Talking Transition: Dedicate a Deputy Mayor to Neighborhood Services

Uploaded image: /uploads/staff_images/1371049954_Stephan_Russo_440px.jpgWith Mayor Elect Bill de Blasio’s appointments for city leadership in motion, many of us are eager to welcome a new administration that will make progressive changes to cultivate a thriving city with equal opportunities and strong communities.  One measure to move this progress – I believe – is the appointment of a Deputy Mayor of Neighborhood Services.  With a high level focus and a direct reporting line to the mayor, this position would oversee the city’s anti-poverty service agencies, raising the awareness of citywide needs that lead to perils like homelessness and food insecurity.

An appointment of this level would demand increased responsiveness and accountability to its neighborhoods by providing a single point of access to all city programs and services related to poverty alleviation.

 With a reporting model that fosters a direct communication between local community organizations, service providers and our city’s leadership, we can create a system to ensure the delivery and retention of services most needed in our communities.

Stephan Russo
Executive Director, Goddard Riverside Community Center