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.

Executive Director, Port Authority of New York and New Jersey


Patrick Foye

Last Year's Rank: 51

Change: Up 14

Commissioner, New York City Department of Transportation


Polly Trottenberg

Last Year's Rank: N/A

Change: New to List



Hakeem Jeffries

Last Year's Rank: 62

Change: Up 27

New York City Councilman


Brad Lander

Last Year's Rank: 28

Change: Down 6

Founder and CEO, Metropolitan Public Strategies


Neal Kwatra

Last Year's Rank: 27

Change: Down 6

Bronx Borough President


Rubén Díaz Jr.

Last Year's Rank: 24

Change: Down 8



Jerrold Nadler

Last Year's Rank: 47

Change: Up 16

CEO, Capalino+Company


James Capalino

Last Year's Rank: 32

Change: Up 2

President, New York Hotel and Motel Trades Council


Peter Ward

Last Year's Rank: 31

Change: Up 2

President, United Federation of Teachers


Michael Mulgrew

Last Year's Rank: 37

Change: Up 9

Congressman and Queens County Democratic Party Chairman


Joseph Crowley

Last Year's Rank: 40

Change: Up 13

New York City Deputy Mayor for Strategic Policy Initiatives


Richard Buery

Last Year's Rank: 38

Change: Up 12

State Comptroller


Thomas DiNapoli

Last Year's Rank: 13

Change: Down 12

President, Real Estate Board of New York


John Banks III

Last Year's Rank: 21

Change: Down 3

President, 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East


George Gresham

Last Year's Rank: 18

Change: Down 5

New York City Budget Director


Dean Fuleihan

Last Year's Rank: 33

Change: Up 11

New York City Social Services Commissioner


Steven Banks

Last Year's Rank: 15

Change: Down 6

U.S. Senator


Kirsten Gillibrand

Last Year's Rank: 12

Change: Down 8

Principals, BerlinRosen


Valerie Berlin and Jonathan Rosen

Last Year's Rank: 16

Change: Down 3

New York City Schools Chancellor


Carmen Fariña

Last Year's Rank: 26

Change: Up 8

State Senate Majority Leader


John Flanagan

Last Year's Rank: 20

Change: Up 3