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Cornegy Tapped to Lead City Council's Small Business Committee

 Robert Cornegy and then-Councilwoman Diana Reyna present a City Council citation to Fr. Jim O'Shea, co-owner of Reconnect Cafe on Dec. 6, 2013. Cornegy will replace Reyna as the Council's small business committee chair.
Robert Cornegy and then-Councilwoman Diana Reyna present a City Council citation to Fr. Jim O'Shea, co-owner of Reconnect Cafe on Dec. 6, 2013. Cornegy will replace Reyna as the Council's small business committee chair.
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DNAinfo/Paul DeBenedetto

BEDFORD-STUYVESANT — Newly-elected central Brooklyn Councilman Robert Cornegy was picked to head the City Council's Committee on Small Business as part of six committee assignments for the Bed-Stuy and Crown Heights representative.

Cornegy, who recently won a five-way race to replace Albert Vann in the City Council, was picked by new speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito to lead the committee, which focuses on retail business and emerging industries.

“In my inauguration speech, I emphasized my commitment to tackling the disproportionate unemployment and underemployment that plagues central Brooklyn,” read a statement from Cornegy.

“Supporting small businesses is key to achieving these goals and improving the plight of working class New Yorkers, not just in Bedford-Stuyvesant and Crown Heights, but in every neighborhood across the five boroughs."

The position was formerly held by Councilwoman Diana Reyna, now deputy borough president.

Cornegy, a supporter of the new speaker, also responded to criticism that Mark-Viverito's selection process lacked transparency and rewarded political allies.

"I interacted with the speaker as she mulled over these leadership decisions and am convinced that the selection process was fair and deliberate,” Cornegy said.

In addition to heading the small business committee, the councilman was picked to join the labor, finance, health, housing and public safety committees.

The Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday released a statement supporting the decision.

"He understands the needs of local communities and with that the necessity to grow small businesses and create vibrant shopping corridors that will benefit the local economy and create jobs," said Carlo Scissura, president of the chamber.

"We look forward to working with Councilman Cornegy as we continue to grow small businesses - with a focus in neighborhoods such as Bedford-Stuyvesant and Crown Heights — so that everyone experiences Brooklyn's economic growth."