New Year, New Leadership at New York City Council
“From Woodlawn to Coney Island, every neighborhood in New York City is part of a Council District. There are 51 of these Districts, each represented by an elected Council Member.” -New York City Council’s website
On January 3, Corey Johnson, a Manhattan Borough Democrat, officially became the speaker of the New York City Council, winning the position with a vote of 48–1. Corey was elected by his peers to serve as Speaker of the New York City Council on January 3, 2018. He was re-elected in 2017 with 94% of the vote to represent Council District 3, which includes the neighborhoods of Greenwich Village, Chelsea, Hell’s Kitchen, Flatiron, West SoHo, Hudson Square, the Meatpacking District, Columbus Circle, Times Square, the Theater District, the Garment District, Columbus Circle and part of the Upper West Side. You can read his full bio HERE.
A week later, on January 11, New York City Council leadership positions, committee assignments, and chairmanships were officially announced.
Here are the majority and minority leadership positions:
- Majority Leader: Laurie Cumbo
- Majority Whip: Fernando Cabrera
- Democratic Conference Chair: Robert Cornegy, Jr.
- Minority Leader: Steven Matteo
- Minority Whip: Joe Borelli
The council has standing committees focusing on New York City functions, including human services, infrastructure, and government affairs. Each of these committees is chaired by a Council Member and includes at least 5 members. Below are the chairs of each of the committees.
- Committee on Aging — Margaret S. Chin. Margaret Chin, Democrat, immigrated to the U.S. from Hong Kong when she was nine years old and group up in Chinatown. Ms. Chin worked for over a decate at Asian Americans for Equality, fighting for equal opportunities for immigrant families. She has served as the representative for District 1, Lower Manhattan, since 2010.
- Committee on Civil and Human Rights — Mathieu Eugene. Mathieu Eugene, Democrat, is the first Haitian-born official elected to the New York City Council. Dr. Eugene is a respected community leader in Brooklyn, founding a non-profit organization serving Brooklyn youth and their families, and serves District 40.
- Committee on Civil Service and Labor — I. Daneek Miller. I. Daneek Miller serves the 27th District and has lived there for 35 years. He was President of Amalgamated Transportion Union Local №1056 and is an experienced labor leader.
- Committee on Consumer Affairs and Business Licensing — Rafael L. Espinal, Jr. Rafael L. Espinal, Jr., Democrat, was elected to the New York City Council in 2013 as the representative for District 37. He has resided in Brooklyn his entire life, and has worked to implement NYC’s Paid Sick Leave Law and pass consumer protections.
- Committee on Contracts — Justin Brannan. Justin Brannan, Democrat, was born in Brooklyn and served as the Chief of Staff to Councilman Gentil and Director of Intergovernmental Affairs at the Department of Education. He was elected in November of 2017 and serves District 43.
- Committee on Criminal Justice — Keith Powers. Keith Powers, Democrat, served as Chief of Staff to Assembly Member Jonathan Bing, and is a lifelong resident of New York City. He serves District 4.
- Committee on Cultural Affairs, Libraries, and International Intergroup Relations — Jimmy Van Bramer. Jimmy Van Bramer, Democrat, is a lifelong resident of Western Queens and was elected to the New York City Council in 2009. He was elected Majority Leader in 2014 and serves District 26.
- Committee on Economic Development — Paul Vallone. Paul Vallone, Democrat, represents District 19, and has worked to secure funding for Northeast Queens. He served as the managing partners for Vallone & Vallone, LLP, and has served on numerous citywide boards and organizations.
- Committee on Education — Mark Treyger. Mark Treyger is the second son of Ukranian immigrants and the first member of his family born in the U.S. In 2013 he was elected to the New York City Council and serves District 47. A former teacher, he has fought to make the city more resilient and environmentally conscious, and to upgrade and expand school buildings.
- Committee on Environmental Protection — Costa Constantinides. Costa Constantinides, Democrat, was elected to the New York City Council in 2013 and is the first Greek-Cypriot-American elected to office in New York City. He serves District 22 and has prioritized environmental policy, championing his bill to reduce carbon emissions 80% by 2020.
- Committee on Finance — Daniel Dromm. Daniel Dromm, Democrat, was elected to the New York City Council in 2009, but has been a progressive leader in Queens for more than 20 years. He was a public school teacher and organized the first Queen LGBT Pride Parade and Festival. He serves District 25.
- Committee on Fire and Emergency Management — Joseph C. Borelli. Joseph C. Borelli, Republican, was elected in 2015 and serves District 51. He previously served his constituents in the New York State Assembly, and has long been active in his community on various committees, task forces, and volunteer organizations.
- Committee on For-Hire Vehicles — Ruben Diaz, Sr. Ruben Diaz, Sr., Democrat, was elected in 2017 and previously served in the New York State Senate. Reverend Diaz was born in Puerto Rico and served in the U.S. Army. He represents District 18.
- Committee on General Welfare — Stephen T. Levin. Stephen T. Levin, Democrat, serves District 33. A native of Plainfield, New Jersey, Mr. Levin now lives in Brooklyn and previoulsy served as the director of an anti-predatory lending program. He focuses on education, open space, and transportation safety.
- Committee on Governmental Operations — Fernando Cabrera. Fernando Cabrera, Democrat, has served District 14 since 2010. He has focused on advocacy for tenants, youth, and seniors. He is also a senior pastor.
- Committee on Health — Mark Levine. Mark Levine, Democrat, advocates for housing, education, economic justice, and transportation. He began his career as a teacher in the South Bronx. He serves District 7.
- Committee on Higher Education — Inez Barron. Inez Barron, Democrat, was elected the the New York City Council in 2013 and represents District 42.
- Committee on Hospitals — Carlina Rivera. Carlina Rivera, Democrat, represents District 2 and was elected in 2017. She is the child of a single mother who moved from Puerto Rico to New York and focuses on education, small business survival and open space.
- Committee on Housing and Buildings — Robert E. Cornegy, Jr. Robert E. Cornegy, Jr., Democrat, is an accredited alcohol and substance abuse counselor and former professional basketball player. He represents District 36.
- Committee on Immigration — Carlos Menchaca. Carlos Menchaca, Democrat, serves District 38 and is New York State’s first Mexican-American elected official, as well as Brooklyn’s first openly gay office holder. He worked to protect against gentrification and displacement, and focuses on tenants’ rights.
- Committee on Juvenile Justice — Andy King. Andy King, Democrat, was elected in 2012 and serves District 12. Previously he was a child protective caseworker and worked on healthcare projects.
- Committee on Land Use — Rafael Salamanca, Jr. Rafael Salamanca, Jr., Democrat, is the Councilmember for District 17. The son of first-generation Puerto Rican immigrants, he grew up in the Bronx and began his work in healthcare. He also worked with the NYPD and other leaders to improve public safety.
- Committee on Mental Health, Developmental Disability, Alcoholism, Substance Abuse and Disability Services — Diana Ayala. Diana Ayala, Democrat, has worked for nearly twenty years in social service agencies and government. She was born in Puerto Rico, and grew up in public housing and shelters in New York. She now lives in East Harlem and represents District 8, focusing on housing, homelessness, schools, and immigration.
- Committee on Oversight and Investigation — Ritchie J. Torres. Ritchie J. Torres, Democrat, was elected in 2013 and represents District 15. The youngest member of the New York City Council, he is a rising star in City politics, and has introduced legislation on a wide variety of topics, including job opportunities, affordable housing, and mental health resources for the LGBT community.
- Committee on Parks and Recreation — Barry Grodenchik. Barry Grodenchik, Democrat, represents District 23 and was elected to the New York City Council in 2015. He is a lifelong Queens resident and works to address the concerns of working and middle class families.
- Committee on Public House — Alicka Ampry-Samuel. Alicka Ampry-Samuel, Democrat, has worked as a community organizer and Child Protective Specialist, as well as working with the U.S. Embassy in Accra, Ghana, in a human rights capacity. She serves District 41.
- Committee on Public Safety — Donovan J. Richards. Donovan J. Richards, Democrat, is a lifelong resident of Southeast Queens and the Rockaways. He was elected in March of 2013 and represents District 31. He has helped negotiate and affordable housing plan and policy.
- Committee on Rules, Privileges, and Elections — Karen Koslowitz. Karen Koslowitz, Democrat, advocates for senior citizens and working families and serves District 29.
- Committee on Sanitation and Solid Waste Management — Antonio Reynoso. Antonio Reynoso, Democrat, focuses on strong schools, affordable house, and economic growth. He was elected in 2014 and represents District 34.
- Committee on Small Business — Mark Gjonaj. Mark Gjonaj, Democrat, was born in the Bronx and represents District 13. He is the son of Albanian immigrants and was the first Albanian-American electing in New York City and State. He previously served as a New York State Assembly Member.
- Committee on Standards and Ethics — Steven Matteo. Steven Matteo, Republican, was elected to the New York City Council in 2013, after a decade of public service. He was elected to Minority Leader of the Council in July of 2015 and has worked to improve the quality of life and providing better government services. He serves District 50.
- Committee on State and Federal Legislation — Andrew Cohen. Andrew Cohen, Democrat, was elected to the New York City Council in 2014 and serves District 11. He is an advocate for New York City public schools and served as a Court Attorney in the Bronx Supreme Court.
- Committee on Technology — currently no members.
- Committee on Transportation — Ydanis Rodriguez. Ydanis Rodriguez, Democrat, has an education-focused agenda, having worked as a teacher for 13 years, and also works to protect and improve the rights of women, immigrants, and workers. He was recognized as Time Magazine’s Person of the Year in 2011 for his efforts to the Occupy Wall Street protests. He serves District 10.
- Committee on Veterans — Chaim M. Deutsch. Chaim M. Deutsch, Democrat, represents District 48 and has focused on the #GetAlarmedNYC campaign and the online program to provide New Yorkers with free access to vehicle collision reports.
- Committee on Women — Helen Rosenthal. Helen Rosenthal, Democrat, was elected to the New York City Council in 2013 and has fought for more funding for social service nonprofit service providers. She serves District 6.
- Committee on Youth Services — Deborah Rose. Deborah Rose, Democrat, is a State Island native and the first African American from Staten Island elected to the New York City Council. She was elected in 2009 and previously served as Deputy Majority Leader. She serves District 49, and secured the largest economic development project to come to Staten Island.