Mayor-elect de Blasio begins the transition process

The transition between New York City mayors has begun and public input is welcomed.

Within hours of winning his landslide election as New York City’s 109th mayor, current Public Advocate Bill de Blasio launched TransitionNYC—a transition process that will pave the way for the mayor-elect to hit the ground running upon inauguration on January 1, 2014.

The public face of this process is online, at, where the public has been invited to contribute ideas, volunteer and apply for jobs on de Blasio’s transition team, and message him directly about concerns. Lines of communication are also open on Twitter at @nyctransition.

“The challenges we face have been decades in the making and the problems we set out to address will not be solved overnight,” wrote de Blasio in an online statement. “TransitionNYC is a collaborative effort of hundreds of New Yorkers from all boroughs coming together to bring change to City Hall. . . We have a chance to build a city that works for all of us. . . I ask you to think big with me, and help write the Blueprint for Progress.”

Issues at the forefront of de Blasio’s agenda include child welfare, universal pre-kindergarten, public health, education access, affordable housing, public safety, economic development and policing tactics such as stop-and-frisk.

All of these issues are among the areas of expertise held by de Blasio’s TransitionNYC team leaders, Jennifer Jones Austin and Carl Weisbrod. TransitionNYC Executive Director Laura Santucci has worked with the Democratic National Committee and Deputy Executive Director Ursulina Ramirez has been senior policy advisor to de Blasio as public advocate.

Austin is the CEO and executive director of the Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies and has served leadership roles in city agencies for children, civil rights and economic issues under Mayor Michael Bloomberg and former Attorney General Eliot Spitzer.

Weisbrod is partner of a real estate and economic consulting firm, and serves as chair of the nonprofit NYS Health Foundation and the NYC Outward Bound Schools. He is also director of the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, the Trust for Governor’s Island, and the Convention Center Development Corporation.

De Blasio’s transition efforts also extend into events around the city, including Brooklyn.

Talking Transition is a two-and-a-half-week “open conversation” about the future of New York City that will include public events, activities and food.

From November 6 through 23, between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m., the public is invited to visit tents and collaborate. The main tent is in Manhattan at Canal Street and Sixth Avenue. A full schedule of events and locations can be found at

The Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce hosted the kickoff event, focusing the conversation on the borough’s rapidly growing technology and startup industries, dubbed the “Brooklyn Innovation Economy.” Featured panelists came from MakerBot Industries in DUMBO, Industry City Distillery, NYU-Poly in Downtown Brooklyn, Lumi Solair, Terreform ONE, and FC + Skanska Modular whose project list includes a structure in the Atlantic Yards.

“Brooklyn is booming and it is critical to introduce policies that support ‘makers’ who are spurring job and economic growth throughout New York City,” said Carlo Scissura, president/CEO of the Brooklyn Chamber. “People need to come out and make their voices heard as well as experience what is going on in Brooklyn.”

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