- Launched by Mayor Bill de Blasio, the 12 member committee will make policy recommendations in an effort to fight “structural and institutional racism” in the city.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has named Anusha Venkataraman executive director of a new Racial Justice Commission he launched on March 23 that will make policy recommendations in an effort to fight “structural and institutional racism” in the city. Venkataraman currently serves as the Chief Service Officer of the city and is among 12 members appointed to the commission.
Calling the launch “transformational” and “unprecedented,” de Blasio said the commission will be focused on equity, inclusion, representation, and access to opportunity. According to a press release issued by the mayor, the commission is primarily tasked with “reviewing the city’s charter and delivering proposals for charter revisions, but may also recommend policy and programmatic changes that don’t require charter revision, or changes to advocate for on a state or federal level.”
Venkataraman said she is “honored to serve as executive director for this historic commission.” She noted that the members of the commission have “a critical opportunity to identify the systems and structures that uphold racism and injustice, begin to dismantle them, and write a more equitable future for all New Yorkers. The pandemic has brought to the fore longstanding inequities, and with the energy behind the local and national movements for racial justice, there is no better time than now for public dialogue about our collective future.”
Venkataraman, who brings extensive programmatic experience to NYC Service, is currently a senior advisor in the NYC Office of the Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development, and prior to her role at City Hall she worked at the NYC Department of Housing Preservation & Development as senior director of Neighborhood Planning & Preservation, and as director of the Green Light District with the community organization El Puente in Brooklyn.
Venkataraman is a graduate of Pratt Institute with a master’s in City and Regional Planning and has a bachelor’s from Brown University in International Relations.