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Does the New York City Council matter? How do we understand and shape their service? Do we have the Council we deserve?

As the city faces some of its steepest challenges in more than a generation, we need and expect the Council to be an effective counterweight to mayoral prerogative and a forum for real debate. In order for that to happen, we need to first understand the body’s limitations, its strengths and the political theater we are complicit in compelling them to participate in.

For this issue of City Limits Investigates we wanted to provide readers a window on the curious texture of members and a firthand view of how the Council as a whole does its business.

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