1. Governance
April 19, 2023

New York City appoints first-ever rat czar

New York City Mayor Eric Adams has appointed Kathleen Corradi as the city's first-ever citywide director of rodent mitigation, also known as the 'rat czar'.

By City Monitor Staff

The newly created role of ‘rat czar’ will be responsible for coordinating efforts to reduce the rat population in New York City, which is a significant quality-of-life and health issue for its residents.

New York rats
A rat hides out in New York City’s subway. (Photo by RomboStudio/Shutterstock)

Kathleen Corradi will work with government agencies, community organisations, and the private sector to build a cleaner and more welcoming city. New York Mayor Eric Adams has also announced a $3.5m investment starting in fiscal year 2023 (FY23) to expand and accelerate rat reduction work across Harlem. In addition, a new Harlem Rat Mitigation Zone will be established.

Will the czar get the rats out of NYC?

Adams believes that New York City needs someone solely focused on leading rat reduction efforts across all five boroughs. He expressed his pride in announcing Kathleen Corradi as the city’s first-ever ‘rat czar’ and stated that she has the knowledge, drive, experience, and energy to send rats packing.

Corradi will lead a team of experts in implementing a unified strategy to reduce rats in neighbourhoods across New York’s five boroughs. She will focus on innovative ways to cut off rats’ food sources, as well as testing and deploying new technologies to detect and exterminate rat populations.

Corradi said she believes that rat mitigation is more than a quality-of-life issue for New Yorkers. She believes that rats are a symptom of systemic issues, including sanitation, health, housing and economic justice. She plans to bring a science and systems-based approach to fight rats and will work towards ending the rat crisis in New York City.

“New York may be famous for the Pizza Rat, but rats, and the conditions that help them thrive will no longer be tolerated – no more dirty curbs, unmanaged spaces, or brazen burrowing,” Corradi added.

The citywide director of rodent mitigation will harness both the expertise and operational capacity of several city agencies including the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH), the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation (NYC Parks), the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA), the New York City Department of Education (DOE), the New York City Department of Sanitation (DSNY), and the New York City Department of Small Business Services (SBS), in addition to different private sector partners.

[Read more: Have they really found alligators in New York?]

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