Corey B. Bearak

    Government & Public Affairs Counsel                                     Attorney-At-Law

(718) 343-6779     facsimile (888) 379-3492

Government & Public Affairs Counsel

(718) 343-6779
facsimile (888) 379-3492


Government & Public Affairs Counsel Corey Bearak

I bring experience forged during 23 years in public service to counsel clients who face difficult public policy matters or special needs in dealing with government.  I combine expertise in strategic public policy, politics and media to devise and manage strategies to make a difference on behalf of trade unions, trade groups, coalitions, businesses, government and community agencies, individuals, public officials, and political candidates.  [View my resume or curriculum vitae.]

An attorney, I joined Bronx Borough President Fernando Ferrer's staff February 1, 1999 as Legislative Counsel.  For Borough President Ferrer, my primary responsibilities included developing issues and proposing new initiatives, counseling the Borough President on legislation and serving as a legal, media and policy advisor.  Through April 2003, I served Ferrer's successor, Adolfo Carrion Jr. as Director of Planning, Policy and Budget.

Previously, I served more than 16 years as Counsel/Chief of Staff to a northeast Queens City Council Member.  Before joining city government, I served as an Assistant to then Secretary of State Mario Cuomo and in the Office of Bronx District Attorney Mario Merola.

From June 2003 through May 2005, I wrote a weekly column on complex public policy matters, The Public Ought to Know -- now available as an ebook at Barnes and Noble (Nook), Amazon (Kindle) and Apple iBooks (for Mac, iPhone and iPad).  From 2015 through 2017, I also wrote a column of the same name featured in The Labor Press which includes some 30,000 subscribers in media, government, politics and business. I continue to post commentaries -- what others might call a blog -- on public affairs and public policy, and other items of interest.

In addition to my practice as a Government and Public Affairs Counsel, I serve as Policy and Political Director for Amalgamated Transit Union Locals 1056 and 1179, and for several years managed non-clinical operations of a human services agency – Community Partnership Referrals and Resources (CPRR).  I also maintain a private practice in law.

In government service, I developed or worked on many policy and legislative initiatives and local laws.  My work involved the environment, public safety and justice, budget and fiscal reform, and city governance.

Environmental laws included The New York City Recycling Law (1989), The Right to Know Law (mandating the disclosure of toxic chemicals), the Spill Bill (covering accidental releases of hazardous substances), mandating the purchase of alternative fuel vehicles, the ban on apartment house incinerators and regulating the disposal of medical waste.

Public safety laws include 1993 Local Law 1 creating an independent (of the NYPD) civilian complaint review board, the original 2001 Introduction of what became the 2004 Local Law 30 ban on racial profiling by law enforcement officers, the Social Club law, the establishment of an Anti-Graffiti Task Force, empowering police officers to summons the illegal sale of graffiti tools, mandating the NYPD report their response times to crimes, merging the EMS into the Fire Department, saving most of the fire boxes and requiring all remaining boxes to be voice-activated, regulating the sale and possession of box cutters, prohibiting the sale or transfer of handguns without a safety locking device and requiring smoke detectors in ALL one-, two-, and three-family homes.

Legislation developed include a Clean Water bill, state and city legislation to bar the NYC Water Board from setting rates before the City budget's adoption, Water Rate relief for seniors, and a bill to Index SCRIE and SCHE to the cost of living.

Policy initiatives included a CCRB Reform Plan, a Community Policing Initiative, a model Alternative to Incarceration plan, a Strategic Clean Air Plan, an affordable housing plan and a blueprint for fiscal and budget reform, The 2002 Bronx Strategic Policy Statement, and Portable Science Labs for city schools.

Active in many community organizations, my primary involvements include Board Chair since April 2017 as of SNAP (Services Now for Adult Persons) having previously served as Treasurer (2015-2017) and member of its Executive Board (2003-present), the Northeast Queens Jewish Community Council [Chairman, Executive Committee, after serving seven years as President] and serving on Queens Community Board 13 (1980-1988 and 2001-present); I received a Community Board Service Award from the Queens Borough President in 2010 and 2015.

Under my leadership the Northeast Queens Jewish Community Council implemented a Neighborhood Development Program including the design of the brochure You Can Have It All!, a Lay Leadership Committee and Jewish Continuity programs.

I served on Community School Board 26 from 1989 to June 1993.  I co-founded the borough-wide Queens Civic Congress [co-founder, President after serving eight years as Executive Vice President and founding chair of its special committee on Creedmoor (State Psychiatric Center)].  I helped found the Northern Queens Health Coalition (later the Queens Health Coalition), was its first chairman, an incorporator and wrote its original By-Laws.  During my service as Vice President (I later served two terms as Executive Vice President) of the Queens Jewish Community Council, my efforts kept that social services agency from closing its doors.

Other community involvements include Acting President of the North Bellerose Civic Association [Past-President and Newsletter editor], Temple Sholom of Eastern Queens [Delegate to Queens and Northeast Queens JCCs, Vice President, 1986-1988, and Brotherhood President, 1984-1986].  Other accomplishments include founding director of the Flushing Meadows Corona Park Conservancy and founding Co-Chair of the Eastern Queens NORC-WOW (naturally occurring retirement community without walls).

My activities extend to the charitable and fraternal Order Knights of Pythias where I serve the Grand Lodge of the State of New York as a Chief Grand Tribune (member of a panel that moderates legal issues within the order) since 2019 after nine years (since 2011) as an Associate Grand Tribune, and from 2016-2022 as Executive Secretary to the Grand Chancellor and webmaster.   During 2012-13 I served as Executive Secretary to the Grand Chancellor, Chair of the Technology Committee, member of the Youth Commission.  In 2011-12, I served as an Assistant to the Chief Deputy Grand Chancellor, Executive Secretary to the Grand Chancellor and co-Chair of the Technology Committee (through 2022.  I have edited Pythian Knight magazine from 2015 through 2022.  My (subordinate) lodge, FDR Lodge #613, honored me with Life Membership in 2012; I serve FDR as a Past Chancellor, Secretary, Editor of its newsletter, The Beam and as a member of the boards of its affiliated Benevolent Association and Foundation (President since 2015).  In 2011, I earned the Supreme Chancellor's Certificate of Honor for volunteer service in the community.  In 2007, the Knights of Pythias presented me with a Certificate of Recognition for Outstanding Service within the Pythian Order, and awards for Excellence in Journalism and Fraternalism (2006-2007, 2015-16 and 2022-23) and as Man of the Year (2007 and 2018), Order Knights of Pythias, Grand Lodge Domain of New York.

An active networker, Gotham City Networking, Inc.®recognized me as Networker of the Year in 2011.  I co-chair GOtham GREEN®, chair Gotham Business POWER Breakfast Group, am a member of Gotham's Long Island Legal and NY Legal groups, and moderate Gotham's Fredslist and Promolist listserves.  I also served on the Board of Directors of the Hofstra University School of Law Alumni Association.  I have managed or coached teams in the Glen Oaks Little League from 1992 through 2004, including three district champions.

In 2016, I received The Spirit of Theresa Award from The Theresa Foundation.  In 2009, the TimesLedger Newspaper/Community Newspaper Group presented me with its Community Service Impact Award.  In 2008, Queens Region Hadassah presented me with its Myrtle Wreath Award.  The Queens Courier profiled me as a Star of Queens the previous year (2007).  In 2022 State Senator John C. Liu presented Bearak with a Proclamation Honoring His Exemplary Service to his Community and State.  In 2003, Congressman Gregory W. Meeks presented me with a Community Commitment Award.  In 1998, the Northeast Queens Jewish Community Council honored me with its Outstanding Service to the Northeast Community Award. Congresswoman Nita Lowey presented me with a CongressionalCertificate of Merit and Assembly Members Mark Weprin and Ann Margaret Carrozza also presented a New York State Assembly Citation for me.  In 1997, I received the Community Service Award from the Young Israel of New Hyde Park and Citation of Honor from Queens Borough President Claire Shulman.

Born in Forest Hills, I attended P.S. 191, J.H.S. 172, Martin Van Buren High School and earned a B.A. in Political Science and J.D. at Hofstra.  I reside with my wife, the former Rachelle Confino, in Bellerose.  Our son, Jonathan, a Senior Research Scientist at the Guttmacher Institute, is a social demographer with a specific interest in illuminating factors that contribute to inequality in sexual and reproductive health and rights.  He was a University Scholar, City University of New York Macaulay Honors College at Queens and earned his doctorate in Sociology at NYU's Graduate School of Arts & Sciences on an IES (Institute of Education Sciences) fellowship administered by NYU's interdisciplinary Institute of Human Development and Social Change (IHDSC).  Our daughter, Marisa, a policy and advocacy professional, oversees government affairs and legislative outreach as well as interreligious/intergroup advocacy for the New York Region of American Jewish Committee (AJC) as Assistant Director of AJC New York.  In her role, Marisa cultivates and stewards relationships with key elected officials at the local, state and federal levels as well as with ethnic and faith leaders across New York to combat antisemitism and all forms of hate, strengthen Israel's place in the world, and promote pluralism and defend democratic values for all people.  Marisa received her bachelor's degree from SUNY Purchase in 2010 and is currently studying toward obtaining a master's degree in Global Studies and International Relations with a concentration in Conflict Resolution and a regional focus on the Middle East through Northeastern University.

Read a friend's Tribute at my Homecoming at FDR Lodge #613 Knights of Pythias (March 23, 2012).

Download my biography in third person format.