Change: Down 4

President, Patrolmen's Benevolent Association


Patrick Lynch

Last Year's Rank: 81

Change: Down 9

Chairman, Manhattan Democratic Party


Keith Wright

Last Year's Rank: 52

Change: Down 37

Executive Director, New York Immigration Coalition


Steven Choi

Last Year's Rank: N/A

Change: New to List

CEO, The Jewish Board


David Rivel

Last Year's Rank: 97

Change: Up 10

President and CEO, Win


Christine Quinn

Last Year's Rank: N/A

Change: New to List

President, Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union; Executive Vice President, United Food and Commercial Workers International Union


Stuart Appelbaum

Last Year's Rank: 78

Change: Down 7

CEO, New York City Charter School Center


James Merriman

Last Year's Rank: 94

Change: Up 10



Adriano Espaillat

Last Year's Rank: N/A

Change: New to List

Co-executive Director, Make the Road New York


Javier Valdés

Last Year's Rank: N/A

Change: New to List

Vice President of Government, Regional and Community Affairs, Con Edison


Kyle Kimball

Last Year's Rank: 93

Change: Up 12

Partner and Chief Strategist, Connelly McLaughlin & Woloz


Michael Woloz

Last Year's Rank: 88

Change: Up 8