A proud mom, Columbia University adjunct professor, and former City Commissioner under multiple administrations, Julie Menin is running for City Council because, at this unprecedented time in our city’s history, she knows we need leadership with the experience to deliver for the 5th District.
An attorney and civic leader with over two decades of experience in the public and private sectors, Julie Menin served residents of New York City most recently as Census Director, Commissioner of the Department of Consumer Affairs, Commissioner of Media and Entertainment, and Redistricting Commissioner under Mayor Bloomberg.
The daughter of a Holocaust survivor, Julie is a third-generation New Yorker who lives in Yorkville with her husband and her children.
As the 2020 New York City Census Director, Julie led the effort responsible for ensuring that New York City receives its fair share of over $1.5 trillion in federal funding for public schools, affordable housing, healthcare, infrastructure, and other vital city needs, as well as fighting attempts to undercount immigrant communities. She created the city's first NYC Census office and under her leadership, NYC surpassed expectations and exceeded not only the US Census Bureau's pre-COVID prediction for the city, but also beat Los Angeles, Chicago, Miami, Boston, Philadelphia, Dallas, Houston, Baltimore, and other comparable large cities.
In her senior role at the New York City Law Department, she most recently helped bring a lawsuit charging 22 national e-cigarette sellers with deceptively marketing and selling their product to minors. She also participated in a historic win at the U.S. Supreme Court defeating the Trump administration’s effort to add a citizenship question to the 2020 Census.
Julie previously served as the Commissioner of the Department of Consumer Affairs, where she reinvigorated the agency by increasing consumer restitution by 70 percent, instituting 25 reforms to lower fines on small businesses where there was no consumer harm, implementing the Paid Sick Leave Law, and launching trailblazing legal investigations into for-profit colleges, debt collectors, banks, predatory lenders and other industries preying on New Yorkers. She launched a new Earned Income Tax Credit initiative that resulted in over $260 million being returned to low-income New Yorkers. And Julie created a new city initiative to seed over 10,000 kindergarteners with a college savings account and chaired the board of New York City Kids Rise, a not-for-profit organization she helped to create 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. Faced with industries that were not diversified and lacked gender equity, 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. These programs have been held up as a national model and utilized as a paradigm for other cities. She also increased film and TV production to historic heights resulting in thousands of jobs for working families. And Julie 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 a seven-year Chair of Manhattan Community Board 1 and is widely credited with helping to 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 and developed 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. Additionally, Julie fought for and won $150 million for downtown community needs from a battle with Con Edison as part of her work with Lower Manhattan Development Corporation. Julie has also successfully implemented legislation at the city and state level, including winning a two-year fight to mandate life-saving epi-pens on all ambulances statewide.
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, and currently serves on the boards of Vera Institute of Justice’s Reform Leadership Council, the September 11th Memorial Foundation and the WTC Performing Arts Center.
She currently serves as an adjunct professor of law and public policy at Columbia University and serves on the board of trustees of Columbia, from which she graduated magna cum laude. And she serves on the National Advisory Board for Public Service at Harvard University.
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 frequent national commentator on law and politics and has appeared nationally 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.
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.