For all his campaign bluster against the two cities New York has become, Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio isn’t exactly shying away from some of the people who helped make it that way. This morning, the mayor-elect announced that Alicia Glen will serve as Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development, a newly created position that will aim to make housing more affordable, as well create living-wage jobs for New Yorkers.
“We need to invest in key emerging industries and affordable housing so New Yorkers have a better shot at working their way into the middle class. Alicia has the record, fresh ideas and bold outlook to make that vision a reality,” said de Blasio at this morning’s press conference.
De Blasio discussed Glen’s vast experience, but mostly skirted the topic of Glen’s last position, as the head of Goldman Sachs’s Urban Investment Group.
While at Goldman, Glen worked with the Bloomberg administration on the public-private partnerships that Bloomberg championed throughout his reign. In her speech this morning, Glen told the crowd that “we can’t remain the greatest city in the world when half of New Yorkers are living in or near poverty. We can do so much more to lift people up by investing in our neighborhoods—especially in the outer boroughs.”
Glen supports de Blasio’s proposal for a small tax increase on the wealthiest New Yorkers to pay for universal Pre-K. “I’m a banker so I did the math, and that’s about $3.57 a day, and that’s a latte,” Glen said this morning.
Glen’s Urban Investment Group played a large part in the Bloomberg administration’s development agenda over the past decade, helping fund much of the uneven development that has priced out many New Yorkers from neighborhoods across the city. If you’re into what Franklin Avenue has become in Crown Heights, then Glen’s the person for you. But did people voting for de Blasio back in November really think this is what they were going to get?