March 14, 2019 | Featured, News

Seventeen recently elected members of the New York City Council and State Legislature have been selected as 2019 recipients of the 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, introduces these leaders to experts across a variety of policy areas and provides a space for ongoing dialogue and learning. The program aims to support fellows to deepen their understanding of the pressures and concerns that influence government decision-making and enhance their capacity to make a positive impact on the future of New York City and State.

“It was an honor to be selected last year as a Lindsay Fellow, and I will carry the lessons I learned throughout this program with me as I carry out the duties of my office,” said New York City Councilwoman Carlina Rivera. “I want to congratulate this year’s new class of participants, and I encourage all of them to follow the tenets of good governance that will be laid out for them by this illustrious program.”

“In the midst of ever-changing policy and budget deliberations, we in government don’t always have the opportunity to pause and fully learn about the practical impact of potential decisions,” said New York State Assemblyman Michael Blake. “On a diverse set of issues, ranging from education and housing to taxes and criminal justice reform, the Lindsay Fellowship provided me this kind of invaluable insight from experts and thought leaders in various fields who I might not have had the chance to meet and learn from otherwise. This opportunity has made me a much better public servant, and I am beyond grateful for the experience. I thank the leadership, and I congratulate the new fellows on receiving the same opportunity that I had to better understand how we can best implement practical public policies to provide jobs and justice for the people.”

The 2019 class of Lindsay Fellows includes:

  • State Assemblymember Stacey Pheffer Amato, Queens
  • State Assemblymember Catalina Cruz, Queens
  • State Assemblymember Carmen De La Rosa, Manhattan
  • State Assemblymember Simcha Eichenstein, Brooklyn
  • State Assemblymember Harvey Epstein, Manhattan
  • State Assemblymember Charles Fall, Staten Island
  • State Assemblymember Nathalia Fernandez, Bronx
  • State Assemblymember Yuh-Line Niou, Manhattan
  • State Assemblymember Michael Reilly, Staten Island
  • State Assemblymember Diana C. Richardson, Brooklyn
  • State Assemblymember Daniel Rosenthal, Queens
  • State Assemblymember Tremaine Wright, Brooklyn
  • State Senator Alessandra Biaggi, Bronx
  • State Senator Andrew Gounardes, Brooklyn
  • State Senator Zellnor Myrie, Brooklyn
  • State Senator Jessica Ramos, Queens
  • City Councilmember Kalman Yeger, Brooklyn

The Lindsay Fellowship seeks to recognize Mayor Lindsay’s legacy of attracting young talent to local government. The fellows meet 11 times a year to exchange ideas with experts from the public and private sectors, including business, civic and academic leaders and former government officials.

Kicking off this year’s program, the fellows will attend a day-long opening summit focused on key policy areas confronting New York’s elected leaders: city and state budgeting, communications and media, and ethics. 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 land use, criminal justice reform, housing, health care and economic equality.

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); Jay Kriegel (The Related Companies); 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.

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 Lindsay Fellowship in Government Leadership and Practice was created on the 50th anniversary 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 Representatives, 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 individuals from communities of color and others underrepresented in government leadership, 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. The Fellowship also provides fellows with ongoing opportunities to collaborate with their peers and to build relationships with civic leaders and former government officials, as well as leaders from academia, the media, and business. 

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: Alexandra Frosh, Alexandra.Frosh@islg.cuny.edu