Robert De Niro makes video endorsement for Manhattan City Council candidate Julie Menin

FILE PHOTO: The British Academy of Film and Television Awards at the Royal Albert Hall in London
FILE PHOTO: Robert De Niro arrives at the British Academy of Film and Television Awards (BAFTA) at the Royal Albert Hall in London

One of New York’s most iconic actors, Robert De Niro, has thrown his support to Julie Menin in her bid to become a member of the City Council.

The Menin campaign announced on Thursday that the Oscar-winning actor produced a video supporting the city’s former census director’s campaign for the 5th Council District seat. The district, which has been represented for the last eight years by Ben Kallos, covers the Upper East Side’s Yorkville, Lenox Hill, Carnegie Hill, Roosevelt Island, Midtown East, Sutton Place and El Barrio in East Harlem.

In the 30-second video, De Niro talked up Menin’s experience in helping to rebuild Lower Manhattan following the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks as chair of Community Board 1 and founder of the nonprofit Wall Street Rising. That experience, he told viewers, makes her uniquely qualified to help New York bounce back from the COVID-19 pandemic.

De Niro, a life-long New Yorker, is also among the city’s most outspoken champions. He helped create the Tribeca Film Festival following 9/11 to help in the rebuilding effort, and owns several businesses in Lower Manhattan.

Menin went on to serve in the Bloomberg and de Blasio Administrations, most recently as head of the NYC 2020 Census campaign to get as many New Yorkers to participate in the national population count. 

“Julie Menin is a New Yorker through and through, raised by Holocaust survivors who has the experience to make this city shine again,” De Niro said in the video. “Julie helped rebuild lower Manhattan after 9/11 so she knows about rebounding from the ashes of despair and as a three time city commissioner she fought for working families by enacting living wage and paid family leave laws. And even in the face of challenges from the Trump administration, Julie delivered billions of dollars for education, housing, and transportation as the head of the Census for New York City.”

The Menin campaign said it is running the video across its digital platforms.