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Inside Citywide Podcast

DCAS logo. Inside Citywide image of One Centre St. lit up pink and blue at night. A pair of headphones with sound waves at the top of the image.

DCAS provides shared services to support the operations of New York City government. What are those services? How does DCAS work with other city agencies? The Inside Citywide podcast aims to answer these questions and many more by providing listeners with a behind-the-scenes look at New York City government, how it works, and the public servants who make it happen.

Inside Citywide is hosted by Nick Benson and Belinda French and produced by Michael Santos.

Available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Amazon Music, Stitcher, and BuzzSprout.


Episodes

Episode 8: City Buildings are Going Green!

DCAS leads the City of New York's efforts to reduce carbon emissions from government operations. In this episode, we discuss the work DCAS is doing to reduce emissions from City buildings. Retrofitting plays a key role, and DCAS has partnered with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local No. 3 on some of this work.

Episode 8 Transcript


Episode 7: Pete Davidson & Colin Jost Buy a Staten Island Ferry

Pete Davidson and Colin Jost are the latest satisfied DCAS surplus auction customers. Pete, Colin, and their business partner Paul Italia bought a Staten Island Ferry from DCAS. This episode, we discuss the Staten Island Ferry auction and the wonderful world of DCAS surplus auctions.

Episode 7 Transcript


Episode 6: Exploring NYC's Urban Fellows Program

Did you know New York City has its own program similar to the Peace Corps or AmeriCorps? The Urban Fellows program is a highly-selective, nine-month fellowship program where fellows from across the country explore current urban issues impacting public policy. Fellows work in mayoral offices and New York City government agencies and participate in seminars and volunteer service opportunities. This episode, our guests discuss the program, its impact, and how to get involved.

Episode 6 Transcript


Episode 5: Carbon Neutral by 2050

New York City has the most aggressive climate goals in the country, including being carbon neutral by 2050. In this episode, guests Ben Furnas, Director of the NYC Mayor’s Office of Climate and Sustainability, and Anthony Fiore, DCAS Deputy Commissioner for Energy Management, discuss the steps New York City is taking to achieve its climate goals. Topics of conversation include sourcing renewable energy to power NYC, supporting electric vehicle infrastructure, retrofitting buildings across the five boroughs, dramatically reducing emissions from city government operations, and much more.

Episode 5 Transcript


Episode 4: Public Service: Careers in NYC Government

Working for the City of New York offers employees a good job and a rewarding mission. With over 400,000 employees, the City hires people of every background. This episode focuses on career opportunities working for the City of New York, including the types of jobs available, the advantages of working for the City, how to navigate the civil service system, and much more. The guests are DCAS Executive Deputy Commissioner Dawn Pinnock and NYC Department of Correction Assistant Commissioner Claudette Hamilton.

Episode 4 Transcript


Episode 3: The City of New York's Return to Office

Only seven American companies have more employees than the City of New York. While most of the city's 400,000 employees are essential workers who continued to report to job sites during the pandemic, a substantial portion of the workforce transitioned to telework. In this episode, we discuss how the city sustained its operations while teleworking and its ongoing transition back to the office.

Episode 3 Transcript


Episode 2: NYC's Electric Vehicle Future

Will electric vehicles replace the internal combustion engine and break the world's dependency on fossil fuels? As the City of New York builds towards an all-electric municipal vehicle fleet by 2040, the city is also preparing for widespread public adoption of EVs. We are joined for this conversation by Keith Kerman, NYC's Chief Fleet Officer and DCAS Deputy Commissioner for Fleet Management, and Jen Roberton, Senior Transportation Policy Advisor for the NYC Mayor's Office of Climate and Sustainability.

Episode 2 Transcript


Episode 1: Behind the Scenes of NYC's COVID-19 Response

We take a behind-the-scenes look at the City of New York's COVID-19 response efforts, including sourcing personal protective equipment, building the city's PPE stockpile, and setting up field hospitals, testing sites, and vaccination sites. Our guests: Jamie Torres-Springer, Commissioner of the NYC Department of Design and Construction, and Adam Buchanan, Chief Contracting Officer for the NYC Department of Citywide Administrative Services.

Episode 1 Transcript


About Us

Nick Benson
Nick Benson

Nick Benson

Co-Host of Inside Citywide

Nick Benson is the Director of Communications for the NYC Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS). In this role, he oversees all external and internal communications for the agency. Prior to serving as Director of Communications, Nick was Deputy Director of Communications and then Director of Media & Public Relations at DCAS.

Before coming to DCAS, Nick served as the Press Secretary for the NYC Department of Small Business Services and Senior Deputy Press Secretary for the New York Attorney General’s Office. He previously worked on several political campaigns, including as a Regional Field Director for U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown. Nick started his career working for Richard Cordray, both when he was Ohio Treasurer and Ohio Attorney General.

A proud native of Appalachian Ohio, Nick is passionate about politics and public service. He believes in the power of effective communication to educate, inform, and affect change. He holds both a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and master’s degree in City & Regional Planning from The Ohio State University.

Nick is a life-long Cleveland sports fan and lives in Upper Manhattan. You can follow Nick on Twitter at @Nick_Benson.

Belinda French
Belinda French

Belinda French

Co-Host of Inside Citywide

Belinda French has 17 years of experience in City government and is currently serving as the Diversity & EEO Officer for DCAS. In this capacity, Ms. French manages internal investigations of complaints of employment discrimination, requests for reasonable accommodations, agency-wide diversity and EEO training, and efforts to maintain a diverse and inclusive working environment.

Ms. French holds a Master’s degree in Public Administration from New York University’s Wagner School of Public Service and a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Adelphi University. She is also certified as a Senior HR professional by the Society for Human Resources Management.