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Several Queens Council Members Have Been Named Committee Chairs

Council Speaker Adrienne Adams announced council committee appointments Thursday. Council Member Joann Ariola, pictured, was named chair of the Fire and Emergency Management committee. Ariola, a Republican, represents Council District 32 in southeast Queens (Emil Cohen/NYC Council Media Unit)

Jan. 20, 2022 By Allie Griffin

City Council Speaker Adrienne Adams announced new council committee appointments Thursday with more than a dozen committees to be chaired by Queens representatives.

All but three Queens council members were named to lead committees, which focus on a vast array of issues such as land use, parks, the environment and transportation. Each committee votes on bills before they head to the full council.

Council Members Vickie Paladino, a Republican, and Francisco Moya were not named to chair a committee. Adams will not be leading a committee as she is the council speaker—as is common practice.

Moya, who unsuccessfully battled Adams in a quest to be speaker, will be chair of a new subcommittee focused on COVID Recovery and Resiliency.

“I am proud to announce our City Council’s Leadership, as well as committee chairs and assignments,” Adams said in a statement. “This is the most diverse City Council in history, and each member’s experiences and expertise will shape the important work of our legislative body,”

The committees that are being led by Queens representatives are as follows:

Civil and Human Rights: Nantasha Williams

Contracts: Julie Won

Environmental Protection: James Gennaro

Fire and Emergency Management: Joann Ariola

Governmental Operations: Sandra Ung

Health: Lynn Schulman

Mental Health, Disabilities and Addiction: Linda Lee

Parks and Recreation: Shekar Krishnan

Technology: Jen Guitérrez

Transportation and Infrastructure: Selvena Brooks-Powers

Veterans: Robert Holden

Woman and Gender Equity: Tiffany Cabán

The council has 38 committees. The members of each committee meet at least once a month and oversee the city’s response on various subjects like government affairs and human services.

Proposed bills are first discussed, amended and voted on by individual committees before they are brought in front of the entire council. Every council member serves on at least three committees or subcommittees.

Many council members thanked Adams for their appointments in statements.

Brooks-Powers, who is also the council’s majority whip, said she was honored to serve as chair of the council’s Transportation and Infrastructure committee.

“Like many of my colleagues, my district is a transit desert, underserved by rail and bus services,” the Far Rockaway council member said in a statement. “Our communities truly understand the urgent need for a public transportation network that is reliable, accessible, affordable, and safe.”

As such, she said her highest priority is to build a more equitable transportation system for all New Yorkers.

Holden also said he was pleased to serve as chair of the Veterans committee, which oversees the city’s department of veterans’ services.

“I am honored to serve as Chair of the Committee on Veterans because we can never do enough for our veterans after the service they have performed for us all…,” Holden said. “I will work every day to take care of our city’s veterans and make them a priority, coordinating closely with the Department of Veterans’ Services.”

Cabán also expressed her gratitude for the opportunity to chair the women and gender equity committee.

“Especially as the first ever majority-woman Council gets underway, I look forward to working with my colleagues to use this position to provide supports to survivors of gender-based violence, guarantee dignified conditions for workers in traditionally-gendered professions, and shift resources and power away from patriarchal systems of violence and punishment,” she said in a statement.

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