Chair – Committee on Economic Development
New York City Council
Born and raised on the East Side of Manhattan, Dan Garodnick was elected to the New York City Council on November 8, 2005.
Garodnick was praised by the New York Times for his “independent streak,” as well as for being a “champion of smarter redevelopment along the East River and a fighter for increased funding for the city’s public school students.” In his first year on the Council, Garodnick established himself as a leader in the fight for affordable housing, spearheading the $4.5 billion tenant-backed bid for the purchase of Stuyvesant Town/Peter Cooper Village.
His “creative problem solving” recently earned Garodnick a place on City Hall’s list of “The Next Generation of Political Leaders in New York.” In 2007, Garodnick secured the funds to build a new library for a middle school in his district — then organized a book drive that added over 4,000 books to the library’s shelves. He was also recognized for his “out-of-the-box public service” after mediating between the owners of a restaurant in his district and a group of workers who had filed a federal discrimination lawsuit, and winning praise from both sides for negotiating an equitable settlement. Garodnick authored and passed a law to make government work better for property owners by staggering the City’s mandated building façade inspections, and in October 2007 he introduced historic legislation to protect tenants from harassment by their landlords.
With a background in civil rights and education advocacy, Garodnick represented the Partnership for New York City in the landmark Campaign for Fiscal Equity lawsuit. Before joining the City Council, he also directed the New York Civil Rights Coalition’s “Unlearning Stereotypes: Civil Rights and Race Relations Program” in 42 New York City public schools, teaching students non-violent ways to combat racial discrimination, and how to use the processes of government to affect social change. Additionally, Garodnick represented thirteen same-sex couples seeking marriage equality in New York State, and sought and received funding to rebuild African-American churches in Virginia and Georgia burned by racially-motivated arson.
Prior to entering public office, Garodnick practiced as a litigator at the New York law firm of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP. Garodnick also served as a law clerk to the Honorable Colleen McMahon of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York.
Garodnick holds a J.D. from University of Pennsylvania Law School, where he was Editor-in-Chief of the Law Review, and a B.A. in Government from Dartmouth College. Garodnick grew up in a rent-stabilized apartment in the Stuyvesant Town/Peter Cooper Village community on Manhattan’s East Side, and he lives in that neighborhood today.