NYC Council members secure committee positions under new leadership

Adrienne Adams (D-Queens) on her first day as speaker of the City Council, Jan. 5.
Photo by John McCarten/NYC Council Media Unit

At the first full-stated meeting of the year on Jan. 20, New York City Council Speaker Adrienne Adams (D-Queens) debuted her committee choices, all approved with zero no votes and two abstentions. 

“Together, this group will help guide our shared efforts to support members craft equitable policies and execute our vision for this legislative session. And I am confident that together we will move our city forward,” said Adams.

Council Member Carlina Rivera (D-East Village) will serve as the chair of the Committee on Criminal Justice. Rivera has previously served on this committee, under chair Keith Powers (D-Manhattan).

“Our current criminal legal system is archaic and outdated. New Yorkers deserve better, and the onus is on us as legislators to heed their call for stronger and bolder policy,” she said in a statement after the meeting. 

Council Member Rita Joseph (D-Brooklyn) will chair the Committee on Education. Joseph has been dedicated to education in her district since she was elected in 2021, and is a former public school teacher. Previously, she was a member of the Committee on Rules, Privileges, and Elections. 

“For the last 22 years, I have diligently served as a public school teacher at PS6. Working on behalf of my students and their families was one of the great joys in my life. Now, as Chairwoman of the Education Committee, I will be afforded the opportunity to advocate on behalf of students not just at PS6, but all over New York City,” she said. 

Member Shahana Hanif, a new council member and the first Muslim woman. to be elected to the council, was named chair of the Committee on Immigration. 

“As the daughter of two working-class Bangladeshi immigrants, I am deeply honored to be selected as the next chair of our City Council’s Immigration Committee,” Hanif said. 

She will be focused on the smooth implementation of the non-citizen voting rights legislation, and keeping immigrants protected from Immigrations and Customs Enforcement. 

“There is so much work to be done to ensure we keep ICE, and organizations that contract with the rogue federal agency, out of our city,” she said. 

Julie Menin (D—Upper East Side) will serve as chair of the Committee on Small Business. As soon as her appointment was announced, the NYC Hospitality Alliance released a statement in support of the appointment. “As a former small business owner, chair of a community board, commissioner of several city agencies that oversaw the reduction of small business fines by millions of dollars, creation of the Office of Nightlife, and much more, Council Member Menin has the deep experience needed, and the track record of getting important things done in our city,” said Executive Director Andrew Rigie, and Robert Bookman, counsel for the NYC Hospitality Alliance. 

Majority Whip Selvena Brooks-Powers (D-Queens) was appointed the chair of the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, giving her even more power in the Council. “As we work with our partners in government and stakeholders, my highest priority is to build a more equitable transportation system for all New Yorkers.””

Here is a list of some more major committee appointments:

Civil and Human Rights: Nantasha Williams (D-Queens)*

Civil Service and Labor: Carmen de La Rosa (D-Manhattan)*

Consumer Affairs and Business Licensing: Marjorie Velazquez(D-Bronx)

Contracts: Julie Won (D-Queens)

Cultural Affairs, Libraries, and International Intergroup Relations: Chi Ossé (D-Brooklyn)*

Economic Development: Amanda Farías (D-Bronx)

Environmental Protection: James Gennaro (D-Queens)

Finance: Justin Brannan (D-Brooklyn)

Fire and Emergency Management: Joann Ariola (R-Queens)*

General Welfare: Diana Ayala (D-Manhattan/Bronx)

Governmental Operations: Sandra Ung (D-Queens)

Health: Lynn Schulman (D-Queens)

Higher Education: Eric Dinowitz (D-Bronx)

Hospitals: Mercedes Narcisse (D-Brooklyn)

Housing and Buildings: Pierina Sanchez (D-Bronx)*

Land Use: Rafael Salamanca (D-Bronx)

Mental Health, Disabilities and Addictions: Linda Lee (D-Queens)

Oversight and Investigations: Gale Brewers (D-Manhattan)

Parks and Recreation: Shekar Krishnan (D-Queens)*

Public Housing: Alexa Áviles (D- Brooklyn)

Public Health: Kamilla Hanks (D-Staten Island)*

Resiliency and Waterfronts: Ari Kagan (D-Brooklyn)

Rules, Privileges and Elections: Keith Powers (D-Manhattan)

*recently elected