Laura Popa, Deputy Chief of Staff for Legislation and Policy, New York City Council : Laura Popa is the Deputy Chief of Staff for Legislation and Policy at the New York City Council. In this capacity she oversees the legislative and policy making functions of the Council and works with Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, Council Members and staff to develop and implement initiatives in such diverse areas as human rights, criminal justice reform, sustainability, environmental protection, fair labor practices, safe housing, access to civil justice, service delivery, health and education. Laura played a key role in launching the Council’s Young Women’s Initiative (YWI), which was the first initiative of its kind to build a lasting blueprint for investing in the future of young women and girls. Through YWI, community, philanthropy and government forged a partnership that resulted in over 100 recommendations and over $20 million in funding. Laura also teaches about local government and the New York City Council at Fordham Law School and represents the Council on the Board of the Brooklyn Academy of Music. She is a graduate of New York University and Fordham Law School.