Standing on the left is Councilman Sam Horowitz of south Brooklyn. As a member of the City Council from 1973 to 1993, he sponsored the 1986 landmark gay rights bill. He held public hearings as the chairman of the General Welfare Committee and shepherded the bill out of committee, allowing its passage by the full City Council.
In 1985, Horowitz was positioned to become the first Speaker of the City Council with support from the Brooklyn and Manhattan delegations.
Councilman Peter Vallone of Astoria went on to win the position by one vote after a coalition led by Queens Borough President Donald Manes and Bronx Democratic leader Stanley Friedman lured the support of Manhattan Councilman Robert Dryfoos to change his vote at the last minute and support Vallone.
The affair became known as the Dryfoos Betrayal. Dryfoos actually grew up in Forest Hills, and could often be spotted in his old neighborhood visiting his mother. Maybe it was his Queens roots that convinced him to vote for Vallone.
Next to Horowitz is the Bronx's Jerry Crispino, who later was a New York Supreme Court Justice. Crispino's most famous piece of legislation is ubiquitous in restaurants today (at least when we used to go inside restaurants!).
Crispino was the sponsor of a bill that required restaurants to hang posters that demonstrated how to apply the Heimlich maneuver to a choking person.
Next to Crispino is Ruth Messinger of Manhattan, who ran for mayor in 1997, but lost to Mayor Giuliani.
Messinger served in the City Council from 1978 to 1989. During her time in office, she proposed extending rent control from individuals to businesses. From 1990 to 1998, she served as Manhattan borough president.
Seated on the left Councilman Walter Ward, who represented south Queens for a generation, serving from 1968 until 1993, when he lost his seat to Republican Al Stabile. Ward would pass away the following year.
At the end of his tenure, Ward was the oldest member of the legislative body, and earned the unofficial title “Dean of the Council.”
Second in the middle is Councilman Archie Spigner of south Queens, who at one time served as Deputy Majority Leader of the City Council. He served from 1974 until term limits forced him into retirement in 2001.
Seated on the right is Councilman Herb Berman of Brooklyn, who was also forced out of his seat due to term limits. He lost the city comptroller's race to Bill Thompson in 2001.
So there you have it, a group of six former City Council members from New York’s political past. If you have any old photos related to New York City politics and want to share them with our readers, get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.