No one works harder for all 2.6 million Brooklynites than Marty Markowitz. Since entering Borough Hall in January 2002, Marty has reinvigorated the office of borough president, serving as the tireless chief advocate for Brooklyn’s economic, social and cultural interests, while initiating and promoting efforts to improve Brooklynites’ quality of life. Born and raised in Crown Heights, Marty graduated from Wingate High School in 1962. He received his B.A. in Political Science after attending evening sessions at Brooklyn College from 1962 to 1970.
Elected to the New York State Senate in 1978, Marty represented Central Brooklyn for 23 years. In 2001, he became the first borough president elected in the new millennium; he was honored to be re-elected to his third term in 2009. Marty began his career in public service in 1971, at the age of 26, by organizing the Flatbush Tenants Council, which grew into Brooklyn Housing and Family Services, the largest tenants’ advocacy organization in New York State. In 1973, he founded the Senior Citizens League of Flatbush, an organization that is still going strong — in fact Marty proudly joined the League in 2006 at the youthful age of 60.
As borough president, in addition to setting an ambitious agenda focused on the core issues of his more than three decades in public service — housing, neighborhood preservation and community development — Marty has enacted programs to boost civic pride, improve health, promote tourism and empower young Brooklynites. As a longtime advocate for seniors, he fought vigorously to keep Brooklyn senior centers open when they were threatened with closures due to budget cuts. Marty’s efforts to save Brooklyn’s financially troubled medical institutions resulted in the preservation of maternity and pediatric units at Long Island College Hospital as well as the critical services provided by school medical clinics. Marty has also called for increased parental and community engagement in schools and has supported policies that improve graduation rates and prepare Brooklyn students to compete and succeed in the global economy. His office was instrumental in creating two new schools in Brooklyn: the High School for Innovation in Advertising and Media and the Brooklyn Academy of Global Finance.
Marty’s efforts to stimulate and grow Brooklyn’s economy include revitalizing Coney Island, re-zoning Greenpoint-Williamsburg and Downtown Brooklyn, lowering auto insurance rates, cleaning up Newtown Creek, encouraging development of the Brooklyn Cruise Ship Terminal, wooing regional corporate headquarters, large manufacturers and retailers, startups and green businesses, and lobbying on behalf of Brooklynites for the affordable housing and jobs attached to the Atlantic Yards project. Just as important are programs like Shop Brooklyn, the Lighten Up Brooklyn and Take Your Man to the Doctor campaigns, Camp Brooklyn, the jobs-for-youth Summer HEAT program, Dine in Brooklyn restaurant week, the Brooklyn Book Festival, the smART Brooklyn Gallery Hop and Brooklyn Tourism, all of which have helped make Brooklyn a better place to live, work and raise a family.
Marty married his wife, Jamie, in 1999, and they recently celebrated their wedding anniversary. They are the proud parents of Beep, a year-old African Grey Parrot.