Adams administration adds Corporate Council, CUNY interns to the Team

Mayor-elect Eric Adams on Monday announced the formation of the Mayor-elect’s Corporate Council, a newly-formed committee that will work to ensure a productive partnership and dialogue between the business community and New York City Hall.

The Corporate Council includes leaders from 60 New York City-based companies across sectors including technology, life sciences, financial services, media and entertainment, travel and tourism, and real estate. Adams convened his first meeting with the council earlier Monday in a roundtable discussion about his priorities for his first 100 days in office.

“Getting our city back on track is going to require strong public-private partnerships. I’m humbled by the response from our Corporate Council to lean in, roll up their sleeves, and help accelerate our recovery,” said Adams. “From partnering on priorities such as workforce development, childcare, and revitalization of our commercial districts, the business community has made it clear they are with me and all New Yorkers every step of the way.”

The Council was launched by the Corporate Engagement Committee of the transition effort, led by Stephen Scherr of Goldman Sachs, Charles Phillips of Recognize, and Jenny Farrelly of Two Sigma. The effort was the result of a months-long listening tour conducted with business leaders and current and past City officials, which brought to light both the opportunity and demand for a proactive program to ensure collaboration between City Hall and the corporate community.

“It is worth noting that weeks before taking the oath of office, Mayor-elect Adams is extending his hand to engage the business community to come together on behalf of all New Yorkers,” said Charles Phillips, Managing Partner and Co-Founder of Recognize, and Stephen Scherr, Chief Financial Officer of Goldman Sachs, both Co-Chairs of the transition effort. “New York City must accelerate its recovery from the pandemic and we are excited about the role that the entire business community can play in supporting the Mayor-Elect’s agenda for an equitable recovery.”

Among the core initiatives that the Corporate Council will help support include creating a centralized city-wide digital employment platform, establishing a jobs training network, and public safety improvements. The Corporate Council will convene regularly throughout the Mayor’s first 100 days with corporate members lending their support and expertise to projects led by City Hall.

The roundtable discussion follows another roundtable discussion Adams held last week with the City’s small business sector last week, which included attendees from the NYC Business Improvement District (BID) Association Board, including leaders of more than 20 business improvement districts, and the heads of the City’s five borough-wide chambers of commerce.

The thinking behind the two roundtables was to build a much-needed synergy and between small and big businesses.

“There is no small business recovery without big business, and no neighborhood recovery without central business district return after nearly two years of little to no activity. From the Long Island City plant store that fills midtown offices with oxygen, to the Bay Ridge coffee shop that caters to commuters heading downtown, to the barbershops in Midtown whose chairs still sit empty today, the effects of the pandemic will linger as long as our central business districts sit quiet. We need the city’s corporate sector to help to once again have our largest companies drive traffic and revenue to small businesses throughout the city,” said Elizabeth Lusskin, Executive Director of the Long Island City BID and Co-Chair of the NYC BID Association.

Separately, Adams announced Monday that nearly 50 City University of New York (CUNY) students will be joining his transition team as interns as part of CUNY’s civic engagement program.

The interns were chosen for multiple committees on the transition team, adding to his already extensive group of district attorneys, borough presidents, CEOs and more. 

“I am excited to engage with CUNY in this great endeavor for the public good, and look forward to including our university system in much more that the City does, including initiatives to bring innovation to industry, provide job training and placement, and improve our government,” Adams said. 

The students appear to be spread across multiple committees among the 20, and their chancellor is already a co-chair of Adams’ transition team. 

Chancellor Felix V. Matos Rodriguez joined Adams to congratulate the students on the partnership and cast a vision on the future of Adams’ term. 

“As a born and bred New Yorker and two-time graduate of The City University of New York, Eric Adams knows firsthand the quality of CUNY students,” Rodriguez said in a statement. Adams graduated from CUNY’s John Jay College of Criminal Justice.

A few students spoke to the Daily News about their excitement to start the process.

“I think CUNY students care a lot about the city,” said Shira Dubin, 22, a student at City College of New York. “Most of us grew up in the city, we’re really invested in what happens in the city. We’ve been involved in public institutions since we were really little. To now have a say and a voice in what happens is important,” she added.

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