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Mayor Bloomberg Appoints Members Of City's Commission For Economic Opportunity

March 7, 2006

Commission Meets to Establish Comprehensive Agenda for Marshaling Public-Private Resources to Create Economic Opportunity and Attack Poverty

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg announced today the appointment of 32 creative and diverse civic leaders to the New York City Commission for Economic Opportunity, a public-private initiative charged with devising strategies to increase economic opportunity and reduce poverty in the City. Mayor Bloomberg, following-up on a pledge he made in his State of the City Address to commit to a major reduction in the number of children, women and men who live in poverty in New York over the next four years, announced the members of the City's Commission for Economic Opportunity at its first meeting today at Gracie Mansion. Time Warner Inc. Chairman and CEO Richard D. Parsons and Harlem Children's Zone President and CEO Geoffrey Canada are the Co-Chairs of the new Commission.

"In recent years, we have proven that problems once thought to be beyond hope - like dangerous streets, failing schools, chronic homelessness - can be turned around, if we set measurable goals, if we target our resources where they are needed most and if we hold ourselves accountable," said Mayor Bloomberg. "We believe we can do the same in reducing poverty. For the past four years, our administration has laid the foundation for meeting this challenge by fostering greater economic opportunity, reforming a broken school system, and embarking on the nation's most ambitious affordable housing program. Through these efforts, we have taken important strides to promote greater independence in our City - but there is still a long way to go. Today, we take up this new challenge with the same sense of determination and commitment that has served as the cornerstone of all our bold initiatives."

"Over the last four years, New York City's economy has come back strong and remains strong; we can go so much further when we succeed in unlocking the growth potential of every community," said Time Warner Inc. Chairman and CEO Richard D. Parsons. "Mayor Bloomberg's courage in identifying tough problems like unemployment and poverty and his leadership in finding solutions for such problems, promises to continue to move our City forward on the path towards progress and opportunity for all." 

"To truly create communities of opportunity, it is crucial to integrate efforts and coordinate strategies," said Harlem Children's Zone President and CEO Geoffrey Canada. "It is also essential that are willing to build on our extraordinary strengths and knowledge in new and creative ways. The experience we have gained at the Harlem Children's Zone - and with so many others valuable models - can and will be brought to bear on the work of this Commission." 

The Commission's objective is to devise cross-sector, public-private solutions and to create a coordinated, citywide agenda for increasing economic opportunity and financial independence. The Commission will look at the most effective way to harness already existing City services and couple them with new economic development initiatives to give more New Yorkers the chance to rise out of poverty. 


Geoffrey Canada is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Harlem Children's Zone, Inc., a pioneering, non-profit, community-based organization that works to enhance the quality of life for children and families in some of New York City's most troubled neighborhoods. Mr. Canada is a renowned advocate for children and a sought-after speaker on issues such as violence, inner-city education and community redevelopment. He has been cited in many media reports, including being selected as one of "America's Best Leaders" by U.S. News & World Report.

Richard D. Parsons is Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Time Warner Inc. Since becoming Chief Executive Officer in 2002, Mr. Parsons has led Time Warner on a path of sustainable growth. In 2005, Institutional Investor magazine named him the top Chief Executive Officer in the entertainment industry. Mr. Parsons serves on the boards of Estee Lauder and Citigroup. His civic and non-profit commitments include Chairman Emeritus of the Partnership for New York City, and service on the boards of Howard University, the Apollo Theatre Foundation, the Museum of Modern Art, and the Museum of Natural History.

Commission Members

Dr. Larry Aber is a professor of Applied Psychology and Public Policy at New York University. From 1994-2003, Dr. Aber served as Director of the National Center for Children in Poverty at Columbia University. His current research focuses on how social policies toward low-income families affect family income dynamics, parenting processes and children's health and development; and school-based strategies to enhance the social-emotional and cognitive-academic learning of low-income children.

Diane Baillargeon is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Structured Employment Economic Development Corporation (SEEDCO). She previously served as Deputy Commissioner for Policy Management in the New York State Department of Social Services and as Deputy Administrator for Policy and Program Development at the New York City Human Resources Administration.

Dr. Lilliam Barrios-Paoli is the Chief Executive Officer of Safe Space, an organization working to protect children and adolescents in New York City. Previously, Dr. Barrios-Paoli served as Senior Vice President for the United Way of New York City. She also served in New York City Government under Mayor Koch and Mayor Giuliani.

Stanley Brezenoff is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Continuum Health Partners, an organization that unites four distinguished voluntary teaching hospitals in a network that allows each to benefit from the rich resources of the other. Previously, Mr. Brezenoff served as First Deputy Mayor under Mayor Koch and Executive Director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

David Chen is the Executive Director of the Chinese-American Planning Council Inc., (CPC) and is the founding Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Chung Pak Local Development Corporation. He is also a member of the board of the Chinatown Partnership Local Development Corporation and served as a Commissioner on the 2004-2005 New York City Charter Revision Commission.

Florence A. Davis is the President of the Starr Foundation. The Starr Foundation makes grants in a number of areas, including education, medicine and healthcare, human needs, public policy, culture and the environment.

Jamie Dimon has been Chief Executive Officer of JPMorgan Chase & Co., since December 31, 2005, prior to which he had been President and Chief Operating Officer since July 2004. Prior to its merger with JPMorgan Chase he had been Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Bank One Corporation from March 2000 until July 2004.

Michael Fishman has been a union leader for more than 25 years, and was re-elected President of the Service Employees International Union, Local 32BJ in August 2003 for a second three-year term. Local 32BJ represents more than 85,000 property service workers - window cleaners, superintendents, doormen, maintenance workers, cleaners, porters and security officers - in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland and Washington, D.C.

Dr. Floyd H. Flake is a former U.S. Representative and currently serves as the senior pastor of the 10,000 member Allen African Methodist Episcopal Church in Jamaica, Queens. During his 21-year pastorate, Allen has become one of the nation's foremost Christian churches and non-profit corporations. In the U.S. Congress, Representative Floyd Flake earned a reputation for bipartisan, innovative legislative initiatives to revitalize urban commercial and residential communities.

Dr. Ester R. Fuchs is a professor of Public Affairs and Political Science at Columbia University. Professor Fuchs's main research and writing interests are in the areas of American government and policy, political parties and elections, urban politics and policy, including fiscal policy, New York City politics, and statistical analysis. Previously, Professor Fuchs served as Special Advisor for Governance and Strategic Planning to Mayor Bloomberg and Chair of the 2004-2005 Charter Revision Commission.

Fatima Goldman is the Chief Executive Officer of the Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies (FPWA). At FPWA, Ms. Goldman serves as the chief spokesperson on behalf of the City's most vulnerable. She is responsible for leading the 80+ year old organization in maintaining core services to member agencies, such as emergency financial assistance, advocacy, training and technical assistance.

William A. Goodloe is President and Chief Executive Officer of Sponsors for Educational Opportunity (SEO), a nonprofit organization based in New York City, with offices in London, England. Since its founding in 1963, SEO has enjoyed remarkable success in providing college preparation and career development service to more than 5000 students of color from ninth grade through college graduation. From 1996 through 2001 Mr. Goodloe was executive director of the Inner-City Scholarship Fund, and previously served as vice president of the Center for Youth Development.

Colvin Grannum has served as president of Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation since March 2001. Restoration is the nation's first community development corporation, founded by United States Senators Robert Kennedy and Jacob Javits in 1967. Prior to joining Restoration, Mr. Grannum served as a founding director and the Chief Executive Officer of Bridge Street Development Corporation, a faith-based not-for-profit community development corporation affiliated with Bridge Street African Methodist Episcopal Church in Brooklyn, New York.

Paloma Hernandez is the Chief Executive Officer and President of Urban Health Plan, Inc. Urban Health Plan is dedicated to rendering primary and specialty health care services in a personalized and family oriented manner, with an emphasis on prevention through education and the provision of state of the art services.

David R. Jones has been President and Chief Executive Officer of the Community Service Society of New York (CSS) since 1986. Prior to joining CSS, Mr. Jones served as Executive Director of the New York City Youth Bureau, and from 1979 to 1983, as Special Advisor to Mayor Koch. Mr. Jones was a member of the transition committee of New York's Mayor-elect Bloomberg.

Carter McClelland is Chairman of the Board and Chief Volunteer Officer at the United Way of New York City. Mr. McClelland also served as the Chairman of Corporate Investment Banking at Bank of America Securities LLC until January 2, 2006.

Ronay Menschel is Chairman of the Board of Phipps Houses. She is also a Trustee of Phipps Community Development Corporation, the human services and community development affiliate of Phipps Houses. She was President/Chief Executive Officer of Phipps Houses from April 1, 1993 to October 1, 2001. Prior to joining Phipps Houses, Ms. Menschel served as Deputy Mayor and Executive Administrator, respectively, of New York City from 1978-1982, and as a member of the Metropolitan Transit Authority Board from 1979-1990.

Gail B. Nayowith is the Executive Director of the Citizens' Committee for Children of New York, Inc., an advocacy organization that provides a voice for poor and vulnerable children and children with special needs. Ms. Nayowith also served as a key member on the Family Homelessness Special Master Panel in 2003-2004.

Dr. Judith Rodin became president of the Rockefeller Foundation in March 2005. She is the first woman to lead the Foundation, which works to expand opportunities for poor people and to help ensure that the benefits of globalization are shared more equitably. The Foundation works intensively in Eastern and Southern Africa, Southeast Asia, and North America and makes grants and programmatic investments averaging $140 million per year. Dr. Rodin is former president of the University of Pennsylvania. During a decade of service to the University, Dr. Rodin guided Penn through a period of unprecedented growth and development the transformed its academic core and dramatically enhanced the quality of life on campus and in the surrounding community. Previously, Dr. Rodin was on the faculty of Yale University and served as provost from 1992 through 1994. Rodin serves on the boards of several prominent nonprofit organizations and corporations and has authored or co-authored eleven books.

William C. Rudin serves as Chairman of the Association for a Better New York. He is the President of Rudin Management Company and has been highly involved in real estate, business, philanthropic, and civic activities in New York City.

David Saltzman is the Executive Director of the Robin Hood Foundation, which targets poverty in New York City by finding, funding and strengthening the most effective poverty fighting programs to maximize results.

John A. Sanchez has been Executive Director of the East Side House Settlement since 1989. Prior to joining the East Side House Settlement, Mr. Sanchez served as Executive Director of Catholic Big Brothers of New York. He has held executive positions with United Neighborhood Houses, the Federation of 38 settlement houses in New York City, Hudson Guild, a Manhattan based settlement house, and the Community Service Society.

Dr. Alan B. Siskind is Chair of the Board of the Human Services Council. He is also the Executive Director of the Jewish Board of Family and Children's Services. Previously, Dr. Siskind served as the President of the Coalition of Voluntary Mental Health Agencies and was a member of Mayor Dinkins' Commission for the Foster Care of Children.

Monsignor Kevin Sullivan, Ph.D. is the Executive Director of the Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York, a federation of more than 100 organizations that seeks to uphold the dignity of each person as made in the image of God by serving the basic needs of the poor, troubled, frail, and oppressed of all religions.

Mindy Tarlow is the Executive Director of the Center for Employment Opportunities (CEO), a large New York-based nonprofit corporation that provides employment services to men and women returning from prison and detention facilities. Prior to joining CEO, Ms. Tarlow spent close to ten years at the New York City Office of Management and Budget where she ultimately served as Deputy Director in 1992. Ms. Tarlow guided many criminal justice projects during her tenure in government including co-authoring the Mayor's Safe Streets, Safe City Omnibus Criminal Justice Program.

Merryl Tisch is co-chair of the New York State Board of Regents' Committee on Elementary, Middle, Secondary and Continuing Education. Ms. Tisch is also a chairperson of the Metropolitan Coordinating Council on Jewish Poverty and serves on the executive committee of the UJA Federation of New York.

Maria Torres co-founded the Point Community Development Corporation in 1994, a nonprofit organization dedicated to youth development and the cultural and economic revitalization of the Hunts Point section of the South Bronx, and currently serves as its President and Chief Operating Officer. Prior to founding the Corporation, Torres participated in the South Bronx Summer Project, and helped to form La Marqueta and the Neighborhood Internship Bank.

Jeremy Travis became the fourth President of John Jay College of Criminal Justice on August 16, 2004. Prior to his appointment, President Travis served four years as a Senior Fellow affiliated with the Justice Policy Center at the Urban Institute, and was nominated by President Clinton and confirmed by the Senate to direct the National Institute of Justice, the research arm of the U.S. Department of Justice.

Reverend Terry Troia is the Executive Director of Project Hospitality, which was founded in 1982 as an outreach arm of Brighton Heights Reformed Church in Staten Island. Some of Project Hospitality's ministries include several emergency overnight shelter facilities and Hospitality House, a residence for homeless women and children.

Nancy Wackstein serves as the Executive Director of United Neighborhood Houses (UNH), the federation of New York City settlement houses and community centers. Prior to her work at UNH, she served as Executive Director of the Lenox Hill Neighborhood House, a multi-service settlement house on Manhattan's East Side and as Director of the Mayor's Office on Homelessness and SRO Housing under Mayor Dinkins.

Stu Loeser/Paul Elliott

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