James “Jim” F. Gennaro is a Democratic member of the New York City Council, where he represents the 24th Council District and chairs the Council’s Committee on Environmental Protection, Resiliency & Waterfronts. Gennaro served his first terms from 2002 to 2013.
Although most closely associated with nationally-acclaimed environmental lawmaking, Gennaro authored more than 50 laws covering many issues, including increasing protections for women against domestic violence, protecting consumers from unscrupulous bankruptcy counselors, and in 2013, he authored and passed a law that raises the age of sale of tobacco products and e-cigarettes to 21, known as the “Tobacco 21” law, the first-in-the-nation law of its kind. In 2020, Tobacco 21 was adopted as national policy. A recent issue of the New England Journal of Medicine states that the Tobacco 21 movement has saved “countless lives” across the United States.
Since his return to the City Council in 2021, Gennaro has continued to be the guiding hand of environmental policy in New York City. The main focus of his work has been on holding the city accountable to its stated emissions goals and pushing for greater storm resiliency in the face of more frequent superstorms. He has also been one of the strongest voices on the council calling on the state to institute a dangerousness standard for the courts in order to stem the rising tide of crimes the city is facing.