Home » Who is Nick E. Smith?

Who is Nick E. Smith?

tmp_11194-FB_IMG_1451762792850-1525612909Nick E. Smith
is a Legislative Representative in the De Blasio administration.

Previously, Nick served in a variety of roles in and out of government, including:

  • Deputy Chief of Staff for Council Member Jumaane D. Williams (D-Brooklyn);
  • Legislative/Communications Director for NYS Assembly Member Linda B. Rosenthal;
  • Appointed Commissioner in the City of Berkeley, California (2004-2007);
  • Coordinator of the national, non-partisan collaborative, Education from the Inside/Out Coalition;
  • Founder of EraofChange.org, a progressive civic action group, which was active in the 2008 Presidential election.

As Legislative Director in the New York City Council and State Assembly, Nick co-authored and helped pass a number of laws, including:

New York City laws to:

Smith was the first African American student elected to lead the Commission on Labor for the City of Berkeley, California (2004-2007), where he co-authored three ordinances, including a ban on sweatshop procurement, which became law in 2009.

Smith also served as Berkeley, CA Mayor Tom Bates’ appointee to the Housing Advisory Commission (2006-2007), where he fought for increased affordable housing. Most significantly, he and his fellow commissioners submitted budget recommendations that allocated $3.4 million dollars in federal Community Development Block Grants aimed at supporting non-profit organizations engaged in community development.

In 2002, the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy recognized Smith for launching a social networking portal, NetFriendsOnline.com, at the age of 14.

Nick, a twin, earned his B.A. in Political Science from the University of California, Berkeley (2007) and a law degree from St. John’s University School of Law (2010).

Contact him here.


Select News Coverage

UC Berkeley graduate Nick Smith … was the first African American student to chair the Commission on Labor.

Smith… agreed that diversity was hugely lacking on commissions. ‘Diversity includes more than being a student,’ he said. ‘I didn’t serve as an African American, but as someone who ensured equal representation to all residents, including students and other underrepresented parties.’

Smith helped co-author the ‘Sweatshop-Free Berkeley’ initiative which was passed in September 2006 and a consumer protection ‘Right-to-Know Ordinance’ which was passed in February 2007.”

A Brief History of Sweatshop-Free, The Daily Californian, June, 2009

Excerpt:  “While I can’t vouch for every action taken by city government, I strongly stand by our efforts on this. We have joined Maine, Pennsylvania and the cities of Los Angeles, San Francisco and countless other governments to end labor exploitation across the world. As we recruit more governments to adopt these policies, our coalition will make sweeping positive impacts on standards of living around the world.”

Farewell to the Local Labor Community, Berkeley Daily Planet, March, 2007

Excerpt: “I prefer to see union organization as employees taking [greater] ownership in their destinies. At the same time, it is important to congratulate companies who engage in positive business practices because there are those that do not.”

Mayor Appoints Student To City Housing Body, The Daily Californian, March, 2006

Excerpt: “Mayor Tom Bates appointed Smith to the commission in February. Each city councilmember, including the mayor, can appoint new members to city commissions.

‘He’s uniquely qualified,’ Bates said.

During his time on the commission, Smith plans to work on the city’s soft story building ordinance, which focuses on buildings that could be unstable during an earthquake.

Smith said he will also focus on issues relating to affordable housing.”

Excerpt: “Berkeley Labor Commission Chair Nicholas Smith expressed his firm commitment to serious results from sweatshop legislation. ‘Berkeley spends millions of dollars a year. Just like Berkeley divested from apartheid, it is now demanded of this generation to take public money away from supporting the low wage/poor conditions of sweatshop labor.'”


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