Council Member Julie Menin knows that at this critical time in our city we need passionate and energetic leaders - with experience and a record of results - to deliver for the 5th Council District.
Council Member Julie Menin currently represents New York City Council District 5 in Manhattan which includes: Midtown East, Lenox Hill, Yorkville, Roosevelt Island, the Upper East Side, Carnegie Hill, and Sutton Place. An attorney, civic leader, and former small business owner with over two decades of experience in the public and private sectors, Julie serves as the Chair of the City Council Small Business Committee and serves on the following committees: Education, Sanitation, and Solid Waste Management, Consumer and Worker Protection, Parks and Recreation, Environmental Protection, Health, and Civil Service and Labor.
In her time in the Council, she has passed multiple pieces of vital legislation. Her policy wins include advancing universal childcare in New York City, easing burdens on small businesses by instituting a one-shop-stop web portal for all city licenses, codifying the right to reproductive-health services, and creating an Office Of Healthcare Accountability to rein in excessive prices. At the same time, Julie has effectively addressed a full range of constituent issues: sanitation and rat-mitigation concerns, street safety, unlicensed smoke shops, holding bad landlords accountable, robust capital funding for district parks and schools, access to low-cost internet for NYCHA residents, OMNY availability for Roosevelt Islanders, and more.
Before joining the New York City Council, Julie served residents of New York City most recently as the City’s director for the historic 2020 Census, successfully navigating the threats to the count presented by a global pandemic and the Trump Administration’s efforts to undercount immigrant communities. Under Julie’s leadership, NYC achieved a historic result and finished with the highest response rate of any major city. Thanks to that success, New York City will be receiving its fair share over the next decade of over $1.5 trillion in federal funding for public schools, affordable housing, healthcare, infrastructure, and other vital programs. Prior to her Census role, Julie served New York City as a commissioner starting in the Bloomberg Administration, ultimately serving as Commissioner of the Department of Consumer Affairs and Commissioner of Media and Entertainment.
As Commissioner of the Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA), Julie reinvigorated the agency by increasing consumer restitution by 70 percent while instituting 25 reforms to lower fines on small businesses where there was no consumer harm. Also under Julie’s leadership the agency implemented the city’s historic Paid Sick Leave Law, launched a new Earned Income Tax Credit initiative that resulted in over $260 million being returned to low-income New Yorkers, and launched trailblazing investigations into industries preying on New Yorkers such as for-profit colleagues. She also launched an investigation into a major online firearms marketer to determine if NYC based sellers were using this website to advertise and illegally sell second hand guns without DCA licenses – thereby skirting City, State and federal laws regarding background checks and required licenses.
As DCA Commissioner, Julie spearheaded a new initiative to seed over 10,000 kindergarteners with a college savings account and chaired the board of New York City Kids Rise, the not-for-profit organization she helped create which was charged with implementing this program. Julie also previously served as Commissioner of Media and Entertainment where she implemented dozens of initiatives to increase gender equity in industries that were not diversified. Julie launched new programs to increase women’s representation and opportunities in film, TV, theater and the music industry, such as the first-ever women's film fund, job training programs to increase gender equity in the film, theater, TV and music industries, and a slate of new women's programming on the city's TV channels. Julie also negotiated the historic deal to bring the Grammy Awards back to New York in 2017, resulting in a $200 million economic benefit for New York City.
Before becoming a Commissioner, Julie served as the seven-year Chair of Manhattan Community Board 1 and is widely credited with helping lead Lower Manhattan’s resurgence after 9/11. Several weeks after her small business was badly damaged on 9/11, she founded the not-for-profit organization Wall Street Rising which focused on the rebuilding of Lower Manhattan for residents and small businesses, ultimately developing it into an organization with over 30,000 members. As Chairperson of Community Board 1, she facilitated the building of three new schools including the city's first green school, new parks, and affordable housing, and led the charge in favor of the Islamic Cultural Center and freedom of religion.
Prior to her career in public service, Julie practiced law as a regulatory and litigation attorney. She has served on the board of the Women’s Campaign Fund, where she helped launch She Should Run, a nationwide initiative that has encouraged thousands of women to run for elected office and served on the board of Eleanor’s Legacy, an organization in New York focused on electing more Democratic women statewide. In addition, she has served on the boards of the Downtown Hospital, the Municipal Arts Society, the Vera Institute of Justice’s Reform Leadership Council, the September 11th Memorial Foundation and the WTC Performing Arts Center, the National Advisory Board for Public Service at Harvard University and the board of trustees of Columbia.
Julie has been recognized as a Women’s Campaign Fund Rising Star, Citizen Union’s Civic Leader, City and State’s “40 Under 40,” “Power 100 Women,” and “Top 25 Women in Public Service.” She has also been the recipient of numerous awards including Columbia University’s John Jay Award and the League of Conservation Voters Public Service Award. She has served as a national commentator on law and politics and has appeared on CNN, The Today Show, MSNBC, ABC, CBS, and other outlets and previously hosted and co-produced a local NBC cable news show focused on politics and law.
Julie also served as a Columbia adjunct professor teaching on city and state government, focusing on how cities can take the lead in the face of legal principles such as preemption and home rule. She graduated magna cum laude from Columbia University and received her law degree from Northwestern University School of Law. She is a proud mom and honored to represent the district that her mother and grandmother settled in (known as Little Hungary) after escaping from Hungary after surviving the Holocaust. Julie resides in Yorkville with her husband and children.
Council District Five includes the Manhattan neighborhoods of the Upper East Side, East Harlem, Yorkville, Midtown East, Carnegie Hill, Sutton Place, Roosevelt Island, and Lenox Hill.