Gale A. Brewer represents the 6th Council District, encompassing most of the Upper West Side up to 108th Street west of Broadway, a part of Clinton (to West 54th St) and all of Central Park.
As Manhattan Borough President from 2014 to 2021, she requested the introduction of legislation, later passed by the City Council, to reform the deed restriction process, add “caregivers” to the City’s anti-discrimination law, and remove criminal history questions from initial employment applications (the “Fair Chance Act”). She also spearheaded community pre-planning working groups in the South Street Seaport, East Midtown, the Garment Center, Inwood, NoHo/SoHo, and East Harlem neighborhoods.
As Borough President, she submitted over 190 ULURP recommendations; allocated $213 million in capital funds (and more in operational and cultural dollars) to non-profits, schools, and parks; secured a competitive grant of $20 million from the State of New York for revitalization of Chinatown; appointed over 1000 people every year to Community Boards, school boards as well as many other boards and trained them in ethics, land use, budgeting, open data, proposal writing, conflict resolution, and other issues; and opened the first storefront district office for the Borough President on 125th Street in Harlem. She convened task forces on construction safety, African immigrants, small business, faith-based entities and real estate, affordable housing, the closing of Rikers Island jails and other matters.
Before being elected Borough President, she represented the 6th Council District from 2002-2013, when she chaired the Council’s Technology Committee, the Government Operations Committee and the General Welfare Committee. Her legislative highlights include laws guaranteeing paid sick leave for most hourly employees, requiring all City data be published online, and protecting domestic workers from abusive practices.
Prior to elected office, she served as Chief of Staff to Council Member Ruth Messinger, NYC Deputy Public Advocate, Director of the city’s Federal Office, and Executive Director of the Mayor’s Commission on the Status of Women. She worked on a research project regarding non-profits at the CUNY Graduate Center, and she worked for a private firm that focused on creating affordable housing.
For many years, Gale Brewer has taught at CUNY and Barnard College.
Brewer has an MPA from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and did her undergraduate work at Columbia University and Bennington College. She lives with her husband Cal Snyder, and they have a grown son. In the past, she had many foster children.