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About Us

The Policy Department coordinates the City Bar's policy work, legislative activity and advocacy. Our committees participate in shaping public policy in a variety of ways including writing on pending or proposed legislation, testifying at hearings, writing letters to public officials, drafting amicus briefs and making lobby visits. It is our job to facilitate these activities and ensure that the City Bar’s reports and policy positions are communicated to the key players at the most impactful times.

In partnership with committee members, we:

  • work with committees on completing reports and deciding on strategy and timing of distribution;
  • assist in communicating our positions to policymakers and related stakeholders;
  • track legislative developments and provide updates as requested;
  • arrange and conduct meetings and lobby visits with key legislators, staffers and agency officials; and
  • work with committees to seek sponsors and advocate for legislation they’ve proposed.

Our website, in addition to featuring our committee reports and related bill information, has a number of helpful resources. Our “Frequently Asked Questions” section provides a “nuts and bolts” look at how we partner with committees to advance the City Bar’s policy goals. If you’re interested in learning more about the legislative process, check out our chart on how a bill becomes a law and our glossary of frequently used phrases. We also have guides for getting the most out of your committee experience, such as “Committee Member Best Practices”, “Lobbying for Passage of a Bill: Some Basics”, and “Your Committee Issued a Legislative Report... Now What?”.

Committees interested in getting involved should feel free to contact our office to discuss your committee’s interests and goals. You can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter for the latest news and updates on the City Bar’s policy work.

If your committee has a report they would like to submit for review by the City Bar’s President, please submit it through our “Report Intake Form”. More information on this process can be found in the Committee Handbook.

If you are not a member of one of our committees and are interested in getting involved, please visit the “Committees” section of our website, which features information on all of our committees and how you can join.

Staff Contacts

Maria Cilenti
Senior Policy Counsel
Email Maria

Elizabeth Kocienda
Associate Director of Advocacy
Email Elizabeth

Mary Margulis-Ohnuma
Policy Counsel
Email Mary