Lever has served as Acting Director of PEU since January 2021. Prior to serving as Acting Director, Lever served as PEU’s Senior Advisor for Strategic Capacity Building.
In her role as Director of PEU, Lever will lead coordination between City Hall and various City agencies to connect New Yorkers to critical resources and services.
From helping New Yorkers access healthcare and housing to promoting civic engagement, PEU acts as the outreach unit for the Mayor’s Office, enabling New Yorkers in every neighborhood to access New York City’s wide array of City services.
As a seasoned political organizer, Adrienne Lever brings years of experience leading public outreach, community organizing, and civic technology projects.
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Leveraging her skills and experience from the private, public, nonprofit sectors, Lever will work collaboratively with agency heads and other senior officials from the de Blasio Administration to proactively engage New Yorkers, working to make it easier for New Yorkers to access important City services.
Under Adrienne’s leadership, PEU has scaled its use of peer-to-peer text messaging, relational organizing, and voter registration tools, ultimately reaching millions of New Yorkers over the past year.
Through the integration of this outreach technology, PEU and its agency partners have successfully supported New Yorkers facing issues with rent relief, vaccine appointments, health insurance coverage, civic engagement, and other critical benefits.
“The past year deepened the need for New Yorkers to have easy access to crucial City services and resources. We are lucky to have Adrienne Lever leading the City’s coordinated efforts to get New Yorkers in every neighborhood connected, informed, and empowered,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “With her expertise in organizing and public outreach, Adrienne will play a pivotal role in making sure that our city’s Recovery for All of Us reaches everyone, including our most vulnerable New Yorkers.”
“Throughout her career, Adrienne has shown a clear dedication to serving the public with thoughtfulness and intention,” said Deputy Mayor for Strategic Policy Initiatives Phillip Thompson. “I congratulate her on her appointment and am excited to continue working with Adrienne to ensure equity in the City’s outreach—from COVID-19 vaccine distribution to civic engagement, more broadly.”
“I am honored to work alongside the exceptional team at the Public Engagement Unit, leveraging campaign style outreach tactics and innovative technology to connect New Yorkers to critical resources,” said Adrienne Lever, Director of the Mayor’s Public Engagement Unit. “This proactive community outreach is redefining the role of government and its obligation to ensure equitable access to services, and I am so proud to be a part of that effort.”
Adrienne Lever brings over a decade of experience in political organizing, civic technology, and electoral campaigns, having previously worked in both the Obama and Clinton campaigns, in addition to helping launch Swing Left, a national grassroots organization that formed in the wake of the 2016 loss and went on to mobilize over half a million volunteers to take back the house in 2018.
Before serving as Acting Director of PEU, Lever served as PEU’s Senior Advisor for Strategic Capacity Building.
Previously, Lever worked as a Senior Director at Democracy Works, a non-profit that builds tools to streamline the elections process and coordinate voter registration efforts at hundreds of US colleges and universities.
She also served as a Director of Partnerships at Change.org, the world’s largest platform for civic action with more than 150 million users globally.
In her spare time, she designs and leads training programs for youth activists and political leaders internationally, with a focus on organizing in a digital age.
The Public Engagement Unit was created by Mayor de Blasio in 2015 to serve low-income New Yorkers and connect them to key City services, using innovative methods of proactive outreach.
PEU uses innovative tools, outreach methods, and case-management strategies, in addition to multilingual and multimedia advertising campaigns, to help individual New Yorkers understand what services may be available to them and streamline their enrollment process.
To date, PEU has reached hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers through targeted outreach and by working collaboratively with other government agencies, community organizations, and elected officials.
PEU’s model has proven critical in the midst the COVID-19 pandemic. By combining proactive outreach, long-term case management, and a unique interagency approach, PEU breaks down bureaucratic barriers to better serve those who are struggling with a range of hardships—from landlord abuse, homelessness, and eviction to lack of health insurance, food insecurity, and much more.
In addition to helping New Yorkers every day through core programs, PEU has been front and center of vital recovery and relief efforts.
PEU has provided strategic guidance, outreach staff, and technology for countless COVID-19 response initiatives, including Get Food, Get Cool, Test and Trace, senior wellness check-ins, price-gouging monitoring, and registering thousands of seniors in low-income and at-risk communities to for vaccine appointments.