City Council Votes to Approve Three New City Planning Appointments

Image credit: New York City Council.

On July 14, 2022, the City Council approved three new appointments for the City Planning Commission during their Stated meeting.

Mayor Eric Adams announced his nominees, David Gold and Rasmia Kirmani-Frye, on June 15, 2022. For CityLand’s previous coverage of the Mayor’s two appointees, click here.

Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso then announced the nomination of Juan Camilo Osorio on June 30. Originally trained as an architect in Colombia, Osorio has 16 years of planning experience with an emphasis on climate change mitigation. Osorio earned a Master’s in Regional Planning from UMass Amherst and is a PhD candidate at MIT, where he has taught as a professor and currently serves as a research affiliate. Since 2010, Osorio has served as an Assistant Professor at the Pratt Institute School of Architecture.

On July 7, 2022, the City Council Committee on Rules, Privileges, and Elections questioned Gold, Kirmani-Frye, and Osorio, namely on housing issues. Each nominee’s testimony highlighted how their personal experiences will influence their work at City Planning. Gold, for example, grew up in a low-income household on Staten Island, and his own housing insecurity led him to work as a referee for foreclosure proceedings. Gold also discussed his parents’ careers as civil servants and early proponents of affordable housing, which inspired his own nonprofit work. When asked about home ownership by Council Member Selvena Brooks-Powers, Kirmani-Frye shared that at 49, she is a lifelong renter. Kirmani-Frye noted that her biggest obstacle, which is also that of many New Yorkers, is saving for a down payment. Osorio, based on his background in climate change mitigation, suggested that the tools already in place to study heat vulnerability and other climate impacts could similarly be used to monitor the impact of planning actions.

Throughout their entire testimony, each nominee emphasized the importance of asking individual communities what their needs and wants are in order to create equity in planning. All three nominees also assured the Committee that they felt empowered to be independent and vote based on their own beliefs and not be swayed by those who nominated them.

The Committee voted unanimously to move all three nominations to the full City Council on July 14, a few hours before the Stated meeting began.

David Gold was confirmed by 41 votes, with Council Member Kristin Richardson Jordan voting against his appointment. Rasmia Kirmani-Frye was submitted for appointment with 47 affirmative votes and one vote in the negative from Council Member Charles Barron. Juan Camilo Osorio was also confirmed by 47 votes, with Barron abstaining.

Each incoming Commissioner will serve for a five year term, with terms beginning in the near future.

By: Cassidy Strong (Cassidy is a CityLaw intern and a New York Law School student, Class of 2024.)

CC: City Council Stated Meeting, Res 0264-2022,Res 0265-2022,Res 0267-2022, (July 14, 2022).


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