Mayor Appoints Jessica Tisch as New DSNY Commissioner

New DSNY Commissioner Jessica Tisch. Image Credit: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office.

The announcement comes with a $11 million investment in restoring full alternative side parking and cleaning of protected bike lanes. On April 18, 2022, Mayor Eric Adams announced the appointment of Jessica Tisch as the new Commissioner of the Department of Sanitation.

Tisch is a graduate of Harvard College, Harvard Law School and Harvard Business School. She started her public service career in 2008 when she joined the NYPD. She eventually was appointed the deputy commissioner of information technology at the NYPD. In this position, she oversaw efforts to implement technology to change NYPD operations, including how officers are dispatched and respond to 911 calls, search for missing people, take crime reports, and conduct investigations. She managed the development of the Domain Awareness System, which is central to the NYPD’s counterterrorism and crime fighting operations. Due to her work, officers were issued smartphones to enable them to receive real-time information on the go and improve accessibility in working with the public. Tisch managed the implementation of the body-worn camera program. She also created online platforms to show timely crime and traffic statistics, and helped develop secure systems to allow the public to access vehicle accident reports, Crime Stoppers information, and pistol permits. 

Tisch most recently served as the Commissioner of the Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications and citywide chief information officer. She was a part of the team that helped build out part of the City’s pandemic response – including the city’s vaccination system, vaccine incentive portal, contract tracing system, the NYC COVID Safe app, helping oversee the distribution of iPads to thousands of New York City public school students to enable them to participate in remote learning, and helping New Yorkers access food through the GetFood program. 

She also started the buildout of 5G in New York City, rolled out text-to-911, oversaw the implementation of Wi-Fi of all homeless shelters that serve families with children, and helped establish ten new commercial and residential broadband franchise agreements. 

As Sanitation Commissioner, she will oversee the City’s waste collection, disposal, recycling, and snow removal operations. 

Mayor Adams stated, “Jessica’s knowledge, experience, and unwavering commitment to New York City cannot be overstated. Put plainly, Jessica is a ‘Get Stuff Done’ leader, who has delivered continuous results on behalf of all New Yorkers throughout her career. From revolutionizing policing technology in the NYPD, to overseeing critical pandemic programs to support New Yorkers in need, Jessica’s work has touched millions. All New Yorkers deserve clean, safe, and welcoming streets, and I know Jessica will bring the same energy and deliver results leading the sanitation department as we continue building a just and prosperous recovery for all. I also want to thank Commissioner Grayson for his decades of service — all New Yorkers owe him a debt of gratitude for his unwavering leadership throughout the pandemic.”

Commissioner Tisch stated, “Clean, safe neighborhoods will power New York City’s recovery, and innovations in composting, recycling, and collection will secure our future. The Department of Sanitation is essential to building the comeback New Yorkers deserve, and I thank Mayor Adams and Deputy Mayor Joshi for entrusting me to helm New York’s Strongest. I’m honored to help the mayor realize his vision for a safer and more welcoming city.”

In addition to the appointment of Commissioner Tisch, Mayor Adams announced a $11 million commitment that will allow for the full restoration of alternate side parking to enable street cleaning, and funding for equipment and personnel to perform year-round cleaning on protected bike lanes and other narrow infrastructure. Ten Micromobility Operation Machines will be used in a pilot program this summer, and it is expected that the DSNY will have several dozen of these units in two sizes by the end of 2023. 

Council Majority Whip Selvena N. Brooks-Powers, Chair of the Committee on Transportation stated, “One of the most common constituent complaints across any district is sanitation. I applaud the mayor and his administration for not only recognizing clean and well-maintained streets that ensure New Yorkers can readily access micro-mobility, but by investing in real solutions. Implementing innovative programs will help maintain the unique fabric of our communities and allow New Yorkers to more easily and safely traverse our streets.” 

By: Veronica Rose (Veronica is the CityLaw fellow and a New York Law School graduate, Class of 2018.)



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