The New York City Charter, established by the State Legislature in 1897, is the City's constitution, creating the framework for our government. The Charter controls how the City spends our tax dollars, how decisions are made about changes to our neighborhoods, and the powers of our elected officials. 

Nearly 30 years ago, a Charter Revision Commission overhauled the city’s government. 

Now it’s time for a fresh look.

The 2019 Commission — made up of members appointed by the Mayor, the Speaker of the City Council, all five Borough Presidents, the Public Advocate, and the Comptroller — has a broad mandate to conduct a top-to-bottom review of the City Charter and will bring its recommendations to the public in November 2019.


WHAT CAN THE CHARTER DO?

There are many areas that the Charter may regulate, but there are some limits. Here are a few examples:

CAN:

  • Establish the powers of and limits on City officials

  • Set the stage for governmental leaders to achieve desired changes

  • Decide how land in the city is developed

CAN’T:

  • Eliminate political infighting

  • Decrease local crime

  • Stop a controversial project