Steven Matteo was elected to represent the Mid-Island-based 50th City Council District in November 2013, after a decade of public service. He was elected as Minority Leader of the Council in July 2015.
Focusing on improving the quality of life and providing better government services for his constituents, Matteo has had many accomplishments since early in his first term, including: passing the Alternative Veterans Property Tax Exemption, which significantly increases property tax relief for those who have served in the military and their families; landmark legislation that provides lifesaving Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) and training to thousands of little league teams in the city free of charge; working with the Department of Sanitation to create the city’s first eWaste curbside collection program for Staten Island, which has since been made permanent and is expanding citywide with over 100,000 units collected as of August 2019; collaborating with his colleagues to secure an additional $241 million to repair the city’s crumbling roads; creating a West Shore Industrial Business Improvement District (BID) and New Dorp BID and several local merchant groups to help spur economic development in the borough; securing funding for a borough ‘Clean Team’ and spearheading efforts to remove litter and debris on Staten Island and across the city; advocating for changes to expedite post-Sandy recovery and resiliency projects; collaborating with his colleagues to secure unprecedented funding for borough healthcare infrastructure, including more than $28 million to make Staten Island University Hospital safe from future storms and more than $30 million for Richmond University Medical Center’s new emergency room; finding solutions to congestion and improving safety on Staten Island roads with a localized block-by-block, intersection-by-intersection approach, utilizing technology such as smart left-turn signals and design improvements, such as widening streets and intersections; advocating for new techniques and technologies for longer lasting street repairs, such as a wear-and-tear machine and rubberized asphalt.
Since taking office, Minority Leader Matteo has authored 22 bills that have become law. Most recently, these have included imposing enhanced penalties and enforcement on littering and illegal dumping; bringing AEDs to City-owned pools and AED distribution to other youth sports, and mandating the placement of pedestrian countdown signals at nearly all traffic signals.
In recent City budgets, Minority Leader Matteo led the charge on a number of successful efforts – funding for 500 new police officers; financing major renovations at the St. George Theater; getting $1.2 million to the Richmond County District Attorney’s Office in part to better battle the ongoing opioid epidemic; securing $8.5 million to completely fund the Travis Avenue elevation project; and the preservation or enhancement of important initiatives including CASA, NYC Cleanup, and others.
Minority Leader Matteo has also spearheaded the creation of some of the Council’s most successful initiatives. The first is the Cleanup Initiative which has brought hundreds of thousands of dollars to each Council Member to fund district clean teams. Each of these teams engages in community cleanups, street sweeping, anti-graffiti efforts, and other activities to ensure our neighborhoods are not covered in litter. Also, earl in his tenure, Council Member Matteo created the Beating Hearts Initiative, which allows Members to provide AEDs and the recommended training to four different groups per year in each of their districts. These life-saving devices will close the gap in coverage as vulnerable populations like the old and the young go through their daily lives.
A champion of small business, Minority Leader Matteo has been working to change the dynamic between government and local merchants, collaborating with those businesses and supporting their efforts to address community needs. He has shepherded the cause of the West Shore Industrial BID from its conception in 2011 to its formal creation as part of legislation he passed in October 2014. He did the same for the New Dorp BID, which became official when the Mayor signed legislation in 2017. He was also instrumental in the creation of four merchant associations – in New Dorp, Victory Boulevard, Richmond Road, and Midland Beach – which give businesses in his district a stronger voice and the ability to build upon the enormous economic potential in the Mid-Island. This year, each BID and merchant group will receive additional funding from the Speaker with grants ranging in size from $25,000 to $60,000. Merchant groups model for their respective commercial corridors what BID services could do for their communities – street sweeping, area marketing, large-scale events. With the unprecedented levels of support he brought to them, they should be able to do even more to make the relationship between government and small business into a positive one.
A lifelong Staten Island resident and son of a NYPD officer, Matteo attended P.S. 30 in Westerleigh, IS 51, and Port Richmond High School, where he was recently named to the school’s hall of fame in 2015. He earned a B.A. in Political Science from St. Francis College and a Juris Doctorate from Touro Law School.
He began his career in public service as a director of constituent services for former Mid-Island Councilman and Minority Leader James Oddo in 2004, and was promoted to chief of staff in 2006.
He currently resides in Westerleigh with his wife Anne and their four children.