Stephen Levin (councillor)

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Stephen Levin
Member of the New York City Council from the 33rd District
Assumed office
January 1, 2010
Preceded by David Yassky
Personal details
Born (1981-12-03) December 3, 1981 (age 34)
Plainfield, New Jersey
Political party Democratic
Alma mater Brown University (B.A.)
Religion Jewish
Website Official website

Stephen T. Levin (born December 3, 1981)[1] is the Council member for the 33rd District of the New York City Council. He is a Democrat.

The district includes portions of Bedford-Stuyvesant, Boerum Hill, Brooklyn Heights, Carroll Gardens, Clinton Hill, Cobble Hill, DUMBO, Downtown Brooklyn, Fort Greene, Gowanus, Greenpoint, Brooklyn Navy Yard, Park Slope, Vinegar Hill and Williamsburg in Brooklyn.

Life and career[edit]

Levin grew up in Plainfield, New Jersey. He is related to US Senator Carl Levin of Michigan, and Congressman Sander Levin from Michigan's 12th congressional district. Levin graduated from Brown University with a degree in Classics and Comparative Literature. He later moved to Brooklyn and began his career working with the Lead Safe House Program at the Ridgewood Bushwick Senior Citizens Council. At the Lead Safe House he helped remove families that had children with lead poisoning from toxic homes. In 2006 he went to work for the state Assembly as chief of staff to then-Assemblyman Vito Lopez.[2]

Levin was arrested, along with Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, as an act of civil disobedience in protest of the closure of Long Island College Hospital in Brooklyn. Levin delivered 7000 petitions to SUNY officials at the protest demanding that the hospital stay open.[3]

In September 2010, he was named one of City Hall's "40 under 40" for being a young influential member of New York City politics.[4]

He currently resides in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.

New York City Council[edit]

Levin was elected to replace David Yassky, who vacated the position to run for New York City Comptroller, in a competitive 7-way race with the support of Assemblyman Vito Lopez. Lopez helped him to secure endorsements from the United Federation of Teachers (UFT), DC 37, the Working Families Party, the NY League of Conservation Voters, Senator Charles Schumer, Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, and Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney.[5] Most importantly, Lopez secured for Levin the support of the Zaloni faction of the Jewish Satmar community in Williamsburg. That Hasidic faction provided Levin with his margin of victory in 2009.

In 2013, Levin introduced participatory budgeting, a democratic process in which community members directly decide how to spend part of a public budget, to his district. At that time, Levin was one of eight members of the City Council to offer participatory budgeting to his constituents.[6]

Levin originally opposed the Rose Plaza housing complex on the Williamsburg waterfront. The project initially called for 20 percent affordable housing and 30 three-bedroom apartments. Levin then voted for the project when the developer agreed to build 60 three-bedroom apartments and 14 four-bedroom apartments, all priced below the market rate. The development passed in council 18-1.[7] Levin also negotiated an agreement with the Community Preservation Corporation Resources (CPCR) over the Domino Sugar factory redevelopment plan.[8]He has also worked with Assemblyman Vito Lopez to seek federal subsidies for public housing developments in Brooklyn.[9]

Along with Councilmembers David G. Greenfield, Letitia James, and Brad Lander, Levin lobbied Mayor Bloomberg and Council Speaker Christine Quinn to restore funding for Priority 7 Daycare Vouchers.[10] Levin opposed budget cuts that would result in the closure of the Bethel Baptist and Strong Place Day Care Centers, the Gowanus Senior Center, and the Douglass Degraw Pool.[11] Eventually, funding was restored by Council Speaker Christine Quinn, Finance Chair Domenic Recchia, and Mayor Bloomberg.[10]

Levin introduced a bill to reduce fines for street food vendors over procedural violations. The bill passed at the City Council on February 27, 2013, and reduced regulatory burden for street vendors.[12]

On June 10, 2015, Levin voted for a bill, which subsequently passed the City Council, to create a new tier of benefits for firefighters and police officers hired after 2009 who are permanently disabled in the line of duty.[13]

Election history
Location Year Election Results
NYC Council
District 33
2009 Democratic Primary √ Stephen Levin 33.71%
Jo Anne Simon 20.16%
Isaac Abraham 12.56%
Evan R. Thies 12.42%
Kenneth Diamondstone 8.59%
Doug Biviano 7.31%
Ken Baer 5.26%
NYC Council
District 33
2009 General √ Stephen Levin (D) 93.33%
Elizabeth Tretter (Conservative) 6.60%
NYC Council
District 33
2013 Democratic Primary √ Stephen Levin 73.52%
Stephen E. Pierson 26.48%
NYC Council
District 33
2013 General √ Stephen Levin (D) 91.91%
John Jasilli (R) 7.83%

References[edit]

  1. ^ Fishbein, Rebecca (2012-04-18). "New York activist Stephen Levin, 31". Timeout.com. Retrieved 2013-09-21. 
  2. ^ "33rd City Council District | Gotham Votes". Gothamgazette.com. Retrieved 2013-09-21. 
  3. ^ "Bill de Blasio and Steve Levin Arrested Protesting Against Closure Of Long Island College Hospital | New York Daily News". Nydailynews.com. 2013-07-10. Retrieved 2013-09-21. 
  4. ^ Rising Stars 40 Under 40: Stephen Levin, City & State, September 28, 2010.
  5. ^ https://web.archive.org/web/20110713202601/http://www.levin2009.com/?cat=3. Archived from the original on July 13, 2011. Retrieved July 20, 2010.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  6. ^ Schuh, Jamie (2012-07-17). "Four New Council Members Announce Participatory Budgeting - Government - Carroll Gardens, NY Patch". Carrollgardens.patch.com. Retrieved 2013-09-21. 
  7. ^ Brown, Eliot. "Council Approves Rose Plaza | The New York Observer". Observer.com. Retrieved 2013-09-21. 
  8. ^ "After Modest Changes, City Council O.K.'s Domino Sugar Development | The New York Observer". Observer.com. Retrieved 2013-09-21. 
  9. ^ Linderman, Juliet. "Greenpoint Gazette:Housing Bill Passes Thanks to North Brooklyn Electeds". Greenpointnews.com. Retrieved 2013-09-21. 
  10. ^ a b "Protected Blog › Log in". stephenlevind33.wordpress.com. Retrieved 2014-02-11. 
  11. ^ https://web.archive.org/web/20100919162009/http://brooklyneagle.com/categories/category.php?category_id=17. Archived from the original on September 19, 2010. Retrieved July 14, 2010.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  12. ^ "City eases up on fines against street vendors | Brooklyn Daily Eagle". Brooklyneagle.com. 2013-03-04. Retrieved 2013-09-21. 
  13. ^ http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/11/nyregion/new-york-city-council-suddenly-passes-new-police-and-firefighter-disability-pension-benefits.html?_r=0

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
David Yassky
New York City Council, 33rd District
2010–present
Incumbent