Elizabeth Crowley

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This article is about the New York City councilwoman. For the Rhode Island legislator, see Elizabeth Crowley (Rhode Island politician).
Elizabeth Crowley
Elizabeth Crowley 2011.jpg
Crowley in 2011
Member of the New York City Council from the 30th District
Assumed office
January 1, 2009
Preceded by Anthony Como
Constituency Glendale, Maspeth, Middle Village, Ridgewood, Woodhaven, Woodside (Queens, New York)
Personal details
Born (1977-11-27) November 27, 1977 (age 37)
Queens, New York, United States
Political party Democratic
Children Dennis and Owen
Residence Glendale, Queens
Alma mater Fashion Institute of Technology (SUNY) and Pratt Institute Graduate School of Architecture
Website NYC Council: District 30

Elizabeth Crowley (born November 27, 1977, Queens, New York) is a member of the New York City Council and a Democratic Party politician in New York. Crowley was first elected in November 2008, defeating the incumbent Republican, Anthony Como. She was sworn in January 2009 to represent the Queens neighborhoods of Glendale, Ridgewood, Maspeth, Middle Village and Woodhaven.[1] She was re-elected to a second term in November 2013 and currently serves as Chair of the Fire and Criminal Justice Services Committee. [2] [3]


Council Member Elizabeth S. Crowley has an M.S. in City and Regional Planning from Pratt Institute’s Graduate School of Architecture and a B.A. magna cum laude in Restoration and Preservation from SUNY Fashion Institute of Technology where she was a Presidential Scholar.


Council Member Elizabeth S. Crowley is the first Democrat and first female to represent the communities of Glendale, Maspeth, Middle Village, Ridgewood and parts of Woodhaven and Woodside in the 30th Council District. Elected in November 2008, Crowley currently chairs the City Council's Fire and Criminal Justice Services Committee, which oversees the Fire Department, Department of Correction, Department of Probation, Office of Emergency Management, and the Criminal Justice Coordinator’s Office. In addition to also serving as co-Chair of the Women's Caucus, Crowley sits on the committees on Civil Service and Labor; Community Development; Cultural Affairs and Libraries; Mental Health, Developmental Disability, Alcoholism, Drug Abuse and Disability Services; and Women's Issues.[4]

FDNY Emergency Response[edit]

When the Bloomberg Administration’s proposed budget included the closing of up to 20 fire companies, Crowley led the campaign which included 15 rallies and numerous editorials[citation needed]. Ultimately the $37 million needed to save the fire companies was restored.

Elizabeth has been a critic of the $2 billion 911-system upgrade titled the “Unified Call Taking System” and its numerous reported flaws. Elizabeth has been the leading voice calling on the administration to make numerous fixes to the 911 system including hiring more personnel and changing the call taking process. [5] In May 2014 and in direct response to pressure from Crowley and union advocates, the de Blasio administration announced a broader study into the management of emergency calls at the same time as Crowley's committee held an oversight hearing examining the 911 system. [6]

Following the death of two children in a 2014 Rockaway fire, Elizabeth called for the FDNY to change its protocol to immediately dispatch both ambulances and fire engines to reports of structural fires, and recommended hiring more EMS personnel improve ambulance response times.[7] She has continuously criticized City Hall for failing to provide funding and resources to bring down response times to life-threatening emergencies, which currently average 9 minutes and 30 seconds.[8]

Criminal Justice[edit]

For years, Elizabeth has been sounding the alarm on rampant mismanagement and violence within the NYC Department of Correction, especially on Rikers Island. [9] She has fought to end dangerous and excessive overtime for Correction Officers, [10] and was instrumental in forcing the resignation of top Correction Department officials that were found to have falsified jail violence records. [11]

Following the 2014 report by the US Department of Justice and US Attorney Preet Bharara uncovering brutality against adolescent inmates in NYC jails, Elizabeth began leading the charge to remove 16- and 17-year-old inmates from Rikers Island. [12]Under her leadership of the Fire and Criminal Justice committee, the Council passed legislation in 2014 requiring the Department of Correction to publish public information about the use of solitary confinement. [13]

Elizabeth's oversight has pressured the administration increase mental health services on Rikers Island. [14] Currently, about 40% of the inmate population in the NYC Department of Correction suffer from some form of mental illness. [15] She has also raised serious questions about the DOC's medical services provided on Rikers Island, Corizon, and has proposed the that the City's public hospital system assume responsibility for jail medical services. [16]

Pension Reform[edit]

Elizabeth has denounced the severely reduced Tier 3 disability pension benefits that newer FDNY and NYPD members are left to live on if they become seriously injured or permanently disabled on the job. Under New York State law, firefighters and police officers hired before June 30, 2009, receive Tier 2 disability pension benefits equaling 75 percent of pay, with no Social Security offset. However, those hired after July 1, 2009, receive disability benefits under Tier 3 consisting of only 50 percent of pay, which is further offset by Social Security payments. Because of this discrepancy, thousands of new New York City firefighters and NYPD officers lack critical health and safety protections.

Despite opposition by both Mayor Bill de Blasio and NYC Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, Elizabeth introduced a resolution calling on New York State to pass legislation that would create parity among the different pension tiers for firefighters and police officers.[17] In January 2015, she successfully whipped up the necessary votes to override opposition by the Speaker and force a hearing on the legislation.[18]


Elizabeth is a public school parent and has been a strong advocate for public education. Since joining the council in 2009 she has fought for smaller class sizes because her district was home to some of the city's most overcrowded school districts. She fought to have 4 new schools opened in her district, most recently Maspeth High School. She has proposed building a new school at a defunct factory space in Glendale, Queens to alleviate overcrowding [19]

Through the budget process, Elizabeth has been pushed state of the art classrooms that provide students with access to computers. $11 million in technology upgrades have been allocated for schools across the district to help provide these resources. She has also been a strong supporting of cultural and after school enrichment programs. [20]

Physical Education[edit]

Elizabeth has demanded that the NYC Department of Education begin meeting minimum physical education requirements set by the state. Citing high childhood obesity rates, Elizabeth is championing legislation to require all NYC schools to report the amount and frequency of physical education students at each grade level are receiving. The bill also require information on number of certified PE teachers employed and each schools and on facilities used for instruction. Elizabeth has argued that this information is necessary before the City can began to correct the problem. [21]

Infrastructure Improvements[edit]

The 30th council district has undergone major renovations in the last four years including major sewer renovations, park renovations, road repaving and public transit upgrades. Two major sewer lines on Calumus and Penelope Avenues are currently undergoing construction to help alleviate the area's flooding issues. New athletic fields and playgrounds have opened up in major area parks like Juniper Park. The J train, which was literally crumbling down on its residents, has been restored largely due to the work of Council Member Elizabeth Crowley.[22]

Animal Rights[edit]

Approved by the Council in 2014, Elizabeth's historic animal rights legislation finally ended the sale of dogs and cats from inhumane puppy mills in New York City. The legislative package also mandated the spaying, neutering, and licensing of newly purchased pets to help reduce the number of animals abandoned in shelters each year.

To crack down on the sale of dogs and cats from inhumane “puppy mills,” Elizabeth set forth requirements that all NYC pet shops hold an operating permit issued by the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) and that they obtain any dog or cat that it offers for sale directly from a breeder licensed by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) that meet certain inspection standards. – prohibiting pet shops from selling dogs and cats obtained from brokers, and rabbits obtained from any source. Pet brokers often serve as middlemen for abusive breeders. They have a long history of engaging in deceptive trade practices and they are the largest players in the pet industry that facilitate a system enabling puppy mills to currently exist and thrive. Her legislation ensured that pet shops have verifiable information about the sources and health of animals they offer for sale by requiring pet shops to have direct relationships with the breeders. [23]

Elizabeth has also cited her commitment to animal welfare as a reason for her support of the NYC Central Park carriage horse drivers, and has opposed a bill banning the industry.[24]

Organized Labor[edit]

Crowley joined D.C. 9 International Union of Painters and Allied Trades. Crowley worked to restore and preserve some of New York City’s most historic landmarks such as Radio City Music Hall, Central Synagogue and St. Patrick’s Cathedral.[citation needed]

After working on preservation project, D.C.9 nominated Crowley for a position with the Consortium for Worker Education (CWE) to provide job training services to thousands of New Yorkers with a concentration on the building trades and the local manufacturing sector. After the attacks on 9/11, she worked with CWE and helped administer the $32 million New York City Emergency Employment Grant to businesses negatively impacted by the attack. As part of a small team, Elizabeth helped over 300 businesses stay open.[citation needed]

Women's Issues[edit]

Women in FDNY[edit]

Elizabeth has led the charge calling on the New York City Fire Department (FDNY) to hire more women firefighters. Currently, there are only 44 female firefighters serving in the FDNY - comprising less than one percent of a 10,500 member workforce. Elizabeth has demanded an end to unfair and irrelevant testing methods that can prevent qualified female candidates from become firefighters. Following pressure by her committee, the FDNY announced in December 2014 that it was taking steps to reform its academy testing and training practices.[25]

Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence[edit]

Elizabeth has co-sponsored a resolution in the Cit Council urging Congress to pass the Campus Accountability and Safety Act, which promotes transparency and accountability in the way in which colleges handle sexual assault reports. [26] Following the death of a young girl in a City homeless shelter, Elizabeth introduced a bill mandated that information regarding domestic violence resources be distributed to all those entering the shelter system. [27]

Women's Health[edit]

In 2010, along with Speaker Christine Quinn and the women of the New York City Council, Crowley hosted the first-ever panel discussion at City Hall to discuss ways to reduce cancer fatalities with early detection tools and preventative lifestyle choices. World-renowned researchers and oncologists joined the panel to offer their expertise and provide effective tools that all New Yorkers could implement toward preventing and diagnosing cancer.[citation needed]

Electoral history[edit]

Congressional Run[edit]

On March 19, 2012, Crowley announced that she would seek the Democratic nomination for New York's 6th congressional district. Crowley faced New York State Assembly members Rory Lancman and Grace Meng in the primary election.[28]

2001 NYC Council District 30 Democratic primary [29]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Elizabeth Crowley 3,362 45.94
Democratic Linda Sansivieri 2,367 32.35
Democratic Robert Cermeli 1,589 21.71
Total votes 7,318 100
2001 NYC Council District 30
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Dennis Gallagher 13,620 58.89
Democratic Elizabeth Crowley 9,298 40.20
Green Sharain Pereira 211 0.91
Total votes 23,129 100
2008 NYC Council District 30(Non-Partisan Special)[30]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Anthony Como 2,442 31.64
Democratic Elizabeth Crowley 2,110 31.11
Republican Thomas Ognibene 2,442 27.34
Democratic Charles Ober 766 9.92
Total votes 7,719 100
2008 NYC Council District 30 Special[31]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Elizabeth Crowley 19,949 56.15
Republican Anthony Como 15,580 43.85
2009 NYC Council District 30[32]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Elizabeth Crowley 11,779 59.76
Republican Thomas Ognibene 7,930 40.23
Total votes 19,709 100
2012 NY Congressional District 6 Democratic primary results [33]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Grace Meng 12,580 51
Democratic Rory Lancman 6,995 28
Democratic Elizabeth Crowley 3,918 16
Democratic Robert Mittman 1,265 5
Total votes 36,601 100
Democratic Elizabeth Crowley 9,403 58.9
Republican Craig Caruana 6,567 41.1


  1. ^ New York City Council: District 30 - Elizabeth Crowley
  2. ^ http://www.qchron.com/editions/central/elizabeth-crowley-wins-second-term/article_f53eb31e-f416-5c91-8361-b274b8cbfc0b.html
  3. ^ http://www.crainsnewyork.com/article/20140122/BLOGS04/140129946/city-council-committee-chairs-named
  4. ^ http://council.nyc.gov/d30/html/members/biography.shtml
  5. ^ http://queensledger.com/bookmark/25235893/article-Crowley-claims-current-911-system-is-costing-time-and-lives
  6. ^ http://www.capitalnewyork.com/article/city-hall/2014/05/8546313/city-review-entire-emergency-call-system
  7. ^ http://www.timesledger.com/stories/2014/17/farrockfire_tl_2014_04_25_q.html
  8. ^ http://www.capitalnewyork.com/article/city-hall/2015/02/8561938/crowley-budget-wont-fix-emergency-response-times
  9. ^ http://www.thenewyorkworld.com/2013/07/31/rikers-violence/
  10. ^ http://www.dnainfo.com/new-york/20140612/sunnyside/corrections-department-overtime-costs-exploding-city-councilwoman-warns
  11. ^ http://gothamist.com/2014/10/28/rikers_clemons_violence.php
  12. ^ http://www.nydailynews.com/blogs/dailypolitics/elizabeth-crowley-remove-teenage-inmates-rikers-island-blog-entry-1.1903723
  13. ^ http://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/local/NYC-Council-Bill-Rikers-Island-Transparency-Jail-Inmates-Injuries-Mental-Health-272241141.html
  14. ^ http://observer.com/2014/06/council-pounds-chest-after-major-hike-in-rikers-funding/
  15. ^ http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/16/nyregion/what-is-happening-at-rikers-island.html
  16. ^ http://www.dnainfo.com/new-york/20150304/civic-center/city-council-slams-rikers-medical-provider-at-hearing
  17. ^ http://www.capitalnewyork.com/article/city-hall/2014/06/8546917/de-blasio-opposes-bill-boost-police-disability-pensions
  18. ^ http://www.capitalnewyork.com/article/city-hall/2015/01/8559709/uniformed-pension-proposal-gains-critical-mass-council
  19. ^ http://queenscourier.com/councilwoman-elizabeth-crowley-proposes-alternative-to-controversial-proposed-homeless-shelter/
  20. ^ http://www.elizabethcrowley.com/2013/03/19/students-light-up-the-stage-at-p-s-87s-surfs-up-broadway/
  21. ^ http://www.timesnewsweekly.com/news/2015-02-26/Columns/My_Say.html
  22. ^ http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/26/nyregion/in-private-quinn-displays-a-volatile-side.html?pagewanted=3
  23. ^ http://www.timesledger.com/stories/2014/52/animalrights_tl_2014_12_26_q.html
  24. ^ http://www.nydailynews.com/opinion/elizabeth-crowley-animal-rights-carriage-horses-article-1.2051368
  25. ^ http://www.nydailynews.com/blogs/dailypolitics/city-council-pushes-fdny-female-firefighters-blog-entry-1.2040918
  26. ^ http://www.qchron.com/editions/queenswide/campus-sex-assault-bill-hearing-planned/article_635a82db-f7e3-5fd8-ad1d-ce545a8f2d80.html
  27. ^ http://www.nydailynews.com/blogs/dailypolitics/bill-mandate-domestic-violence-education-shelters-blog-entry-1.1983796
  28. ^ http://queens.ny1.com/content/top_stories/157876/queens-democratic-leaders-back-meng-for-congress
  29. ^ http://www.vote.nyc.ny.us/pdf/results/2001/primaryelection/2001p.pdf
  30. ^ http://www.vote.nyc.ny.us/pdf/results/2008/Queens30Council/Queens30CouncilRecap.pdf
  31. ^ http://www.vote.nyc.ny.us/pdf/results/2008/general/4.60QueensCouncil30_Recap.pdf
  32. ^ http://www.vote.nyc.ny.us/pdf/results/2009/General/7.26Queens30CouncilRecap.pdf
  33. ^ http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/files/elections/2012/by_state/NY_US_House_0626.html?SITE=CSPANELN&SECTION=POLITICS

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Anthony Como
New York City Council, 30th District