A leading special education advocate and a PTA president are among the 60 people that Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio has named to his “transition committee.”
The committee will advise de Blasio as he crafts policies for his administration, which begins Jan. 1. Its composition signals de Blasio’s priorities now that campaigning has given way to governing — and the names on the list suggest that, on education especially, de Blasio plans to stick with the profile of staunch progressive that he cultivated on the campaign trail.
The committee includes Zakiyah Ansari, the Alliance for Quality Education’s advocacy director and a leading critic of the Bloomberg’s education policies; Cynthia Nixon, an actress who herself has worked with AQE; and Kim Sweet, a special education advocate whose organization has repeatedly sued the city under Bloomberg. All are public school parents.
While the list of civic, business, and cultural leaders does include some allies of the Bloomberg administration, none of the education names on the committee have been strongly aligned with Bloomberg’s school policies.
Charter school advocates, who have said they are cautiously optimistic that de Blasio would back down on his pledge to charge rent to some charter schools, are not represented on the committee. But one member, Children’s Aid Society head Richard Buery, does operate a charter school within city-owned space.
Buery has been a leading advocate of community schools, or adding more social services to city schools, an arrangement that de Blasio has said he would pursue.
Although de Blasio has said he will heavily weigh the influence of educators on his school policies, the committee does not feature any. One member, Brooklyn Academy of Music President Karen Brook Hopkins, was a member of the state’s education policy making board for four years until 2010.
De Blasio said today — during his first public appearance in days — that the transition committee “will result in a city government that is progressive, that is effective, and is diverse … It really reflects all the strengths of New York City.”
The list of committee members is below, with education-oriented members in bold:
Jennifer Jones Austin, Co-Chair, Transition NYC (previously named)
Carl Weisbrod, Co-Chair, Transition NYC (previously named)
Thelma Golden, Director and Chief Curator, Studio Museum of Harlem
Dr. Marta Moreno Vega, President and Founder of Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute
Cheryl Cohen Effron, Founder, Greater NY; Former President, ATC Management
Karen Brooks Hopkins, President, Brooklyn Academy of Music
Alexa Avilés, Program Officer, Scherman Foundation; Co-President, Parent Teacher Association of Public School 172
Zakiyah Ansari, Advocacy Director, Alliance for Quality Education
Maxine Griffith, Executive Vice President and Special Advisor for Campus Planning, Office of Government and Community Affairs, Columbia University
Kate Sinding Esq., Senior Attorney, New York Urban Program, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC)
Hon. Dr. Una S.T. Clarke, Former Councilmember, 40th District
MaryAnne Gilmartin, President and CEO, Forest City Ratner Companies
Bertha Lewis, President and Founder, The Black Institute
Marcia A. Smith, President, Firelight Media
Ana Oliveira, President and CEO, The New York Women’s Foundation
Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum, Senior Rabbi, Congregation Beit Simchat Torah (CBST)
Darren Walker, President, Ford Foundation
Martha Baker, Executive Director and CEO, Nontraditional Employment for Women (NEW)
Dr. Katherine LaGuardia, Assistant Clinical Professor, Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Science, Mount Sinai Medical Center
Dr. Conchita M. Mendoza, Chief of Geriatrics, University Hospital of Brooklyn, Long Island College Hospital
Cynthia Nixon, Actress, Artist, Activist
Arnold L. Lehman, Director, Brooklyn Museum
Oskar Eustis, Artistic Director, The Public Theater
Edward (Ed) Lewis, Founder, Essence Communications, Inc.
Richard Buery, Jr., President and CEO, The Children’s Aid Society
William Floyd, Head of External Affairs, Google, Inc.
Meyer (Sandy) Frucher, Vice Chairman, The NASDAQ OMX Group
Orin Kramer, Founder, Boston Provident LP
Vincent (Vinny) Alvarez, President, NYC Central Labor Council
Peter Madonia, COO, The Rockefeller Foundation
Ken Sunshine, Founder, Sunshine Sachs
Harold Ickes, Former White House Deputy Chief of Staff
Dr. Rafael Lantigua, Professor of Clinical Medicine, New York-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center
John Banks, Vice President of Government Relations, Con Edison; Board Member, Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA)
Douglas (Doug) Durst, Chairman, The Durst Organization
Derrick Cephas, Partner, Weil, Gotshal & Manges; Former CEO and President, Amalgamated Bank
Herb Sturz, Co-founder, Vera Institue of Justice
Jeremy Travis, President, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, City University of New York
Rabbi Michael Miller, Executive Vice President and CEO, Jewish Community Relations Council
Pastor Michael Walrond, Jr., Director of Ministers Division, National Action Network (NAN); Seventh Senior Pastor, First Corinthian Baptist Church
Udai Tambar, Executive Director, South Asian Youth Action (SAYA!)
David Jones, President and CEO, Community Service Society of New York (CSS)
Marvin Hellman, President, OHEL Childrens Home and Family Services
Rev. A.R. Bernard, Founder, Senior Pastor, and CEO, Christian Cultural Center
George Gresham, President, 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East
Dr. Steven Safyer, President and CEO, Montefiore Medical Center, Albert Einstein College of Medicine
Ken Lerer, Managing Director, Lerer Ventures; Former Chairman and Co-Founder, Huffington Post
Imam Khalid Latif, Executive Director and Chaplain, Islamic Center, New York University
Marian Fontana, Board Member, Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, Families Advisory Council
Tim Armstrong, Chairman and CEO, AOL, Inc.
Kevin Ryan, Founder and Chairman, Gilt
Pam Kwatra, President, Kripari Marketing; Executive Committee, Indian National Overseas Congress
Elsie Saint Louis, Executive Director, Haitian-Americans United for Progress, Inc.
Vanessa Leung, Deputy Director, Coalition for Asian American Children & Families
Paula Gavin, Executive Director, Fund for Public Advocacy
Kim Sweet, Executive Director, Advocates for Children of New York
Dr. Marcia Keizs, President, York College, The City University of New York
Jukay Hsu, Founder, Coalition for Queens
Arnie Segarra, Activist and Longtime NYC Public Servant
Elba Montalvo, Founder, President, and CEO, The Committee for Hispanic Children and Families, Inc.
Mindy Tarlow, Executive Director and CEO, Center for Employment Opportunities (CEO)
Hoong Yee Lee Krakauer, Executive Director, Queens Council on the Arts