Nick E. Smith is an experienced public policy change agent and executive. Over nearly 15 years, Nick has co-authored significant justice, labor and housing laws. Scores of New Yorkers have benefitted, including New Yorkers with justice system involvement, victims of discrimination, and members of the workforce.
Nick speaks to varied audiences on enacting policy change and resilience. He combines his life story, the stories of those he's met along the way, with practical solutions as cornerstones of any talk.
As Legislative Director in the NYC Council, Nick conceived of numerous policies and built coalitions to pass them. He played key roles in co-authoring #FairChanceNYC and Right to Record (Police) Act, and others. He's authored or co-authored more than 50 local laws, and negotiated 200+, incl. making Rikers calls free.
Nick was lead staff for the City Council Housing Committee (2014-2017). Under then-Chair Williams, he worked with advocates and industry to pass laws increasing minimum apt. temperature, protecting tenants against harassment, reducing construction worker fatalities, encouraging bike-to-work and renewing rent regulation
We know the solutions to the problems we face. They're found among the New Yorkers that are traditionally ignored. By building coalitions, and by participating in them, Nick centers these very solutions in his work. Show up. Listen. Learn. Act. Repeat.
Nick routinely mentors young professionals looking for careers in public service. Recently, he spoke to the 2020 class of New York City Urban Fellows about his career path. "You don't have to follow the beaten path, you can chart your own course. You've got to remain resilient through it all," he said, in part.
Ending mass incarceration and eliminating poverty are this nation's unfinished business. People of color suffer the most from this inaction.
I've found my mission in this movement.
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