Wednesday, August 30, 2006

New York City Government

Since its consolidation in 1898, New York City has been a metropolitan municipality with a "strong" mayor-council form of government. The mayor and councilors are elected to four-year terms. The New York City Council is a unicameral body consisting of 51 Council members whose districts are defined by geographic population boundaries. Each councilor represents approximately 157,000 people. The mayor and councilors are subject to eight year term limits. The most recent election was held in 2005.

The Manhattan Municipal Building, which houses many city agencies, is one of the largest government buildings in the world.The city has historically elected Democratic mayoral candidates. The current and previous mayors, however, are pro-choice, liberal Republicans considerably to the left of their national counterparts. Councilors are elected under specific issues and are usually well-known.

The Democratic Party holds the majority of public offices. Party platforms are centered on affordable housing, education and economic development. The city's political demographics are liberal and Democratic. Labor politics are important. Housing and economic development are the most controversial topics, with an ongoing debate over the proposed Brooklyn Nets Arena. 87% of registered voters in the city are Democrats. This is in contrast to New York State, which is less liberal.

New York City

New York City, officially the City of New York, is the most populous city in the United States and the most densely populated major city in North America. Located in the state of New York, New York City has a population of over 8.1 million (roughly equivalent to the combined populations of Los Angeles, Chicago, and Philadelphia—America's second, third, and fifth most populous cities, respectively) within an area of 321 square miles (approximately 830 km²).

The city is a center for international finance, fashion, entertainment and culture, and is widely considered to be one of the world's major global cities with an extraordinary collection of museums, galleries, performance venues, media outlets, international corporations and financial markets. It is also home to the headquarters of the United Nations.

The New York metropolitan area has a population of about 22 million, which makes it one of the largest urban areas in the world. The city proper consists of five boroughs: The Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, and Staten Island. With the exception of Staten Island, each of these boroughs is home to at least a million people and would be among the nation's largest cities if considered independently.

Nicknamed "the Big Apple", the city attracts large numbers of immigrants, with over a third of its population foreign born. Moreover, it attracts people from all over the United States, who come for its culture, energy, cosmopolitanism, and economic opportunity. At present, the city has the lowest crime rate among the 25 largest American cities.