Meet the City Council’s New Members: Rory Lancman

Meet the City Council’s New Members: Rory Lancman

Meet the City Council’s New Members: Rory Lancman
January 28, 2014

The most immediate change for Rory Lancman as he enters the City Council will be his ability to make a name for himself as a legislator on a larger level than he ever could as an assemblyman in Albany, where he served for six years. The Council is a body of 51 compared with the Assembly’s 150, meaning there is less red tape in passing legislation, and members have a much larger platform to effect change on a granular level in their districts.

Lancman’s experience in the Assembly prepared him well for legislating in New York City, he says, and his success in passing legislation in Albany despite the difficulty of doing so—19 bills he proposed were signed into law—should give him a head start in navigating the Council.

“I know that in order to pass legislation or move an issue you have to work collaboratively with the leadership and other members and stakeholders and the administration to get things done,” Lancman said. “There are many moving parts to an issue, and failing to account for any of those parts could allow the wheel to fall off the wagon at the very last minute. That’s something I certainly learned in Albany, when you realize the extent to which everything is interconnected with everything else.”

Lancman’s priorities as a councilman dovetail nicely with the reshaped political landscape, following a near complete turnover in city government. With the election of Bill de Blasio as mayor, Lancman sees an opportunity to be part of a new progressive wave aiming to level the city’s economic playing field. Among the issues he hopes to focus on are setting wage and benefit standards for companies that take taxpayer subsidies, and adjusting the city’s mix of income, property and sales taxes to help alleviate the tax burden on middle class New Yorkers.

“Those are the issues that I care about: making life more affordable for people that I represent, whether they’re middle class folks or people at the bottom rung of the economic ladder. The government can do a lot to increase economic mobility for those at the bottom, and to let those in the middle get out from a sense of being drowned by how expensive life is in New York.”

District: 24
Neighborhoods represented: Briarwood, Fresh Meadows, Hillcrest, Hillcrest Estates, Jamaica Estates, Jamaica Hill, Kew Gardens Hills, Utopia Estates; parts of Forest Hills, Flushing, Jamaica and Rego Park
Policy focus: Economic mobility
Date of birth: March 1, 1969
Birthplace: Queens, N.Y.
Education: Queens College; Columbia Law School
Previous occupation: New York State assemblyman, 25th Assembly District
Family: Wife: Morgan; three children
Party: Democrat
City & State