The City Council met remotely Wednesday for the first time in its 82-year history — ending its five-week shutdown in response to the coronavirus.
The meeting, aired live on the Council’s website, was attended by 50 members — including seven who said they had recovered from the disease over the past month.
“The entire city has had to adjust daily to this ever-changing crisis in ways we never imagined,” said Council Speaker Corey Johnson — speaking from his boyfriend’s house in Brooklyn.
“Certainly, our predecessors 82 years ago never imagined a remote stated meeting.
“The Council is proud to practice social distancing while continuing to pass legislation to improve the lives of New Yorkers. We’re looking forward in the weeks to come to holding remote stated meetings and introducing bills that are critical to coping with this crisis and its aftermath.”
At all times, the video feed included 25 council members or lawyers, who would rotate in and out of boxed screens as they were called for vote or speak.
Some like Justin Brannan (D-Brooklyn) sat in from his Bay Ridge district office, while others like Ben Kallos (D-Manhattan) voted from home, occasionally petting his cat nearby. Councilman Chaim Deutch (D-Brooklyn) appeared to be the only legislator outdoors during the meeting, at one point even sporting a protective mask.