Mayor Bill de Blasio today announced the appointment of the 13 remaining members to the City’s Charter Revision Commission – first announced as part of the Mayor’s DemocracyNYC agenda at his 2018 State of the City address in February. Last month, Mayor de Blasio appointed Cesar Perales as Chair with Rachel Godsil serving as his Vice-Chair. The newly formed commission will review the entire City Charter. The review will include an examination of New York City’s campaign finance system, enhancing voter participation, and improving the electoral process, among other issues identified by the public in a series of hearings.
“In New York City, we’re committed to doing all we can to drive democracy and that starts with reviewing our charter,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “I’m proud to announce the full Commission and thank them for their hard work for the people of this city.”
Announced today, the new members of the Charter Revision Commission are listed below:
Carlo A. Scissura, a lifelong New Yorker and President and CEO of the New York Building Congress, will be the Secretary of the Commission. Before his time at the Building Congress, Scissura spent years as a dedicated public servant in Brooklyn – working as the President and CEO of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce and as Chief of Staff and General Counsel to Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz.
Larian Angelo is a Senior Fellow at the CUNY Institute for State and Local Governance (ISLG). Prior to joining the ISLG, she served in city government for 27 years as first deputy director at the NYC Office of Management and Budget (OMB), Vice-President for Administration at Guttman Community College, deputy director for education and intergovernmental relations at OMB and Finance Director at the New York City Council. Angelo holds a Ph.D in economics.
Deborah N. Archer is an Associate Professor of Clinical Law at NYU Law. She was previously an Assistant Counsel at the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund where she litigated at the trial and appellate levels in cases involving affirmative action in higher education, employment discrimination, school desegregation, and voting rights. Archer additionally served as a Marvin H. Karpatkin Fellow with the American Civil Liberties Union where she was involved in federal and state litigation on issues of race and poverty. Archer previously served as a mayoral appointee to the New York City Civilian Complaint Review Board.
Kyle Bragg is 32BJ SEIU’s Secretary-Treasurer. A member of the 165,000 member 32BJ for more than 30 years, Kyle serves as trustee of several 32BJ funds and as chair of the union’s social and economic justice committee. He is a member of the executive board of the two million-member national Service Employee International Union, the National African-American Caucus of SEIU and serves on the international union’s first Racial Justice Task Force. Bragg also serves as a board member of Community Board 13 in Queens.
Marco A. Carrión is the Commissioner of the Mayor’s Community Affairs Unit, working to connect City Hall to communities across the city, especially in the outer boroughs. Before his role as Commissioner, Marco was the Political and Legislative Director for the New York City Central Labor Council, Chief of Staff to New York State Senator Gustavo Rivera, Director of New York City Intergovernmental Affairs to Governor David Paterson, and worked for the AFL CIO in Washington D.C.
Una Clarke serves as President of Una Clarke Associates, a consulting firm specializing primarily in education management, political consulting, and small business services. Previously, Clarke served as a New York City Councilwoman, representing Brooklyn’s 40th Council District for 10 years starting in 1991. Clarke sponsored more than 300 pieces of legislation on issues including child welfare, education, health and mental health, economic development, public safety and transportation. Clarke is currently a CUNY trustee, appointed by Mayor de Blasio.
Angela Fernandez is the Executive Director and Supervising Attorney of Northern Manhattan Coalition for Immigrant Rights, a leading community-based legal services and advocacy organization for low-income immigrants. She brings to the Board 20 years of experience in law, media, non-profit management, government, policy development, and advocacy. Her prior government experience includes working as District Chief of Staff to U.S. Representative José Serrano and as a staff aide to U.S. Senator Bill Bradley.
Sharon Greenberger is the 10th President and CEO of the YMCA of Greater New York, a leading New York City non-profit organization serving over 500,000 children, adults and seniors annually through programs and services focused on empowering youth, improving health, and strengthening community. Prior to joining the YMCA in July 2015, Sharon served as the Senior Vice President, Facilities and Real Estate at New York-Presbyterian Hospital and the Chief Operating Officer for the New York City Department of Education.
Dale Ho is the Director of the ACLU’s Voting Rights Project where he supervises the ACLU’s voting rights litigation and advocacy work nationwide. Dale has active cases in over a dozen states throughout the country. He has litigated cases under the federal Voting Rights Act and the National Voter Registration Act. Dale is also an adjunct professor of law at NYU School of Law.
Mendy Mirocznik is the president of C.O.J.O of Staten Island, a borough wide civic organization dedicated to providing services to those less fortunate, including housing and a food pantry which provides hundreds of hot meals to our fixed income seniors. Mirocznik is also a member of Community Board 2.
Annetta Seecharran has a 25-year track record working to improve conditions for marginalized communities, with a focus on championing initiatives that benefit immigrants and young people and always drawing attention to emerging trends impacting vulnerable populations. She is currently the Executive Director of Chhaya Community Development Corporation, previously led South Asian Youth Action and has served as Director of Policy for United Neighborhood Houses.
John Siegal is a partner at BakerHostetler where he handles litigations, arbitrations, and appeals for clients in the financial services, media, and real estate industries. John’s public service experience includes working as an Assistant to Mayor David N. Dinkins and as a Capitol Hill staff aide to Senator (then Congressman) Charles E. Schumer.
Wendy Weiser directs the Democracy Program at the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU Law. Her program focuses on voting rights and elections, money in politics and ethics, redistricting and representation, government dysfunction, rule of law, and fair courts. She founded and directed the program’s Voting Rights and Elections Project, directing litigation, research, and advocacy efforts to enhance political participation and prevent voter disenfranchisement across the country.
The Commission will begin its work immediately. It will hold its first organizational meeting next week, which the public is invited to attend, and its first public, borough meeting the following week.
You can learn more about the Commission and find more information about public meetings here.
“It is an honor to be named Secretary of the City’s Charter Commission, and I thank Mayor de Blasio for the opportunity to serve our residents by further establishing New York as the model for an inclusive, engaged democracy,” said Commission Secretary Carlo A. Scissura. “As a vital pillar of New York City, the construction industry continually strives to offer common-sense solutions to the challenges facing the five boroughs and aims to grow our economy and make our neighborhoods better places to live. I look forward to bringing our industry’s dedication and expertise to the table in the commission’s efforts to encourage civic engagement.”
“As a lifelong New Yorker and public servant, I understand the central role the City Charter plays in providing an electoral and governance road map for city leaders,” said Commission Member Larian Angelo. “I am grateful to Mayor de Blasio for this opportunity to take a fresh look at the foundational processes that keep New York City strong”
“I am proud to have this opportunity to work Chair Perales and the other members of the Commission to help make our democracy more inclusive and more equitable. Now, more than ever, it is critical that all New Yorkers have a voice in how their City is run,” said Commission Member Deborah M. Archer.
“It’s an honor to be appointed to the City’s Charter Review Commission,” said Commission Member Kyle Bragg. “Now more than ever, it’s incumbent upon all of us to ensure that our democracy is as inclusive as can be. I look forward to serving with this esteemed group to ensure that New York City is doing everything it can to increase voter participation and put democracy in the hands of the working people of our city, not the moneyed few.”
“I thank Mayor de Blasio for the opportunity to serve in the new City’s Charter Revision Commission and outline meaningful and long-lasting reforms to assure that our communities increase their participation in our democracy,” said Commission member Marco A. Carrión. “New York City is on its way to become the fairest big city in America by constantly pursuing justice and equity, and the creation of a City’s Charter Revision Commission is a step in the right direction to achieve that goal sooner.”
“It is my honor and privilege to serve on the City’s Charter Review Commission,” said Commission Member Una Clarke. “I look forward to working with the rest of the members as we ensure that New Yorkers have a fair and democratic charter that empowers them.”
“I look forward to serving on the Charter Revision Commission and working to bring about reforms that will enhance New Yorkers’ civic participation and electoral representation,” said Commissioner Member Angela Fernandez.
Commission Member Sharon Greenberger said, “I am thrilled to join this effort to expand access to our democracy, enhance voter participation, and make New York City a healthier and stronger community.”
“I am honored to join a distinguished group of Commissioners and look forward to reviewing proposals for improving the electoral process, to help build and sustain the vibrant and inclusive democracy that New Yorkers deserve,” said Commission Member Dale Ho.
“I am honored to serve and I look forward to this opportunity to work diligently for the people of New York City,” said Commission Member Mendy Mirocznik.
Commission Member John Siegal said, “I appreciate the opportunity to join this Commission in the ongoing reform effort to make this a safer, more just and equitable, and more democratic and responsive City.”
Commission Member Annetta Seecharran said, “Protecting and preserving our democracy feels more urgent than ever. I look forward to working with my fellow commissioners to ensure that New York City is truly fair, inclusive and representative of its people.”
“Energizing our democracy starts at the local level,” said Commission Member Wendy Weiser. “At a time when our country’s democratic institutions face serious challenges, this is an opportune moment to reimagine how our city can be a model for participatory politics nationwide. I’m proud to be part of that effort.”