Dan Garodnick

City Councilmember

New York, NY

Dan Garodnick was elected to the New York City Council in 2005, and is the Chair of the Economic Development Committee. Garodnick has established himself as a leader in the fight for affordable housing, spearheading the $4.5 billion tenant-backed bid for the purchase of Stuyvesant Town/Peter Cooper Village.  He has led the fight for the sensible redevelopment of East Midtown Manhattan, allowing for additional commercial growth, while ensuring that the public sees improvements to area infrastructure and mass transit. Garodnick has authored some of the most important legislation to pass the Council in the past number of years, focusing on tenants rights, consumer protection, and green buildings.

Prior to his election, Dan was a litigator at the New York Law firm of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, LLP, and a law clerk for the Honorable Colleen McMahon of the Southern District of New York. He is a graduate of Dartmouth College and the University of Pennsylvania Law School, where he served as Editor-in-Chief of the University of Pennsylvania Law Review.

Pro-Growth Progressive Ideas Shared

Problem

The mortgage foreclosure crisis ravaged communities through New York City, and its impact is still being felt today. Thousands of families lost their homes and entire neighborhoods suffered from vacancies, blight and declining values. In addition to its effects on families and neighborhoods, pre-foreclosed real estate hinders economic development, costing the city roughly $84 million in unpaid property tax annually.

Solution

To deal with a continuing foreclosure crisis, City Councilman Dan Garodnick is advocating for New York City to buy back distressed mortgages controlled by federal housing authorities, restructure the debt in partnership with not-for-profits, and then resell the notes (and homes) to current homeowners and low- to moderate-income New Yorkers who can support the debt. Banks have been resistant to writing down principal balances because of regulatory constraints, and too many properties have been abandoned, or left in legal limbo. This solution will refurbish vacant or abandoned properties, rejuvenate communities, and give people much-needed housing.


Problem

Since 2001, there has been a massive expansion in the use of technology to conduct domestic surveillance. Federal grants have enabled local governments nationwide to purchase these technologies, which are often acquired and used in secret. This creates a range of problems for individuals, communities, and the police, and will only increase as the Trump administration seeks to expand the use of military-grade police gear and surveillance. Over-reliance on secret surveillance technology can exacerbate distrust between communities and police. Secret technologies also often have secret methods of data storage. In an era of hacks and data breaches, the public deserves an understanding of how governments will safeguard sensitive data gathered by surveillance. 

Solution

The Public Oversight of Surveillance Technology (POST) Act would make NYC a leader in public engagement, police accountability, and data security by requiring NYPD to disclose certain details about its surveillance tools, and review public comments, before using new technologies. This first-ever system of public oversight for NYPD’s surveillance tools would help the public understand how these tools may impact their privacy, and whether New York City -- a sanctuary city -- is sharing sensitive data gathered by surveillance with the federal government. In the absence of public oversight, police operate in a bubble, so public input can also allow them to uncover blind spots in their approach.