Published On: Mon, Oct 30th, 2017

City Councilman pushes bill stopping mayo from removing statues



New legislation introduced by City Councilman Eric Ulrich would bar the mayor from removing statues from public property without City Council approval.


The bill would not stop Mayor de Blasio from getting rid of any statues with a commission he has already formed because it requires a ballot referendum which could not happen until the 2021 election.


If approved by both the Council and the voters, it would prohibit future mayors from unilaterally removing historic sculptures or public art.

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New legislation introduced by City Councilman Eric Ulrich would bar the mayor from removing statues from public property without City Council approval.

(Jefferson Siegel/New York Daily News)


“I believe the voters would overwhelmingly agree that they don’t want the mayor making those decisions behind closed doors,” Ulrich (R-Queens) said Monday at a press conference outside City Hall. “They don’t want the mayor deciding unilaterally what statues stay and what statues go.”

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De Blasio’s statue commission is mulling what to do with controversial monuments including the statue of Christopher Columbus at Columbus Circle. Anger over the possibility that statue could come down motivated the latest legislation, which will be introduced at Tuesday’s Council meeting.

Mayor de Blasio’s statue commission is mulling what to do with controversial monuments.

Mayor de Blasio’s statue commission is mulling what to do with controversial monuments.

(Mark Lennihan/AP)


“This could happen to any statue and any cultural religious or ethnic group, and people should be very concerned about that,” Ulrich said.


“There’s a comprehensive, thoughtful process going on. This proposal is unlikely to play any role in that,” said de Blasio spokeswoman Natalie Grybauskas.

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