Julie Menin

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Julie Menin
Julie Menin, Portrait.jpg
Menin in 2012
Commissioner of New York City Department of Consumer Affairs
Assumed office
May 2014
Preceded by Jonathan Mintz
Personal details
Nationality American
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Bruce Menin
Residence New York City, New York, USA
Alma mater Columbia University
Northwestern University School of Law
Profession Former Small Business Owner, Regulatory Attorney, Non-Profit Executive Director
Website juliemenin.com

Julie Menin is the current Commissioner of the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs and former Chairperson of Community Board 1[1] in Lower Manhattan, small business owner and regulatory attorney and a well-known advocate for helping Manhattan small businesses recover after the 9/11 attacks.[2] Menin was elected to CB1 in a 2005 special election and was unanimously re-elected to three successive terms in 2006, 2008 and 2010. As chair of CB1, Menin worked on numerous land use and zoning issues, led a successful campaign to build New York City’s first "green" school and other initiatives to revitalize Lower Manhattan.[3] Menin has been recognized for her “solution-based” approach to controversial issues in the wake of 9/11 and as chair of CB1.[4] Menin was a candidate for Manhattan Borough President in 2013.[5]

Early career and personal life

Menin is a magna cum laude graduate of Columbia College, Columbia University where she received her BA in political science, and received her law degree from Northwestern University School of Law. She has three young sons and resides in Lower Manhattan with her husband Bruce.

Menin has worked as a senior regulatory attorney at Colgate-Palmolive and a regulatory attorney at Wiley, Rein & Fielding in Washington D.C. where she specialized in consumer product safety law, Federal Trade Commission issues such as deceptive consumer practices and advertising and administrative law spanning FDA, DOJ and numerous regulatory agencies.

In the fall of 2009, Menin launched her own talk show, Give and Take, a one on one substantive interview show on politics, legal issues and current events which aired on NBC's 24-hour cable network in major markets around the country. Menin's campaign deleted the archives of her show shortly after a segment where Menin criticized the auto bailout as a "money pit" had leaked.[6]

She has served as a frequent guest over the years on legal and political issues on CNN American Morning, MSNBC's Hardball, The Today Show, CNN Situation Room, and other shows.

She formerly owned and operated Vine, a restaurant and catering business with over 75 employees that she created in Lower Manhattan.[7]

Advocacy and community work

Menin became active in New York City politics when she founded and became president of Wall Street Rising, a non-profit organization created in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 attacks to return "vibrancy and vitality" in Lower Manhattan. It is now the fastest growing neighborhood in New York City with tourism up 40% since 2008, and a growing commercial makeup as well.[8]

In 2002, Menin was appointed as a Redistricting Commissioner to help in redrawing the new boundaries of the New York City Council.

In 2003, she was appointed to serve on the jury for the World Trade Center Site Memorial Competition.

She currently serves on several government and civic boards including the The World Trade Center Memorial Foundation, The Downtown Alliance, New York Downtown Hospital, The Eleanor Roosevelt Legacy Foundation, The Municipal Art Society, and The Women's Campaign Forum. She is a former board member of the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, Citizens Union, and Governors Island.

In November 2007, Menin announced the Community Board's decision to build the first "green" school in New York City.[9] CB 1 successfully advocated for a total of 3 new schools in Lower Manhattan during Menin's time as Chairperson.[10]

On January 16, 2010, She wrote an op-ed for the New York Times arguing that the trial of 9-11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed should be moved out of Lower Manhattan.[11] She led the charge to move the trial out of New York City,[12] resulting in the Obama Administration backing out of New York City [13]

On May 25, 2010, Menin presided over the Community Board's historic 29-1 vote in favor of a proposed Islamic cultural center and mosque, preserving the fundamental principle of freedom of religion and used a solution driven approach to urge the interfaith center (where all different religions can worship) be part of the plans.[14][15]

On August 30, 2010, she wrote an op-ed for the New York Daily News suggesting that an interfaith, nondenominational center be built on two floors of the project. This would be modeled after the Pentagon Interfaith Chapel in order to bridge the divide.[16]

She has been a frequent critic of the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation (on whose board she sits) and exposed that the agency was sitting on over $200 million.[17][18][19][20] She battled Con Edison in 2010, who tried to lay claim to the $200 million of LMDC funding when Con Ed threatened to raise all New Yorkers rates by $50 if she did not back down.[21] Menin then wrote the Public Service Commission demanding that they investigate Con Ed for illegally threatening to raise rates.[22] She prevailed and the $200 million was allocated to Lower Manhattan as she had advocated.[23]

In September 2011, Menin worked to negotiate what The New York Times dubbed "The Great Sukkah Controversy" where she worked to find an alternate private lot, instead of the public Duane Park for a sukkah to be built.[24] The new space Menin searched and found to host the sukkah ensured that the separation of church and state was maintained. The Downtown Express praised this “as a solution [that] was well thought-out.”[25]

On October 26, 2011, Menin led Community Board 1 to a 33-3 vote in favor of Occupy Wall Street's First Amendment right to protest, and opposed the use of force by the city of New York, and at the same time urged the city to address some of the quality of life issues for restaurants and small businesses adjacent to the site, saying "the two were not mutually exclusive." This approach was praised in a New York Times editorial as a "good approach."[26][27]

2013 election

Menin ran in the Democratic primary for Manhattan Borough President in September 2013 but finished fourth behind New York City Council Members Gale Brewer, Jessica Lappin and Robert Jackson.[28]

She announced her candidacy in December 2012, with a list of more than 200 community endorsements, including activists, district leaders, state committee members, community board chairs and prominent New Yorkers.[29]


  • Named as a "Rising Star 40 Under 40" by City Hall newspaper-2008[30]
  • Named one of the "Top 100 New Yorkers." by the New York Resident
  • The Women's Campaign Forum's "Rising Star" Award
  • The National Association of Women Business Owners Community Service Award
  • The ACE Civic award
  • The Women's Club of NY "City Spirit Award"
  • Manhattan Youth's Community Service award
  • The 2010 NY League of Conservation Voters award[31]
  • The 2011 Citizen Union’s 2011 Civic Leadership award[32]


  1. ^ Shapiro, Julie. "Julie Menin Makes Way for New CB1 Chairwoman". DNAinfo.com. 
  2. ^ Reynolds, Aline. "After seven packed years, Julie Menin to step down from chair of C.B. 1". Downtown Express. 
  3. ^ Shapiro, Julie. "Spitzer, mayor back new school". Downtown Express. 
  4. ^ Editorial. "Making right decisions". The Villager. 
  5. ^ Saul, Michael Howard. "Candidate Shows Early Fundraising Success". The Wall Street Journal. 
  6. ^ Katz, Celeste. "Manhattan BP Hopeful Julie Menin's Team Does a Little Anti-Oppo Online Housekeeping". NY Daily News. 
  7. ^ Hodgson, Moira. "Within a Banker’s Vault, Vine Reincarnates Classics". New York Observer. 
  8. ^ research@downtownny.com. "Lower Manhattan Market Year in Review 2011". The Downtown Alliance. 
  9. ^ Medina, Jennifer (November 13, 2007). "A New ‘Green’ School for Lower Manhattan - City Room Blog - NYTimes.com". New York Times. Retrieved August 17, 2010. 
  10. ^ Reynolds, Aline. "After seven packed years, Julie Menin to step down from chair of C.B. 1". Downtown Express. 
  11. ^ Menin, Julie (January 16, 2010). "Trial by Ferry". New York Times. Retrieved January 17, 2010. 
  12. ^ CLEHANE, DIANE (February 3, 2010). "Lunch: ‘Heroine’ Julie Menin Takes On Washington: "Move the 9/11 Trial!"". Mediabistro. Retrieved December 21, 2010. 
  13. ^ Shane, Scott (January 29, 2010). "U.S. Drops Plan for a 9/11 Trial in New York City". NY Times. Retrieved December 21, 2010. 
  14. ^ Dunning, Matt. "CB1 Backs Imam's Community Center, Silent on Mosque Near WTC". The Tribeca Trib. 
  15. ^ CBS News. "NYC Panel Head: Add Interfaith Center to Mosque". CBSNews.com. 
  16. ^ Menin, Julie (August 30, 2010). "Better mosque compromise: Chair of community board wants interfaith center inside Park51 project". NY Daily News. Retrieved December 21, 2010. 
  17. ^ Menin, Julie (June 13, 2010). "Opinion: Taxpayer dollars are not at work". Crain's New York Business. Retrieved December 21, 2010. 
  18. ^ Menin, Julie (April 14, 2010). "$150M in WTC found money: Use it now to build a performing arts center on the Deutsche Bank site". New York Daily News. Retrieved December 21, 2010. 
  19. ^ Kaysen, Ronda (October 8, 2005). "L.M.D.C. pummeled at public meeting". Downtown Express. Retrieved December 21, 2010. 
  20. ^ Karni, Annie (June 20, 2010). "Gov to slash LMDC". New York Post. Retrieved December 21, 2010. 
  21. ^ Shapiro, Julie (June 22, 2010). "Con Edison and Community Board 1 Wrangle Over 9/11 Recovery Money". DNA Info. Retrieved December 21, 2010. 
  22. ^ "Unneeded Bureaucracy at Ground Zero". New York Times. August 11, 2010. Retrieved December 21, 2010. 
  23. ^ Reynolds, Aline (September 15, 2010). "L.M.D.C. set to release $200 million in grants". Downtown Express. Retrieved December 21, 2010. 
  24. ^ Berger, Joseph. "Larger, Private Spot Is Found for TriBeCa Sukkah". The New York Times. 
  25. ^ Editorial. "Making the right decisions". Downtown Express. 
  26. ^ "A Good Approach on Wall Street". New York Times. October 24, 2011. Retrieved November 4, 2011. 
  27. ^ "Making peace with Occupy Wall Street: Community board president says violence is no answer". New York Daily News. October 23, 2011. Retrieved November 4, 2011. 
  28. ^ CBS new York (11 September 2013). "Councilwoman Brewer Wins Nomination For Manhattan Borough President". Retrieved 25 September 2013.
  29. ^ Pehme, Morgan. "Declaring for Manhattan BP, Menin Announces 216 Endorsements". Manhattan Media. 
  30. ^ Editor. "Rising Stars: 40 Under 40". City & State. 
  31. ^ New York League of Conservation Voters. "Galaxy of Luminaries Expected at New York League of Conservation". Bloomberg.com. 
  32. ^ Editor. "Highlights from Citizens Union's 2011 Awards Dinner". Citizens Union.