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City Council Officially Recognizes ‘Common Sense’ Caucus of Moderate Council Members

Queens Council Member Robert Holden is one of the founding members of the Common Sense caucus (John McCarten)

Dec. 16, 2021 By Allie Griffin

A number of so-called “moderate” City Council members have officially created their own caucus just weeks before a new set of members are to be sworn in.

The City Council officially recognized the formation of the “Common Sense” caucus, which consists of a number of moderate Democrats and Republican council members.

The caucus was founded by Queens Council Member Robert Holden, a moderate Democrat, alongside Council Members Joe Borelli of Staten Island and Kalman Yeger of Brooklyn. It aims to provide a counterbalance to the Council’s progressive caucus.

Nine council members — including the three founders — are a part of the new caucus. Queens Council Members Peter Koo and Eric Ulrich, a Republican, are members along with Council Members Mark Gjonaj, Fernando Cabrera, Inna Vernikov and David Carr.

Four of the nine caucus members have only two weeks left in the City Council. Koo, Ulrich, Gjonaj and Cabrera will leave office at the end of the month. Gjonaj is retiring, while the others are term-limited.

However, Holden’s office told the Queens Post that they expect to see a net gain when the new council members are sworn in next month. Incoming Republican members like Queens Council Member-elect Joann Ariola are expected to join.

The goal of the Common Sense caucus is to address day-to-day issues affecting local communities.

“The New York City Council’s Common-Sense Caucus will prioritize quality of life issues to improve the everyday experience of living, working and raising families in New York City,” a description of the caucus states.

With the addition of the Common Sense caucus, the City Council now has seven caucuses. The other six are the progressive caucus; the Black, Asian and Latino caucus; the Irish caucus; the Jewish caucus; the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender caucus; and the women’s caucus.

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