Norm Siegel speaking at City Hall
New York City, 2008
Norman Siegel (born 1943) was the director of the New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU), New York's leading civil rights organization, under the umbrella of the nationwide American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). Siegel served as director from 1985 until 2000.
Since ending his work at the NYCLU, Siegel entered private practice and has represented various activist groups including RodStarz and G1 of Rebel Diaz, Critical Mass, residents fighting the expansion of Columbia University and families against the Rudy Giuliani's 2008 campaign for President of the United States. He also frequently wrote op-ed columns at major New York City newspapers, such as the New York Times, Newsday, the New York Daily News, and the Amsterdam News. Siegel has taught a class at New Utrecht High School in Brooklyn, New York and has served on the boards of many foundations.
In 2001, Siegel ran for New York City Public Advocate and lost to Betsy Gotbaum in a runoff. In 2005, he ran again, but was likewise unsuccessful. He was again a candidate in the 2009 election, losing in the Democratic primary to Bill de Blasio. In 2010, Siegel negotiated a settlement with New York City, ensuring that online journalists would receive access to official press credentials.
In 2012, Siegel, along with colleagues Herbert Teitelbaum, Saralee Evans and Emily Jane Goodman, formed a new law firm, Siegel Teitelbaum & Evans, LLP. The firm handles a wide variety of legal issues.
In 2014, Siegel was quoted in the New York Times as saying that his law firm would monitor the cab company SheTaxis for gender discrimination and, if asked, consider filing a claim against them. The company allows women customers to request women cab drivers; parties must include a woman to request specifically a female driver. A customer is quoted in the article as saying she uses the cab service in order to avoid riding with "intimidating" male drivers, particularly late at night. It is reported that Siegel had previously supported legal opposition to women-only gyms. Such gyms are increasingly frequented by women who wish to exercise without fear of sexual harassment.
In 2015 Siegel Joined YAFFED in bringing a lawsuit against 40 Yeshivos (private Jewish schools) for inadequate secular studies. Avocates within the religious communities were outraged citing that if Norman really cared about the well being of the Yeshivos he would advocate for funding of secular studies rather than lawsuits that are ultimately to destroy the Yeshivas.
- Clyde Haberman (June 30, 2013). "A Mellower 'Mr. Negative,' but Still Passionate About Free Expression". The New York Times.
- Jarrett Murphy (August 2, 2005). "Finding Your Voice". The Village voice.
- Official Site for Siegel Teitelbaum & Evans, LLP
- Hu, Winnie (11 November 2014). "SheRides, a New York Taxi Service Aimed at Women, Finds a Loyal Following". The New York Times.
- "Do You Exercise Inside Because You Don't Want to Be Harassed?". Huffington Post. 9 November 2012.
- Ezra Friedlander. "Op-Ed: Jewish Education: Sacred and Sacrosanct or Secular Sensitized?". JP Updates. Retrieved 9 August 2015.
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