Exclusive: Johnson fills out senior leadership

New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson speaking at a rally
New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson speaking at a rally
Shutterstock.com
New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson speaking at a rally

Exclusive: Johnson fills out senior leadership

New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson is staffing up.
February 2, 2018

New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson will add four people to his senior staff, including a former real estate lobbyist.

Johnson is hiring Jason Goldman as deputy chief of staff. Goldman will be leaving his job as vice president at lobbying and government affairs firm Kasirer. The firm made more from lobbying in Albany in 2016 than any other firm, and was the second-richest lobbying shop in New York City politics. Goldman was one of Kasirer’s biggest names, and a mainstay on the City Hall steps. In January, he and his wife Camille Joseph, a regional vice president at Charter Communications and one-time manager of Anthony Weiner’s mayoral campaign, watched from the balcony of the City Council chambers as Johnson was officially named speaker.

At Kasirer, Goldman represented real estate clients like SL Green, Brookfield Properties and Forest City Ratner. Goldman also represented the Hotel Association of New York, a trade group with ties to the Hotel Trades Council. The HTC has been one of Johnson’s biggest allies, and may be already be influencing his planned crackdown on illegal Airbnb rentals.

Goldman also represented a number of nonprofit clients like the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty, Citymeals on Wheels and Big Brothers Big Sisters. Goldman previously worked for a decade at the United Federation of Teachers.

Johnson is also hiring Jenny Low as his director of community engagement. Low is a former vice president at JP Morgan Chase, who has been serving as chairwoman of the board at the Chinese-American Planning Council, a lower Manhattan social service nonprofit.

Ebony Meeks-Laidley is being hired as senior advisor to the speaker. Meeks has been a deputy press secretary for Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie since he was elected speaker in 2015. She is the daughter of U.S. Rep. Gregory Meeks, who represents southeast Queens.

Tiffany Townsend is joining Johnson’s team as special advisor to the speaker. Townsend is a Democratic district leader on the east side of Manhattan and a longtime public relations professional with stints at the Port Authority, the New York Wheel and NYC & Company, the city’s tourism arm.

Jeff Coltin
is a staff reporter at City & State. He covers New York City Hall.
20180919