New York City Mayor Eric Adams today received a report, outlining a set of recommendations related to social justice reform from a commission impaneled by civil rights lawyer Norman Siegel. The report focuses on high-priority subjects, such as economic development, climate change, education, Rikers Island, health, land use, policing, and more. The goal of the commission’s work is to expand on Mayor Adams’ belief that “public safety is the prerequisite to prosperity,” and to include social justice.
“This commission included a world-class group of people whose commitment to social justice is beyond a doubt, and whose hard work on behalf of the city is deeply appreciated,” said Mayor Adams. “We are proud to sign this order re-committing the city to the principles of the First Amendment and look forward to reviewing these recommendations in further detail as we govern and develop new policies to serve New Yorkers.”
“The report and its 81 recommendations are a framework for governing through the prism of social justice,” said Norman Siegel. “We take seriously Mayor Adams’ desire to pursue social justice as well as public safety and believe we have given him a framework for doing so that is well within the powers of the mayor. If implemented, such commitments would effect a historic transformation of the relationship between a municipal government and its constituents.”
The commission, formed in September 2021, completed the report in December. The first recommendation from the report focuses on an executive order aimed at reinforcing city agencies’ existing obligations to share information and adhere to the First Amendment. Mayor Adams is signing a version of that executive order today.
Commission members included:
- Normal Siegel, partner, Siegel Teitelbaum & Evans LLP
- Dennis Flores, community activist and co-founder, El Grito of Sunset Park
- Hon. Marcy S. Friedman, retired New York State Supreme Court Justice
- Ira Glasser, former executive director, American Civil Liberties Union
- Dr. Tarry Hum, professor and chair, Queens College Department of Urban Studies
- Steven Hyman, partner, McLaughlin & Stern, LLP
- Dr. Micaela E. Martinez, assistant professor, Emory University; adjunct assistant professor, Columbia University
- Terry McGovern, professor and director of Global Health, Justice & Governance, Columbia University School of Health
- Harriet R. Michel, former executive director, New York Urban League
- Aryana Swanson, third-year student, Columbia University
- Earl S. Ward, criminal defense attorney; chair, Housing Works; chair, Bronx Defenders; partner, Emery Celli Brinckerhoff Abady Ward & Maazel, LLP