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.

Director, Mayor's Office of City Legislative Affairs


Jon Paul Lupo

Last Year's Rank: N/A

Change: New to List

Staten Island Borough President


James Oddo

Last Year's Rank: 65

Change: Up 8

Manhattan Borough President


Gale Brewer

Last Year's Rank: 60

Change: Up 4

President, Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York


Gary LaBarbera

Last Year's Rank: 58

Change: Up 3

Chairman, Kings County Democratic Committee


Frank Seddio

Last Year's Rank: 54

Change: No Change

Commissioner, New York City Mayor's Office of Immigrant Affairs


Nisha Agarwal

Last Year's Rank: n/a

Change: New to List

Brooklyn Borough President


Eric Adams

Last Year's Rank: 44

Change: Down 8

Former New York City Mayor


Michael Bloomberg

Last Year's Rank: 10

Change: Down 41

President, Kasirer Consulting


Suri Kasirer

Last Year's Rank: 53

Change: Up 3

Chief of Staff, New York City First Deputy Mayor


Dominic Williams

Last Year's Rank: N/A

Change: New to List

President and CEO, Tishman Speyer; Chairman, Real Estate Board of New York


Rob Speyer

Last Year's Rank: 25

Change: Down 23

New York City Councilman


David Greenfield

Last Year's Rank: 64

Change: Up 17

CEO and Vice Chairman, Rudin Management Company


Bill Rudin

Last Year's Rank: 23

Change: Down 23

New York City Councilman


Jumaane Williams

Last Year's Rank: 56

Change: Up 11

Chief of Staff, Gov. Andrew Cuomo


Melissa DeRosa

Last Year's Rank: 29

Change: Down 15

New York City Councilwoman


Julissa Ferreras-Copeland

Last Year's Rank: 75

Change: Up 32

Interim Executive Director, Metropolitan Transportation Authority


Veronique Hakim

Last Year's Rank: N/A

Change: New to List

Host, NY1's


Errol Louis

Last Year's Rank: 30

Change: Down 11

New York City Public Advocate


Letitia James

Last Year's Rank: 50

Change: Up 10

Chief of Staff, New York City Council Speaker


Ramón Martinez

Last Year's Rank: 91

Change: Up 52

Commissioner, New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development


Maria Torres-Springer

Last Year's Rank: N/A

Change: New to List