April 5, 2018 | Featured, Issues, News

Fifteen recently elected members of the New York City Council and state legislature have been selected as 2018 recipients of the CUNY ISLG Lindsay Fellowship in Government Leadership and Practice, the CUNY Institute for State and Local Governance (ISLG) announced today.

Named for former Mayor John Lindsay, the fellowship engages promising New York City leaders who have been elected to the city and state legislative bodies in the past four years. The program, which began in 2017, aims to deepen their understanding of the pressures and concerns that influence government decision-making and build the skills necessary to make an impact on the future of New York City.

City Council Speaker Corey Johnson, one of five Lindsay fellows in last year’s inaugural class, credits the program with helping him rise to his leadership position on the council.

“The Lindsay Fellowship program helps advance the talents and gifts of New York City’s emerging public servants, and I congratulate this year’s recipients,” Speaker Johnson said. “I am honored that CUNY selected me as a fellow in 2017. The program enhanced my skills as a legislator and gave me the opportunity to learn from my colleagues in government, a gift that I draw upon every day. Because of the Lindsay Fellowship, I became a sharper elected official and the lessons learned ultimately helped me become Speaker of the New York City Council.”

The 2018 class of CUNY ISLG Lindsay Fellows in Government Leadership and Practice includes:

  • Assembly Member Michael Blake, Bronx
  • Assembly Member Ron Castorina, Staten Island
  • Assembly Member Latoya  Joyner, Bronx
  • Assembly Member Latrice Walker, Brooklyn
  • Senator Marisol Alcantara, Manhattan
  • Senator Jamaal Bailey, Bronx
  • Senator Brian Benjamin, Manhattan
  • Senator Leroy Comrie, Queens
  • Senator Jesse Hamilton, Brooklyn
  • Senator Roxanne Persaud, Brooklyn
  • Council Member Adrienne Adams, Queens
  • Council Member Alicka Ampry-Samuel, Brooklyn
  • Council Member Justin Brannan, Brooklyn
  • Council Member Keith Powers, Manhattan
  • Council Member Carlina Rivera, Manhattan

The Lindsay Fellowship seeks to recognize Mayor Lindsay’s legacy of attracting young talent to local government. The fellows meet about 10 times a year to exchange ideas with business, civic and academic leaders, experts in sectors including media and technology and former government officials.

Kicking off this year’s program, the fellows will spend Friday in a day-long opening summit focused on key policy areas confronting New York’s elected leaders: city and state budgeting, land use and issues facing the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Michael Jacobson and Marc Shaw, the co-founders of CUNY ISLG, will host the day and moderate panel discussions. Going forward, the fellows will meet monthly with public and private sector experts to dig more deeply into key issues such as criminal justice reform, housing, health care and social services.

The Lindsay Fellows were selected by an advisory board of former government officials who provide guidance to the program. The advisory board includes Gordon Davis, chair, (Venable LLP); Gail Benjamin, (former city council staff); Fred Cerullo, (Grand Central Partnership); Robert Esnard, (Donald Zucker Co).; James Kagen, (retired health care management consultant); Jay Kriegel (The Related Companies); Peter Madonia, (former Rockefeller Foundation); Elsie McCabe, (NYC Mission Society); Haeda Mihaltses, (NY Mets); Pam Silverblatt, (CUNY); Forrest Taylor, (former city council staff); and Ann Weisbrod, retired, (Hudson Yards Development Corporation).

“Newly elected individuals bring new energy and new ideas to governing and public service. The Lindsay Fellowship supports and builds on that potential—providing opportunities to interact with leaders from different sectors and bringing clarity to complex decision making processes within government—so that these new leaders remain engaged, informed, and dynamic public servants throughout their careers,” said Michael P. Jacobson, executive director of the CUNY Institute for State and Local Governance.

“The fellowship was a great opportunity to hear different perspectives from business leaders, non-profit heads, and those in government before us. I found it rewarding for the simple fact that I could ask questions that I otherwise may not have mentioned in a public forum. Sometimes it’s good to just break down the barriers and have real conversations,” said Council Member Joe Borelli, one of five Lindsay fellows in last year’s inaugural class.

“CUNY’s Lindsay Fellowship offers an incredible opportunity and exchange of ideas between city and state legislators from across the political spectrum. As an inaugural fellow, I am grateful for these growing partnerships and look forward to working with the newest cohort of public servants,” said Assembly Woman Nily Rozic, one of five Lindsay fellows in last year’s inaugural class.

New members of the New York City Council and the New York State Legislature elected within the past four years are invited at the beginning of the year to apply to become Lindsay Fellows. Applicants are asked to submit a resume and complete an interview with ISLG leadership and Lindsay Fellowship Advisory Board members about what they hope to gain from the program, what issues compelled them to run for office, and the greatest obstacles they face as elected officials.

The Lindsay Fellowship in Government Leadership and Practice is administered by the CUNY Institute for State and Local Governance.

About the Lindsay Fellowship in Government Leadership and Practice

The CUNY ISLG Lindsay Fellowship in Government Leadership and Practice was created on the 50thanniversary of the election of John Lindsay as mayor of New York City. The program honors his many years of public service as a member of the U.S. House of Representative, during which he played a leading role in the enactment of such historic legislation as the 1964 Civil Rights Act, the 1965 Voting Rights Act and the 1965 Immigration Reform Act, and as the mayor of New York City, during which he emphasized recruiting young talent, especially minorities, and sought ways to encourage their growth, increase their skills, and advance their careers. The Lindsay Fellowship honors his public service by supporting young city and state legislators in broadening their understanding of key constituencies and the pressures and concerns that impact government deliberations and decision making, as well as providing Fellows with opportunities to build relationships with civic leaders and former government officials, as well as with leaders from academia, the media, business, and a wide range of not-for-profits.

About the Institute for State and Local Governance

The Institute for State and Local Governance (ISLG) is a nonpartisan research and policy institute within the City University of New York (CUNY). The Institute’s mission is to work with government and non-government organizations to improve systems to produce better results worthy of public investment and trust. We aim to advance data-driven approaches that influence policy and operations and that support work in diverse communities. In short, we help government—and organizations connected to it—do better. We focus on working with cities and states because they are ideal laboratories for developing new approaches to longstanding social problems, and are ripe with opportunities and momentum for real, sustainable change. For more information, please visit islg.cuny.edu.

CONTACT: Abbi Leman, abbi.leman@islg.cuny.edu718-938-3310