Press Mentions

Featured Press Mention

Format: 2020-03-30
Format: 2020-03-30

The new fund is intended to provide microgrants, from a few hundred dollars to more than $5,000, for the purpose of spurring local innovation and new neighborhood initiatives in Chelsea and Hudson Yards. 

Elected Officials Join 19 Private Sector Companies to Announce Innovative "West Side Community Fund"
Press Release
November 01, 2018

Members of the Woodhaven Cultural and Historical Society have launched a pop-up museum they hope will help inspire the next generation of historians in Queens and beyond... The banners cost about $2,000 and were paid for by donations, City Council funds and a grant from Citizens Committee for New York City. Eventually, the group hopes to find a permanent site for a museum that would also contain historical items, documents and oral histories from residents.

Woodhaven’s mobile museum delves into nabe’s rich history
Lisa Colangelo
amNEWYORK
October 15, 2017

Jordan Barker remarked, “I have seen the great work that the Citizens Committee does by connecting New Yorkers who want to effect positive change in their neighborhoods, to the funding needed to make this happen. I’m excited to be a part of this wonderful organization and I look forward to increasing the awareness of the Citizens Committee in local New York City neighborhoods.

Jordan Barker Named Vice Chair of Young Citizens Committee
Citizens Committee for New York City
June 21, 2017

Last Summer, the Citizens Committee for New York City, which works with grassroots groups in low-income areas of NYC, awarded [Lyeta] Herb a $2,700 grant for a shed, power tools and a water tank with a liquid harvesting system. The replaced beds will be the latest improvement at the garden, where Herb said a new set of 10-foot fences were installed after she said vandals trampled the lot’s plants in August 2016.

Volunteers Overhaul East New York Garden to Oust Wood-Boring Beetles
Tatyana Bellamy-Walker
DNAinfo
June 16, 2017

“Neighborhood-level compositing brings communities together around sustainable practices, and spur innovations that can be replicated across the city,” Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer said in a statement. “This grant program is just one piece of the puzzle,” Citizens Committee for New York City CEO Peter Kostmayer added in a statement. “Still it clearly demonstrates that New Yorkers can take control of the nutrient cycle locally and sustain it over time.

East Harlem Garden Uses Coffee from Local Cafes for Composting Project
Dartunorro Clark
DNAinfo
June 06, 2017

The 100-168 West 121st Street Block Association was chosen by the mayor’s office and Citizens Committee of New York City to receive a $1,000 Love Your Block cash grant, with the funds used by residents to perform an all-day community service project aimed at beautifying their street. This is the first time the block has been awarded the grant, said block association president Nia Bediakio... “My goal was to bring the block together,” she said. “This is our block so we want it to look good.

Harlem Block Once Plagued by Raccoons Gets $1,000 Beautification Grant
Dartunorro Clark
DNAinfo
June 05, 2017

Pages

More Press Mentions

New York, NY (March 23, 2020)—Citizens Committee for New York City (Citizens Committee) has announced the appointment of its new CEO, Dr. Rahsaan Harris, effective March 16. Harris replaces Peter H. Kostmayer, who is retiring after 15 years.

Harris, who has more than 20 years of experience leading nonprofits and international grantmaking, partnering with communities to make local investments, and promoting community organizing, is Citizens Committee’s first black CEO in the organization’s 45-year history. He is a transformative leader and role model who has been a New York City public school teacher, board member of various Harlem-based organizations, devoted Big Brothers Big Sister mentor, and Peace Corps environmental education volunteer in South America.

“Rahsaan is a proven leader and experienced CEO, and is well-positioned to lead our organization into a new era of transformation,” said Chris Ruggeri, chair of the Board of Directors for Citizens Commitee. “We are excited for this new chapter as Citizens Committee helps New Yorkers—especially those in low-income areas—come together and improve the quality of life in their neighborhoods.”

Harris comes to Citizens Committee from the Emma Bowen Foundation—a New York-based organization dedicated to diversifying the media and technology industries by recruiting promising students of color and placing them in paid internships at the nation’s leading companies. As Emma Bowen’s President and CEO, Harris set a new strategic direction that resulted in increased grant revenue and a highly engaged network of students, alumni and influential corporate partners. Harris raised the foundation’s public profile through key speaking and television appearances on outlets such as WABC New York, Fox 5 New York, and Yahoo Finance. Last month, he appeared on CNN to discuss the legacy of Emma L. Bowen, the Harlem community activist who fought to make media inclusive more than 50 years ago.

“I’m honored to be joining Citizens Committee as CEO,” Harris said. “Back in the ’70s, our founders—Sen. Jacob Javits, a Republican, and Newsweek Editor-in-Chief Osborn Elliott, a Democrat—envisioned a better future for all New Yorkers. In the spirit of that bipartisanship—and the beautiful fruits of that labor—we need to remind each other during challenging times that it’s only when we work together that we can achieve real change. And we need each other as never before.”

Harris is no stranger to Javits’s efforts. Emma Bowen worked with Javits in the 1960s and ’70s to end the unwritten policy of preventing black youth from being pages in the U.S. Senate. “Emma Bowen fought so young people of color could have access to the same opportunities as their white counterparts,” Harris said. “As a Harlemite and block association member, I know that positive change happens when New Yorkers work together, not just to improve our neighborhoods and our quality of life—but to create lasting social change.”

Prior to his role at the Emma Bowen Foundation, Harris served as Executive Director of Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy (EPIP), and a program officer at the Atlantic Philanthropies. Harris received his doctorate in Public and Urban Policy from the New School, where his dissertation addressed understanding how socio-economic diversity in the African-American community affects their philanthropic interests. He also holds master’s degrees in Management and High School Science Education from New York University and Columbia, respectively, and a Bachelor of Arts from Princeton University. Harris is a board member of Exponent Philanthropy and is co-class agent for Princeton University Class of 1995 Annual Giving. He resides in Harlem, in a Spanish-speaking household, with his wife Elizabeth and daughter Avery.

Kostmayer, whose tenure ends effective March 27, served seven terms in the U.S. House of Representatives in the late ’70s and early ’80s. “Peter has played a critical role in the development and success of Citizens Committee for New York City, and we are grateful for his service,” said Ruggeri. “We will miss his leadership, but we wish him all the best in his retirement and future ventures.”

As the situation surrounding COVID-19 continues to evolve, Citizens Committee, under Harris’ leadership, has developed a survey to better understand its grantees’ challenges and needs during this time of uncertainty. The survey can be found at linktr.ee/citizenscommittee, and Citizens Committee is urging all grantees to respond as soon as possible. The organization plans to analyze the results of the survey and share key insights with elected officials and donors. In addition, Citizens Committee has compiled a list of key COVID-19 resources for New Yorkers.

About Citizens Committee for New York City
Citizens Committee for New York City’s mission is to help New Yorkers – especially those in low-income areas – come together and improve the quality of life in their neighborhoods. Residents are uniquely situated to define and act on the issues affecting their communities. When provided with modest support, neighborhood and school groups can effectively mobilize with the assistance of grants, skills-building workshops, project planning assistance and an equipment share library. In 2019, we provided 596 projects with $2.3 million in grants and services, impacting more than 130,000 residents in 164 different neighborhoods across the five boroughs. Since 1975, we have promoted the spirit of volunteerism, local engagement, and social justice that drives our work. Go to citizensnyc.org to learn more.

Citizens Committee for New York City Names Dr. Rahsaan Harris as New CEO Amid COVID-19 Crisis
March 22, 2020

NEW YORK – Hundreds of New Yorkers gathered at the Central Park Boathouse on Monday night for Citizens Committee for New York City’s annual Evening on the Lake. The more than $300,000 raised will support CCNYC in its mission to help New Yorkers come together and improve the quality of life in their neighborhoods through volunteer-led, grassroots projects.

This year’s honorees were Heather Lennox of Jones Day, William H. Henrich of Getzler Henrich & Associates, and CCNYC grantee Aleeia Abraham-Toussaint, founder of Prototype Music, which mentors and showcases youth musical talent in Southeast Queens. Assembly Member Alicia Hyndman, who represents the area served by Prototype Music, introduced Ms. Abraham-Toussaint and the performers to the crowd of almost 400 there to support CCNYC. Junior photographers from CCNYC grantee Hamilton Heights Darkroom were on hand to capture the evening on film as part of the nonprofit’s efforts to provide local students with hands-on photography experience. 

 

Press Release
September 11, 2019

HARLEM – Citizens Committee for New York City (CCNYC) and Assembly Member Jeffrey Dinowitz gathered on Monday evening in Brust Park with members of resident-led community groups to highlight and celebrate their efforts to improve their corner of the Bronx. Citizens Committee CEO Peter H. Kostmayer and Assembly Member Dinowitz were joined by members of Stewards of Brust Park, Stewards of Henry Hudson Park and Coqui the Chef to learn more about their grassroots projects’ impact on the community and their efforts to bring their neighbors together towards a common goal. Each group has received small grants and planning assistance from CCNYC in recent years to support their community improvement projects.

“The strength of our community is in the power of the people who live here, working every day to make our neighborhoods a little bit better for everyone. I am proud to have numerous groups throughout my district who have amazing ideas for projects to accomplish just that. Thank you to Citizens Committee for their support of these incredible projects, and also to the people behind those projects who will turn grant money into tangible results for our community,” said Assembly Member Jeffrey Dinowitz. 

 

Press Release
August 14, 2019

Pages