Promoting a more livable New York

MAS reforms the regulatory, legislative, and financial mechanisms that shape the city through sound policy. We testify before and make recommendations to the Governor of New York, Mayor of New York, as well as our State Senate, State Assembly, New York City Public Advocate, New York City Comptroller, City Council, City Planning Commission, Landmarks Preservation Commission, Public Design Commission, Board of Standards and Appeals, and Community Boards.

Current Policy Initiatives

Help us continue our policy advocacy of behalf of New York City.


Past Policy Initiatives

Policy Committee

The Policy Committee advises MAS staff and the Board of Directors. Its members include distinguished attorneys with expertise in land use and zoning, real estate, non-profit, environmental, and municipal law fields.

Committee Members

Susan Hinkson-Carling, Esq., Chair

Susan Hinkson-Carling’s biography will be added soon.

Rebecca Bratspies, Esq.

Rebecca Bratspies is a Law Professor at the City University of New York (CUNY) School of Law, where she is the founding Director of the Center for Urban Environmental Reform. She is an internationally recognized expert on environmental justice, the regulation of new agricultural technologies, and the human right to a healthy environment. Professor Bratspies has written scores of law review articles, op- eds, and other publications including four books. Her most recent book Environmental Justice: Law Policy and Regulation is used in schools across the country.

Professor Bratspies is a sought-after speaker who regularly lectures on environmental law, policy, and justice. She serves as an appointed member of the New York City’s Environmental Justice Advisory Panel, and EPA’s Children’s Health Protection Advisory Committee. Professor Bratspies also serves as a scholar with the Center for Progressive Reform, as a core member of the Global Network for the Study of Human Rights and the Environment, and on the editorial board of the International Journal of Law in Context.

She is a past member of the ABA Standing Committee on Environmental Law, Past-President of the American Association of Law Schools Section on the Environment, and a former advisor to the Consultative Group on Agricultural Research. A former Luce Scholar and law clerk to US Court of Appeals Judge C. Arlen Beam, she is a graduate of Wesleyan University and holds a law degree cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania.

Susan Golden, Esq.

Sue Golden is Partner at Venerable and focuses on civic, cultural, and economic development projects, representing public, not-for-profit, and private entities on matters involving real estate transactions, land use, zoning and other regulatory approvals, public and private funding, and governance matters. Sue has considerable experience with New York State and New York City land use and environmental quality reviews and government procurement and funding contract administration. Her approach reflects a commitment to collaboration, value, and responsiveness.

Sue has helped government, private, and not-for-profit entities with real estate development, rebuilding, renovations, and other improvements to or investments in real property. She counsels on compliance with zoning, landmarks, historic preservation, environmental review, and permitting requirements; public review and government approval of development proposals, including zoning changes, permits, and variances; negotiation of development, design, and construction contracts; and government grants, charitable funding, and donor agreements.

Sue also handles property acquisitions and conveyances, including deeds, easements, leases, and the transfer of development rights (so-called air rights), and the negotiation of mixed-use condominium structures. She advises on both community and regulatory matters — from public hearings to agency requirements — and translates for clients the fundamentals of the world of acronyms she works in, ULURP, SEQRA/CEQR, SHPO, BSA, PDC, CCG, PAAA/PARA, NEPA, FOIL, ACRIS, and others. When necessary she works with litigation counsel to defend project approvals.

Paul Proulx, Esq.

Paul J. Proulx is Partner at Carter Ledyard. He represents clients on land use, zoning and urban development matters in New York City. His clients include both the City’s most respected developers and property owners with lower profiles. Paul’s practice is mainly transaction-based. He regularly assists clients in the transfer of development rights pursuant to New York City’s as-of-right framework. The rest of his practice involves providing land use counsel on the as-of-right solutions and the discretionary procedures necessary to entitle buildings under New York City’s Zoning Resolution and Administrative Code.

Paul represents purchasers and sellers of development rights in transactions between adjacent property owners. He adeptly handles complex development rights transactions for developers on large assemblages. When working for sellers, Paul takes a cooperative approach and uses his keen insight into the development process to find solutions to maximize value. He negotiates and draws up purchase and sale agreements, zoning lot development agreements (ZLDAs), declarations, licenses, and easements for such transactions.

On the regulatory side of his practice, Paul often plays a role in making changes to the New York City Zoning Resolution and other land use controls, which determine the shape and success of development projects. Paul is an advocate before New York City agencies, including the Board of Standards and Appeals (BSA), City Planning Commission (CPC), Economic Development Corporation (EDC), Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD), Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC), Office of the Mayor, and New York City Council. Drawing on his background as an urban planner, Paul drafts and prosecutes land use applications and the restrictive declarations that accompany them. He plays a lead role on development teams seeking approvals in the City’s Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP).

David Schnakenberg, Esq.

David Schnakenberg is Special Counsel in Real Estate at Fried Frank and represents clients in connection with real estate development, with an emphasis on development rights transactions and land use and zoning matters and related environmental issues.

Clients benefit from David’s significant experience in the prosecution of applications to the Board of Standards and Appeals, City Planning Commission, and Landmarks Preservation Commission, as well as the negotiation of real estate and development rights transactions and agreements. David regularly represents for-profit and non-profit owners, developers, and institutions; affordable housing developers; the owners of environmental legacy sites and brownfields; and solar and energy storage companies.

In 2008, David was the Menapace Fellow in Urban Land Use Law at the Municipal Art Society of New York, where he focused on policy issues related to zoning and land use, historic preservation, and municipal governance. After his fellowship, David taught the Law of Historic Preservation at the Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation, and joined the litigation group of a leading New York City real estate firm, where he focused on commercial real estate disputes, administrative appeals (Article 78 proceedings), and zoning and land use matters.

In 2014, David joined the New York City Board of Standards and Appeals as Deputy Counsel and was promoted to General Counsel in 2015. At BSA, David advised the Chair, Commissioners, and staff on issues related to zoning, land use, and administrative law; reviewed applications for variances, special permits, and appeals; and wrote the BSA’s decisions. He also worked with the City’s Law Department in connection with lawsuits related to BSA determinations.

In 2017, David joined the Greenfield Environmental Trust Group, where he worked with state and local governments to remediate and revitalize superfund and brownfield sites around the country and worked on complex real estate transactions involving brownfields and superfund sites.

In 2019, David joined one of the city’s leading boutique zoning and land use firms, where he specialized in development rights transactions and applications before the Board of Standards and Appeals, City Planning Commission, and Landmarks Preservation Commission.

Danielle Spiegel-Feld, Esq.

Danielle is the Executive Director at the Guarini Center, at New York University where her research focuses on urban environmental law and sustainable energy policy. She is also an adjunct professor and is currently teaching a seminar in Urban Environmental Law & Policy with Katrina Wyman. Previously, she served as a research fellow in Climate Change and the Law at the University of Copenhagen’s Faculty of Law, where she studied interactions between international trade law and domestic environmental policy. While in Copenhagen, Danielle lectured in courses on international energy law, international environmental law, and the law of the World Trade Organization.

Danielle has written on a wide variety of environmental topics, including building energy efficiency policies, emissions trading regimes, green infrastructure programs, renewable energy law, and more. Her work has appeared in a range of scholarly publications as well as media outlets such as The New York Times, US News, The Daily News, Crain’s, and others.

Danielle has also led a number of multi-stakeholder dialogues on topical issues of local and state energy and environmental policy and has conducted substantial comparative environmental policy analyses. Danielle received her JD from NYU and her BA, summa cum laude, from the University of Pennsylvania.