The District #4 Middle School Debate Invitational

@ Hunter College (July)

Sponsored by City Council Member Keith Powers


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Council Member Keith Powers represents New York City’s District 4, covering the East Side of Manhattan and Midtown, and serves as Chair of the Council’s Criminal Justice Committee. In his time in office, Keith has introduced legislation regarding more affordable housing, government reform, and social issues. His first bill signed into law this year expanded sexual harassment protections under New York City Human Rights Law to all employees in New York City.


Throughout his life, Keith has been committed to his community as a tenant leader, community leader, and working in government.

In 2006, Keith was the tenant organizer for the “Preserve Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village” campaign during the sale of the neighborhood to Tishman Speyer. In this role, Keith worked alongside Council Member Dan Garodnick on his tenant-led bid to purchase the property.


As Chief of Staff to Assembly Member Jonathan Bing, Keith drafted and worked on legislation to:

  • Create an Equal Rights Amendment in the New York State Constitution to prevent discrimination based on gender;
  • Institute ‘no fault divorce’ in New York State, ending the State’s reputation as the only state in the nation without it;
  • Protect Mitchell-Lama and rent stabilized apartments;
  • Establish Select Bus Service (SBS) on First and Second Avenues;
  • Prevent discrimination based on a tenant’s source of income (e.g. Section 8 vouchers or Social Security Disability Insurance);
  • Create a small business grants program for businesses affected by Second Avenue subway construction;
  • Extend workers compensation benefits for 9/11 emergency workers; and
  • Improve community board oversight on nightlife establishments and close a loophole used by many establishments;

Keith also worked for former City Council Speaker Peter Vallone, Sr. helping to advocate for after-school funding, expand Advanced Placement, prevent bullying of LGBT students in public schools, secure funding for employment and workforce programs, create new affordable housing, and preserve the quality of life on the Upper East Side.

Keith attended The CUNY Graduate Center and University of Dayton, with a focus on Political Science. Keith is a third-generation resident of Peter Cooper Village and Stuyvesant Town.