Fifteen recently elected members of the New York City Council and state legislature have been selected as 2018 recipients of the Lindsay Fellowship in Government Leadership and Practice, which is administered by the CUNY Institute for State and Local Governance (ISLG).
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 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 spent a daylong 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.
“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 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, nonprofit 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 the 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 the Lindsay fellows in last year’s inaugural class.
The Lindsay Fellows were selected by an advisory board of former government officials who provide guidance to the program.
The 2018 class of Lindsay Fellows includes Assembly Members Michael Blake, Bronx; Ronald Castorina, Staten Island; Latoya Joyner, Bronx; Latrice Walker, Brooklyn; Senators Marisol Alcantara, Manhattan; Jamaal Bailey, Bronx; Brian Benjamin, Manhattan; Leroy Comrie, Queens; Jesse Hamilton, Brooklyn; Roxanne Persaud, Brooklyn; and Council Members Adrienne Adams, Queens; Alicka Ampry-Samuel, Brooklyn; Justin Brannan, Brooklyn; Keith Powers, Manhattan; and Carlina Rivera, Manhattan.
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.