Gale A. Brewer is the 27th Borough President of Manhattan.
Since she took office in 2014, she has successfully passed legislation to reform the deed restriction process, add ‘caregivers’ to the city’s anti-discrimination law, remove criminal history questions from initial employment applications (the “Fair Chance Act”), and enforce requirements for street numbers on buildings in Manhattan (to aid emergency workers). She has also spearheaded community planning initiatives at the South Street Seaport, in East Midtown, and in other neighborhoods to address development and zoning issues.
Brewer previously served on the City Council for 12 years, serving as the founding chair of the Technology Committee and leading the Government Operations Committee. There, the Council passed her legislation guaranteeing paid sick leave for most hourly employees, requiring all City data be published online, and protecting domestic workers from abusive practices.
Prior to that, she served as Chief of Staff to Council Member Ruth Messinger, NYC Deputy Public Advocate, Director of the city's Federal Office, and Executive Director of the Mayor’s Commission on the Status of Women.
Brewer has an MPA from Harvard's Kennedy School of Government and did her undergraduate work at Columbia University and Bennington College.
Gale A. Brewer is the 27th Manhattan Borough President, responsible for advising the Mayor and City Council on borough concerns, commenting on all land-use matters in the borough, advocating for the borough in the municipal budget process, and appointing members of Manhattan's 12 Community Boards. The Borough President also chairs the Borough Board, made up of City Council Members and Chairs from the Community Boards, and the Borough Services Cabinet, composed of senior officials from City agencies delivering services in the borough.
Ms. Brewer previously served on the City Council for 12 years, from 2002 through 2013, representing the 6th Council District which includes most of the Upper West Side and northern Clinton. As Councilmember, she successfully passed legislation guaranteeing paid sick leave for most hourly employees, compelling landlords to fix repeat violations, requiring all City data be published online, and the nation’s first law protecting domestic workers. She was the founding chair of the Council’s Technology Committee in 2002.
Immediately prior to her election to the City Council, Brewer served as Project Manager for the NYC Nonprofits Project at CUNY’s Graduate Center, and before that worked for the Telesis Corporation, a private firm that builds affordable housing in New York City.
Prior to that non-profit and private-sector experience, Brewer served in City government in various roles, including as…
- New York City Deputy Public Advocate for Intergovernmental Affairs under Mark Green (1994-1998).
- Director of Mayor Dinkins' Federal Office in New York City, managing the administration’s legislative agenda in Washington and a technical assistance program to help community-based organizations obtain federal funds (1990 to 1994).
- Executive Director of the Mayor's Commission on the Status of Women (concurrent with the Federal Office, from 1993 to 1994).
- Chief of Staff to West Side Councilmember Ruth W. Messinger-- before Messinger was, herself, elected Manhattan Borough President (1979-1989).
- Brewer also served on the staff of Lt. Governor Mary Anne Krupsak, the first women elected statewide in New York in 1974 (under Gov. Hugh Carey) and first served in government in the City Parks Department during the Lindsay administration.
Brewer has an MPA from fHarvard's Kennedy School of Government, and she did her undergraduate work at Columbia University and Bennington College. She co-teaches a class in urban policy each spring with former Borough President Messinger as part of Hunter College’s Public Service Scholar program, and has taught urban affairs at other area colleges, including Barnard, Baruch, Brooklyn and Queens Colleges. Brewer is married to Cal Snyder; they live on the Upper West Side. Together they have raised many foster children.