Gibson appointed chair of committee on oversight and investigations

Gibson appointed chair of committee on oversight and investigations

Moses Kuwema

The Bronx's 16th Council District member Vanessa Gibson has been appointed to serve as chair of the committee on Oversight and Investigations.

During the New York City Council’s 2021 Charter meeting on Wednesday, where the Council voted on the appointment of several new committee chairs, Gibson was made chair of a committee that was left vacant by former Council Member Ritchie Torres, now a representative for the 15th Congressional District.

“I look forward to working alongside all of my colleagues in the coming year, including these newly appointed committee chairs. There is much work ahead for all of us as we rebuild our city from the devastation brought on by COVID-19, but I am confident that we can face any challenge by working together,” said Council Speaker Corey Johnson. 

Before her appointment, Council Member Gibson was the chair of the Subcommittee on Capital Budget and Finance, a role she will be transitioning out of, and co-chair of the Women’s Caucus. 

The Committee on Oversight and Investigations has jurisdiction over investigating matters within the Council’s jurisdiction concerning property, affairs, or government of New York City, as well as the Department of Investigation. 

“Over the past three years as Chair of the Subcommittee on Capital, it has been my honor and privilege to oversee the city’s capital investments and bring much-needed reform to our capital process. Now, as the new Chair of the Committee on Oversight and Investigations, I look forward to working with my colleagues and the administration to ensure effectiveness and accountability in city agencies. 

"I am grateful for the opportunity to continue the work of my predecessor, former Council Member, and now Congressman Ritchie Torres, and I want to thank Speaker Corey Johnson for affording me the opportunity to serve in this role,” said Council Member Gibson. 

The Council also voted to appoint Council Member Helen Rosenthal to serve as chair of the Subcommittee on Capital Budget and Finance. 

Council Member Rosenthal will take over from Gibson as chair. Council Member Rosenthal is currently chair of the Committee on Women and Gender Equity, a role she will be transitioning out of. 

The Subcommittee on Capital Budget and Finance plays a critical role in the planning of the city’s budget and fiscal policy decisions. 

“I’m grateful for this opportunity to work with Council Member Dromm and the Speaker’s Office to hold the administration’s feet to the fire and ensure that precious taxpayer capital dollars are spent efficiently and effectively. 

"I have treasured my time as chair of the Committee on Women & Gender Equity and am very proud to have led the Council’s efforts to address sexual harassment in the workplace, shine a spotlight on the childcare needs of our families, and ensure that sexual assault survivors are treated with dignity by the NYPD. 

"This includes our successful fight for new physical layouts for each borough office of the Special Victims Division. There is much more to be done and I’m delighted that my new colleague Council Member Darma Diaz will continue to fight for gender equity and the concerns of women,” said Council Member Rosenthal. 

The Council also voted to appoint Council Member Darma V. Diaz to serve as chair of the Committee on Women and Gender Equity. Council Member Diaz will replace Council Member Rosenthal as chair. 

The Committee on Women and Gender Equity has jurisdiction over issues relating to advancing the economic mobility, social inclusion, leadership and civic participation of women and girls, domestic violence, Office to End Gender-Based Violence and the Commission on Gender Equity. 

“I’m ecstatic to be the new Chair of the Council’s Committee on Women and Gender Equity. As a newly-elected Council Member, these are issues that are near and dear to me personally! I’m excited to begin the hard work ahead, and eager to advance an equity-first agenda. I thank Speaker Johnson for this opportunity and look forward to working with all of my colleagues in the coming year,” said Council Member Diaz. 

The Council also voted to appoint Council Member Diana Ayala to serve as chair of the Committee on Consumer Affairs and Business Licensing. 

Council Member Ayala is currently chair of the Committee on Mental Health, Disabilities, and Addictions, a role she will be transitioning out of, and co-chair of the Progressive Caucus. 

The Committee on Consumer Affairs and Business Licensing has jurisdiction over New York City’s Department of Consumer Affairs and Office of Nightlife, including practices and policies relating to New Yorkers’ consumer rights. 

“I am honored and equally excited to have been appointed Chair of the Committee on Consumer Affairs and Business Licensing”, said Council Member Ayala.

“My predecessors laid a solid foundation on matters related to worker protection, and aiding small businesses. These issues have always been near and dear to my heart, and I look forward to continuing where they left off.” 

The Council also voted to appoint Council Member Farah N. Louis to serve as chair of the Committee on Mental Health, Disabilities and Addictions. Council Member Louis will replace current Council Member Ayala as chair. 

Council Member Louis is currently vice co-chair for the Black, Latino, and Asian Caucus (BLAC) and co-chair for the Women’s Caucus. 

The Committee on Mental Health, Disabilities and Addictions has jurisdiction over the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) and the Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities. 

“The decision to serve as Chair of the Committee on Mental Health, Disabilities, and Addictions was a personal one,” said Council Member Louis.

“As a former healthcare professional, I know firsthand how stigmas and racial disparities in care can deter New Yorkers in crisis from seeking help. 

“During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, I lost a dear childhood friend who suffered from depression then had to adapt to social isolation during the stay-at-home order. 

"He tragically took his own life. As we approach the one-year mark, the road to recovery, and the devastating toll of COVID-19 remains unknown. 

"We need a holistic approach to break the cycle for millions of New Yorkers suffering in silence and those still awaiting the critical services and resources that they were prescribed. 

"I look forward to being a part of the change that will deconstruct the taboo around mental health and our continued fight for people with disabilities and those suffering from addiction as well as their families to receive the support that they need," he said. 

The Council also voted to appoint Council Member Kevin C. Riley to serve as chair of the Subcommittee on Landmarks, Public Seatings, and Dispositions. 

The Subcommittee on Landmarks, Public Seatings, and Dispositions reviews and makes recommendations on New York City’s designations of property as landmarks or historic districts, as well as decisions to site public facilities and decisions regarding the use of maritime facilities such as piers. 

“As a newly-elected Council Member representing the Bronx’s 12th district, I am honored to be chair of the Council’s Landmarks, Public Seatings, and Dispositions Subcommittee. 

"Thank you to Speaker Johnson for this opportunity. I know that the year ahead will be one of great challenges, and I am eager to begin working with affordable housing advocates and the preservation community to advance an agenda that helps all New Yorkers. Together, we can achieve great things,” said Council Member Riley. 

“I look forward to working alongside all of my colleagues in the coming year, including these newly appointed committee chairs. There is much work ahead for all of us as we rebuild our city from the devastation brought on by COVID-19, but I am confident that we can face any challenge by working together,” said Council Speaker Corey Johnson.