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.

New York City First Deputy Mayor


Anthony Shorris

Last Year's Rank: 22

Change: Up 6

First Lady and Chairwoman, Mayor's Fund to Advance New York City


Chirlane McCray

Last Year's Rank: 36

Change: Up 21

Senior Adviser, Bill de Blasio's Re-election Campaign


Phil Walzak

Last Year's Rank: 19

Change: Up 5

New York City Director of Intergovernmental Affairs


Emma Wolfe

Last Year's Rank: 14

Change: Up 1

New York City Council Speaker


Melissa Mark-Viverito

Last Year's Rank: 9

Change: Down 3

New York City Comptroller


Scott Stringer

Last Year's Rank: 11

Change: No Change

State Senate Independent Democratic Conference Leader


Jeffrey Klein

Last Year's Rank: 48

Change: Up 38

New York City Deputy Mayor, Housing and Economic Development


Alicia Glen

Last Year's Rank: 7

Change: Down 2

NYPD Commissioner


James O'Neill

Last Year's Rank: N/A

Change: New to List

Assembly Speaker


Carl Heastie

Last Year's Rank: 6

Change: Down 1

State Attorney General


Eric Schneiderman

Last Year's Rank: 8

Change: Up 2

U.S. Attorney, Southern District of New York


Preet Bharara

Last Year's Rank: 4

Change: Down 1

President of the United States


Donald Trump

Last Year's Rank: N/A

Change: New to List

New York City Mayor


Bill de Blasio

Last Year's Rank: 2

Change: Down 1



Andrew Cuomo

Last Year's Rank: 1

Change: Down 1

U.S. Senate Minority Leader


Charles Schumer

Last Year's Rank: 3

Change: Up 2