Mayor Adams receives report from the Social Justice Commission

February 7, 2022

Mayor signs executive order focused on protecting and facilitating free speech and transparency – one of many recommendations outlined in new report

NEW YORK – New York City Mayor Eric Adams today received a report outlining a set of recommendations related to social justice reform from a commission created by civil rights attorney Norman Siegel. The report focuses on high priority topics, such as economic development, climate change, education, Rikers Island, health, land use, policing, and more. The goal of the commission’s work is to deepen Mayor Adams’ belief that “public safety is the prerequisite for prosperity” and to include social justice.

“This commission included a world-class group of individuals whose commitment to social justice is beyond question and whose hard work on behalf of the city is deeply appreciated,” said Mayor Adams. “We are proud to sign this ordinance recommitting the city to the principles of the First Amendment and we look forward to considering these recommendations in greater detail as we govern and develop new policies to serve New Yorkers.”

“The report and its 81 recommendations are a framework for governing through the lens of social justice,” said Norman Siegel. “We take Mayor Adams’ desire to pursue social justice as well as public safety seriously and believe we have given him a framework to do so that is well within the mayor’s powers. If implemented, such commitments would result in a historic transformation of the relationship between a municipal government and its constituents.

The commission, formed in September 2021, completed the report in December. The report’s first recommendation is for an executive order to strengthen existing obligations of city agencies to share information and adhere to the First Amendment. Mayor Adams is signing a version of that executive order today.

Members of the commission included:

  • Normal Siegel, Partner, Siegel Teitelbaum & Evans LLP
  • Dennis Flores, Community Activist and Co-Founder, El Grito de Sunset Park
  • Hon. Marcy S. Friedman, retired New York State Supreme Court Justice
  • Ira Glasser, former executive director, American Civil Liberties Union
  • Dr Tarry Hum, Professor and Head, Department of Urban Studies, Queens College
  • Steven Hyman, Partner, McLaughlin & Stern, LLP
  • Dr. Micaela E. Martinez, assistant professor, Emory University; Adjunct Assistant Professor, Columbia University
  • Terry McGovern, Professor and Director of Global Health, Justice & Governance, Columbia University School of Health
  • Harriet R. Michel, former executive director, New York Urban League
  • Aryana Swanson, third-year student, Columbia University
  • Earl S. Ward, criminal defense attorney; President, Housing Works; President, Bronx Defenders; Partner, Emery Celli Brinckerhoff Abady Ward & Maazel, LLP


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