Vanessa L. Gibson (born March 19, 1979) is the Council member for the 16th District of the New York City Council. She is a Democrat. The district includes Claremont Village, Concourse, Concourse Village, Crotona Park, Highbridge, Longwood, Melrose, Morris Heights, Morrisania, Mount Eden and University Heights in The Bronx.
Gibson currently serves as the City Council Member for District 16 and serves as chair of the Public Safety Committee.
Gibson is a lifelong resident of New York City and was raised in The Bronx neighborhood of Morris Heights. She graduated from Murry Bergtraum High School in 1997. She earned a Bachelor's degree in Sociology from the State University of New York at Albany in May 2001. Gibson then received a M.P.A. from Baruch College (City University of New York) in May 2009.
In her senior year of undergraduate studies, Gibson began interning for Assemblywoman Aurelia Greene. Two years later, in November 2003, Gibson was promoted to the District Manager for Greene's 77th District. She was subsequently elected to the New York State Assembly in a June 2009 special election. Her assumption was in succession of her mentor Greene, who had joined the cabinet of Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr. earlier that year.
On November 5, 2013, Gibson successfully ran for New York City Council after winning a fairly contentious primary election. Within her district, Gibson is particularly adamant about eliminating homelessness and hunger. Gibson has held Annual Housing Conferences to solidify the relationship between landlords and tenants in District 16. She has held free meal events to feed the children of the South Bronx, and has designated much of her district's budget allocation towards the schools and senior homes within her district.
As the chairperson of the Public Safety Committee, Gibson has worked to mend the tense relationship between New York civilians and the New York Police Department (NYPD). In the wake of public outrage over the sporadic deaths of civilians such as Eric Garner, she assured the public through various media outlets that she would rectify the NYPD transparency system and better equip officers for public service. She then worked closely with Mayor Bill de Blasio, Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, and the Civilian Complaints Review Board (CCRB) to implement the use of body cameras on officer uniforms, GPS tracking devices for officers, and technological advancement funding for the NYPD.
Council Member Gibson also addressed the school-to-prison pipeline. On March 31, 2015, Council Member Gibson introduced an amendment to the 2011 Student Safety Act. The bill, Int 0730-2015, was co-sponsored by Council Member Corey Johnson and was designed to mandate the release of school disciplinary activity on the Department of Education website. The amendment would also require statistical data of student arrests to be reported to the NYC Council. Intro 730 was signed into law on October 13, 2015. It is the first New York City law to be introduced to the NYC Council by Council Member Gibson.
Gibson is most widely recognized for her response to the 2015 Bronx Legionnaires' disease outbreaks that primarily plagued her constituents. She worked closely with Mayor Bill de Blasio, Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr., the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH), among many other New York City authorities to investigate the cause of the outbreak and implement prophylactic legislation accordingly. On August 18, 2015, Gibson stood alongside the Mayor as he signed Local Law 866 (Int 0866-2015), a historical legislation that mandates cooling tower registration and regulates the maintenance of citywide towers.