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New York City names its first-ever ‘rat czar’

Lokman Vural Elibol/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

(NEW YORK) — New York City now has a “rat czar.”


Kathleen Corradi has been named the city’s director of rodent mitigation.

“You’ll be seeing a lot of me and a lot less rats,” Corradi said Wednesday after she was introduced by Mayor Eric Adams.

Added Adams: “Kathy has the knowledge, drive, experience, and energy to send rats packing and create a cleaner more welcoming city for all New Yorkers.”

The mayor also announced $3.5 million for rat mitigation in Harlem. The money will fund new techniques and new staff members to inspect, exterminate and clean public spaces.

“He hates rats. I hate rats. Every New Yorker hates rats,” Corradi said. “Rats are tough but New Yorkers are tougher.”

Corradi, a former elementary school teacher and land use expert who specializes in urban sustainability, was chosen out of 900 applicants.

“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.

“Rat mitigation is more than a quality-of-life issue for New Yorkers,” she said. “Rats are a symptom of systemic issues, including sanitation, health, housing, and economic justice. New York may be famous for the Pizza Rat, but rats, and the conditions that help them thrive will no longer be tolerated — no more dirty curbs, unmanaged spaces, or brazen burrowing.”

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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