With two and a half decades of experience in public service, Simcha Felder entered the Council in 2002 and is the Chair of the Council’s Sanitation & Solid Waste Management Committee where he is working to bring a rational approach to sanitation enforcement and policy. As a Council Member, Felder has built a reputation as a dedicated and committed advocate for his district, bringing results to Brooklynites and championing common-sense legislative policies that demand accountability from the government to tax-payers.
Felder is a lifelong New Yorker, living today with his wife and children just blocks from the house in which he was born. He previously worked for the New York State Assembly, the Comptroller of the City of New York, and as a tax auditor for the New York City Department of Finance. Before entering politics, Felder was a community leader and volunteer for local Democratic organization, registering voters across Brooklyn. Felder is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and holds a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) in Management from the renowned Zicklin School of Business at CUNY's Baruch College. Felder also served as a professor of Management at Touro College and CUNY's Brooklyn College.
A tireless community organizer before entering the Council, Felder seeks as a legislator to make government more responsive to the needs of its citizens and to break down aimless bureaucratic red-tape.
An outspoken advocate for responsible neighborhood development, Felder works with Mayor Bloomberg to transform empty city-owned lots for community uses such as new housing and a Hatzolah Volunteer Ambulance garage and headquarters. Felder has fought to secure City funding to reinvest in parkland by adding new playgrounds, opening up schoolyards for public use, and planting thousands of new street trees on City streets. He secured funding to rehabilitate commercial districts, such as Avenue J, with new streetscapes and litter removal programs. His efforts on the Council's Land Use committee have provided for the redevelopment of privately-owned derelict properties into much-needed new housing and schools.
As a legislator, Felder champions common-sense policies to streamline government and increase accountability to taxpayers. He has passed laws to make sanitation enforcement more equitable to homeowners, reduce unfair parking tickets, and he led the fight against the distribution of unwanted circulars and menus. Felder overhauled the Environmental Control Board and introduced legislation that would improve collection on water and sewer accounts to prevent future delinquencies and keep homeowners out of the lien sale.
A proud member of the Council's Education Committee and a supporter of the Mayor's efforts to improve City schools through direct control and equitable funding, Felder also understands the importance of school choice and is an advocate for lifting the state-imposed cap on charter schools. Additionally, Felder recognizes the importance of nonpublic schools in reducing the burden on the public school system, maintaining that the State must do more to support the families of nonpublic school students.
As former Chair of the Governmental Operations Committee, Felder collaborated with the Mayor and Speaker to ushering a new era of reform at City Hall, passing bills to limit the influence of lobbyists and approving the toughest campaign finance standards in the country. The committee provides oversight of ten City agencies, including the Board of Elections in its efforts to comply with the flawed Help America Vote Act (HAVA) of 2002. Felder also introduced legislation that would call on the State to introduce reforms such as same-day voter registration, online voter registration, universal voter registration, and no-excuse early and absentee voting.