New York City Council Laurie A. Cumbo represents the 35th District in Brooklyn, which includes the neighborhoods of Fort Greene, Clinton Hill, Crown Heights, Prospect Heights, and Bedford Stuyvesant. Ms. Cumbo currently serves as Chair of the Women’s Issues Committee and has been an aggressive champion of women’s workforce equality including gender pay equity, parental rights, and reproductive rights.
Council Member Cumbo is a member of several other Council committees including Youth Services; Finance; Cultural Affairs, Libraries, and International Intergroup Relations; Public Housing; and Higher Education. She is also a member of the Women’s Caucus; the Black, Latino, and Asian Caucus; and the Jewish Caucus.
During her first term, Council Member Cumbo helped enact monumental legislation and citywide policies including: universal pre-Kindergarten for all eligible four-year olds, after school programs for middle-school-aged youth, expanding the right to paid sick leave to more New Yorkers, paid parental leave, raising the minimum wage to $15, bolstering sexual education transparency in public schools, diversifying participation within the Percent for Art program and expanding our city’s investment in artists. One of her most notable accomplishments is the newly-established NYC Mayor’s Office to Prevent Gun Violence, which will coordinate efforts to reduce gun violence with the mayoral administration; engage community members, elected officials, and other stakeholders to develop additional strategies; and review budget requests of all agencies for anti-gun violence programs. Her platform is aimed at raising the benefit floor for more New Yorkers, integrating the arts, utilizing a holistic education model, reducing gender and income inequality in New York City.
Cumbo, a Brooklyn native, is a graduate of the Berkeley Carroll Day School, Brooklyn Technical High School, Spelman College with a bachelor’s degree in Fine Art, and New York University (NYU) with a master’s degree in Visual Arts Administration.
At the age of twenty-two, she used her graduate coursework and thesis at NYU to develop MoCADA, Brooklyn’s first Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts. She incorporated MoCADA as a 501c3 non-profit institution with enthusiastic support from the Brooklyn community of Bedford-Stuyvesant and surrounding neighborhoods. As a cultural leader, entrepreneur, activist, college professor, educator, lecturer and small business owner working in the not-for-profit sector, she has dedicated her life to community development and preserving the dynamic elements of diversity that make Brooklyn, NY what it is today. Her commitment to underserved communities and bringing people of all backgrounds together to discover their commonalities continues to be at the forefront of her priorities.
Council Member Cumbo is a member of ARTTABLE, the American Association of Museums, the National Alliance of African and African American Art Support Groups, the Cultural Equity Group, the Downtown Brooklyn Arts Alliance and the Spelman College Alumni Association. She is an alumna of Achieving Leadership’s Purpose (ALP), Jack and Jill of America Brooklyn Chapter and Delta Sigma Theta Brooklyn Chapter Teen Lift and is a former graduate professor in the School of Art & Design at Pratt Institute.