Helen Rosenthal represents the Upper West Side in the New York City Council. She is a leading voice on issues of accessibility, gender equity and civic engagement, affordable housing, education equity, and adequate funding for social service providers. Elected to the City Council in 2013, Helen’s vote total in the general election was the highest of any candidate running for City Council in New York City.
As Chair of the Contracts Committee during the 2014-2017 session, Helen successfully fought for increased City investment in nonprofits who provide essential social services to seniors, children, people with disabilities, and other New Yorkers. These organizations often struggle financially because government pays late and inadequately for the services. In order to protect the 2.5 million New Yorkers they serve, Helen successfully advocated for changes to the way the City funds these nonprofits, along with increased wages for 180,000 social service workers.
In 2017, Helen and her colleagues wrote a historic package of new laws which provide greater protections for tenants against harassment and unsafe conditions. These bills make it easier to hold abusive landlords accountable and help tenants protect their homes.
Under Helen’s leadership, the City Council Women’s Caucus released a groundbreaking report in August 2017 about the declining number of women in the City Council, how New York compares to other American cities, and the public policy impacts of the lack of gender parity in legislative bodies. Currently only 11 of the City Council’s 51 seats are held by women.
As Chair of the Committee on Women for the 2018-2021 session, Helen plans to target sexual harassment in the municipal workforce, the gender wage gap, the systemic under-representation of women in elected office, and the lack of adequate support for survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence.
In addition to her committee assignments, Helen is also co-chair of the Council’s Manhattan Delegation, and a member of its Budget Negotiating Team (BNT).