Biography

Michelle Schimel
Michelle Schimel is now serving her fifth term in the New York State Assembly for the 16th Assembly District. Prior to serving in the Assembly, Michelle was the Town Clerk of North Hempstead for eight years. Michelle is recognized in her community for her passion on the issues that affect New York, particularly the prevention of gun violence and protecting the environment.

A full time legislator, Michelle has built a reputation for being one of the most effective and productive members of the New York State Assembly. Michelle was appointed to the Assembly leadership position of Chair of the Majority Conference. She sits on the Assembly Standing Committees on Governmental Operations, Local Governments, Environmental Conservation, Transportation and Veterans’ Affairs.

For two decades, Michelle served on the Board of New Yorkers Against Gun Violence (NYAGV), the largest citizens' group in New York State dedicated to reducing gun-related violence. A leader on anti-crime initiatives, Michelle was elected as Co-Chair of State Legislators Against Illegal Guns, a bicameral, bipartisan coalition of over fifty current and former members of the New York State Assembly and Senate. In 2014, Michelle became a member of American State Legislators For Gun Violence Prevention (ASLGVP), a nation-wide, nonpartisan coalition of state legislators focused on gun violence prevention. The nearly 200 member coalition from all 50 states recently had its first summit in Washington D.C.

Following the horrific mass shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, Michelle worked behind the scenes assembling a broad coalition of support among state legislators for an eight-point plan to reduce gun violence. Many of these measures were included in the NY SAFE Act, which has been hailed as one of the toughest gun-safety laws in the country.

Michelle has been featured on numerous television shows, including CNN’s Starting Point with Soledad O’Brien, to speak on illegal gun trafficking. Michelle’s article, “Microstamping Guns: A Tool to Help Solve Gun Crimes in New York,” was published in the Summer 2012 Issue of the New York State Bar Association’s Government, Law and Policy Journal.

The Environmental Advocates of New York has recognized Michelle as a leader on the environment. She has also been outspoken in her opposition to hydrofracking. She is the Assembly sponsor for the Microbead-Free Waters Act. She recently represented New York at the National Caucus of Environmental Legislators/NCEL in Minnesota.

A former small business owner in New York City, Michelle has focused on making it easier for businesses to grow and create jobs. Michelle helped create regionally-focused economic development initiatives and has fought to provide tax credits and low-cost energy to small businesses. Her Job Search Boot Camp Program which she sponsors with the Port Washington Public Library has helped connect many unemployed and underemployed community residents with good paying jobs.

Michelle Schimel was born in Brooklyn and has been a resident of Great Neck since 1982. Before being elected to public office, Michelle was a physical therapist and certified wound care specialist at North Shore University Hospital. From 1982-1994, Michelle was vice president of a fashion accessories firm in Manhattan. She is an alumna of the University of Pennsylvania.

Michelle’s Current Membership Affiliations

  • Board Member of the Great Neck Historical Society
  • Advisory Board Member of the Port Washington Education Foundation
  • Co-Chair of State Legislators Against Illegal Guns (SLAIG)
  • Eleanor Roosevelt Legacy Committee
  • Interfaith Alliance
  • League of Women Voters
  • Manhasset Kiwanis
  • NARAL
  • National Caucus of Environmental Legislators
  • Planned Parenthood
  • Reach Out America
  • Residents of a More Beautiful Port Washington
  • Sierra Club
  • Temple Beth-El (Former Trustee and Membership Chair)
  • United States Power Squadron-Port Washington Chapter
  • Vice President of the North Hempstead Historical Society
  • Zonta International