Gene Russianoff Retirement Celebration
About Gene Russianoff
Since 1978, Gene Russianoff has been a stalwart leader and unparalleled force in the fight to improve mass transit and reform government in New York City. As Senior Attorney for the Straphangers Campaign, Gene helped revive mass transit as a vital engine for the City’s economy and an essential conduit for its residents and visitors. This achievement was advanced by his efforts to win, among other important victories: unlimited-ride passes, free subway-to-bus transfers, and $105 billion in funds to rebuild the subway and bus system since 1982.
NY1 named Gene a "New Yorker of the Year" in 1997 for his coalition work to win unlimited-ride MetroCards, and he was profiled in The New York Times in 2013 and again in 2017. Gene has always taken full advantage of his expert media savvy to garner frequent coverage that shines a light on the urgent need to benefit riders.
In addition, Gene played a major role in reforming New York City's political system. In 1988, he successfully lobbied for the City’s landmark campaign finance reform law, now a national model. Gene's work also helped result in the creation of the City’s Independent Budget Office, and he co-chaired a coalition advocating for more openness of government in an age of technology.
Gene was awarded the 1994 Public Service Achievement Award by the National Board of Common Cause and was a Charles H. Revson Fellow at Columbia University in 1983. He is a graduate of Brooklyn College (1974) and Harvard Law School (1978). Gene retired from NYPIRG in 2020.