Niccolo brings 22 years of legislative and public policy experience to TPA. Niccolo has expertise in the policy sectors of local governance, cannabis, parks and recreation, public safety, natural resources, cultural resources, and consumer affairs.
Throughout his tenure at TPA, Niccolo has been responsible for dozens of legislative proposals that have been signed into law and secured millions in competitive grant funds for local public agency clients. In addition to his public policy expertise, Niccolo has widespread bi-partisan relationships with Members and staff of the State Legislature, Governor Brown Administration, and relevant agencies. Some of Niccolo’s accomplishments include:
- Niccolo led the TPA efforts to secure $33.1 million in critically needed park funding for cities and nonprofits in the Bay Area, Central Valley, and Southern California. These efforts included working on the funding guidelines, drafting the applications, lobbying for the applications, and working hand in hand with the funding agency. Niccolo was the team lead and instrumental in the many victories of our clients.
- Niccolo, in recognizing the need for additional tools to protect public and private infrastructure from natural disasters such as earthquakes, championed legislation to allow cities to create a special assessment district to provide low-cost earthquake retrofit loans in areas with vulnerable housing stock. In addition, Niccolo worked with the City of Oakland and the City of Los Angeles to create the first ever state loan program for seismic retrofits of multi-unit buildings.
- Niccolo was a major part of the coalition to help pass the state’s first ever medicinal cannabis regulatory framework legislation. A comprehensive, thorough approach to statewide medicinal cannabis guidelines has been needed for several years. Niccolo served as an instrumental member of the statewide coalition that supported the views of both local government and the industry. Niccolo actively drafted language and advocated with legislators and staff to ensure statewide regulations would be in the best interest of cities. Due to these efforts, Niccolo has been recognized as a policy expert on cannabis policy and has testified before numerous legislative committees on issues related to the statewide implementation of cannabis regulations.
- Niccolo assisted the City of Oakland in securing $2.2 million in State Budget earmarks in FY14 and FY16. Niccolo coordinated with the Oakland Mayor, State Legislature, Governor’s Office, and appropriate Administration officials to draft the language for inclusion into both budgets. Niccolo’s strategy and execution led to two significant financial wins for the City and their various public safety efforts.
- Niccolo worked closely with the City of Oakland to secure four grants in the combined amount of $18.9 million from the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Hiring Program. Niccolo developed the applications and shepherded them through the grant process, including leveraging relationships with the US Department of Justice and COPS staff, which resulted in critical federal funding for the City to hire additional police officers.
- Niccolo worked with the City of Emeryville to secure $600,000 in federal funding from the Pre-Disaster Mitigation Grant Program to finance the cost of seismic retrofitting of the City’s one and only emergency community gathering and housing facility. Niccolo worked closely with the City and Congresswoman Barbara Lee on the application as well as development and execution of an advocacy strategy, including the defeat of a hostile amendment that would have taken the grant away from Emeryville and reverted the funds back to FEMA.
Prior to joining Townsend Public Affairs, Niccolo served as Deputy City Administrator under then Mayor Jerry Brown. Niccolo was responsible for oversight of daily operations and decision making for the two largest city agencies (Public Works and Police Department) that have a combined annual budget of $323 million. He was also the senior administrative staff member for three City Council committees and had daily interaction with Mayor and City Council members.
Niccolo graduated from the University of Oregon with a Bachelor of Arts in American History. He is a member of two prominent Italo American clubs in Oakland, which are the Colombo Club and Fratellanza Club. He serves on the Board of Bay Scholars and the East Oakland Boxing Association. Niccolo and his wife Angie have two sons, 11 nieces and nephews, a Golden Retriever, a Chocolate Labrador, and a cat. Niccolo can be found in a duck blind in the Sacramento Valley in the fall if he isn’t watching the Golden State Warriors.
300 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza, Suite 204
Oakland, California 94612