Power Lists

The 2024 New York City Power 100

Leaders who’ve made this the greatest city in the world.

City & State presents the 2024 New York city Power 100.

City & State presents the 2024 New York city Power 100. Maremagnum / Getty Images

There are many things that never change in New York City. The lights will be bright on Broadway, there will always be crowds at Zabar’s, power will flow through the streets and while there may be challenges, the city will always bounce back. New York City’s most powerful are meeting the challenges – some of the most complex the city has ever faced – head on. New policies are being crafted, new industries are taking hold and new people are on the rise. Progressives and establishment types continue to have a push and pull on the direction of the city. In the end, the most powerful people in the most powerful city on Earth will shape the future meeting the contours of the ever-present challenges that New York City always bestows on those who step up to lead. Here are big names on the New York City Power 100 who keep the city running.

1. Eric Adams

New York City Mayor
Eric Adams / Tim Nwachukwu, Getty Images

Entering his third year in office, New York City Mayor Eric Adams has outlined a broad agenda, while at the same time facing off with some of the largest crises that any Big Apple chief executive has encountered. Adams has announced plans to relieve $2 billion in medical debt for city residents, declared social media a threat to public health and announced plans to create a new Department of Sustainable Delivery to regulate package and food deliveries citywide. Yet Adams is still beset by a migrant crisis, without much help from President Joe Biden, and an ongoing investigation into his campaign finances.

2. Kathy Hochul

Kathy Hochul / NYS Governor's Office

Just over a decade removed from managing driver’s licenses and land records in Erie County, Gov. Kathy Hochul now wields power over the direction of one of the most powerful cities in the world. Hochul’s agenda includes addressing the future of housing, with the governor taking a second attempt to shape real estate in the city and the suburbs. She is also looking to overhaul the state’s energy policy, a potential boost to the growing clean energy industry in the city. Hochul has proposed spending $2.4 billion to address the migrant crisis in her budget proposal and has called on President Joe Biden to do more to help state and local governments to address the issue.

3. Adrienne Adams

New York City Council Speaker
Adrienne Adams / William Alatriste, New York City Council

New York City Council Speaker Adrienne Adams is establishing herself as the boss in City Hall’s East Wing – and no other Adams will hinder her co-equal branch of government. The speaker has been unafraid to stand up to Mayor Eric Adams, including overriding his vetoes and pushing legislation that runs contrary to the mayor’s agenda. Adams has also exerted her authority within the City Council, including removing several progressive members who voted against the budget from their committee chairs and installing a new majority leader in a surprise move this year.

4. Andrea Stewart-Cousins & Carl Heastie

State Senate Majority Leader; Assembly Speaker
Andrea Stewart-Cousins & Carl Heastie / NYS Senate Media Services; Assembly

The leaders of the state Legislature may have a statewide focus, but both wield immense power over New York City. Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, who has deep roots in the city as a former Bronx Democratic Party boss, has outlined an agenda for 2024 anchored in expanding affordable housing, funding public schools and implementing an ambitious clean energy program. Coming off a year in which the state Senate flexed its political muscle with the historic defeat of Hector LaSalle for chief judge, Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins is pushing a comprehensive housing plan for the state, including exploring the “good cause” eviction bill that stalled last year.

5. Charles Schumer

U.S. Senate Majority Leader
Charles Schumer / U.S. Senate

Entering his 50th year as a legislator, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer is not just New York’s longest serving senator, but he’s at the zenith of his power, serving as majority leader of a closely divided U.S. Senate. The Brooklyn lawmaker is leading the Senate in negotiating a government spending plan, border security and military assistance issues for Ukraine and Israel. Schumer will likely face a tough path to retain the majority leader’s office in the 2024 election.

6. Hakeem Jeffries

House Minority Leader
Hakeem Jeffries / Office of Representative Hakeem Jeffries

There are few constants in Washington, D.C., these days, but one is that House Democrats have not lost that loving feeling for their leader while House Republican leaders can’t seem to avoid internecine squabbles. House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries maintained the discipline of his caucus through the never-ending votes for House speaker in 2023. It’s a discipline that Jeffries hopes to maintain next year, particularly if Democrats seize the majority and Jeffries settles in as the nation’s first Black House speaker. But first, Jeffries needs to navigate a complex 2024 electoral map, much of which flows through New York.

7. Letitia James

State Attorney General
Letitia James / Kyle O'Leary

State attorneys general around the country tackle a variety of issues, including combating consumer fraud, battling crime and drugs and suing the president for whatever is bothering them. The most prominent and powerful among them is Letitia James, who has shown that she lives in fear of no one. She has taken on everyone from former President Donald Trump to the National Rifle Association, is leading on national issues like immigration and pollution, and in New York City has been holding the police department and ride-hailing companies accountable.

8. Jumaane Williams

New York City Public Advocate
Jumaane Williams / Caroll Andrewsk, New York City Public Advocate's Office

Each public advocate has remade the office in their own image, from Letitia James’ quasi-public interest law firm to Betsy Gotbaum’s efforts to work within the corridors of power. Jumaane Williams’ approach is as a bill drafter. Williams has used his power to introduce legislation in the City Council to pass a ban on solitary confinement and new reporting requirements for police officer interactions with the public. Williams’ efforts haven’t endeared him to Mayor Eric Adams, who vetoed the bills – only to see the City Council override the vetoes.

9. Brad Lander

New York City Comptroller
Brad Lander / Gerri Hernandez

One of the most powerful municipal finance officials in the country, Brad Lander has used his office to position himself as a top critic of Mayor Eric Adams. Lander has taken away Adams’ emergency powers over migrant-related contracts, citing issues with City Hall’s work on the issue. He has been critical of Adams’ recent budget cuts and rejected the suggestion that the migrant crisis is not the root cause of fiscal woes. The office is a springboard for mayoral runs, yet the last city comptroller to get elected mayor was Democrat Abe Beame in 1973.

10. Ingrid Lewis-Martin

Chief Adviser to the Mayor
Ingrid Lewis-Martin / Benny Polatseck/Mayoral Photography Office

No one in city government is closer to Mayor Eric Adams than Ingrid Lewis-Martin, his top adviser. Known as Adams’ fixer and the “Lioness of City Hall,” Lewis-Martin is engaged in any number of key issues and has positioned herself as the second most powerful person in the administration. Among Lewis-Martin’s sources of power is her oversight of the appointments office, giving her control of staffing in the upper echelons of city government, as well as her long history as a trusted confidante of Adams.

11. Sheena Wright, Ana Almanzar, Phil Banks, Meera Joshi, Fabien Levy, Maria Torres-Springer & Anne Williams-Isom

New York City Deputy Mayors
Sheena Wright, Ana Almanzar, Phil Banks, Meera Joshi, Fabien Levy, Maria Torres-Springer & Anne Williams-Isom / Provided; NYC Mayor's Office; NYPD; Mayoral Photography Unit; Michael Appleton, Office of the Mayoral of New York City; NYC HPD; Michael Appleton, Mayoral Photography Office

Since moving up to the first deputy mayor post last year, Sheena Wright has dealt with such weighty matters as the city budget, housing policy and the migrant crisis. The trusted Eric Adams ally oversees agencies including the budget office and serves as acting mayor when the mayor leaves town. Wright’s promotion led to Ana Almanzar joining the administration as deputy mayor for strategic initiatives. A former gubernatorial nonprofit policy adviser, Almanzar handles nonprofit matters for city government while overseeing youth, food security and education programs.

Once the city’s top uniformed police official, Deputy Mayor for Public Safety Phil Banks now oversees public safety agencies including the fire department and emergency management office. The longtime Adams confidant also oversees the city’s troubled Department of Correction. Anne Williams-Isom has some of the biggest issues in city government on her plate. The deputy mayor for health and human services has been coordinating the city’s response to the migrant crisis and has now taken on Adams’ plan to cancel medical debt for city residents. Once the nation’s top interstate trucking regulator, Meera Joshi is now in command of city infrastructure. Among the items under Joshi’s purview are implementation of city climate policy, rebuilding the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, the reconstruction of the Hunts Point Terminal Market in the Bronx and the future of the Cross Bronx Expressway. Maria Torres-Springer saw her portfolio grow to include housing policy last year when she was appointed deputy mayor for housing, economic development and workforce. Torres-Springer argues that state officials need to pass a new housing plan to help the city, and she has been working on implementation of the city’s goal to create 30,000 apprenticeships by 2030.

Fabien Levy became the city’s first deputy mayor for communications last year after serving as Adams’ press secretary. Levy has been a top communications adviser for state Attorney General Letitia James, then-Rep. Kathy Hochul and former U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.

12. David Banks

Chancellor, New York City Department of Education
David Banks / New York City Public Schools

Running a public school system is not for the faint of heart in the best of times. Schools Chancellor David Banks not only is navigating a rough period in public education for the country, he’s got some only in New York-specific matters to grapple with. Banks and Mayor Eric Adams are asking Albany to provide another extension of mayoral control. Banks also has to deal with parents upset over school closures and redistricting issues, concerns over the safety of Jewish teachers and students, and the education of migrant children.

13. Janno Lieber

Chair and CEO, Metropolitan Transportation Authority
Janno Lieber / Metropolitan Transportation Authority

Janno Lieber may have the biggest impact of any Metropolitan Transportation Authority chief since Dick Ravitch. Lieber is in the middle of the most sweeping overhaul of transportation policy in decades with the implementation of congestion pricing, which will also provide badly needed funding for his sprawling transit network. To get there, Lieber faces another hurdle: a legal challenge from New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy. Apart from congestion pricing in Manhattan, Lieber has unveiled a new subway car design that’s got a fan in Gov. Kathy Hochul.

14. Henry Garrido

Executive Director, District Council 37
Henry Garrido / DC 37

Henry Garrido is not happy with Mayor Eric Adams. The powerful municipal labor chief – whose union is the city’s largest, with some 150,000 members and 89,000 retirees – has been vocal and litigious in his opposition to Adams’ budget cuts, saying they would disrupt city services by laying off his members and that Adams should have looked at revenue hikes instead. This comes months after Garrido inked a new labor pact with Adams that provided raises for his members. He also endorsed the Clean Slate Act, saying it would be an economic boon to the state by bringing more people into the workforce.

15. George Gresham

President, 1199SEIU
George Gresham / Belinda Gallegos

The leader of the state’s largest union, George Gresham has been focused on making sure New York is affordable. Gresham is calling for the passage of “good cause” eviction legislation, saying it is needed to reduce evictions in the state and keep rents affordable. Gresham noted this would help keep his members and other New Yorkers in the state. Gresham has been outspoken in fighting any proposal by Gov. Kathy Hochul in cutting the health care budget. In New York City, Gresham endorsed the How Many Stops Act, new police legislation that was passed despite Mayor Eric Adams’ veto.

16. Alvin Bragg, Darcel Clark, Eric Gonzalez, Melinda Katz & Michael McMahon

District Attorneys, Manhattan, Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island
Alvin Bragg, Darcel Clark, Eric Gonzalez, Melinda Katz & Michael McMahon / Manhattan D.A.'s Office's Photo Unit; Eric Steltzer; Brooklyn DA's Office; Lynn Savarese; The Richmond County District Attorney's Office

Such legends as Thomas Dewey, Frank Hogan and Robert Morganthau have held the post of Manhattan district attorney. Current District Attorney Alvin Bragg wants to cement his name on that list. The first prosecutor in American history to file criminal charges against a former president, Bragg’s trial against Donald Trump – which a judge just set a March date for – will play out against the backdrop of a presidential election, Trump’s civil legal troubles and criminal cases against Trump in other states. Bragg has also continued to drive down gun violence, his office’s top priority, while partnering with law enforcement, community groups and local residents.

A former state appeals judge, Darcel Clark has just started her third term as the Bronx’s top prosecutor. Clark has been pushing passage of parole reform bills at the state level and supports overhauling the state’s discovery reforms. Clark also relied on a federal grant for genetic investigations to bring a groundbreaking indictment of a rape cold case.

Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez has been a trailblazing reformer, ending prosecutions of low-level marijuana possession, backing bail reform and reversing wrongful convictions. Gonzalez is now touting what he says are the safest conditions Brooklyn has enjoyed in years.

While she’s entering her second term as Queens district attorney, Melinda Katz has been a longtime leader in the “World’s Borough.” The former borough president has created units to address wrongful convictions and cold cases, along with addressing issues related to gun violence, illegal gun possession, human trafficking and domestic violence prevention.

The most powerful Democrat on Staten Island, District Attorney Michael McMahon has managed to keep Republican-leaning Richmond County happy since he ran for reelection unopposed last year. The former member of Congress has called for mandatory drug prevention education in schools, as well as revisions to the state’s discovery laws.

17. Edward Caban & Laura Kavanagh

Commissioners, New York City Police Department; New York City Fire Department
Edward Caban & Laura Kavanagh / NYPD Photo Unit; New York City Fire Department

Edward Caban and Laura Kavanagh are history-making trailblazers, Caban as the first Hispanic police commissioner and Kavanagh as the first female fire commissioner. Caban, who became commissioner last year, quickly put his own stamp on the department by reshuffling his command staff while easing tensions between his predecessor and City Hall. Caban has been working on outreach with City Council members on public safety issues, including a ride-along with lawmakers and Mayor Eric Adams, although it wasn’t enough to prevent an override of the mayor’s veto of a policy transparency bill. Meanwhile, Kavanagh’s attempts to put her stamp on the FDNY have been met with resistance from top fire chiefs, who have used procedural maneuverings in an attempt to block her. She has become a champion of lithium-ion battery safety, advocating a federal ban on unlicensed lithium-ion batteries in order to prevent fires. Kavanagh’s advocacy on the issue has included speaking before the U.S. Conference of Mayors and lobbying on Capitol Hill.

18. Michael Gianaris

State Senate Deputy Majority Leader
Michael Gianaris / Office of Senator Michael Gianaris

State Sen. Michael Gianaris has positioned himself as one of the most powerful deputy majority leaders in state Senate history. The western Queens lawmaker was a key progressive voice in the defeat of Hector LaSalle for chief judge last year and in negotiations over a number of issues, including the budget and housing policy. Gianaris has called for looking at changing the nomination process for the state Court of Appeals, saying the current process is not transparent. He has also said he wants to look at the passage of a comprehensive housing plan this year.

19. Rick Cotton

Executive Director, Port Authority of New York and New Jersey
Rick Cotton / Brian Caraveo, PANYNJ

Rick Cotton may not have an over 1,300-page tome penned about him like Robert Moses, but the Port Authority chief may come as close as any present-day government appointee can to replicating Moses’ influence over New York’s transportation infrastructure. Cotton has been overseeing major renovations of all three of the region’s main airports, including turning LaGuardia Airport from a punchline to a paragon of architectural excellence. Not to be outdone, he’s developing a new bus terminal in Midtown and has his hands in the Gateway rail tunnel project. Exhausted yet? Not Cotton, who presides over one of the nation’s busiest seaports.

20. Damian Williams & Breon Peace

U.S. Attorneys, Southern District of New York; Eastern District of New York
Damian Williams & Breon Peace / U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York; U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of New York

Being a U.S. attorney in New York City is an influential post, due in large part to the high-profile defendants these federal prosecutors target. Damian Williams, the first Black person to serve as U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, made headlines for convicting cryptocurrency fraudster Sam Bankman-Fried. He’s now pushing for a federal takeover of Rikers Island, and his next move may be bringing a case against New York City Mayor Eric Adams. U.S. Attorney Breon Peace, the top federal prosecutor in New York’s Eastern District, has convicted R. Kelly and former Mexican official Genaro García Luna, while also focusing on ghost guns, environmental justice and the tactics of the New York City Police Department’s Special Victims Division. And both prosecutors have turned heads in Washington, D.C. Williams indicted U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chair Bob Menendez of New Jersey and his wife over allegations that the couple took gold bars, appliances and a Mercedes in exchange for influencing Egypt and Qatar policy. Peace indicted then-Rep. George Santos last year over campaign finance allegations – and Santos was later shown the door by his congressional colleagues.

21. Jerry Nadler

Member of Congress
Jerry Nadler / U.S. House of Representatives

In his second year representing both sides of Central Park, Rep. Jerry Nadler remains one of the most important New Yorkers on Capitol Hill. Amid an influx of migrants into New York City, the top Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee has said undocumented immigrants could play a key economic role for the country, particularly in agriculture. Nadler has also called for a national strategy to combat antisemitism. With Nadler protégé Scott Stringer exploring another run for mayor, political observers will be watching to see how involved the Upper West Side’s political godfather gets in the race.

22. Adriano Espaillat

Member of Congress
Adriano Espaillat / Celeste Sloman

Rep. Adriano Espaillat knows how to wield power both in Washington, D.C., and back home. Espaillat holds a seat on the powerful House Appropriations Committee, giving him a voice in the divvying up of all federal discretionary spending. In New York, Espaillat presides over a powerful political organization that has a track record of delivering votes for chosen candidates in Upper Manhattan and the Bronx. Espaillat has said migrants will not destroy the city and is the new Democratic co-lead sponsor in the House of Representatives on a bipartisan bill to create a permanent Western Hemisphere trade partnership to counter China’s role in global manufacturing.

23. Michael Mulgrew

President, United Federation of Teachers
Michael Mulgrew / United Federation of Teachers

The head of one of New York’s largest teachers unions has a blunt message for Gov. Kathy Hochul: Her proposed education aid formula overhaul and education budget just doesn’t cut it. Michael Mulgrew said Hochul’s proposals do not keep up with inflation, and thus equate to funding cuts. Mulgrew also joined with Staten Island Borough President Vito Fossella on a federal lawsuit against congestion pricing, arguing that the plan would shift traffic and air pollution to the outer boroughs where many teachers and students live.

24. Zach Iscol, Kevin D. Kim, Jimmy Oddo, Dawn Pinnock, Ydanis Rodriguez & Ashwin Vasan

Commissioners, New York City Office of Emergency Management; Department of Small Business Services; Department of Buildings; Department of Citywide Administrative Services; Department of Transportation; Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
Zach Iscol, Kevin D. Kim, Jimmy Oddo, Dawn Pinnock, Ydanis Rodriguez & Ashwin Vasan / NYCEM; David S. DuPuy; Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images; NYC DCAS, William Campos; Celeste Sloman; DOHMH

Dr. Ashwin Vasan is not just New York City’s health commissioner, he’s a scourge of Silicon Valley. Vasan is behind the city’s initiative to declare social media a public health hazard, particularly for young people, aligning with his focus on improving mental health. Vasan also launched a campaign to lengthen the lifespans of New Yorkers.

When Jimmy Oddo left Staten Island Borough Hall, he showed no signs of slowing down – and now he’s in the thick of construction safety issues and energy policy debates as the city’s buildings commissioner. Oddo is responding to building and parking garage collapses in the city, removing construction sheds in Manhattan and implementing the city’s new energy law.

Small Business Services Commissioner Kevin D. Kim has been in the middle of a number of key economic policies, and is now helping to combat gun violence as well. Kim has unveiled a new small-business jobs program that will directly work in communities hit most by gun violence in order to provide economic opportunities to reduce crime. His department also launched an AI-driven chatbot to help small-business owners.

Department of Citywide Administrative Services Commissioner Dawn Pinnock is not just the woman who manages the city’s internal operations, she’s also an environmental and workforce development leader. Pinnock, who oversees the city’s $1 billion in annual purchasing of goods and services, has implemented hiring halls to increase city employment, job skills training programs and a new green vehicle program for the city’s motor vehicle fleet.

From the canyons of lower Manhattan to the shores of the Rockaways, Zach Iscol is focused on combating a slew of emergencies. With climate change ratcheting up the importance of the Office of Emergency Management, Iscol, a Marine veteran and former city comptroller candidate, will have his hands full from everything from potential floods to steam pipe explosions.

Someone has to keep New Yorkers moving, and Transportation Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez is on the job. The former New York City Council member and Eric Adams ally is overseeing such projects as the rebuilding of the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, deploying speed cameras and adding bike and bus lanes.

25. Mitchell Katz

President and CEO, NYC Health + Hospitals
Mitchell Katz / Roland Pugh, NYC Health + Hospitals

After leading the nation’s largest municipal hospital system through a global pandemic, Mitchell Katz is embracing new challenges and launching new initiatives. Katz recently unveiled a new podcast to better connect NYC Health + Hospitals providers with city residents and to share health tips. Katz also announced the system’s first solar power installation at Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst in Queens and expanded a community mural project in city hospitals. The hospital system also received high federal ratings for price transparency.

26. Gregory Meeks

Member of Congress
Gregory Meeks / Kristie Boyd, Official House Photographer

Queens is the world’s borough, so it makes sense that its Democratic county leader is also the top Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee. Rep. Gregory Meeks called for a pause in U.S. aid to Egypt after the indictment of U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez on charges that he accepted bribes from the Egyptian government. Meeks also helped craft a bipartisan resolution in support of Israel after the Oct. 7 Hamas attack and has stated that both sides want peace. Closer to home, Meeks helped select former Rep. Tom Suozzi as the party’s candidate for the seat vacated by George Santos.

27. Grace Meng

Member of Congress
Grace Meng / U.S. House

The most senior New Yorker on the House Appropriations Committee, Rep. Grace Meng has a seat at the table when trillions of dollars in federal funds are allotted. The Queens lawmaker has called for more federal funding to address flooding in Queens, is co-leading a bipartisan coalition to allow federal SNAP funds to be used for hot meal purchases and continues to push for a crackdown on mail theft. With at least two Appropriations Committee Democrats above her in seniority poised to leave Congress, Meng may soon be on the rise, with the possibility of moving into a powerful subcommittee leadership perch on the spending panel.

28. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Member of Congress
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez / Franmarie Metzler, US House Office of Photography

Five years after taking Washington, D.C., by storm and upending how Congress does business in the social media age, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez continues to evolve in her role as a progressive firebrand. AOC has assumed more powerful institutional roles, as vice ranking minority member of the Oversight and Accountability Committee and ranking minority member of the Energy and Mineral Resources Subcommittee, where she sought to kill an oil and gas project in Alaska. Closer to home, she has touted handling almost 1,500 constituent cases in 2023.

29. Ritchie Torres

Member of Congress
Ritchie Torres / Office of Rep. Ritchie Torres

Rep. Ritchie Torres has been an outspoken defender of Israel following the deadly Oct. 7 Hamas attack. He has been quick to condemn others – notably the Democratic Socialists of America, which counts fellow Bronx Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez as a member – who he believes are criticizing Israel unfairly. Outside of foreign policy, Torres has called the Securities and Exchange Commission’s enforcement of cryptocurrency “arbitrary and capricious” and part of a commission war on crypto. The former public housing resident has also kept close watch on the New York City Housing Authority, which he criticized in the wake of a bombshell corruption takedown.

30. Amanda Farías, Diana Ayala & Selvena Brooks-Powers

Majority Leader; Deputy Speaker; Majority Whip, New York City Council
Amanda Farías, Diana Ayala & Selvena Brooks-Powers / Emil Cohen, NYC Council Media Unit; William Alatriste

New York City Council Member Amanda Farías saw her power grow immensely this year with her appointment as the new majority leader. She had already staked out a key economic leadership position in the city as Economic Development Committee chair. Farías has written laws to grow the city’s manufacturing sector, chaired hearings on the implementation of cannabis legalization and made city ferries more accessible. 

The City Council’s deputy speaker and General Welfare Committee chair, Council Member Diana Ayala has been diving into Mayor Eric Adams’ decision to put a 60-day limit on shelter use by migrant families before they have to seek placement in a new shelter. Ayala has expressed concern that this could disrupt the education of migrant children, including the potential of requiring children to commute hours to school each day. 

City Council Majority Whip Selvena Brooks-Powers has been using her role as Transportation and Infrastructure Committee chair to get things done. She has held Transportation Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez’s feet to the fire when he and his top deputies could not provide answers to her bike lane questions at a hearing. The coastal Queens lawmaker also pushed through legislation requiring the city Parks and Recreation Department to offer free swimming lessons to second graders in public schools.

31. Camille Joseph Varlack

Chief of Staff, New York City Mayor’s Office
Camille Joseph Varlack / New York City Mayor’s Office

After serving during New York City Mayor Eric Adams’ first year in office as a senior adviser, Camille Joseph Varlack moved up to chief of staff as 2023 kicked off. Varlack has been a driver of Adams’ key priorities, including the response to the migrant crisis and attempts to secure federal funding to aid in the effort. This has included meetings with key White House aides, including intergovernmental affairs chief Tom Perez. Varlack is also a member of the State University of New York board of trustees.

32. Michael Dowling

President and CEO, Northwell Health
Michael Dowling / Northwell Health

As the leader of now 85,000 staff at Northwell Health for the past two decades, Michael Dowling presides over the state’s largest private employer – and is one of the most influential business leaders in New York. Dowling is charting the future of health care, predicting that more health care will not be performed in hospitals but in ambulatory surgical centers or on an outpatient basis. He has also said more needs to be done to address the root causes of health issues, including lifestyle choices, place of residence and behavior. Dowling said this type of data analysis would allow for health care providers to better address preventative care.

33. Suri Kasirer

President, Kasirer
Suri Kasirer / Kasirer

Some people in politics only need to be known by their first name, and while the firm uses her last name, Suri Kasirer is the one of those first-name types. Running New York City’s top lobbying firm by revenue, Kasirer has become a go-to point person for real estate firms, advocacy groups and nonprofits looking to do business in New York. Kasirer just announced a new blue chip hire, with Rep. Jerry Nadler’s longtime chief of staff, Amy Rutkin, joining the firm as a senior adviser. Kasirer also serves on the board of the New York League of Conservation Voters and on the steering committee for the Association for a Better New York.

34. Emily Giske, Michael Keogh & Juanita Scarlett

Partners, Bolton-St. Johns
Emily Giske, Michael Keogh & Juanita Scarlett / Sippakorn Ponpayong; Evan Zimmerman, MurphyMade; Roger Archer

As partners at top-tier lobbying firm Bolton-St. Johns, Emily Giske, Mike Keogh and Juanita Scarlett know how to navigate New York and get things done for their clients. Giske, a vice chair of the state Democratic Party, was a key lobbyist behind the passage of same-sex marriage in New York and played a role in Democrats seizing control of the state Senate in 2018. Keogh has a deep understanding of New York City finances and the labor movement. A former finance director for the New York City Council, Keogh brings expertise in finance, budget, tax and pension policy. A former executive vice president of the Empire State Development Corp. and Port Authority official, Juanita Scarlett knows the state’s economic development landscape and the region’s transportation network. She uses this to assist clients in a number of areas of policy, including energy and education.

Editor’s note: Juanita Scarlett is a member of the City & State’s advisory board

35. Justin Brannan, Gale Brewer, Rita Joseph, Julie Menin, Yusef Salaam & Rafael Salamanca Jr.

Chairs, New York City Council Finance Committee; Oversight and Investigations Committee; Education Committee; Consumer and Worker Protection Committee; Public Safety Committee; Land Use Committee
Justin Brannan, Gale Brewer, Rita Joseph, Julie Menin, Yusef Salaam & Rafael Salamanca Jr. / New York City Council; City Council Media Unit; Marc Baptiste; William Alatriste; Nathan Posner, Anadolu Agency, Getty Images; Celeste Sloman

Coming off a competitive reelection campaign last year, New York City Council Member Justin Brannan has returned to the city budget process. The Finance Committee chair has criticized New York City Mayor Eric Adams’ proposed spending cuts in the next fiscal plan. The Brooklyn lawmaker is also reportedly mulling a run against Rep. Nicole Malliotakis, depending on the new congressional lines.

For Council Member Gale Brewer, no issue is too small. The veteran Upper West Side lawmaker and former Manhattan borough president has been advocating for vendors on the Brooklyn Bridge, raising questions over the safety of lithium-ion batteries and waging war against illegal pot shops – and she wants to know why flooding trapped her on the subway for three hours. In between, she’s reading every report and attending countless events.

Real estate drives New York – and affordable housing is perhaps the city’s biggest challenge – which means Council Member Rafael Salamanca Jr. has a critical assignment. The powerful Land Use Committee chair has called on unused offices to be converted to housing and helped shepherd a new housing policy framework to law last year. Salamanca is exploring a campaign for Bronx borough president in 2025, which would mean a Democratic primary challenge to incumbent Vanessa Gibson.

A public school teacher turned Education Committee chair, Council Member Rita Joseph has been focused on educating migrant students and addressing education disparity issues. Joseph also teamed with Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine on efforts to increase bathroom access.

Lower Manhattan rebuilder, census czar, consumer watchdog, media and entertainment chief – Julie Menin has done it all. Most recently, Menin authored a landmark law to create a new city Office of Healthcare Accountability that will provide price guides for patients at New York City hospitals.

Talk about karma. Over 30 years ago, the New York City Police Department coerced Yusef Salaam into confessing to a crime he did not commit. Now the NYPD has to answer to Salaam, the new chair of the City Council Public Safety Committee.

36. Kathryn Wylde

President and CEO, Partnership for New York City
Kathryn Wylde / Buck Ennis

When New York City’s business community is asking about what Kathy is thinking, they may not be talking about the governor but rather Kathryn Wylde. The influential Partnership for New York CIty chief is an effective voice for the city’s titans of commerce and business. She wants people to stop talking about a “doom loop” for the city’s economy, arguing that the economy has rebounded. She notes that the city is now tied with Tokyo for largest urban economy in the world, that the real estate sector is ready to bounce back from the rise of remote work.

37. Rich Maroko

President, Hotel and Gaming Trades Council
Rich Maroko / Hotel and Gaming Trades Council, AFL-CIO

Rich Maroko has his hands full, thanks to the rebound in New York City’s tourism industry, a dissipating pandemic and the planned downstate casino expansion. The powerful union chief is promoting the union’s work in getting a contract for housekeepers at the Margaritaville Hotel in Times Square for the first time. He also advocated for the state to extend tax credit programs for low-income New Yorkers. Across the Hudson, Maroko was appointed by New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy to the board of New Jersey Transit.

38. Félix V. Matos Rodríguez

Chancellor, City University of New York
Félix V. Matos Rodríguez / Marcus Beasley, CUNY

The first Hispanic chancellor of the nation’s largest urban public university system, Félix V. Matos Rodríguez has been tackling a number of issues lately. Rodríguez launched a new CUNY strategic plan, including goals to make the system more student-centric, expand online learning, boost outreach to city high school students and increase focus on workforce development. Rodríguez has distanced the CUNY system from pro-Palestinian student protests and condemned an anti-Israel commencement speech at CUNY Law School as “hate speech.”

39. Al Sharpton

Founder and President, National Action Network
Al Sharpton / Michael Frost

One of the nation’s most well known civil rights activists, the Rev. Al Sharpton shows no signs of slowing down. Sharpton called the criticisms that led to the resignation of Harvard University President Claudine Gay an attack on Black women and blasted hedge fund manager Bill Ackman, one of her top critics. Sharpton also called South Carolina Republican U.S. Sen. Tim Scott’s praise of former President Donald Trump “humiliating” behavior for a senator. On another hot-button issue affecting New York City, Sharpton has deemed the influx of migrants to be an “invasion.”

40. Jeff Blau & Bruce Beal

CEO; President, Related Companies
Jeff Blau & Bruce Beal / energyRe; Karen Sterling

Related Companies, the megadeveloper behind Manhattan’s Hudson Yards, has jumped into New York City’s casino license competition with a $10 billion proposal. Related CEO Jeff Blau said the plan, which is a joint venture between Related and Wynn Resorts, would bring a casino to the West Side of Manhattan, along with a 1,700 room hotel that would serve the casino and the nearby Javits Center. Blau and Bruce Beal – who oversees daily operations and affordable housing programs – are Related’s key New York executives. Blau has also expanded into the energy space, leading energyRe’s ambitious renewable energy push.

41. Tim Cawley

Chair and CEO, Con Edison
Tim Cawley / Con Edison

There are few businesses in New York that are more well known than Con Edison. Tim Cawley has been leading the utility giant’s role in the city and state’s clean energy transition, including building an electric grid that is 100% clean energy powered by 2040. Among the company’s initiatives is a $15 billion, three-year program to fortify its systems against climate change conditions and to address user surge. The utility has also been adding new transmission lines to tap into new clean energy sources around the state.

42. Manny Pastreich

President, 32BJ SEIU
Manny Pastreich / 32BJ SEIU

New York’s offices, museums and train stations will remain clean – and those doing the cleaning will earn more and receive more generous pensions – thanks to a contract negotiated by Manny Pastreich. The powerful labor leader was ready to lead the 20,000 office cleaners on strike if landlords were not willing to hammer out a new agreement. This was one of the first major agreements Pastreich mediated since taking over in early 2023. Pastreich also plans to play a part in negotiating an affordable housing plan for the state.

43. Gary LaBarbera

President, Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York
Gary LaBarbera / Alex Kaplan Photography

Gary LaBarbera is tackling some of the most high-profile issues in New York City in order to create jobs in the building and construction trades. It’s up to LaBarbera to make a deal with the real estate industry on a revived 421-a affordable housing incentive that includes strong enough labor standards. He’s also a proponent of the proposed soccer stadium in Willets Point, saying it would create 142,000 construction jobs, and he’s calling on the state to make investments into clean energy infrastructure, including funding for workforce development and apprenticeship programs.

44. James Whelan

President, Real Estate Board of New York
James Whelan / Real Estate Board of New York

James Whelan is approaching five years at the helm of the Real Estate Board of New York, one of the most powerful players in city and state policymaking in New York. Whelan, who has been at REBNY since 2010, knows how Albany works – and he’s skeptical that state officials can reach a deal on a new housing growth plan this year that include the “good cause” eviction bill. REBNY’s annual gala draws the likes of Gov. Kathy Hochul, Mayor Eric Adams and U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer.

45. Jed Walentas

Principal, Two Trees Management
Jed Walentas / Two Trees Management

The new chair of the influential Real Estate Board of New York, Jed Walentas is taking on a challenge that is even bigger than transforming Williamsburg, Brooklyn: revamping housing policy in New York. Walentas, the principal of Two Trees Management, has said his top priority at REBNY is building relationships in Albany as state lawmakers debate a new housing plan. Apart from housing policy, Walentas recently completed a new office building at the Refinery at Domino in Williamsburg, next to a park Two Trees developed.

46. James Capalino

CEO, Capalino
James Capalino / Yumi Matsuo

Once the youngest commissioner in New York City history, James Capalino has been one of the city’s most influential political figures ever since his 1979 appointment as general services commissioner. Following his stint in city government, Capalino founded his eponymous lobbying powerhouse, now known simply as Capalino. Among his recent accomplishments are guiding real estate developer RAL through the public review process for Civic Hall at Union Square, a tech training center on 14th Street and Irving Place, and drawing policymakers’ attention to the backlog of child care background checks.

47. Neal Kwatra

Founder and CEO, Metropolitan Public Strategies
Neal Kwatra / Laura Brett

The well-respected and longtime political operative Neal Kwatra has built Metropolitan Public Strategies into a top-tier public affairs firm in New York City. MPS has worked on countless issue campaigns from raising the minimum wage to regulating the likes of Airbnb. The firm has been in the middle of the state’s offshore wind expansion, working with Ørsted, the world’s largest offshore wind developer. And as the process for awarding new casinos unfolds over the next year, Kwatra and MPS will be in the middle of trying to shape positive narratives for their clients.

48. Nicole Malliotakis

Member of Congress
Nicole Malliotakis / U.S. House of Representatives

The only congressional Republican hailing from New York City, Rep. Nicole Malliotakis has been outspoken on a number of issues. The Staten Island lawmaker has called for the end of a migrant shelter at Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn, saying migrants should not be housed on federal parkland. A proposed congressional redistricting plan also looks to leave the lawmaker in good shape with her reelection bid this year. Malliotakis has joined Staten Island leaders and others in pushing back against congestion pricing in Manhattan.

49. Sid Davidoff & Keith Wright

Founding Partner; Director, Strategic Planning, Davidoff Hutcher & Citron
Sid Davidoff & Keith Wright / Davidoff Hutcher & Citron

Last year was a banner year for Manhattan Democratic Party boss Keith Wright. He guided Yusef Salaam to the Harlem seat on the City Council, a campaign that defeated two sitting state legislators in the Democratic primary. Wright’s son, Jordan, served as Salaam’s campaign manager and is now eyeing a bid for the Assembly himself. Wright’s day job is as strategic planning director at law and lobbying powerhouse Davidoff Hutcher & Citron. The firm’s founding partner, Sid Davidoff, is one of New York’s top lobbyists and knows how to get stuff done. A onetime top aide for former Mayor John Lindsay, Davidoff famously appeared on former President Richard Nixon’s enemies list.

50. Harry Giannoulis

Founding Partner and CEO, The Parkside Group
Harry Giannoulis / The Parkside Group

From a small, scrappy startup to a lobbying and political consulting powerhouse, The Parkside Group has seen a period of growth under Harry Giannoulis, including working on projects that have been nationally recognized. Giannoulis has been the top strategist behind state Senate Democrats taking control of the chamber and maintaining a supermajority, putting the conference in position to try to shape the national balance of power through congressional redistricting. Giannoulis has also served as a commissioner on the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission.

51. Errol Louis

Host, “Inside City Hall”, NY1
Errol Louis / Spectrum New NY1

No one who’s anyone inside City Hall can go long without appearing on “Inside City Hall.” NY1 veteran Errol Louis convenes a who’s who of city and state political regulars and political reporters every night of the week to discuss the latest happenings in New York City politics and government. Reaching viewers across the city, no candidate, elected official or issue advocate dillydallies about sitting down to chat with Louis, who’s also a New York magazine columnist and CNN political analyst.

52. Jon Silvan

Founding Partner and CEO, Global Strategy Group
Jon Silvan / GSG

Leading a firm that has been named twice as Public Affairs Agency of the Year by PRovoke Media, the well-connected Jon Silvan has positioned Global Strategy Group to be a go-to adviser for anyone looking to navigate the New York landscape – from Fortune 500 companies to major institutions such as MGM Resorts and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to big-name Democrats seeking to win or hold on to elected office in the state or across the nation. Silvan recently launched the “Inside Scoop” networking series that convenes prominent leaders from the public and private sectors.

53. Nydia Velázquez

Member of Congress
Nydia Velázquez / Celeste Sloman

The top Democrat on the House Small Business Committee, Rep. Nydia Velázquez is looking to reclaim the committee’s gavel next year if Democrats can retake the majority. The longtime Brooklyn lawmaker joined a bipartisan push for the U.S. Department of Defense to better include small businesses into the defense industry, saying it would be an economic boost for the country. Velázquez has been pushing for a cease-fire in the Israel-Hamas war, saying that she has not supported a war resolution her entire time in Congress.

54. Twyla Carter & Dave Giffen

Attorney-in-Chief and CEO; Executive Director, The Legal Aid Society; Coalition for the Homeless
Twyla Carter & Dave Giffen / Spencer Lee Gallop, LAS; Sarah Murphy

Twyla Carter and Dave Giffen are on the front lines of a fight over migrants and homeless people in New York City, teaming up to defend the city’s right to shelter. Twyla Carter’s Legal Aid Society has sought to keep housing provisions in the Emergency Rental Assistance Program and to maintain programs to prevent evictions. Her organization has also been battling City Hall to ensure migrants have a right to shelter. Dave Giffen doesn’t pull punches in advocating for New York City’s homeless population, even if it means directly criticizing Gov. Kathy Hochul and the mayor over their support for suspending the right to shelter amid the migrant crisis. Giffen’s organization also runs programs serving more than 3,500 homeless and at-risk individuals.

55. Vito Fossella, Vanessa Gibson, Mark Levine, Antonio Reynoso & Donovan Richards

Borough Presidents, Staten Island, Bronx, Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens
Vito Fossella, Vanessa Gibson, Mark Levine, Antonio Reynoso & Donovan Richards / Maureen Maydick; Finalis Valadez; Deneka Peniston; Office of the Brooklyn Borough President; Queens Borough President's Office

Just like no two New York City boroughs are alike, no borough president approaches the job the same way.

Staten Island’s Vito Fossella is following in the footsteps of his predecessors in making sure no one forgets his borough, the city’s smallest. An outspoken advocate against congestion pricing, Fossella is arguing in a federal lawsuit that it would shift air pollution to Staten Island and would cause environmental damage comparable to the former Fresh Kills Landfill.

The Bronx’s Vanessa Gibson is aiming to remake her borough, whether by increasing public safety, ending illegal street racing or improving the environment around the Cross Bronx Expressway. Gibson has launched fire safety programs for senior citizens, unveiled a comprehensive anti-poverty platform and would like to determine the future of the Kingsbridge Armory, a topic that’s been debated for over a quarter century.

Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine has tackled health care, housing and scaffolding and construction sheds. Levine has been outspoken on removing the sheds, releasing a report detailing the oldest sheds in Manhattan. Scaffolding is not Levine’s only cause; he’s spoken out against the alleged chemical spraying of protestors at Columbia University, raised concerns about snow removal on certain sections of sidewalk and hopes to turn the elevated FDR Drive in lower Manhattan to a street-level boulevard to open up the waterfront.

Borough President Antonio Reynoso has a big plan for Brooklyn, at 201 pages to be exact. Reynoso’s comprehensive plan makes 200 recommendations, including ensuring more trees grow in Brooklyn, more miles of bike lanes and a reduced reliance on cars. In what is likely a first for borough presidents, Reynoso took to breakdancing on the Borough Hall steps to promote his 2024 State of the Borough address.

Soccer is the world’s sport and the world’s borough, Queens, is on track to get a soccer stadium. Borough President Donovan Richards has advanced his approval of a soccer stadium at Willets Point, with conditions, as part of a major redevelopment of the neighborhood into the city’s sports hub.

56. Nathan Smith & Katie Moore

Founding Partner; Partner, Red Horse Strategies
Nathan Smith & Katie Moore / Rob Arnow; David Yoon

Red Horse Strategies’ Katie Moore and Nathan Smith helped pave New York City Mayor Eric Adams’ road to City Hall. Adams’ 2021 campaign manager and mayoral transition executive director, Moore has deep roots in the city’s labor movement, having served as political director for the Hotel and Gaming Trades Council before Adams’ campaign. Smith has worked as a consultant for Adams, former Mayor Bill de Blasio, Rep. Grace Meng and Rep. Gregory Meeks. Red Horse clients have included state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli, Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine and Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso.

57. Frank Carone

Founder and Chair, Oaktree Solutions
Frank Carone / Daniel J. Marino, Marino Photography

After a year as New York City Mayor Eric Adams’ chief of staff, Frank Carone is building a powerhouse consulting firm. At Oaktree Solutions, Carone has quickly built a team that includes such notable hires as former Rep. Max Rose, Gov. Kathy Hochul’s former chief of staff Jeff Lewis, former nightlife mayor Ariel Palitz and former City Council chief of staff Jason Goldman. Among the clients he has signed are real estate developers Related, SL Green and The Durst Organization. The well-connected attorney is also back at his old law firm, Abrams Fensterman, as of counsel.

58. Tiffany Raspberry

Senior Adviser for External Affairs, New York City Mayor’s Office
Tiffany Raspberry / Regina Fleming Photography

As the senior adviser for external affairs to New York City Mayor Eric Adams, Tiffany Raspberry serves as a critical intermediary between Adams and other elected officials and entities seeking to shape policy. The position was restructured to provide more authority to Raspberry, who also worked in a senior role within Adams’ 2021 mayoral campaign and is a longtime ally of the mayor. In addition to her extensive track record as a political consultant, Raspberry has served as chief of staff and a policy analyst within the New York City Council.

59. Michael Woloz

President and CEO, CMW Strategies
Michael Woloz / Lisa Berg

Michael Woloz has presided over a period of rapid growth at CMW Strategies this year, representing several new clients in the cultural sector, including the 34-member Cultural Institutions Group, Alphabet’s Waymo, national anti-poverty giant Share Our Strength, the EV charging startup Voltpost and real estate firm The Georgetown Company. His lobbying firm also helped make combating retail theft a gubernatorial priority, saw the New York City Council pass an outdoor dining bill and helped secure budgetary wins aiming to expand accessibility and affordable housing.

60. Carl Weisbrod

Chair, Traffic Mobility Review Board
Carl Weisbrod / Sam Moeller

A longtime civic leader in New York City, Carl Weisbrod is in the middle of his most important project yet, deciding the exact contours of congestion pricing. As the chair of the board coming up with the details of the new charge to drive into parts of Manhattan, Weisbrod said the six-member board will aim to limit exemptions in order to maximize funding for mass transit. Weisbrod, a senior adviser at HR&A Advisors, is a former chair of the City Planning Commission and past president of the city Economic Development Corp.

61. Mike Morey & Kerri Lyon

Partners, SKDK
Mike Morey & Kerri Lyon / SKDK

Partners at powerhouse communications firm SKDK, Mike Morey and Kerri Lyon were part of one of the most impactful issues of 2023. They handled communications on the efforts to repeal New York City’s 90-day rule for housing vouchers, which was approved despite a veto. Morey, a former New York communications director for U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, has a background handling communications for some of the highest-profile issues in the country. Lyon, a former television reporter and city Department of Education communications director, is an expert in crisis communications and coalition management.

62. Edward Wallace

New York Co-Chair, Greenberg Traurig
Edward Wallace / Greenberg Traurig

A longtime leader of New York City’s real estate bar, Edward Wallace co-chairs the New York office for law and lobbying powerhouse Greenberg Traurig. A former New York City Council member and past chief of staff to then-City Council President Carol Bellamy, Wallace knows how the city runs and how to counsel clients navigating its complex land use and economic landscape. Wallace has added a new leadership role to his portfolio, becoming board chair of the French-American Foundation last year.

63. Dan Goldman

Member of Congress
Dan Goldman / House of Representatives

Rookie Rep. Dan Goldman has quickly positioned himself as an advocate as he enters his second year in Congress. Goldman filed a censure resolution against upstate Rep. Elise Stefanik after she called the Jan. 6 insurrection defendants “hostages.” He has been a key supporter of Israel after the Oct. 7 Hamas attack, including calling for the release of Hamas-held hostages. In recent weeks, Goldman has focused his attention on gun violence, introducing legislation to support community violence intervention and prevention programs.

64. Evan Thies & Alexis Grenell

Partners, Pythia Public
Evan Thies & Alexis Grenell / Corey Torpie

Evan Thies and Alexis Grenell have established themselves as top communications consultants in New York. Thies, a spokesperson for New York City Mayor Eric Adams’ 2021 campaign, continues to speak for the campaign and crafts its responses to questions about a federal investigation. Grenell, a veteran of the state attorney general’s office and the state Senate, has made strides on behalf of clients including the Sexual Harassment Working Group. Pythia’s services include media relations, stakeholder engagement, brand development and advertising.

65. Vito Pitta

Co-Managing Member, Pitta Bishop & Del Giorno
Vito Pitta / Will Moy

As the campaign attorney for Eric Adams’ successful City Hall bid, Vito Pitta has carved out a role as a political adviser to the mayor while also serving as a leading lobbyist in the city, a legal dual role that has been questioned by some and seen by other as a sign of his influence – though Pitta has said that he did not directly lobby Adams. Pitta has become a top advocate for Sept. 11 victims and their families, including helping the community navigate compensation fund regulations and other programs.

66. Yvette Clarke

Member of Congress
Yvette Clarke / U.S. House

The House Energy and Commerce Committee is one of the most powerful in Congress, with a wide ranging jurisdiction. Rep. Yvette Clarke is the only New York City member of the committee. She is co-sponsoring bipartisan legislation to provide $7 billion to a broadband program with a goal of expanding high-speed internet access, a key priority in New York City’s ongoing digital connectivity program. Clarke has also outlined plans to expand care for dialysis patients and to expand food programs at youth summer camps.

67. Anthony Constantinople & Perry Vallone

Partners, Constantinople & Vallone Consulting
Anthony Constantinople & Perry Vallone / William Alatriste

One of the leading lobbying firms in New York City is the one co-founded by former New York City Council Speaker Peter Vallone Sr.. Top partners at the firm are Anthony Constantinople and Perry Vallone, who utilize their backgrounds in land use and real estate to achieve results for their clients. Constantinople is focused on land use, energy and environmental efforts, including rezonings and changes to the city’s administrative code. Vallone, a former attorney with K. Hovnanian Homes, has focused on housing and budget policy.

68. Murad Awawdeh

Executive Director, New York Immigration Coalition
Murad Awawdeh / Elena Mudd

Murad Awawdeh is at the center of the New York City migrant crisis, as one of the most outspoken advocates for asylum-seekers. Awawdeh has called on New York City Mayor Eric Adams to step up and do more to assist the migrant population and get them settled in New York. He also called Adams’ lawsuit against bus companies a distraction and compared the mayor to Texas Gov. Greg Abbott. Awawdeh has been pushing Gov. Kathy Hochul to make the state a welcoming place for migrants, including expanding access to legal and other services and declaring New York a sanctuary state.

69. Jamaal Bailey & Rodneyse Bichotte Hermelyn

Bronx Democratic County Leader; Brooklyn Democratic County Leader
Jamaal Bailey & Rodneyse Bichotte Hermelyn / Provided; Kristen Blush

As the leaders of Democrats in the Bronx and Brooklyn, Jamaal Bailey and Rodneyse Bichotte Hermelyn are just as powerful back home as they are in Albany as state legislators. 

In the Bronx, Bailey presides over one of the most powerful county political parties in the state. In Albany, he’s the chair of the powerful state Senate Codes Committee. Among his legislative accomplishments are passing the Clean Slate Act and a new law requiring hair stylists in the state to know how to handle any texture of hair. The majority whip of the Assembly, Bichotte Hermelyn has introduced 34 successfully passed laws since joining the state Legislature in 2015. In Brooklyn, she presides over a county party where she has to navigate various factions in the diverse borough.

70. Chris Coffey

Partner and CEO, Tusk Strategies
Chris Coffey / Tusk Strategies

A veteran of Mike Bloomberg’s City Hall, Chris Coffey has not only co-authored the city’s digital plan, he’s finding new ways to have an impact on New York. The leader of influential Tusk Strategies, Coffey and Tusk are working with Biden super PAC Future Forward, McDonald’s both in New York and nationally, Somos Community Care, TransPerfect, Rep. Ritchie Torres and the Rev. Al Sharpton. An influential thought leader on municipal issues, Coffey warned that New York City Mayor Eric Adams’ budget cuts could put things like extra trash pick up in jeopardy and called on commissioners to be “creative” in implementing the cuts in their departments.

71. Ethan Geto & Michele de Milly

Principals, Geto & de Milly
Ethan Geto & Michele de Milly / Geto & de Milly

Lobbying powerhouse Geto & de Milly has been navigating the land use process for a soccer stadium and affordable housing development at Willets Point in Queens. The firm also led campaigns for approving an indoor tennis center on Randalls Island and bringing the Men’s Cricket World Cup to Long Island. The firm has represented real estate clients with the redevelopment of the South Street Seaport, new affordable housing in the Financial District, the Gowanus rezoning, a new life sciences development along the East River and a proposed casino just south of the United Nations.

72. John Samuelsen

International President, Transport Workers Union
John Samuelsen / TWU of America

John Samuelsen’s power in New York only continues to grow. The transit union boss served on the board making congestion pricing recommendations until he resigned because he said the plan didn’t go far enough to reduce congestion. Samuelsen has accused the Metropolitan Transportation Authority – whose board he sits on – of “fraud” in negotiations over commuter rail worker contracts and demanded a state Senate investigation. The TWU did endorse Gov. Kathy Hochul’s unsuccessful chief judge pick, Hector LaSalle, as contract negotiations with the MTA ramped up.

73. Stuart Appelbaum

President, Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union
Stuart Appelbaum / RWDSU

Stuart Appelbaum is focused on keeping retail workers safe. The veteran union president has said that assaults on retail workers are on the rise and that more workers feel unsafe, noting a lack of policies and security measures to protect them. Appelbaum has endorsed the newly introduced Retail Worker Safety Act that would put new security assessments and measures into place. He has previously pushed for new laws to regulate temperatures that workers can work in, and has called on Gov. Kathy Hochul to sign the Grieving Families Act, a bill that she has vetoed the past two years.

74. Dan Garodnick & Edith Hsu-Chen

Chair; Executive Director, New York City Planning Commission
Dan Garodnick & Edith Hsu-Chen / New York City Department of City Planning

NIMBY types beware, Dan Garodnick is all about the “City of Yes.” The former New York City Council member has been driving the Adams administration initiative, which includes comprehensive amendments to the city zoning code, which he said will increase housing, boost small businesses and address climate change. Among the proposals sought by Garodnick is improving the process to convert unused offices to residential space and new building codes to allow for green construction. Edith Hsu-Chen, the planning department’s executive director, is leading the day-to-day zoning aspects of the city, including plans to remake the Cross Bronx Expressway to reduce the climate impact on the neighborhood and reconnect portions of the Bronx, working on the future of Madison Square Garden and addressing office to housing conversions. She has also advanced neighborhood plans, including the Atlantic Avenue Mixed-Use Plan, the Bronx Metro-North Station Area Plan, the Jamaica Neighborhood Plan, the Long Island City Neighborhood Plan, the Midtown South Mixed-Use Plan and South Richmond Zoning Relief.

75. Jacques Jiha

New York City Budget Director
Jacques Jiha / Mark McCarty Photography

After collecting revenue for New York City as its finance commissioner, Jacques Jiha has switched to the other side of the ledger and is in charge of spending billions of dollars as city budget director. Tackling the city’s $100 billion-plus budget, Jiha has become one of the most powerful appointees under New York City Mayor Eric Adams, wielding a red pen to kill spending proposals and programs in order to balance the books. Jiha has also shown that he will fight back if he thinks city lawmakers are undermining his credibility.

76. Vincent Alvarez

President, New York City Central Labor Council
Vincent Alvarez / New York City Central Labor Council

Vincent Alvarez is one of New York City’s key economic leaders, leading both the Central Labor Council and the board of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. The influential labor leader has been pushing New York City Mayor Eric Adams to deliver on promises for a minimum pay for deliveristas. Alvarez was also publicly supportive of the actors and writers strikes this year and noted that New York has been seeing a rise in both unionization efforts and in public support for labor unions.

77. David Greenfield

CEO and Executive Director, Met Council
David Greenfield / Met Council

As leader of the influential Met Council, David Greenfield has been outspoken in his support of Israel and continuing to lead the Jewish poverty-fighting nonprofit’s varied social services activities. He secured the organization’s first federal funding award in a decade, $1 million obtained by House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries for food services programs. This was followed by $3 million from Rep. Grace Meng to fund emergency food, menstrual products and free diapers. Greenfield also accompanied New York City Mayor Eric Adams and Gov. Kathy Hochul on separate trips to Israel and hosted top officials at a Shabbat reception in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

78. Katie Schwab & Rose Christ

Co-Chairs, New York Practice, Cozen O’Connor Public Strategies
Katie Schwab & Rose Christ / Cozen O’Connor Public Strategies

Katie Schwab and Rose Christ were elevated to co-chairs of Cozen O’Connor Public Strategies’ New York practice in 2022, replacing Stuart Shorenstein. Christ, who was also named a managing director of the firm this year, has been a part of a new large scale public art installation in Hudson River Park and a 30% increase in free medically tailored home meals from God’s Love We Deliver, both funded in part by the city. Christ is the president of the Stonewall Democratic Club. With a background in nonprofits and government, Schwab navigates New York’s regulatory and public policy landscape. Schwab previously was a deputy commissioner for comprehensive planning in Nassau County and worked in local economic development in New York City and Long Island.

79. Jenny Sedlis & Jason Ortiz

Co-Founders and CEOs, Moonshot Strategies
Jenny Sedlis & Jason Ortiz / John Rossi

Coming off running the super PAC that helped elect New York City Mayor Eric Adams, Jenny Sedlis and Jason Ortiz founded a consulting firm that has people buzzing. The firm has shot up the ranking of the state’s top lobbyists, with clients including the Hotel and Gaming Trades Council, Red Bull, StudentsFirstNY, Vera Institute of Justice, the Innocence Project and Aetna. Sedlis is a former executive director of StudentsFirstNY and Ortiz is a former political and strategic affairs director for the Hotel and Gaming Trades Council. Recent accomplishments in New York City include helping to pass legislation requiring hotels to obtain a special permit and cost-of-living adjustments for human services workers.

80. William Rudin & Eric Rudin

Co-Executive Chairs, Rudin Management

Shaping New York City’s housing stock is the Rudin family business, and it will stay that way for a while. William and Eric Rudin have started a leadership transition to the next generation of the family. The two cousins transitioned to the roles of co-executive chairs this past October, with William Rudin’s children, Samantha Rudin Earls and Michael Rudin, stepping in as the new co-CEOs of the company. Rudin Management’s Dock 72 at the Brooklyn Navy Yard recently landed Pratt Institute’s graduate school program as a tenant.

81. Marc Holliday

Chair and CEO, SL Green Realty Corp.
Marc Holliday / SL Green

With the competition to obtain a downstate casino license in full swing, Marc Holliday and SL Green have a plan that would up the level of entertainment in Times Square. The developer has teamed with Caesars and Jay-Z’s Roc Nation to propose a casino and entertainment complex, including a Broadway theater. The plan has gained support from landlords across Times Square. Apart from casinos, SL Green recently paid $7 million to settle a $182.5 million mortgage to acquire 2 Herald Square and sold its stake in a Fifth Avenue property to Gucci’s parent company.

82. Luis Miranda

Founding Partner, MirRam Group

Luis Miranda has positioned himself as one of the leaders of New York’s Hispanic community. The former chair of NYC Health + Hospitals and adviser to numerous former mayors, Miranda now plans to tell his story. Miranda has a memoir coming out in the spring in which he’ll tell about his life and provide a nuanced interpretation of Latino voting trends for the larger population. Miranda will also discuss the platform his son, “Hamilton” scribe and songwriter Lin-Manuel Miranda, has provided the family.

83. Joseph Strasburg & Jay Martin

President; Executive Director, Rent Stabilization Association; Community Housing Improvement Program
Joseph Strasburg / Rent Stabilization Association

New York City’s two leading landlord-centered advocacy groups could soon join forces, as the Rent Stabilization Association and the Community Housing Improvement Program are reportedly in talks about merging. RSA’s Joseph Strasburg has been advocating against “good cause” eviction legislation in Albany, arguing it would hurt property owners, and the veteran advocate has been pushing for the New York City Rent Guidelines Board to weigh rising costs for landlords in its decision-making process. CHIP Executive Director Jay Martin has been pushing for the state to create an eviction diversion program – similar to ones in Hawaii and Indiana – to address rent nonpayment cases in order to alleviate housing court backlogs.

84. Steven Rubenstein

Chair, Association for a Better New York

The leader of Rubenstein, one of New York City’s most venerable public relations firms, Steven Rubenstein also chairs the Association for a Better New York, a key civic group. Rubenstein and ABNY work to bring New York City’s business community together for public issue events, which are must stops for public officials. Rubenstein – who’s looking for a new ABNY executive director following the departure of Melva Miller – has presided over the release of a series of reports on key public policy issues, including coronavirus vaccinations and the tech economy.

85. Maury Litwack

Founder and CEO, Teach Coalition
Maury Litwack / Michael N. Meyer

Maury Litwack, New York’s leading advocate for yeshivas, is combating the rise in antisemitism and hate crimes. Litwack applauded Gov. Kathy Hochul for proposing a $10 million increase for the Securing Communities Against Hate Crimes Grant program in her proposed budget. Litwack’s Teach Coalition praised the state for a $40 million investment in STEM education at nonpublic schools in last year’s budget, noting that over 100 Jewish day schools and yeshivas across the state received a 24% increase for their educational offerings.

86. Camille Joseph-Goldman

Group Vice President for Government Affairs, Charter Communications
Camille Joseph-Goldman / Provided

Leading Charter Communications’ government affairs efforts in New York, New Jersey and New England, Camille Joseph-Goldman is a key player in the growing broadband industry. Charter Communications has been working on projects to increase broadband connectivity across the state, a critical part of the digital agenda in New York City. Joseph-Goldman previously served as a deputy city comptroller, managed Anthony Weiner’s 2013 mayoral campaign and was an adviser to U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand.

87. Andrew Rigie

Executive Director, New York City Hospitality Alliance

Another year, another big issue for Andrew Rigie to advocate for on behalf of New York City’s bars and restaurants. Coming off of advocating for a beleaguered industry struggling through the COVID-19 pandemic, Rigie is battling proposed state legislation that would end the tip credit wage system for restaurant employees and institute a $17 an hour minimum wage. A survey released by the coalition shows most restaurant owners would either have to raise prices, layoff workers or close if the bill passed. Rigie has also backed outdoor dining in the city.

88. Danny Harris

Executive Director, Transportation Alternatives
Danny Harris / Rose Uscianowski

Since 2019, Danny Harris has led Transportation Alternatives, a nonprofit organization advocating for decreased car usage and more environmentally conscious travel. Harris, a staunch advocate for transforming New York City into a safe, walkable and bike-friendly city, has urged public officials to acknowledge the increased cyclist deaths in 2023. In 2020, he was named to then-Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Surface Transportation Advisory Council, and held former positions at Civic Entertainment Group and the Knight Foundation, which centered around grantmaking oversight and product launches.

89. George Fontas

CEO and Founder, Fontas Advisors
George Fontas / Erin Silber Photography

A lobbyist for real estate developers, technology companies and others looking to do business in New York City, George Fontas has positioned Fontas Advisors as a go-to firm. The former Capalino executive vice president pushed back at criticisms from some players in the tech space that Mayor Eric Adams was not partnering with tech, arguing that he has found Adams open to conversations but unable to accommodate every request. Fontas Advisors was paid $1 million last year by real estate clients to lobby against the “good cause” eviction bill.

90. Ana María Archila & Jasmine Gripper

Co-State Directors, New York Working Families Party
Ana María Archila & Jasmine Gripper / Rynn Reed

As the new co-state directors of the New York Working Families Party, Ana María Archila and Jasmine Gripper have an influential perch to shift Democratic primaries and the state in a progressive direction. Previously, as executive director of the Alliance for Quality Education, Gripper advocated for changes to the state’s education system, including increasing child care funding. Archila, who unsuccessfully ran for lieutenant governor in 2022, is a co-founder and former co-executive director of Make the Road New York, where she was a powerful voice on issues including a minimum wage hike and combating wage theft. A top priority for the pair is defeating Republican members of Congress in New York in order to flip the chamber.

91. Mike Bloomberg

Founder, Bloomberg Philanthropies and Bloomberg LP
Mike Bloomberg / Bloomberg Philanthropies

Former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg isn’t done influencing local governments. He has been spotted in City Hall advising Mayor Eric Adams and even donated to Adams’ legal defense fund. His Bloomberg Philanthropies has created innovation teams to assist mayors across the country, part of a series of programs to put the Bloomberg stamp on local governments. Bloomberg has funded the Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative and the Bloomberg Center for Public Innovation at Johns Hopkins University. Bloomberg chairs the U.S. Defense Innovation Board, which advises the Pentagon on technology and innovation.

92. Mara Gay

Editorial Board Member, The New York Times
Mara Gay / The New York Times

A key objective of any credible New York City political or advocacy campaign is gaining the endorsement of The New York Times – and Mara Gay, a former Wall Street Journal City Hall reporter, is now a gatekeeper for state and local issues before the editorial board. Gay has raised questions about some of the people selected for campaign and city jobs by New York City Mayor Eric Adams, citing several investigations and indictments. She has also called on city officials to do more for the many migrants arriving in the city.

93. Margaret Anadu

Senior Partner, The Vistria Group

A leader of the real estate group at The Vistria Group, Margaret Anadu is using her expertise to support New York City’s broader economy. Anadu serves as chair of the New York City Economic Development Corp., where she guides policy development and the awarding of economic incentives to bolster the city. Among the priorities she has been working on at EDC have been development of the city’s life sciences economy, a new digital game design lab, the development of Willets Point and a new gender equity plan.

94. Mark Treyger & Noam Gilboord

Incoming CEO; Interim CEO, Jewish Community Relations Council of New York
Mark Treyger & Noam Gilboord / NYC Council; Bindelglass Photo

The longtime chief operating officer of the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York, Noam Gilboord has led many delegations of New York elected officials and community leaders to Israel in order to grow interest in the country. JCRC’s interim CEO since August, Gilboord has been a key leader in combating the growth in antisemitism in New York following the Oct. 7 Hamas attack on Israel, including speaking at a 10,000-person rally and leading another delegation to Israel. Former New York City Council Member Mark Treyger is slated to take over as JCRC’s new CEO on March 4, following a stint at the city Department of Education. Treyger, a former public school teacher, said he looks forward to building grassroots partnerships to continue to build on JCRC’s work in the city.

95. Jeremy John

Chief of Staff, New York City Council

The top adviser to New York City Council Speaker Adrienne Adams, Jeremy John joined the speaker’s office following a stint as political director for District Council 37. A longtime political pro, John has helped the council speaker navigate political minefields and position her as an effective counterweight to Mayor Eric Adams. John has found himself having to balance the various stakeholders in city government, including DC 37, where leaders threatened not to endorse City Council incumbents last year for opposing a health plan the union negotiated with the mayor.

96. Soo Kim

Chair, Bally’s Corp.
Soo Kim / iRolls Multimedia LLC

Soo Kim has held many titles, including hedge fund executive, head of a casino company and now a hero to blue New York by removing a former president’s name from a highly visible golf course. The Queens native grabbed the latest title when Bally’s took over the lease on a Bronx golf course from The Trump Organization – and removed the giant Trump sign from the property to replace it with Bally’s Links. Kim has also eyed building a casino next to the golf course, as part of the company’s plan for the Bronx property.

97. Joseph Borelli

Minority Leader, New York City Council
Joseph Borelli / William Alatriste, NYC Council

Oh, how far New York City Council minority leaders have come since Susan Molinari earned the title as the legislative body’s sole Republican. Council Member Joe Borelli saw his GOP caucus hold steady at six, adding Kristy Marmorato from the Bronx while losing Ari Kagan in Brooklyn. Plus, the center-right Common Sense Caucus that Borelli co-chairs added Marmorato and first-term Democrat Susan Zhuang. Borelli has remained an outspoken conservative, calling on City Hall to block migrants from the city and testifying before Congress about the issue.

98. Sanjiv Shah

Chief Medical Officer, MetroPlusHealth
Sanjiv Shah / MetroPlusHealth

An infectious disease specialist, Sanjiv Shah is the top doctor for New York City’s public health insurance system. Shah has been focused on behavioral health, noting the impact it can have on the overall health system. Shah and NYC Health + Hospitals worked with God’s Love We Deliver to create a program to deliver medically tailored meals to homebound New Yorkers with chronic medical conditions. He has been working on projects to address health disparities in the city along with implementing a multidisciplinary care model.

99. Jonathan Bowles

Executive Director, Center for an Urban Future
Jonathan Bowles / Melissa Lent

Jonathan Bowles has positioned himself as one of New York’s top thought leaders. Bowles’ Center for an Urban Future has put forward a number of proposals and insightful research to shape the agenda of city government. In October, Bowles argued that workforce development infrastructure could provide needed skills to migrants. Bowles also inspired an initiative for adults to return to college at CUNY, funding for entrepreneurs living in public housing and an expansion of teen centers in public libraries.

100. Scott Stringer

Former New York City Comptroller
Scott Stringer / Office of the Comptroller

Starting as a 16-year-old community board member, Scott Stringer has spent decades positioning himself to be New York City’s mayor, only to see his 2021 bid derailed by allegations of sexual misconduct – allegations that Stringer denies. The former city comptroller isn’t done with politics, clearly seeing a pathway to Gracie Mansion given Mayor Eric Adams’ dismal poll numbers. Stringer has announced that he is exploring a primary challenge to Adams in 2025. Prior to his 2013 Democratic primary win for comptroller over former Gov. Eliot Spitzer, Stringer served for eight years as Manhattan borough president and 13 years in the Assembly.

Did we miss anyone? Let us know at lists@cityandstateny.com. And pitch us names for other upcoming power lists.

Correction: The entry on Rep. Ritchie Torres has been updated to reflect the nature of his defense of Israel and to clarify that he has not directly criticized Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez over the Israel-Hamas war. He has criticized the Democratic Socialists of America, of which Ocasio-Cortez is a member.

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