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

37

Patrick Foye


Last Year's Rank: 51

Change: Up 14

Commissioner, New York City Department of Transportation

36

Polly Trottenberg


Last Year's Rank: N/A

Change: New to List

Congressman

35

Hakeem Jeffries


Last Year's Rank: 62

Change: Up 27

New York City Councilman

34

Brad Lander


Last Year's Rank: 28

Change: Down 6

Founder and CEO, Metropolitan Public Strategies

33

Neal Kwatra


Last Year's Rank: 27

Change: Down 6

Bronx Borough President

32

Rubén Díaz Jr.


Last Year's Rank: 24

Change: Down 8

Congressman

31

Jerrold Nadler


Last Year's Rank: 47

Change: Up 16

CEO, Capalino+Company

30

James Capalino


Last Year's Rank: 32

Change: Up 2

President, New York Hotel and Motel Trades Council

29

Peter Ward


Last Year's Rank: 31

Change: Up 2

President, United Federation of Teachers

28

Michael Mulgrew


Last Year's Rank: 37

Change: Up 9

Congressman and Queens County Democratic Party Chairman

27

Joseph Crowley


Last Year's Rank: 40

Change: Up 13

New York City Deputy Mayor for Strategic Policy Initiatives

26

Richard Buery


Last Year's Rank: 38

Change: Up 12

State Comptroller

25

Thomas DiNapoli


Last Year's Rank: 13

Change: Down 12

President, Real Estate Board of New York

24

John Banks III


Last Year's Rank: 21

Change: Down 3

President, 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East

23

George Gresham


Last Year's Rank: 18

Change: Down 5

New York City Budget Director

22

Dean Fuleihan


Last Year's Rank: 33

Change: Up 11

New York City Social Services Commissioner

21

Steven Banks


Last Year's Rank: 15

Change: Down 6

U.S. Senator

20

Kirsten Gillibrand


Last Year's Rank: 12

Change: Down 8

Principals, BerlinRosen

19

Valerie Berlin and Jonathan Rosen


Last Year's Rank: 16

Change: Down 3

New York City Schools Chancellor

18

Carmen Fariña


Last Year's Rank: 26

Change: Up 8

State Senate Majority Leader

17

John Flanagan


Last Year's Rank: 20

Change: Up 3