De Blasio Appoints Flurry of Progressives

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Bill de Blasio

Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio made five more appointments to his administration on Tuesday, naming the heads of the New York City Economic Development Corporation, Department of Homeless Services, Department of Transportation and Office of Labor Relations, along with a special adviser.


Gilbert Taylor, the Executive Deputy Commissioner at the Administration for Children’s Services, will take over as Commissioner of Homeless Services. Taylor's top priority will bring new approaches to reduce New York City’s record-high homeless population.

Polly Trottenberg, current Under Secretary for Policy at the U.S. Department of Transportation, will serve as the Transportation Commissioner. She will be responsible for expanding Bus Rapid Transit in the outer boroughs, reducing traffic fatalities, increasing bicycling, and boosting the efficiency of city streets.

Bob Linn, will serve as the Director of Labor Relations and lead the Administration’s efforts to resolve outstanding labor contracts. He will be joined by Stanley Brezenoff, who will serve as an unpaid Special Adviser to the First Deputy Mayor.

Kyle Kimball will continue to serve as the President of the New York City Economic Development Corporation. He was appointed by Mayor Bloomberg as President of the NYCEDC in August. Kimball will focus on developing new career paths that lift New Yorkers into the middle class.

“It’s our charge to do everything in our power to address rising inequality. We will do it by making every economic development dollar go further,” said Kimball in a statement released to the media.

Kimball joined the NYCEDC in 2008 and oversaw the Transaction Services Group, where he negotiated real estate deals on behalf of the city.

Brezenoff has been a leader in local government over the past 30 years. Under Mayor Ed Koch, Brezenoff was First Deputy Mayor -- and stand-in mayor at least once, while Koch vacationed in Europe -- and he later ran the city's Human Resources Administration, which oversees social service programs, and the Health and Hospitals Corporation, the country's largest public hospital system. He served as executive director of the Port Authority, from 1990 to 1995, and most recently has been president and CEO of Continuum Health Partners, the hospital network that included Beth Israel and St. Luke's-Roosevelt before merging earlier this year with Mt. Sinai. Under Brezenoff, Continuum's Long Island College Hospital lost millions of dollars and was sold in 2011 to the State University of New York. Two years later, LICH remains insolvent, and the state has been trying to close it -- a move de Blasio vocally opposed during his mayoral campaign.