A City Council member represents one of 51 Council Districts in New York, which vary in size according to the redistricting process but typically cover two to four neighborhoods.
Council members are responsible for proposing and voting on bills relating to all aspects of civic life, for example: policing, housing, street safety and environmental issues like the plastic bag ban.
Bills passed by the Council go to the mayor to be signed into law. The Council can override a veto from the mayor with a vote of at least two-thirds of the members.
The Council also negotiates with the mayor to pass the city budget every year. Each Council member has his or her own discretionary budget to fund local projects and groups. The Council holds oversight hearings through its many committees. And, critically, the body votes to approve or reject development projects that need public approval.