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

The search for New York City’s first-ever “rat czar” has come to an end.

Kathleen Corradi has been hired as the city ‘s director of rodent mitigation, Mayor Eric Adams announced Wednesday.

Corradi will coordinate city agencies such as the Departments of Health and Mental Hygiene, Parks and Recreation, and Sanitation and find “innovative ways to cut off rats’ food sources” and use “new technologies to detect and exterminate rat populations,” Adams’ office said in a news release Wednesday. She will earn a salary of $155,000 a year, he said at a news conference with reporters.

The city also announced the creation of a “Harlem Rat Exclusion Zone” that covers much of the northern half of Manhattan, where $3.5 million will be spent to improve and increase inspections, use equipment such as bait and traps, and harden floors at some public housing to prevent rat burrowing.

“Rat mitigation is more than a quality-of-life issue for New Yorkers,” Corradi, who previously served as the Queens director of space planning for the city’s Department of Education, said in the announcement. “Rats are a symptom of systemic issues, including sanitation, health, housing, and economic justice. As the first director of rodent mitigation, I’m excited to bring a science- and systems-based approach to fight rats. 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.”


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