FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 4, 2012
MAYOR BLOOMBERG ANNOUNCES DIRECTOR OF STATE LEGISLATIVE AFFAIRS MICAH C. LASHER WILL LEAVE CITY GOVERNMENT
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg today announced that Director of State Legislative Affairs Micah C. Lasher will leave City government later this month. Lasher has been a member of the Bloomberg Administration since January 2009, beginning as Executive Director of External Affairs at the Department of Education. He has helped lead the City’s efforts in Albany on many major issues, including reauthorizing mayoral control of the schools, lifting the cap on charter schools to secure Federal Race to the Top funding, passing the Five-Borough Taxi Plan, and legalizing same-sex marriage. This year, Lasher helped guide the Administration through one of the City’s most successful state legislative sessions, during which the City received a major increase in State funding, and two significant long-term goals were achieved: a new pension tier for City employees sought for nearly a decade and landmark reform of the juvenile justice system.
“We have achieved extraordinary successes in the last few years at the state level,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “Reauthorization of mayoral control of City schools, bringing taxi service outside of Manhattan, reforming the City’s pension system and more have all become a reality thanks in great measure to Micah’s leadership. He is one of the sharpest strategic minds in the state and we are going to miss his relentless advocacy for New York City. I wish him nothing but the best.”
“Walking up the steps of City Hall has been a dream-come-true every morning, and I am so proud of what we have been able to accomplish – in many cases against the odds – in Albany,” said Lasher. “It has been a particular honor to work for Mayor Bloomberg, whose independent leadership and on-the-merits approach to issues has made this city a better place in myriad ways, and I am grateful for the opportunity to have learned so much from him and from my colleagues in City and State government.”
As Director of State Legislative Affairs, Lasher helped guide a long list of legislative achievements. In 2010, he helped lead the City’s efforts to increase the cap on charter schools and win $700 million for New York State in the Race to the Top competition, and also helped the City take control of Brooklyn Bridge Park and Governor’s Island, allowing those public spaces to be developed into the major attractions they are today. Legislation to authorize the City’s Bus Rapid Transit program to speed commutes, require the use of ultra-low sulfur diesel heating oil to reduce air pollution, and stop the proliferation of illegal hotels also became law under his leadership in 2010.
In his 2011 State of the City Address, Mayor Bloomberg proposed to legalize street hail service by livery cars in the boroughs outside of Manhattan and above 96th Street in Manhattan, a goal sought by mayors since the 1970s. Lasher and the Administration’s team built a broad coalition of support and passed legislation to implement the Mayor’s vision for the broadest expansion of transportation options in those areas of the City in decades.
In the same session, after a tragic truck accident in Brooklyn, Lasher shepherded through the Legislature a bill requiring that all large trucks traveling through New York City be equipped with a convex mirror, to eliminate blind spots and protect pedestrians. Also during 2011, Lasher passed legislation and led negotiations to successfully break a decade-long logjam and enable the United Nations to expand its campus while generating hundreds of millions of dollars to close the largest gap in the parks greenway around Manhattan.
This year, in the culmination of a decade of advocacy by Mayor Bloomberg for broad-based pension reform, Lasher helped lead the Administration’s efforts to support Governor Cuomo’s pension reform plan and ensure that the final package passed by the Legislature included meaningful savings for the City. He also helped pass an overhaul of the juvenile justice system to give the City greater control and bring young people closer to home. And, negotiating with the United Federation of Teachers, Lasher resolved many of the most complex issues – related to appeals and dismissals – standing in the way of implementation of the State’s teacher evaluation framework.
Prior to joining the Bloomberg Administration in 2009, Lasher served as an aide to U.S. Representative Jerrold Nadler. He was a founding partner of SKDKnickerbocker, a national communications firm that now has offices in New York, Washington and Albany, where he helped manage nearly 80 political campaigns in New York and across the country.
Lasher is a graduate of New York University and Stuyvesant High School. He is a native New York City resident and resides in Manhattan with his wife and son.
Stu Loeser/Marc La Vorgna (212) 788-2958
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