NEW YORK -- New York City Mayor Eric Adams announced his selection for the city's first Rat Czar on Wednesday morning.
Adams introduced Kathleen Corradi -- a land use expert who specializes in urban sustainability and currently works at the Department of Education -- as the Director of Rodent Mitigation.
"You'll be seeing a lot of me and a lot less rats," Corradi said next to Adams. "He hates rats, I hate rats, every New Yorker hates rats."
In the newly created role, Corradi will coordinate across city government agencies, community organizations and the private sector to reduce the rat population in NYC.
Her goal will be to build a cleaner, more welcoming city and tackle "public enemy number one," Adams said.
"Kathy has the knowledge, drive, experience, and energy to send rats packing and create a cleaner more welcoming city for all New Yorkers," Adams said. "The rats are going to hate Kathy, but we're excited to have her leading this important effort."
Corradi was chosen out of 900 applicants. She has worked at the education department since November 2015, and as its sustainability manager until November 2021.
Corradi was most recently its director of space planning and cracked down on rats in schools.
"Destiny was calling, you see, I have a long history with rats," she said.
As a child, Corradi said she used to campaign for anti-rat measures in her neighborhood and she previously served as a garden coordinator at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden.
She promised to immediately take on litter, garbage and food waste where rats thrive. She will also decide what new products the city should use to get rid of rats.
"Rats are tough but New Yorkers are tougher," she said.
Adams also announced the new Harlem Rat Mitigation Zone and a $3.5 million investment to expand and accelerate rat reduction work across Harlem. It will cover Community Boards, 9, 10, and 11, and which includes 28 NYCHA properties, 73 NYC Parks locations, nearly 70 DOE schools, and over 10,000 private properties.
"Rats are more than just a quality-of-life issue - they are a symbol of systemic issues that for too long have plagued New Yorkers, particularly low-income and communities of color," said Chief of Staff Camille Joseph Varlack.
The city's sanitation department previously announced an anti-rat measure to limit the amount of time trash bags sit on curbs.
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