Richard Brodsky has spent his entire professional life fighting for the people of New York. Having first been elected to public office in 1975 as a County Legislator from Westchester, he spent four terms leading the way on health care, transportation and tax fairness issues. In 1982, Richard was elected to the Assembly. His continued efforts to protect the people of New York have yielded numerous concrete victories and are widely known across the state.
From the beginning of his service in the State Assembly, Richard has championed numerous reforms on behalf of the people. He served as Chairman of the Committee on Oversight, Analysis and Investigation, where he began his long-term effort to revitalize legislative oversight, including public hearings and in-depth investigations. He authored laws to reform proprietary business schools, and took on the daunting task of investigating and exposing organized crime in the garbage hauling business. Richard has fought for one of New York’s most vulnerable populations, our recent immigrants. His efforts on their behalf include legislation to prevent private immigration services scams.
In 2002, Richard was appointed Chairman of the Committee on Corporations, Authorities, and Commissions. It is as Chairman of this Committee that Richard brought the full weight of his talents and vision to bear on reform of state government. In 2009 this culminated with the passage of the Public Authorities Reform Act. It is a sweeping reform of all of New York’s 700 authorities, including the MTA, New York Power Authority, Long Island Power Authority and the Thruway Authority. It has been lauded as the most significant reform of State government in decades.
Not only has Richard created laws to protect the people of New York, he has also served as a chief investigator, rooting out corruption at all levels of government. His investigation into the use of public funds to build the new Yankee Stadium revealed secret and illegal deals between the Yankees and NYC, including publicly funded luxury boxes for city officials, a failure to create jobs, and unfair high ticket prices. His investigation of political abuse by then Congressman John Sweeny of the Olympic Regional Development Authority in North County, the New York Power Authority, the MTA and the Erie Canal all led to fundamental changes in the way these authorities treat the people of the state. Richard has consistently fought to level the playing field and to make sure that all public officials are held responsible for their actions.
Richard has taken on investigations of the private sector wrongdoers as well. He led significant investigations and authored the Cable Television Reform Act, and legislation to limit surcharges. In the 2006 power outage in Astoria Queens, Richard brought an administrative proceeding that held Con Edison accountable for its negligent actions that caused unnecessary suffering to residents and businesses. As a result, Con Ed returned over $40 million to ratepayers and the community and issued an apology.
Richard has been a champion for the environment. In 1993, Richard was named Chairman of the Committee on Environmental Conservation, beginning a tenure that left a lasting impact on our environment and public health. He authored the most dramatic advances in environmental law in decades, including the Environmental Protection Fund (the first dedicated fund for environmental protection in the State’s history which has disbursed billions in land acquisition, park preservation, and clean air and water projects) as well as the Clean Air Compliance Act, implementing the state’s first air pollution program under the federal Clean Air Act. He has also served as Chair of the National Caucus of Environmental Legislators, bringing together environmentally progressive legislators to coordinate their efforts.
Richard always has and will continue to fight for fair treatment of all New Yorkers. He has co-authored New York State’s School Tax Relief (STAR) program, saving homeowners and senior citizens thousands of dollars each year. He also led the fight against Mayor Bloomberg’s congestion pricing plan because it unfairly targeted low and moderate-income people, especially those living in the Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn and Staten Island.
Through his legislative accomplishments, Richard has received the Rockefeller College of Public Affairs Distinguished Public Service Award, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Award, the United Federation of Teachers Friend of Education Award, the International Association of Firefighters Achievement Award, the New York State Audubon Society William B. Hoyt Environmental Award, and the Adirondack Council Conservationist of the Year Award along with many others.
Richard has tirelessly worked to help the Democratic movement in New York as well. From his first job as a staff person on Ed Muskie’s Presidential Campaign to serving as a National Delegate from New York for Presidential hopeful Gary Hart, he has always been working with fellow Democrats to advance and strengthen the party. In 1985, Richard led a coalition of New Yorkers to Bitburg Germany to protest President Reagan’s appalling visit to Kolmeshohe Cemetery where many of those buried were Waffen-SS soldiers. He led team of attorneys in Palm Beach in 2000 on behalf of Vice President Al Gore.
Richard is a graduate of Ardsley High School, Brandeis University and Harvard Law School. He currently resides in White Plains along with his wife Paige. The have two amazing daughters; Emily, a musician, and Julianne Willie, a student at NYU.