Bill de Blasio proceeds with ‘progressive vision’ and launches transition efforts

Bill de Blasio
Mayor-Elect Bill de Blasio began defining his next steps on the road to City Hall, naming transition leadership he said shares his “progressive vision.”
Credit: William Alatriste

Fresh off Tuesday’s victory, Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio began defining his next steps on the road to City Hall on Wednesday, naming a transition leadership he said shares a “progressive vision” for New York.

“Today is now the first day of an eight-week sprint preparing our new administration. That is officially 55 days and we are hitting the ground running,” de Blasio said at a news conference.

The two co-chairs of the transition team, Jennifer Jones Austin and Carl Weisbrod, are former appointees of Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Austin was most recently the head of the Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies, a social services network in the city. She worked with de Blasio when he was a Brooklyn councilman on the General Welfare Committee and she was the deputy commissioner of the Administration for Children’s Services.

Weisbrod was the founding president of the New York City Economic Development Corporation and the Alliance for Downtown New York.

De Blasio also announced Laura Santucci, who most recently served as the acting head of the Democratic National Committee, would be the transition team’s executive director. Santucci’s deputy will be Ursulina Ramirez, an aide in the public advocate’s office.

“The combination of perspectives and talents they bring aligns very closely to the agenda we put forward in the campaign,” de Blasio said.

They are also seasoned players in city government, indicating a possible preference de Blasio will show in staffing his administration.

“Having worked in New York City as long as I have, I’m gonna take a very hands-on approach,” the mayor-elect said of making appointments.

The transition team appointees are “committed” to his vision for the city and represent its diversity.

“One of our greatest strengths is our diversity and it’s crucial that our government represent that,” de Blasio said.

He said that he has yet to determine a schedule in selecting the next police commissioner and schools chancellor. A full transition office will be operational by Nov. 12.

De Blasio said voters had spoken and that it will be his office’s obligation to create a safe city where “prosperity is shared and there’s opportunity for all.”

Of course, de Blasio acknowledged the first days of his administration could be a bit bumpy.

“None of us is going to promise perfection any day soon,” he said.

As for the next few days, de Blasio is headed to Puerto Rico on Thursday to attend a conference of Hispanic legislators. He will then take a brief vacation with his wife Chirlane McCray for “down time.”

“We’ve heard about this thing; we don’t know what it looks like,” he joked.

Follow Anna Sanders on Twitter: @AnnaESanders



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Is #JusticeForAvaLynn a case of bullying?

On Saturday, the hashtag #JusticeForAvaLynn became one of the trending topics on Twitter. Users circulated the above photo of 5-year-old AvaLynn, posted by her mother…

International

Terrorism could spread to US and Europe in…

Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah said terrorism would soon spread to Europe and the United States unless it is quickly dealt with in the Middle East,…

National

Ex-Bitcoin official to plead guilty to Silk Road…

Bitcoin entrepreneur Charlie Shrem has reached a plea deal to resolve U.S. charges that he engaged in a scheme to sell over $1 million of…

International

China's army changes tactics to prepare for war…

Chinese President Xi Jinping has said China will spur military innovation and called on the army to create a new strategy for "information warfare" as…

Gossip

Joan Rivers on life support: Report

TMZ reports that comedian Joan Rivers has been placed on life support, "completely reliant on machines to stay alive." Rivers has been hospitalized since she…

Movies

What's new on Netflix in September

September has a supernatural theme for Netflix. UFO "documentaries" and the survivalist reality series "Doomsday Preppers" are among the new series coming to the online…

Going Out

'Friends' coffeehouse Central Perk coming to NYC —…

"Friends" is coming back for a one-off special: "The One with the Free Coffee." Warner Bros. is bringing a pop-up replica of Central Perk, the…

Movies

Interview: 'As Above, So Below' directors: 5 ways…

The fraternal directors of the found footage horror "As Above, So Below" dish on the best ways to frighten the bejesus out of audiences.

NFL

3 things we learned in the Giants preseason…

The final score didn’t matter — a 16-13 win by the Giants — but it would’ve been nice to finally see Big Blue’s new-look offense get on track.

NFL

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots, 49ers start…

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots start at top

U.S. Soccer

5 facts about new England captain Wayne Rooney

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney was named as the new England captain by coach Roy Hodgson on Thursday.

NFL

Jets vs. Eagles: 3 things to watch

A win on Thursday night at the Eagles would give the Jets a 3-1 record and just their second winning preseason under head coach Rex Ryan.

Wellbeing

VIDEO: Still not wearing sunscreen? You will after…

Sunscreen is possibly the most often repeated - and ignored - piece of skincare advice. But Thomas Leveritt took a different tactic. With a short…

Food

Twitter used to track down sources of food…

When Chicago health officials saw Twitter users complaining about local food poisoning episodes, they reached out on Twitter to those users and often ended up…

Style

Trend: White hot on the 2014 Emmy's red…

White was one of the big trends on the Emmy's red carpet.

Food

Recipe: Samuel Adams beer-marinated grilled shrimp

Summer calls for two things: a cold beer and light food. Sam Adams' Latitude 48 IPA fairly bursts with citrus notes, making it an ideal marinade…