New York City Political Hierarchy

New York City is one of the most popular cities in the world and is one which is known for its political hierarchy.  The government of this city is organized under the New York City charter and follows a strong mayor council system. The political system follows separation of power system and hence is divided into three main branches or wings which are-executive, legislative and judicial.

The executive branch consists of some of the main power holders of the city whereas the legislative branch does the work of making rules and the judicial branch makes sure the rules are implemented. The following is a detailed New York City political hierarchy, given for your reference.

Executive branch

This branch is the highest one in the New York City political structure and consists of the mayor along with several departments, commissions and boards.  The following is the hierarchy of the executive branch of the political system of New York City.

The Mayor

The Mayor is a part of the executive branch of the city and also the head of it. He is also considered as the chief executive officer as well as the magistrate of the city.  It is the mayor who is mainly responsible for appointing and removing officers, making sure that the city government operations are running smoothly and exercising all powers vested in him by the law.


There are several kinds of commissions, boards and departments which work under the mayor to ensure that the city is working in top order.

Legislative branch

The legislative power in the city is vested in the New York City council which is a unicameral body that consists of 51 members.  This council is headed by the speaker of the council who is at the second most powerful post in the city after the mayor.

Judicial branch

The third arm or wing of the New York City political system is the judicial branch.  The New york court hierarchy system of the city consists of:

  • two city courts
  • The civil court-this court handles cases and claims for damages up to an amount of $25000 as well as other civil matters.
  • The criminal court-this court handles crime related cases and conducts arraignments.
  • The Supreme Court-this court is the trial court of general jurisdiction.
  • The surrogate’s court-this is the probate court handling wills and other such cases.
  • Family court-this court hears cases involving families and children.