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Speaker Adams Names City Council Leadership, New Committee Chairs and Members


Adrienne Adams City Council chairs

Speaker Adams and several City Council members (photo: John McCarten/NYC Council Media Unit)


City Council Speaker Adrienne Adams announced new members to her leadership team and chair appointments to the newly-seated Council’s three dozen committees on Thursday.

Adams, a Democrat from Southeast Queens, had already named three members to key positions when she was elected speaker in an internal vote of the Council earlier this month. Council Member Diana Ayala of the Bronx and Manhattan was given the newly-created position of deputy speaker. Council Member Keith Powers of Manhattan was named majority leader and Council Member Selvena Brooks-Powers of Queens was appointed majority whip.

All three also received committee chair positions on Thursday. Ayala will head up the general welfare committee, Powers will be in charge of the rules, privileges and elections committee, and Brooks-Powers will lead the transportation and infrastructure committee.

Speaker Adams and the vast majority of the 51-member City Council are Democrats, while the body has five Republicans.

"I am proud to announce our City Council’s Leadership, as well as committee chairs and assignments. This is the most diverse City Council in history, and each member’s experiences and expertise will shape the important work of our legislative body," Adams said in a statement. "I am confident that this City Council will work together to achieve our shared goal of providing strong oversight as a co-equal branch of city government and improving the lives of every New Yorker. We are unified and ready to roll up our sleeves and get to work."

Council Member Rafael Salamanca Jr., a Bronx Democrat serving his second term, retained leadership of the powerful land use committee, which is essential in deciding on the various rezonings that come before the Council. In recent years, there have been several hotly-debated land use issues including the failed Amazon campus deal, the city’s borough-based jails plan, and large scale neighborhood rezonings. Under land use, the Subcommittee on Zoning and Franchises will be chaired by Council Member Kevin Riley of the Bronx, and the Subcommittee on Landmarks, Public Sitings, and Dispositions will be led by Council Member Farah Louis of Brooklyn.

Council Member Justin Brannan, a Brooklyn Democrat who had also sought the speaker position before dropping out and backing Adams, was given the helm of the powerful finance committee. As finance chair, Brannan will serve in one of the most prominent roles in the Council, leading budget hearings and, along with the speaker, budget negotiations with Mayor Eric Adams’ administration. 

The Committee on Education is, as usual, the largest committee in the Council. It includes 21 members and will be chaired by Brooklyn Council Member Rita Joseph, who was an educator before she took office this year. The Committee on Higher Education, which has oversight of the City University of New York, will be led by Council Member Eric Dinowitz of the Bronx, also a former educator.

With the city continuing to recover from the coronavirus pandemic, the Committee on Health has one of the most important jurisdictions on the Council as it oversees the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Emergency Medical Services, and the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner. It will be chaired by Council Member Lynn Schulman of Queens, who has been a longtime activist before joining the Council and spent years on health care advocacy. The separate Committee on Hospitals will be chaired by Brooklyn Council Member Mercedes Narcisse, who has been a registered nurse for three decades. Council Member Linda Lee of Queens will chair the Committee on Mental Health, Disabilities, and Addictions. Lee was previously President and CEO of Korean Community Services of Metropolitan New York, which, in 2015, became the “first and only state-licensed mental health clinic operated by a nonprofit serving the Korean American community,” according to her Council campaign website

With Mayor Adams having won the race for City Hall with a message focused on policing and public safety, the Council’s Committee on Public Safety is likely to play an especially notable role in the next four years. The committee is being chaired by Council Member Kamillah Hanks of Staten Island.

Council Member Gale Brewer will chair the Committee on Oversight and Investigations. Brewer previously served on the Council from 2002 till 2013 before serving two terms as Manhattan borough president and then returning to the legislative body.

Council Member Julie Menin of Manhattan will chair the Committee on Small Business. Menin most recently served as director of the city’s 2020 Census operation after leading the Mayor’s Offiec of Media and Entertainment and the Department of Consumer Affairs under Mayor Bill de Blasio.

Of the five Republicans in the Council, only Council Member Joann Ariola from Queens was given charge of a committee, as chair the Fire and Emergency Management committee, which includes in its purview the Department of Emergency Medical Services, the Emergency Management Department, and the Fire Department. The committee was previously led by Council Member Joe Borelli, a Staten Island Republican who is now serving a second full term and is the Council’s minority leader.

Council Member Crystal Hudson will lead the Committee on Aging, which deals with issues related to older New Yorkers and has oversight over the Department of the Aging.

The Committee on Civil and Human Rights, which has jurisdiction over the Equal Employment Practices Commission and Human Rights Commission, will be led by Council Member Nantasha Williams of Queens.

Council Member Carmen De La Rosa from Manhattan will chair the Committee on Civil Service and Labor. It has oversight of the municipal pension and retirement systems, and the Office of Collective Bargaining, Office of Labor Relations, and Office of Labor Services.

The Committee on Consumer and Worker Protection (previously known as the Committee on Consumer Affairs and Business Licensing) will be headed by Council Member Marjorie Velázquez of the Bronx. Her role will include oversight of the city’s Department of Consumer and Worker Protection, the Office of Nightlife, and broadly consumer rights issues.

Council Member Julie Won of Queens will chair the Committee on Contracts, which oversees city procurement and contracting issues, and includes the Mayor’s Office of Contract Services and the Procurement Policy Board under its authority.

Council Member Carlina Rivera of Manhattan will lead the Committee on Criminal Justice, which has oversight power over the Department of Correction and Department of Probation. The committee’s work could come into direct conflict with the Adams administration as the mayor has promised to keep a version of punitive segregation in city jails – Rivera is among dozens of members who support banning the practice and criticized the mayor for his stance. 

The Committee on Cultural Affairs, Libraries, and International Intergroup Relations will be chaired by Council Member Chi Ossé of Brooklyn.

Council Member Amanda Farías of the Bronx will lead the Committee on Economic Development, which oversees the Economic Development Corporation, which is among the favored tools for mayoral administrations to launch various job-creation programs, redevelopment initiatives, and infrastructure projects.

The Committee on Environmental Protection will be led by Council Member James Gennaro of Queens. This will be the second time Gennaro chairs the committee after a previous stint when he was in the Council between 2002 and 2013. The Committee on Resiliency and Waterfronts will be chaired by Council Member Ari Kagan of Brooklyn.

Council Member Sandra Ung of Queens will chair the Committee on Governmental Operations, which has a broad purview that includes the Department of Citywide Administrative Services, Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings, Board of Elections, Board of Standards and Appeals, Campaign Finance Board, Commission on Public Information and Communication, community boards, Department of Records and Information Services, Financial Services Agency, and the Law Department.

Council Member Pierina Sanchez of the Bronx will chair the Committee on Housing and Buildings, which oversees the Department of Buildings, the Department of Housing Preservation and Development, and broadly issues related to the city’s rent regulation policies. Council Member Alexa Avilés of Brooklyn will lead the Committee on Public Housing, which has oversight of the New York City Housing Authority, the largest public housing agency in the nation that is home to more than 400,000 New Yorkers. 

The Committee on Immigration will be chaired by Council Member Shahana Hanif of Brooklyn. Hanif, the daughter of Bangladeshi immigrants, is the first Muslim woman and one of only two South Asians to be elected to the Council.

Queens Council Member Shekar Krishnan, the other South Asian member of the Council, is chairing the Committee on Parks and Recreation.

The Committee on Sanitation and Solid Waste Management will be led by Council Member Sandy Nurse of Brooklyn.

Brooklyn Council Member Kalman Yeger will chair the Standards and Ethics committee, which has jurisdiction over the Conflicts of Interest Board and also handles internal investigations into complaints of ethical and workplace violations by Council Members. Under the previous Council class, the committee was far busier than usual and took disciplinary measures in several instances, including three investigations into Council Member Andy King of the Bronx, which eventually led to his expulsion from the Council.

Council Member Shaun Abreu from Manhattan will chair the Committee on State and Federal Legislation, which mainly handles resolutions calling for the passage of bills at the federal and state levels, including “Home Rule Messages” that request specific legislation affecting the city. 

Council Member Jennifer Gutiérrez, whose district covers parts of Brooklyn and Queens, is leading the technology committee, which will now oversee Mayor Adams’ newly-christened Office of Technology and Innovation, as well as the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment and NYC TV.

Council Member Bob Holden of Queens will chair the military veterans committee.

The Committee on Women and Gender Equity will be led by Council Member Tiffany Cabán of Queens. Besides overseeing the city’s efforts to improve economic, social, and civic participation of women and girls, it also examines issues around domestic violence and oversees the Office to End Gender-Based Violence and the Commission on Gender Equity, among other responsibilities and areas of focus.

The Committee on Youth Services will be chaired by Council Member Althea Stevens of the Bronx. The committee has jurisdiction over the Department of Youth and Community Development, Inter-agency Coordinating Council on Youth, and Youth Board.

Queens Council Member Francisco Moya, who was effectively the runner-up in the speaker race, is chairing the newly-created Subcommittee on COVID Recovery and Resiliency.

Brooklyn Council Member Darlene Mealy will chair a Subcommittee on Senior Centers and Food Insecurity, also new to the Council.

Council Member Oswald Feliz of the Bronx will chair a special committee, the Twin Parks Citywide Taskforce on Fire Prevention, which was created in the wake of the deadly fire in the Bronx last week that killed 17 people, including eight children. 

Below is the full list of committees and their membership:

AGING
Crystal Hudson (Chair)
Eric Dinowitz
Linda Lee
Christopher Marte
Darlene Mealy
Kristin Richardson Jordan
Lynn Schulman

CIVIL AND HUMAN RIGHTS
Nantasha Williams (Chair)
Rita Joseph
Christopher Marte
Kristin Richardson Jordan
Rafael Salamanca
Inna Vernikov

CIVIL SERVICE & LABOR
Carmen De La Rosa (Chair)
Erik Bottcher
Tiffany Cabán
Eric Dinowitz
Oswald Feliz
Kamillah Hanks
Rita Joseph
Julie Menin
Francisco Moya
Sandy Nurse

 CONSUMER AND WORKER PROTECTION
Marjorie Velázquez (Chair)
Shaun Abreu
Erik Bottcher
Gale Brewer
Amanda Farías
Shekar Krishnan
Julie Menin
Chi Ossé
Julie Won

 CONTRACTS
Julie Won (Chair)
Joann Ariola
James Gennaro
Bob Holden
Linda Lee
Sandy Nurse
Lincoln Restler

CRIMINAL JUSTICE
Carlina Rivera (Chair)
Shaun Abreu
David Carr
Shahana Hanif
Mercedes Narcisse
Lincoln Restler
Lynn Schulman
Althea Stevens 

CULTURAL AFFAIRS, LIBRARIES & INTERNATIONAL INTERGROUP RELATIONS
Chi Ossé (Chair)
Eric Dinowitz
Amanda Farías
Shahana Hanif
Crystal Hudson
Farah Louis
Rita Joseph
Sandra Ung 

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
Amanda Farías (Chair)
Alexa Avilés
Jennifer Gutiérrez
Ari Kagan
Kevin Riley
Rafael Salamanca Jr.
Nantasha Williams 

EDUCATION
Rita Joseph (Chair)
Shaun Abreu
Alexa Avilés
Carmen De La Rosa
Eric Dinowitz
Oswald Feliz
James Gennaro
Jennifer Gutiérrez
Shahana Hanif
Kamillah Hanks
Shekar Krishnan
Linda Lee
Farah Louis
Christopher Marte
Julie Menin
Mercedes Narcisse
Lincoln Restler
Pierina Sanchez
Lynn Schulman
Althea Stevens
Sandra Ung 

ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION
James Gennaro (Chair)
Jennifer Gutiérrez
Kamillah Hanks
Ari Kagan
Julie Menin
Francisco Moya
Sandy Nurse
Lincoln Restler 

FINANCE
Justin Brannan (Chair)
Diana Ayala
Charles Barron
Gale Brewer
Selvena Brooks-Powers
David Carr
Amanda Farías
Kamillah Hanks
Crystal Hudson
Ari Kagan
Farah Louis
Chi Ossé
Keith Powers
Pierina Sanchez
Marjorie Velázquez
Julie Won 

FIRE AND EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT
Joann Ariola (Chair)
David Carr
Carmen De La Rosa
Oswald Feliz
James Gennaro
Bob Holden
Farah Louis
Kevin Riley
Lynn Schulman
Kalman Yeger 

GENERAL WELFARE
Diana Ayala (Chair)
Tiffany Cabán
Crystal Hudson
Linda Lee
Chi Ossé
Lincoln Restler
Kevin Riley
Althea Stevens
Sandra Ung
Nantasha Williams 

GOVERNMENTAL OPERATIONS
Sandra Ung (Chair)
Gale Brewer
Eric Dinowitz
Shahana Hanif
Lincoln Restler
Lynn Schulman 

HEALTH
Lynn Schulman (Chair)
Joann Ariola
Charles Barron
Oswald Feliz
Crystal Hudson
Mercedes Narcisse
Marjorie Velázquez
Kalman Yeger 

HIGHER EDUCATION
Eric Dinowitz (Chair)
Charles Barron
Gale Brewer
Oswald Feliz
Inna Vernikov 

HOSPITALS
Mercedes Narcisse (Chair)
Charles Barron
Selvena Brooks-Powers
Jennifer Gutiérrez
Rita Joseph
Francisco Moya
Carlina Rivera 

HOUSING AND BUILDINGS
Pierina Sanchez (Chair)
Alexa Avilés
Charles Barron
Tiffany Cabán
Eric Dinowitz
Oswald Feliz
Crystal Hudson
Ari Kagan
Carlina Rivera 

IMMIGRATION
Shahana Hanif (Chair)
Carmen De La Rosa
Rita Joseph
Shekar Krishnan
Francisco Moya
Pierina Sanchez
Sandra Ung
Julie Won 

LAND USE
Rafael Salamanca Jr. (Chair)
Joe Borelli
Erik Bottcher
Selvena Brooks-Powers
Kamillah Hanks
Ari Kagan
Shekar Krishnan
Farah Louis
Darlene Mealy
Francisco Moya
Kevin Riley
Carlina Rivera
Pierina Sanchez 

MENTAL HEALTH, DISABILITIES AND ADDICTION
Linda Lee (Chair)
Shaun Abreu
Diana Ayala
Erik Bottcher
Tiffany Cabán
Shahana Hanif
Darlene Mealy
Vickie Paladino
Nantasha Williams 

OVERSIGHT AND INVESTIGATIONS
Gale Brewer (Chair)
Diana Ayala
Rita Joseph
Shekar Krishnan
Rafael Salamanca Jr.
Nantasha Williams
Julie Won
Marjorie Velázquez
Kalman Yeger 

PARKS AND RECREATION
Shekar Krishnan (Chair)
David Carr
Eric Dinowitz
Bob Holden
Linda Lee
Christopher Marte
Julie Menin
Mercedes Narcisse
Lincoln Restler
Sandra Ung
Marjorie Velázquez 

PUBLIC HOUSING
Alexa Avilés (Chair)
Diana Ayala
Charles Barron
Carmen De La Rosa
Darlene Mealy
Chi Ossé
Lincoln Restler
Rafael Salamanca Jr.
Pierina Sanchez
Julie Won 

PUBLIC SAFETY
Kamillah Hanks (Chair)
Joann Ariola
Erik Bottcher
Justin Brannan
Tiffany Cabán
Carmen De La Rosa
Bob Holden
Rita Joseph
Darlene Mealy
Francisco Moya
Althea Stevens 

RESILIENCY AND WATERFRONTS
Ari Kagan (Chair)
Joann Ariola
James Gennaro
Christopher Marte
Sandy Nurse
Vickie Paladino 

RULES, PRIVILEGES AND ELECTIONS
Keith Powers (Chair)
Adrienne Adams
Justin Brannan
Gale Brewer
Selvena Brooks-Powers
Crystal Hudson
Rafael Salamanca Jr.
Pierina Sanchez 

SANITATION AND SOLID WASTE MANAGEMENT
Sandy Nurse (Chair)
Erik Bottcher
Amanda Farías
James Gennaro
Julie Menin
Chi Ossé
Kristin Richardson Jordan
Rafael Salamanca Jr.
Marjorie Velázquez
Nantasha Williams 

SMALL BUSINESS
Julie Menin (Chair)
Selvena Brooks-Powers
Tiffany Cabán
Shekar Krishnan
Darlene Mealy
Sandra Ung
Marjorie Velázquez 

STANDARDS AND ETHICS
Kalman Kalman Yeger (Chair)
Eric Dinowitz
Crystal Hudson
Carlina Rivera
Inna Vernikov 

STATE AND FEDERAL LEGISLATION
Shaun Abreu (Chair)
Carmen De La Rosa
James Gennaro
Jennifer Gutiérrez
Francisco Moya 

TECHNOLOGY
Jennifer Gutiérrez (Chair)
Shaun Abreu
Bob Holden
Vickie Paladino
Julie Won 

TRANSPORTATION AND INFRASTRUCTURE
Selvena Brooks-Powers (Chair)
Joann AriolaDavid Carr
Amanda Farías
Ari Kagan
Linda Lee
Farah Louis
Mercedes Narcisse
Lincoln Restler
Althea Stevens
Marjorie Velázquez
Nantasha Williams
Julie Won
Kalman Yeger 

VETERANS
Bob Holden (Chair)
Joann Ariola
Eric Dinowitz
Sandy Nurse
Vickie Paladino
Kristin Richardson Jordan

WOMEN AND GENDER EQUITY
Tiffany Cabán (Chair)
James Gennaro
Jennifer Gutiérrez
Kristin Richardson
JordanKevin Riley
Althea Stevens

YOUTH SERVICES
Althea Stevens (Chair)
Alexa Avilés
Chi Ossé
Kristin Richardson Jordan
Kevin Riley
Nantasha Williams

SUBCOMMITTEES:

COVID RECOVERY AND RESILIENCY
Francisco Moya (Chair)
Diana Ayala
Justin Brannan
Gale Brewer
Selvena Brooks-Powers
Mercedes Narcisse
Carlina Rivera 

LANDMARKS, PUBLIC SITING AND MARITIME USES
Farah Louis (Chair)
Carmen De La Rosa
Oswald Feliz
Bob Holden
Christopher Marte
Sandy Nurse
Sandra Ung
Inna Vernikov

SENIOR CENTERS AND FOOD INSECURITY
Darlene Mealy (Chair)
Justin Brannan
Eric Dinowitz
Linda Lee
Christopher Marte

ZONING AND FRANCHISES
Kevin Riley (Chair)
Shaun Abreu
Erik Bottcher
David Carr
Kamillah Hanks
Farah Louis
Francisco Moya
Lynn Schulman 

SPECIAL COMMITTEE: Twin Parks Citywide Taskforce on Fire Prevention
Oswald Feliz (Chair)
Joann Ariola
Alexa AvilésAmanda Farías
Pierina Sanchez

***
by Samar Khurshid, senior reporter, Gotham Gazette
     

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