De Blasio’s Development to Focus on the Neediest

By Nicholas Zifcak
Nicholas Zifcak
Nicholas Zifcak
December 23, 2013 Updated: December 23, 2013

NEW YORK—Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio created a new post, Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development, on Monday tasked with changing how the city aids business and development.

De Blasio said that Bloomberg’s economic development policies did not create enough good-quality jobs for New Yorkers. He tasked Alicia Glen with refocusing subsidies to support businesses that create good jobs. She previously worked with de Blasio under Mayor David Dinkins. 

Asked how economic development projects under her leadership would differ from that of the previous administration, Glen said her goal is to ensure that the people most in need of jobs and services will benefit.

She said she will focus on making use of public-private partnerships, using every negotiation and financial tool “to make sure that, for example, disconnected youth in the Bronx are going to be the first people to get quality jobs. That’s where you start that, not where you end.”

She will make use of all the “traditional principles of how you negotiate in public sector development,” said Glen, the difference will be, “what do you bring to the table? What lens do you bring to it?”

In addition to negotiating public-private development projects and working to help strengthen small businesses through development, Glen will also be tasked with building 200,000 units of affordable housing.

Glen currently works at Goldman Sachs’ Urban Investment Group. The group makes investments to revitalize underserved urban neighborhoods. She works on developing financial tools that can provide affordable housing and good jobs for underserved communities, while also providing a solid return for investors. 

De Blasio said the focus will be on job training and making sure the city has a talented workforce that appeals to employers. To do so he plans to build a new film program at Brooklyn Navy Yard to capitalize on the film and TV industry that comes to shoot in New York City. 

“I believe that our incessant efforts to fight inequality will be felt and respected by many people in the business sector. They will see it as a sign of the strength of New York city in the future, they will see it as a sign of a sustainable strategy and approach for the future of New York City and it will make the city an even more attractive place to do business,” de Blasio said.

De Blasio also announced that the executive director of his transition team, Laura Santucci, would serve as his chief of staff. He made the announcements in Brooklyn at metal fabricator Milgo Bufkin, a fourth-generation family owned business.