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Council Member Rory I. Lancman was born and raised in Queens. He proudly represents New York City’s 24th City Council District, where he has lived for more than forty years. Council Member Lancman chairs the Council’s Committee on Courts & Legal Services, and he serves as a member of all the Council’s committees covering the criminal justice system: Public Safety, Fire and Criminal Justice Services, Juvenile Justice and Oversight and Investigations. Council Member Lancman also serves on the committees on Consumer Affairs and Environmental Protection.

Through his chairmanship of the Committee on Courts & Legal Services, Council Member Lancman has advocated for a civil justice and criminal justice system that works for all New Yorkers. The committee has held hearings on the city’s summons courts, bail reform, access to counsel for immigrant children, the veteran’s treatment courts, the indigent defense system and other topics that address the fairness, transparency and efficiency of our legal process.

These hearings have contributed to, among other things, an overhaul of the operations of summons court and a rethinking of how New York City adjudicates low-level, quality-of-life offenses, as well as a citywide conversation on reforming our antiquated bail system to make it safer for the public, fairer for nonviolent defendants of limited means and less costly for taxpayers.

Under Council Member Lancman’s leadership, the committee has also overseen the significant expansion of access to civil legal services for low- and moderate-income New Yorkers as championed by Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, and the historic establishment of a citywide Office of Civil Justice Coordinator, which was passed out of Council Member Lancman’s committee.

In addition to his work on improving the civil and criminal justice system, Council Member Lancman has focused his legislative work on making life more affordable for everyday New Yorkers.

He was proud to support Universal Pre-K, which expanded early childhood education to every child in our city. Council Member Lancman worked closely with the Mayor and the Department of Consumer Affairs to reduce onerous fines on small businesses, leading to a more than fifty percent reduction in fines from FY2014 to FY2015. He was sponsored legislation that expanded pre-tax transportation benefits to more New Yorkers, making it less expensive to get to work and was pleased to join his colleagues in passing a bill that requires landlords to post a Tenant’s Bill of Rights, which will protect tenants from harassment and eviction.

Council Member Lancman opposes the proposal to tax plastic bags and has fought against various congestion pricing plans that would hurt Queens commuters. He has played an active role in several bills to strengthen employees’ ability to unionize and stood strong for our city’s men and women in uniform by refusing to support a watered-down pension proposal and leading the fight for the more than 1,000 new police officers that were included in the FY2016 budget. He worked to uphold public safety through his support of legislation to put school safety officers in every school and through his continued efforts to ensure every school crossing guard position is filled. Council Member Lancman advocates for a city transit plan that considers the needs of car drivers, bus riders and pedestrians.

Prior to being elected to the City Council, Council Member Lancman served three terms in the New York State Assembly, where he chaired the Assembly Subcommittee on Workplace Safety. Council Member Lancman passed numerous laws, including the Libel Terrorism Protection Act, which protects authors and journalists from politically motivated overseas defamation judgments and which prompted Congress to pass similar legislation on the national level; the Public Servant Soldier Salary Act, which ensures that city employees called to active military duty receive appropriate compensation; and the Hospital Closure Planning Act, which increased the NYS Department of Health’s community engagement and planning to provide for the continuity of essential healthcare services following a hospital closure.

Council Member Lancman also previously served on Queens Community Planning Board No. 8 for sixteen years, and for five years he chaired the Queens Hospital Center Community Advisory board, during which time he led the community’s successful fight to rebuild the hospital and prevent its privatization. He additionally served as vice president of the Flushing Heights Civic Association; as a  board member of the New York State Trial Lawyers Association, the Brandeis Bar Association and the Queens Jewish Community Council; as a New York City Civil Court Small Claims Arbitrator; as a volunteer coach in the Auburndale Soccer League; and as a commissioned officer and infantry platoon leader in New York’s own 42nd Infantry Division.

Council Member Lancman lives in Hillcrest, Queens, with his wife the Honorable Morgan Cohanim Lancman, Judge of the Civil Court, and their three children. He is a graduate of Public School 164, Parsons Junior High School, Hillcrest High School, Queens College of the City University of New York, and Columbia Law School.