A Post-COVID Manhattan: What Have We Learned and What Does the Future Look Like?

October 21, 2020  
5:00PM - 6:00PM
Event Description

Join us for a webinar discussing Manhattan.  Even though Manhattan was the first borough with a confirmed COVID case it was not hit as hard as some of the other boroughs . What is the reason for this?  What does Manhattan look like in 2021? 

This special issue and event will offer the following:

•Manhattan Power 50 List ranking top leaders in government relations, advocacy, business, media and academia in Manhattan

•Manhattan Heroes List honoring individuals and groups who have gone above and beyond during the 2020 pandemic and have helped the lives of Manhattan residents

•Top 10 Elected Officials list ranking top elected government officials in the borough

Gale Brewer
Gale Brewer
Manhattan Borough President
Gale A. Brewer is the 27th Borough President of Manhattan. Since she took office in 2014, she has successfully passed legislation to reform the deed restriction process, add ‘caregivers’ to the city’s anti-discrimination law, remove criminal history questions from initial employment applications (the “Fair Chance Act”), and enforce requirements for street numbers on buildings in Manhattan (to aid emergency workers). She has also spearheaded community planning initiatives at the South Street Seaport, in East Midtown, and in other neighborhoods to address development and zoning issues. In 2018, Brewer served as Chair of the Large Cities Council of the National League of Cities, and has been named a member of their 2019 Human Development federal advocacy committee, which advocates NLC policy positions on issues involving social services, children and learning, poverty and income support, employment and workforce development, equal opportunity, Social Security and seniors, individuals with disabilities, public health care, mental health parity, and immigration reform. Brewer previously served on the City Council for 12 years, serving as the founding chair of the Technology Committee and leading the Government Operations Committee. There, the Council passed her legislation guaranteeing paid sick leave for most hourly employees, requiring all City data be published online, and protecting domestic workers from abusive practices. Prior to that, she served as Chief of Staff to Council Member Ruth Messinger, NYC Deputy Public Advocate, Director of the city’s Federal Office, and Executive Director of the Mayor’s Commission on the Status of Women. Brewer has an MPA from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and did her undergraduate work at Columbia University and Bennington College.
Brian Benjamin
New York State Senator
Brian A. Benjamin New York State Senator District 30 Brian A. Benjamin is the New York State Senator for District 30, which encompasses Harlem, East Harlem, and the Upper West Side. He was born in Harlem to a Caribbean mother who came to this country seeking new opportunities. Though they didn’t have a college education, his parents were fortunate enough to find well-paying union jobs, which allowed them to provide Brian and his siblings with a middle class upbringing. After graduating from high school in New York City, Brian sought the quality education his parents had dreamed of providing him with, earning his undergraduate degree in Public Policy from Brown University and his MBA from Harvard Business School. Brian spent three years working in investment banking at Morgan Stanley. There he worked in financial management, advising nonprofit and for profit organizations and individuals on how best to allocate hundreds of millions of dollars, exercising and honing his skills as an investment and financial adviser. Additionally, he worked in the division that issued and underwrote bonds, which is similar to the work he had done in the treasury department of manufacturing conglomerate after college. Brian returned to Harlem to build affordable housing, creating over a thousand units of environmentally sustainable, affordable housing at an M/WBE while helping young people develop work skills and secure good construction jobs through community youth programs. Brian is heavily involved in his community, having served as Chair of Community Board 10 and the Land Use Committee, a position he used to preserve the character of our community (such as his successful “Harlem not SOHA” campaign), and help keep Harlem affordable. He helped countless young people at Harlem’s Wadleigh High School achieve a brighter future since launching a mentoring program in 2013, and he is honored to serve as an alumni-elected trustee of Brown University. In addition to his work in the community, Brian has long been active in progressive politics, serving as a 2012 delegate for President Barack Obama and as a member of President Obama’s National Finance Committee. He also worked in finance, electoral politics, and interned in the office of Bill Lynch & Associates. Brian is an active member of Harlem’s historic First Corinthian Baptist Church. In the New York State Senate, Brian has distinguished himself as a leader in criminal justice reform and affordable housing. In 2018 he successfully pushed for the divestment of the state public pension funds from private prisons, and the following year he introduced a bill to forbid state-chartered banks from such investments as well, which helped pressure Bank of America to end their relationship with Geo Group and Core Civic. Brian’s proposal to keep rent controlled apartments affordable was a part of the history-making Tenant Protection Act of 2019, the largest expansion of tenant’s rights in decades. In his first term, he served as ranking member of the Senate Committee on Civil Service and Pensions, where he looked to defend the public pensions of hard working public servants like his parents while ensuring the pension money was invested in a manner that reflected New York’s values. He currently serves as the chair of the Budget and Revenue committee, and as Senior Assistant Majority Leader. After graduating from business school, Brian wanted to return to the neighborhood that gave his family a start in life over 40 years ago. It was Harlem Hospital that opened its doors to his pregnant mother without health insurance years ago, and while it’s a coincidence that Brian can see that same hospital from his office window in Harlem, it is purposeful that Brian looks to give back to New York as much as it has given to him.
Adriano Espaillat
Congressman, NY District 13
Representative Adriano Espaillat proudly represents New York’s Thirteenth Congressional District. He was sworn into office on January 3, 2017, during the 115th Congress. First elected to Congress in 2016, Rep. Adriano Espaillat is serving his second term in Congress where he serves as a member of the influential U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee, the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, and the House Small Business Committee. He is a member of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) and serves in a leadership role as CHC Whip. He is also chairman of the CHC Task Force for Transportation, Infrastructure and Housing. Rep. Espaillat is a Senior Whip of the Democratic Caucus and Deputy Whip of the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC). Rep. Espaillat’s congressional district includes Harlem, East Harlem, West Harlem, Hamilton Heights, Washington Heights, Inwood, Marble Hill, and the north-west Bronx.
Liz Krueger
Liz Krueger
New York State Senator
First elected to the New York State Senate in a Special Election in February 2002, Liz Krueger is currently the ranking minority member of the Senate Finance Committee and a member of the Codes, Elections, Higher Education, Housing, Construction and Community Development, Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities and Rules Committees. Senator Krueger is a strong advocate for tenants’ rights, affordable housing, improved access to health care and prescription drug coverage, social services, and more equitable funding for public education, including higher education. She has made reforming and modernizing New York State’s governmental and electoral processes and tax policy central goals of her legislative agenda. Senator Krueger received her Bachelor’s degree in Social Policy and Human Development from Northwestern University and also holds a Master’s degree from the University of Chicago’s Harris Graduate School of Public Policy.
Camarda Photo
Alex Camarda
Director of Government Affairs, Charter Communications
Alex Camarda is a Director of Government Affairs for Charter Communications (“Spectrum”). He works on government relations issues and legislative matters for the company for New York City, New Jersey and states in the Northeast. He previously oversaw public policy and advocacy for 8 years at the good government organizations Reinvent Albany and Citizens Union, and worked in the New York State Senate for 3 years. Camarda also worked at the New York City Department of Education for 7 years as high school social studies teacher and director of new school development.

Welcome & Opening Remarks By Jeff Coltin, Senior Reporter, City & State NY


Introductory Remarks By Alex Camarda, Director, Government Affairs, Charter Communications


Panel Discussion

New York State Senator Brian Benjamin

Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer

Congressman, NY District 13 Adriano Espaillat

New York State Senator Liz Krueger


Closing Remarks

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