Council Member Keith Powers represents New York City’s District 4, covering the East Side of Manhattan and Midtown, and serves as Chair of the Council’s Criminal Justice Committee. In his time in office, Keith has introduced and passed legislation relating to the topics of more affordable housing, government reform, and social issues. Throughout his life, Keith has been committed to his community through his work in government, and as both a tenant leader, and a civic leader.
His first bill signed into law in 2018 expanded sexual harassment protections under New York City Human Rights Law to all employees in New York City. Under previous law, employees of small businesses were not protected under city law against sexual harassment.
In August 2018, Council Member Powers helped negotiate a deal between Waterside Plaza and NYC’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) to preserve affordable units at Waterside Plaza through the year 2098. The Waterside Tenants Association voted unanimously to support the proposed deal, which comes with groundbreaking tenant protections and rent relief that will ensure existing tenants can remain in the community despite rising rents.
The Council Member also passed landmark legislation that permits the use of campaign funds for certain childcare expenses. The legislation allows more primary caregivers, especially women, to run for office without worrying about the burden of childcare on their candidacy.
Throughout his life, Keith has been committed to his community as a tenant leader, community leader, and working in government.
In 2006, Keith was the tenant organizer for the “Preserve Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village” campaign during the sale of the neighborhood to Tishman Speyer. In this role, Keith worked alongside Council Member Dan Garodnick on his tenant-led bid to purchase the property.
As Chief of Staff to Assembly Member Jonathan Bing, Keith drafted and worked on legislation to create an Equal Rights Amendment in the New York State Constitution to prevent discrimination based on gender; institute ‘no fault divorce’ in New York State, ending the State’s reputation as the only state in the nation without it; protect Mitchell-Lama and rent stabilized apartments; and more.
Keith also worked for former City Council Speaker Peter Vallone, Sr. helping to advocate for after-school funding, expand Advanced Placement, prevent bullying of LGBT students in public schools, secure funding for employment and workforce programs, create new affordable housing, and preserve the quality of life on the Upper East Side.
Keith attended The CUNY Graduate Center and University of Dayton, with a focus on Political Science. Keith is a third-generation resident of Peter Cooper Village and Stuyvesant Town.