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.

President, Transport Workers Union Local 100


John Samuelsen

Last Year's Rank: 83

Change: Up 4

Agent of the City; Founder and Managing Partner, Hilltop Public Solutions


Nicholas Baldick

Last Year's Rank: N/A

Change: New to List

Agent of the City; Partner, AKPD Message and Media


John Del Cecato

Last Year's Rank: N/A

Change: New to List

Cardinal and Archbishop of New York


Timothy Dolan

Last Year's Rank: 77

Change: Up 1

Counsel, Gov. Andrew Cuomo


Alphonso David

Last Year's Rank: 71

Change: Down 4

Assistant to the Vice President, Communications Workers of America District 1


Bob Master

Last Year's Rank: 55

Change: Down 19

Partners, Hilltop Public Solutions


Rebecca Katz and Bill Hyers

Last Year's Rank: 43

Change: Down 30

Manhattan District Attorney


Cyrus Vance Jr.

Last Year's Rank: 68

Change: Down 4

President and CEO, New York Building Congress


Carlo Scissura

Last Year's Rank: 66

Change: Down 5

New York City Council Majority Leader


Jimmy Van Bramer

Last Year's Rank: 79

Change: Up 9

Chairman, City University of New York Board of Trustees


William Thompson Jr.

Last Year's Rank: N/A

Change: New to List

Interim President and CEO, NYC Health + Hospitals


Stanley Brezenoff

Last Year's Rank: N/A

Change: New to List

President, 32BJ Service Employees International Union


Héctor Figueroa

Last Year's Rank: 34

Change: Down 33

Chancellor, City University of New York


James Milliken

Last Year's Rank: 76

Change: Up 10



Peter King

Last Year's Rank: 42

Change: Down 23

Executive Director, District Council 37


Henry Garrido

Last Year's Rank: 67

Change: Up 3

Host, WNYC's


Brian Lehrer

Last Year's Rank: N/A

Change: New to List

Commissioner, New York City Department of Small Business Services


Gregg Bishop

Last Year's Rank: N/A

Change: New to List

Assemblyman and Bronx County Democratic Committee Chairman


Marcos Crespo

Last Year's Rank: 64

Change: Up 2



Nydia Velázquez

Last Year's Rank: 74

Change: Up 14

President and CEO, Partnership for New York City


Kathryn Wylde

Last Year's Rank: 35

Change: Down 24