At just 35 years of age, Stephen Levin serves as the council-member for the 33rd district of New York representing and fighting for the concerns and needs for residents from Bed-Stuy to DUMBO. As Chair of the Council’s General Welfare Committee, Levin advocates for children, the hungry, and the homeless and other vulnerable members of the community.
How/why did you become involved in your line of work? I became involved in politics after college, when I came to Bushwick and began working on community and local political issues. I sought out to try to help people in their everyday lives. The community welcomed me with open arms, and it was an amazing education.
Tell us a little bit about your present work, the Cliffs Notes version of your day to day and what is at stake. As a New York City Council-member, I work on a very wide array of issue throughout the course of a single day, from homelessness and child welfare to development issues to individual constituent issues. Every day is interesting and fulfilling.
What do you find most fulfilling about your work? The most fulfilling work I do is as Chair of the Council’s General Welfare Committee. We have recently held hearings around the foster care system, food insecurity, child protective services, and medical services for the homeless. In this role, I try to bring to issues facing New Yorkers in need to greater public attention.
What is your proudest achievement with this work and what is your greatest challenge? I am very proud to have recently helped ensure that the City acquire the final parcel of the 27-acre waterfront Bushwick Inlet Park, which was promised to the Williamsburg/Greenpoint community 12 years ago. Props to Mayor de Blasio for making it happen. Our next challenge is getting the full park built!
What do you hope changes or improves (or continues!) in your field in the future? In general I am so inspired by the activism that I have seen in NYC in opposition to President Trump and his administration’s policies. I deeply hope and truly believe that this level of activism should and must be sustained.
Who would you nominate for this list? Ryan Kuonen, Williamsburg activist.