Daniel Garodnick (born May 4, 1972) is an American lawyer and a former Democratic New York City Councilmember. He is currently the President & Chief Executive Officer of the Riverside Park Conservancy.
|Member of the New York City Council|
from the 4th district
January 1, 2006 – December 31, 2017
|Preceded by||Eva Moskowitz|
|Succeeded by||Keith Powers|
May 4, 1972|
New York City, New York, U.S.
Dartmouth College (BA)|
University of Pennsylvania (JD)
Early life and educationEdit
Garodnick was born in New York City and is a graduate of Trinity School (1990). He received his B.A. from Dartmouth College (1994) where he served as class president for each of his four years. He earned a J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School (2000), where he was Editor-in-Chief of the University of Pennsylvania Law Review.
Between college and law school, Garodnick spent time in both Millen, Georgia and Portsmouth, Virginia helping to rebuild African American churches that had been burned by arson. He also spent two years working for the New York Civil Rights Coalition as the director of a program to teach New York City public school ways to combat racial discrimination, and how to use government to effect social change.
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An attorney, Garodnick practiced as a litigator at the New York law firm of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison where he focused on securities litigation and internal investigations of companies. While there, he represented the Partnership for New York City in the successful Campaign for Fiscal Equity lawsuit regarding public school funding.
Prior to joining the firm, he served as a law clerk to Judge Colleen McMahon of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. He spent two years working for the New York Civil Rights Coalition.
New York City CouncilEdit
Garodnick was elected to New York City Council in 2005, winning 63 percent of the vote in the general election and defeating both the Republican and Libertarian candidates. In the five-way Democratic primary that year he won 59% of the vote. He won reelection in 2009 and 2013.
During his twelve-year tenure, The New York Times praised Garodnick for his “independent streak” and noted that he had “distinguished himself in the fight to preserve middle-class housing.” The Wall Street Journal has called him “smart and fair” and POLITICO New York noted that he is known as a “policy wonk” who has “bucked the establishment."
In 2017, City & State called Garodnick a “no-nonsense negotiator.” Garodnick earned this reputation for repeatedly bringing parties to an agreements in difficult negotiations. In 2007, Garodnick successfully stepped in to broker an agreement between renowned Chef Daniel Boulud and the staff at his eponymous restaurant, who sought redress and compensation after Asian and Latino employees had been discriminated against and passed over for promotions. In 2008, when a developer proposed rezoning the largest stretch of undeveloped, privately owned land in Manhattan, Garodnick was able to adjust the plan to reduce the height of the towers, provide for acres of gardens and a school, as well as a $10 million contribution from the developer for a pedestrian bridge over the FDR Drive. In 2015, when the de Blasio administration and Council Member Carlos Menchaca were at a logjam over the $115 million redevelopment of the South Brooklyn Marine Terminal, Garodnick helped broker an agreement between both sides.
Garodnick's last term as councilman ended on December 31, 2017, when he was succeeded by Keith Powers.
Advocacy for Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper VillageEdit
A lifelong resident of Stuyvesant Town & Peter Cooper Village, Garodnick fought a successful decade-long battle to protect the community from predatory practices in real estate. In 2006, the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company put up for sale the 110-building complex, which opened in 1947 to house soldiers returning home from World War II. Garodnick spearheaded a $4.5 billion tenant-backed bid to purchase Stuyvesant Town & Peter Cooper Village on behalf of the residents in order to preserve the properties as affordable housing. Met Life ultimately sold the properties to Tishman Speyer in a highly leveraged deal for $5.4 billion.
In January 2007, tenants sued Met Life and Tishman Speyer, claiming that they could not take units out of rent-regulation while enjoying the J-51 tax break. The tenants won the Roberts v. Tishman Speyer lawsuit in 2009, ultimately delivering over $140 million in relief for residents.
Tishman Speyer began a process of trying to quickly take apartments out of rent-stabilization to bring them to the market rate. They served notices of non-renewal to hundreds of tenants, claiming that they were not legally occupying their units, but had to drop half of the cases. Garodnick and the Tenants Association fought back with legal clinics, legislation, and a public relations campaign to shine a spotlight on these questionable practices. Unable to pay back their bondholders, Tishman Speyer defaulted in January 2010, and turned over the property to CWCapital, a special servicer.
In 2014, CWCapital agreed to negotiate with City Hall and the tenants to find a solution for the property that met everyone’s goals. In 2015, Garodnick worked with CWCapital, the Tenants Association, and City Hall to negotiate the largest affordable housing deal in New York City history with Blackstone Group. The deal preserved 5,000 units for middle-class individuals over the next 20 years.
Garodnick authored and passed over 60 laws during his tenure on the New York City Council.
Tenants' Rights & Housing AdvocacyEdit
In 2007, Garodnick, along with Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn and Council Member Melissa Mark-Viverito, introduced the Tenant Protection Act. The bill, signed into law by Mayor Michael Bloomberg in March 2008, made harassment of tenants by landlords a violation of the housing code.
In 2014, Garodnick authored and published a 15-page report, Ghosts of the Housing Bubble: How Debt, Deterioration, and Foreclosure Continue to Haunt New York After the Crash. Also that year, Garodnick founded the Coalition Against Predatory Equity, a group of over 50 elected officials at the federal, state and city level, to fight back against predatory practices in housing.
Garodnick authored legislation with Council Member Ritchie Torres that would require New York City itself to create a speculation list of landlords who engage in predatory equity. In 2017, the City Council passed this legislation into law.
Garodnick, as Chair of the Committee on Economic Development, took part in the effort to have New York City buy and refinance distressed mortgages in order to stabilize communities and to promote affordable housing. Working with colleagues and community groups from Southeast Queens, he wrote letters to HUD and advocated that government, rather than big banks, work with homeowners to find sustainable payment plans and ways to prevent foreclosure. This effort, known as the Community Restoration Program, brought together city, state, and federal partners and led to New York City making the unprecedented purchase of 24 properties comprising 41 homes.
In 2007, Garodnick authored and passed the first-ever Green Energy Code. This law required new equipment installed during a renovation to meet current efficiency standards. He also authored and passed the law requiring lighting sensors in new commercial buildings and the law setting cool roof standards. To encourage recycling, he authored and passed the Recycling Accommodation Act, requiring newly constructed apartment buildings to provide adequate space to store and sort recyclable material.
The final bill that Garodnick authored and passed required buildings over 25,000 square feet to post their energy efficiency grades near their entrances (starting in 2020). At the time of passage, New York City became the first city in the United States that will require residential, commercial, and municipal buildings to post letter grades corresponding to how energy efficient they are.
Good Government ReformsEdit
In 2006, Garodnick co-chaired the Council Rules Reform Task Force and subsequently authored a piece of rules reform that has placed greater authority in the hands of individual council members.
In 2014, Garodnick authored and passed the Campaign Disclosure Act, which requires candidates to identify themselves as author of political communications.
In 2016, the City Council unanimously passed Garodnick’s legislation requiring the New York City Board of Elections to post notices outside closed or moved poll sites. These notices would inform voters of the new location where they could vote. When the Board of Elections refused to follow this law, Garodnick wrote to the Board of Elections and urged their compliance. He assembled a coalition of good government groups including the League of Women Voters, Common Cause NY, and Citizens Union, to call on the Board of Elections to follow the law. In the face of the Board’s noncompliance, Garodnick’s advocacy encouraged the New York City Campaign Finance Board and partners to post notices that the Board of Elections refused to post.
Criminal Justice ReformEdit
In 2010, Garodnick drafted legislation to give prosecutorial authority, for the first time, to the Civilian Complaint Review Board (CCRB). As a result of this legislation, Mayor Bloomberg, Speaker Christine Quinn, and NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly signed a Memorandum of Understanding in 2012 to give the CCRB the authority to prosecute cases of police misconduct.
Garodnick continued to advocate for a strong, independent CCRB. In 2017, Garodnick spoke out strongly against the CCRB’s lack of independence in drafting a report on the NYPD’s use of stun guns. He also wrote legislation that would have required better information sharing between the NYPD, CCRB, and other agencies to strengthen the early intervention system for policy officers and prevent cases of misconduct.
In 2016, the City Council passed Garodnick’s legislation to require that the NYPD put their patrol guide online.
In 2015, Garodnick authored a package of bills to reform Rikers Island, and to create more transparency on treatment of prisoners in New York’s custody. In July 2016, he testified to the New York City Board of Correction on the treatment and housing of transgender individuals in New York City jails. He urged the Board to add a provision “clarifying that inmates should be housed according to their gender identity.” Later that year, the Board adopted a rule stating that the Department of Corrections “will not assign a transgender or intersex inmate to a men’s or women’s facility based solely on the inmate’s external genital anatomy.”
New York City Comptroller campaignEdit
On April 3, 2012 Garodnick announced that he would seek the Democratic nomination for New York City Comptroller. On November 28, 2012 Garodnick dropped out of the Comptroller race, and immediately endorsed Scott Stringer, while pledging to run for re-election in District 4. Stringer had previously been running for Mayor. Garodnick was opposed in his bid for re-election by attorney Helene Jnane.
|2005 Primary||Dan Garodnick||Dem||7,270||58.01%||Jack Lester||Dem||2,116||16.89%||Meryl Brodsky||Dem||2,015||16.08%||Jack Karako||Dem||1,113||9.03%|
|2005 General||Dan Garodnick||Dem||23,304||63.77%||Patrick M. Murphy||Rep||13,153||35.24%||Jak Karako||Lib||370||0.99%|
|2009 General||Dan Garodnick||Dem||23,431||74.60%||Ashok G. Chandra||Rep||7,972||25.40%|
|2013 General||Dan Garodnick||Dem||21,366||70.51%||Helene Jnane||Rep||8,911||29.49%|
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