Biography

Michelle Schimel
Michelle Schimel is now serving her fourth term in the New York State Assembly for the 16th Assembly District. She was first elected in a Special Election held on March 27, 2007. Prior to serving in the Assembly, Michelle was the Town Clerk of North Hempstead for eight years, where she worked tirelessly to increase government efficiency and transparency for the residents of her community.

Now 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. In January 2013, Michelle was appointed to the Assembly leadership position of Vice Chair of the Majority Conference.

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.

For close to twenty years, 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. In 1995, as Vice President and member of the Executive Board of NYAGV, Michelle and Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy co-founded the Long Island Chapter.

A leader on anti-crime initiatives, Michelle was elected as Co-Chair of the New York Chapter of State Legislators Against Illegal Guns (SLAIG) in 2011. SLAIG is a bicameral, bipartisan coalition of over fifty current and former members of the New York State Assembly and Senate.

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 was recently signed into law and has been hailed as one of the toughest gun-safety laws in the country.

To date, Michelle’s proudest accomplishment is her landmark microstamping legislation, which would make all semi-automatic handguns to be microstamp capable. Microstamping technology allows police officers to trace firearms through cartridge casings found at crime scenes, even if the crime gun is never recovered. When fired, all shell cartridges would have a microstamped engraved code for the make, model and serial number of the firearm. Over 100 law enforcement agencies and elected officials from across the state have endorsed the bill. Michelle’s bill has passed the Assembly with bipartisan support for five consecutive years, but it has been blocked in the State Senate due to strong-arming by the gun lobby. Michelle has been featured on numerous television shows, including CNN’s Starting Point with Soledad O’Brien, to speak on the subject. 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. Her most recent work has focused on preserving open space, protecting Long Island’s water resources, most notably the Lloyd Aquifer, and promoting the recycling of electronic waste products. She has also been outspoken in her opposition to hydrofracking.

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. She assisted in helping to create thousands of jobs through her support of the NY Works Program and investments in high-tech industry.

Michelle has been a leader in protecting identity and national security interests through the protection of vital records. Recognized for her strong management and advocacy skills, she was appointed by the State Education Department and continues to serve on the Local Government Records Advisory Council, which sets guidelines for the security and accessibility of local government records. In 2006, Michelle was selected to serve on the New York State "Cyber-Security Panel" in conjunction with Homeland Security to review Internet policies for local governments throughout the state.

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 Sits on the Following Assembly Committees:

  • Environmental Conservation
  • Governmental Operations
  • Local Governments
  • Transportation
  • Veterans
  • Majority Steering Committee

Michelle’s Current Membership Affiliations:

  • NARAL
  • National Caucus of Environmental Legislators
  • League of Women Voters
  • Planned Parenthood
  • Sierra Club
  • Coalition to Stop Gun Violence
  • Eleanor Roosevelt Legacy Committee
  • Co-Chair of State Legislators Against Illegal Guns (SLAIG)
  • Temple Beth-El (Former Trustee and Membership Chair)
  • Vice President of the North Hempstead Historical Society
  • Board Member of the Great Neck Historical Society
  • Residents for a More Beautiful Port Washington
  • Interfaith Alliance
  • Manhasset Kiwanis
  • Zonta International