Helen represents the Upper West Side of Manhattan in the New York City Council and is Chair of the Committee on Women and Gender Equity.
Over the past six years, Helen has passed legislation to stop sexual harassment in the workplace, trained NYPD in victim-centric investigations of sexual assault, improved health outcomes for black women in pregnancy and childbirth, and addressed gender wage parity.
In her first term, Helen chaired the Council’s Committee on Contracts, where she focused on increasing funding and expediting payment for social service contracts. She championed worker co-operatives and focused on procurement reform for the 21st century. She also co-chaired the Women’s Caucus.
In both terms, Helen was selected to join the Council’s Budget Negotiating Team and has been a vocal supporter of tenants, labor, safe cycling, and pedestrians.
Helen was elected to the New York City Council in 2013 with the highest vote total of any candidate for City Council in New York City, a feat she repeated in her 2017 re-election. In 2017, she was endorsed by the New York Times [“valorously supported a school desegregation plan for her district in the face of opposition from various interests],” the New York Daily News, and the Amsterdam News.
Prior to Elected Office
Helen served on Manhattan Community Board 7 from 2002-2013 and was elected Chair in 2007. Helen has also served on the boards of various nonprofits, including NARAL ProChoice America, ParentJobNet, Inc., and WomenCare, Inc.
Helen worked as a senior manager at the NYC Office of Management and Budget, under three different mayoral administrations. Her responsibilities included oversight of the City’s healthcare budgets – expense, capital, and contracts. She is a founding member of the team that created the Primary Care Development Corporation – a financing mechanism to increase access to primary health care for low income New Yorkers.
Helen was born in Detroit, Michigan and has lived in New York for over 30 years. She received a B.A. in Socio-Economic Policy and Political Theory from Michigan State University and a Master of Public Health from Yale University. She currently lives on the Upper West Side with her husband and has two daughters.
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