Created in 1971 by Local Law No. 12, the Taxi and Limousine Commission is a Charter-mandated agency, the purpose of which is the continuance, further development and improvement of taxi and for-hire service in the City of New York. The Commission is also responsible for licensing and regulating for-hire vehicle, commuter van and wheelchair accessible van services as it relates to the overall public transportation network of the city; to establish taxicab rates, standards of service, standards of insurance and minimum coverage; standards for driver safety; standards for equipment safety and design; and standards and criteria for the licensing of vehicles, drivers and operators engaged in such services.
The Commission's Board consists of nine members, eight of whom are unsalaried Commissioners to be appointed by the Mayor with the advice and consent of the city council; five of said members, one resident from each of the five boroughs of New York City, shall be recommended for appointment by a majority vote of the councilmembers of each respective borough. The salaried Chair/Commissioner presides over regularly scheduled public Commission meetings, and is the head of the agency.
Meera Joshi is the Commissioner of the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC), where she oversees the largest private for-hire ground transportation industry in the United States. Under her leadership, the agency has fostered tremendous diversity, growth and innovation in the taxi, car service, ride-hailing, and commuter van industries while maintaining the highest standards of public safety and consumer protection. Commissioner Joshi initiated programs that have made TLC a national leader in both accessibility for individuals with disabilities and traffic safety. Under her tenure, NYC has created the largest wheelchair accessible for-hire fleet in the country, including a program that centrally dispatches a wheelchair accessible taxi on demand to anywhere in the five boroughs. TLC serves as one of the lead agencies in New York’s citywide Vision Zero program and promotes traffic safety through a comprehensive suite of education, outreach, enforcement and technology promotion programs. Commissioner Joshi is a vocal advocate for the value robust transportation data brings to policymakers and citizens alike, and under her tenure the agency has become a public-sector leader in the Open Data movement.
Before serving as Commissioner, Meera Joshi was TLC’s Deputy Commissioner for Legal Affairs and General Counsel.Prior to that, she served as the First Deputy Executive Directors of the New York City Civilian Complaint Review Board, the agency tasked with investigating complaints of police misconduct. She also served as an Inspector General for the New York City Department of Investigation and was responsible for the investigation of alleged criminality and corruption at New York City’s Department of Correction, Probation, Juvenile Justice and the TLC. She received her B.A. and J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania and resides with her family in Brooklyn.
Lauvienska Polanco was born and raised in Santiago, Dominican Republic and relocated to Manhattan to join her family at the age of 16 which is the borough where she has resided ever since. She enrolled at John Jay College of Criminal Justice where she graduated with honors. Having demonstrated a keen and intuitive grasp of politics at an early age, Commissioner Polanco decided to pursue an education in law at Pace University School of Law.
Commissioner Polanco worked briefly as a mediator for insurance defense claims, before spending some years at a personal injury law firm. After that successful stint, Commissioner Polanco joined the New York State Unified Court System, first as a Court Attorney in the Lower Civil Court, and now in an elevated role as Principal Law Clerk at the Bronx Supreme Court.
Commissioner Polanco is an active community advocate, as former chair and active member of the Neighborhood Advisory Board of Manhattan Community Board (NAB) #12, which is responsible for identifying the service needs of their local communities (Manhattan #12), a process which guides the City in its allocation of federal Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) funding to support community-based human service programs in areas such as education, employment, health, housing, immigrant services, senior citizen services and youth development. Commissioner Polanco also maintains an enthusiastic dedication to her profession while demonstrating a commitment to women's issues through her board membership in the Dominican Women's Caucus.
"In the short time I have been on the TLC's Board, I have learned much about the importance of our regulated industries to the City's transportation network. Someday, when I look back on my time here, it is my hope that people will say, 'she brought something to the table, and she made things better.'" said Commissioner Polanco.
Commissioner Nora Constance Marino, a Queens County resident for 20 years, has been in the private practice of law for well over a decade, with a focus on negligence, torts, commercial litigation, medical malpractice, constitutional law, matrimonial and family law, among other areas of specialty. She regularly receives appointments from Supreme Court Justices for various court appointments such as Referee, Court Evaluator, Guardian Ad Litem, and is “Of Counsel” for numerous law firms.
In 2001/2002, Commissioner Marino served her country with distinction as a First Lieutenant in the Judge Advocate General’s Corps of the United States Army Reserve. Dedication to her fellow Veterans remains a hallmark of her professional life, as demonstrated by her service as Chief Counsel to Veterans Quality of Life Access Network, Inc., a non-profit organization that assists military Veterans.
A prominent advocate for animals, Commissioner Marino volunteers at New York City Animal Care and Control, and is Chief Counsel to Kinship Circle, a non-profit organization that promotes animal advocacy and education.
Commissioner Marino was educated at University of California at Berkeley, New York University, and the City University School of Law at Queens College, and is a member of the American, New York State, New York City, and Queens Bar Associations, as well as the Queens County Women’s and Queens County Columbian Lawyers Bar Associations. She is also very active in the New York State Trial Lawyers Association.
Jacques Jiha was appointed Commissioner of New York City’s Department of Finance by Mayor Bill de Blasio on April 8, 2014. Commissioner Jiha was nominated by Mayor Bill de Blasio to the TLC’s Board and subsequently confirmed by the NYC Council on August 21, 2014. Prior to becoming Commissioner, Mr. Jiha was the Executive Vice President / Chief Operating Officer & Chief Financial Officer of Earl G. Graves, Ltd., a multi-media company with properties in print, digital media, television, events and the internet. A staunch advocate of public service, Mr. Jiha served on a number of government and not-for-profit boards. He was a board member of the Ronald McDonald House of New York, a board member of Public Health Solutions and a trustee of the Public Health Solutions Retirement Trust, a member of the Investment Advisory Committee of the New York Common Retirement Fund, and he was also the Secretary of the board of the New York State Dormitory Authority – one the largest issuers of municipal debt in the country on behalf of public and private universities and medical institutions, and the State of New York.
Previously, Mr. Jiha served as Deputy Comptroller for Pension Investment and Public Finance in the Office of the New York State Comptroller. As the state’s chief investment officer, he managed the assets of the New York State Common Retirement Fund (CRF) – then the nation’s second-largest pension fund valued at $120 billion. He also oversaw New York’s College Savings Program, with assets of $2 billion, and the state’s short-term investment pool of $5 billion. He was also in charge of all activities related to the issuance of New York State general obligation bonds, bond anticipation notes, tax and revenue anticipation notes, and certificates of participation. Mr. Jiha was also the Co-Executive Director of the New York State Local Government Assistance Corporation (LGAC) in charge of the sale of refunding bonds, the ratification of swap agreements, and the selection of financial advisors and underwriters. Prior thereto, Mr. Jiha was Nassau County Deputy Comptroller for Audits and Finances. He also worked for the New York City Office of the Comptroller in increasingly responsible positions: first as Chief Economist and later as Deputy Comptroller for Budget. Earlier, Mr. Jiha served as Executive Director of the New York State Legislative Tax Study Commission and as Principal Economist for the New York State Assembly Committee on Ways and Means. He holds a Ph.D. and a Master’s degree in Economics from the New School for Social Research and a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from Fordham University.
Taxi and Limousine Commission Member Bill Aguado was nominated and confirmed by the City Council to the Bronx seat of the Commission in May 2015, for a term that would expire on January 31, 2022.
A fixture in the Bronx since 1972, Commissioner Aguado is regarded as a leading cultural and community activist. Retired in 2011 as Executive Director of the Bronx Council on the Arts (BCA), he is still called upon to lend his expertise on behalf of emerging artists, community cultural groups and community–based organizations. In 1971, Hunter College awarded Bill a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and in 1973; he received his Master of Arts from Fordham University in Sociology and Education. His current board affiliations include: Bronx Works, En Foco, and Bronx River Arts Center.
Through Commissioner Aguado’s leadership of the Bronx Council on the Arts, the arts have become a respected and valued asset in the Bronx. During his tenure from 1978 through June 2011 when he retired, funding for Bronx arts organizations and artists increased dramatically, demonstrating the importance of community arts and artists representing people of color. His many accomplishments include but not limited to:
BRIO – created in 1988, it is an artist fellowship program now offering 25 fellowships to Bronx artists.
The Bronx Writers’ Corp – created in 1994, places poets and writers in programs serving at-risk children.
Founded the Bronx Tourism Council in 1991;
In 1996, Commissioner Aguado helped found The BCA Development Corporation, which was created to develop arts-related workforce and entrepreneurial initiatives.
In honor of his mother, and in reflection of his strong belief in the importance of supporting and recognizing the sacrifices and contributions of single parents as role models in our communities, Commissioner Aguado established the Josephine Aguado Scholarship Fund at Hostos Community College.
As a cultural activist and arts consultant, he consulted with The Women’s Housing and Economic Development Corporation (WHEDCO) to shape the vision and development of the Bronx Music Heritage Center (BMHC), celebrating the musical heritage of the Bronx. He also organized the “Conversing Bricks” permanent sculptural installation, created by Hatuey Ramos-Fermin and situated at Hostos Community College. In September 2013, Aguado curated an exhibit at the Longwood by the artist and cancer survivor Esther Pagan: My Colors of Cancer a multi-media installation of photographs, handcrafted hats, sculpture and poetry.
Commissioner Aguado has also been an accomplished and longtime community activist. Among his many projects and recognitions are:
Commissioner Aguado was a founding member of the New York City Latino Commission on AIDS.
Appointed by Governor Mario Cuomo, Commissioner Aguado served as a Trustee of SUNY at Purchase.
In 1972, he started the first alternative school in the Bronx in partnership with NYC School District 10 and Fordham University.
He is a frequent panelist and presenter at conferences in New York City and beyond.
In May, 2014 Lehman College awarded Bill Aguado an Honorary Doctorate in Arts
Kenneth C. Mitchell is Executive Director of the Staten Island Zoological Society, Inc., a position he has held since September 2011. Mitchell is responsible for the overall administration and the day-to-day operation of the Staten Island Zoo, a destination for more than 190,000 visitors annually.
Under his guidance, the 80-year-old zoological park has more than doubled its collection to 1,200 animals, representing 350 species, 72 of which are endangered or threatened in the wild. Since 2014, the zoo has experienced the development of a 4,500-square-foot outdoor habitat for the zoo’s Amur Leopards – the world’s rarest big cat – and a Conservation Carousel composed of 25 hand-sculpted wildlife, most of which are vulnerable in their native habitats. Most recently, the zoo developed its sprawling Sahara Exhibit, where a Scimitar Horned Oryx was born as part of an international effort to repopulate an extinct species. The Zoo is in the process of renovating its Aquarium with an expected completion in the spring of 2018.
Previously, Mitchell was a member of the New York City Council, representing Staten Island’s north shore communities, following his service as Chief of Staff and General Counsel Office to former council member Michael E. McMahon.
A native Staten Islander who grew up less than 100 yards from the Zoo, Mitchell graduated St. Peter’s Boys High School, and later earned a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration at Wagner College. Awarded his law degree at New York Law School, he was admitted to the bars of New York, New Jersey, and the eastern and southern directs of New York.
Mitchell remains active in the Island community with particular interests in the Staten Island Economic Development Corporation; United Activities Unlimited, and Lifestyles for the Disabled. Upon the recommendation of the Staten Island borough delegation of the New York City Council he was appointed by Mayor Bill de Blasio to the city’s Taxi and Limousine Commission in November 2016.
He is married to Jacquelyn Mahoney; the couple lives in New Brighton with their son, Charles.
Thomas Sorrentino is a life-long resident of Brooklyn, NY and is a partner in the accounting firm of PKF O’Connor Davies LLP with more than thirty years of experience in public accounting. In that capacity, Sorrentino services both public and privately-held clients in the commercial sector, not-for-profit organizations (including membership associations, foundations and social service organizations), and a variety of real estate entities which include cooperative housing corporations, condominium associations, rental properties, and REITs.
Sorrentino was nominated to the board of the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission by the Brooklyn delegation of the New York City Council and appointed by Mayor Bill de Blasio to a term expiring January 31, 2022.
A graduate of New York University, where he earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Accounting, Sorrentino is a Certified Public Accountant licensed in the States of New York and New Jersey. His professional affiliations include membership in the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants.
Over the years, Sorrentino has volunteered his time to a variety of charitable, civic, community and business related activities and organizations which includes involvement with his Parish, St. Bernard Church where he is a member of the Finance Committee and serves on the Board and as Treasurer of the St. Bernard Academy.
Sorrentino also served the community as a member of Kings County Community Board 18 for approximately five years, where he chaired its Transportation Committee. A longstanding member of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, Sorrentino currently serves on the Chamber’s Board of Directors and is a member of its Executive and Audit Committee(s).
Steve Kest was appointed to the Taxi and Limousine Commission on October 25, 2018 to serve the remainder of a term that will expire as of January 31, 2019. Mr. Kest serves as Senior Advisor to the Center For Popular Democracy (CPD), with responsibility for a number of projects designed to build CPD's capacity. In addition, he is coordinating the network's fight-back campaign against the policies and program of the Trump administration. ;Steve also serves on CPD's Senior Management Team.
Steve brings an enormous range of experience, skills, and insights to CPD as a decades-long veteran of community organizing. Most recently, Steve ran the Fight for a Fair Economy (FFE) program at Service Employees International Union (SEIU), a $30 million annual investment in community organizing. While at SEIU he also helped support the Fight for 15 campaign to organize fast food workers. Before joining SEIU, Steve was a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress, where he helped CAP develop its work on community organizing.
Steve's most significant experience was at ACORN, where he worked for over 35 years in a wide variety of roles, including as National Executive Director. Steve graduated from Harvard and lives in Brooklyn, NY.