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PR- 307-07
August 21, 2007


17 Member Panel Will Review Mayor’s Congestion Pricing Proposal and Other Plans To Reduce Traffic

Mayor Michael Bloomberg today joined Governor Eliot Spitzer, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno, Senate Minority Leader Malcolm Smith, Assembly Minority Leader James Tedisco, and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn to announce appointments to the New York City Traffic Mitigation Congestion Commission established by the Governor and Legislature as part of the congestion pricing legislation.

Mayor Bloomberg appointed three people to the commission: Gene Russianoff from the New York Public Interest Research Group and the Straphangers Campaign, New York City Department of Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan and civil rights attorney and Executive Director of UPROSE Elizabeth Yeampierre

“Today we are continuing to move forward and work with our partners in State government and in the Council to relieve congestion in New York City,” said Mayor Bloomberg.  “Together, we’ll reduce traffic, improve New Yorkers’ health and strengthen the City’s economy.”

Governor Spitzer’s appointments include former First Deputy Mayor Marc Shaw, Port Authority Executive Director Anthony Shorris, and Metropolitan Transportation Commission Executive Director and CEO Elliot “Lee” Sander.  Mr. Shaw will be nominated to be the head of the commission. 

Governor Spitzer said, “Putting the congestion pricing commission in place is an important step towards creating a healthier, cleaner environment for our children and generations to come.   The Commission has a vital task to ensure the ability of New York City’s continued growth, and do so in an environmentally responsible manner.  My nominees all have extensive transportation and public policy experience that will ensure that the congestion pricing plan is well thought out in terms of the impact on the transportation system, the economy, and the environment of the City of New York.  My thanks go to the Mayor and his staff for their hard work on this crucial issue.”

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver appointed Assemblyman Herman “Denny” Farrell, Jr., Assemblyman Richard L. Brodsky, and Assemblywoman Vivian E. Cook. 

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver said, “The traffic congestion mitigation legislation signed into law by the Governor last month outlines a process for a thoughtful and in-depth discussion of the most effective means to address traffic congestion and related health and environmental issues. I am pleased with the nomination of Marc Shaw to head this effort. His demonstrated experience and ability to build consensus on difficult issues will be a great asset to this Commission.”

Senator Bruno appointed New York City Central Labor Council President Gary LaBarbera, SUNY Chairman Thomas F. Egan and Nassau County Council Chamber of Commerce President Richard Bivone to commission.

“We are pleased to join Mayor Bloomberg and others in announcing the Senate Majority’s appointments to the New York City Traffic Congestion Mitigation Commission.  By naming the members of this important commission, we have taken another step forward in our efforts to make New York a national leader in reducing traffic congestion, modernizing mass transit and improving the quality of the air we breathe,” Senate Majority Leader Joseph L. Bruno said.

Senate Minority Leader Malcolm Smith appointed Counsel and Project Director of Arverne By the Sea, Gerard Romski, to the Commission.

“Mr. Romski will be a strong asset for members of the Senate Democratic Conference in working to address New York City's long-term transportation needs,” Senator Smith said. “His appreciation of public transit's role in that process as well as his open mind about the structure of any traffic congestion mitigation plan will serve our Conference well.”

Assembly Minority Leader Jim Tedisco appointed Environmental Defense New York Regional Director Andy Darrell to the Commission.

“Andy Darrell’s track record on environmental and health-related issues is second to none,” said Assembly Republican Leader Jim Tedisco. “His input and ideas will be invaluable as we look for answers to New York City’s traffic congestion problems. I am honored to appoint him to this crucial commission.”

City Council Speaker Christine Quinn has appointed Drum Major Institute Executive Director Andrea Batista Schlesinger, Greater Allen Cathedral CFO Edwin Reed and Partnership for New York City President and CEO Kathryn Wylde to the Commission.

“New York City anticipates adding nearly one million new residents over the next two decades, and we must have a forward-looking plan in place to handle such substantial growth,” said Speaker Christine C. Quinn. “We are confident that the Commission will carefully consider the different proposals and find a responsible and impartial solution to reduce traffic congestion in our City. The Council’s appointees are extremely familiar with moving and shaping public policy in our diverse communities.  They bring a broad range of experience that will enable the Commission to come up with a plan to make New York a cleaner, greener, more livable city.”

Biographies of Commission Members:

Richard Bivone is the President of the Nassau Council of Chambers of Commerce and the President and Founder of RMB Drafting Services, the largest research/drafting/expediting firm on Long Island.  Richard played a key role in forming the Nassau Business and Community and Planning Coalition (NBCPC), a unique partnership between the Nassau Council of Chambers of Commerce, the Nassau Village Officials Association, Vision Long Island, and environmental and civic groups.  He is a retired member of the New York City Fire Department (FDNY).

Assemblyman Richard L. Brodsky represents the 92nd Assembly District. Brodsky currently serves as Chairman of the Standing Committee on Corporations, Authorities and Commissions, which oversees the state’s public and private corporations. In addition to his Committee Chairmanship, Assemblyman Brodsky has also introduced a number of proposals to reform state government through constitutional change.

Assemblywoman Vivian E. Cook began her civic role more than 30 years ago when the Kennedy Airport and airport expansion threatened her community. Cook, who represents the 32nd Assembly District, has been an activist for community improvement. Working tirelessly to secure funding for various building and reconstruction programs, Cook has helped develop community housing programs that provide residents with affordable homes. Assemblywoman Cook currently serves as Assistant Majority Leader.

Andy Darrell is Director of the Living Cities program at Environmental Defense, focused on practical, market-based solutions for climate change and health in major cities.  He also serves as New York Regional Director.  He is a member of Mayor Bloomberg’s Sustainability Advisory Board, convened in 2006 to help create a new sustainability plan.  Previously, he helped form two organizations instrumental in revitalizing abandoned New York City waterfronts.  After law school, he worked at Davis Polk and Wardwell, an international law firm, and as a consultant on financing clean energy projects.  He received a JD (Law Review) from the University of Virginia and a Master’s degree from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy.  He is a trustee of the Van Alen Institute, the New York League of Voters Conservation Voters Education Fund, and New York City’s International House.

Thomas F. Egan was appointed Chairman of the State University of New York Board of Trustees on February 8, 1996, and a member and Vice Chairman on June 27, 1995.  A lawyer and banker, he has spent over 30 years in the securities industry, with extensive experience in capital market finance. Mr. Egan is a managing director at Citigroup Global Markets in New York City.  Previously, Mr. Egan was a principal in Langdon P. Cook & Company, Inc., for twelve years and a staff attorney with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for three years. Mr. Egan is the past chairman of the Foundation for the New York United Hospital Medical Center and active in civic affairs. He has also served as a member of the board of directors of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, a trustee of Marymount College, and member of the Port Chester Village Planning Commission.

Assemblyman Herman “Denny” Farrell, Jr. was elected to the State Assembly in 1974 from a district that encompasses West Harlem, Washington Heights and Inwood. Farrell serves as chair of the Committee on Ways and Means and is a member of the Committee on Rules. Prior to his appointment to Ways and Means, Farrell was Chair of the Committee on Banks, where he successfully secured passage of the Omnibus Consumer Protection and Banking Legislation Act.

Gary LaBarbera is the President of the New York City Central Labor Council and has nearly 25 years of progressive labor leadership with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, including currently serving as Joint Council 16 President, which represents over 100,000 members in the New York Metropolitan area. He also serves as a Vice President for the New York State AFL-CIO, the Long Island Federation of Labor AFL-CIO, and the New York State Building and Construction Trades Council.

Edwin C. Reed is the Chief Financial Officer at the Greater Allen Cathedral of New York and has been serving in this capacity since 1995. He has previously served on the Board of Directors of the New York Bank from 2001 to 2003. The Allen organization provides services such as rehabilitating and building affordable housing, developing and managing 14 commercial stores, operating a community service center, and providing quality education for up to 500 students.  Previously, Reverend Reed was the Executive Staff Director for Congressman Floyd Flake of New York. Reverend Reed has served as: Chairman, Jamaica Business Resource Center; Treasurer, Outreach Development Corporation; Vice Chairperson and Member of the Board of Directors, Hofstra University; Member of Wheelchair Charities; Co-Chairperson, New York Housing Conference; Member, Chase Community Advisory Board; Member, Federal Home Loan Bank of New York Affordable Housing Advisory Council; and Member, Allen Christian School, Allen Transportation, Allen Women's Resource Center and Allen Housing Development Corporations. Reverend Reed formerly served as Chairman of the Queens County Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Commission.

Gerard Romski is a former partner at the law firm Ross and Cohen, LLP, he currently serves as Counsel and Project Executive for one of New York City's largest mixed-use development projects, Arverne by the Sea, incorporating more than 2,300 new housing units in Queens.  A strong advocate for public transit investment, Mr. Romski has also served as the Assistant Division Chief in the Real Estate Litigation Division of the New York City Corporation Counsel's office where he represented the City in real estate matters.

Gene Russianoff has been mass transit and government reform advocate for the New York Public Interest Research Group, a student-directed social change organization, since 1978. Mr. Russianoff is a staff attorney for NYPIRG's Straphangers Campaign.  His efforts have helped to win unlimited-ride transit passes and free subway-to-bus transfers; increased transit service; creation of independent transit safety and management watchdog agencies; $53 billion in funds to rebuild the subway and bus system since 1982; and rider and labor representatives on the MTA Board of Directors.   New York 1 News named Russianoff a “New Yorker of the Year” in 1997 for coalition work to win unlimited-ride Metro-cards.  Russianoff is the author of more than 100 reports on transit service.
Janette Sadik-Khan was appointed Commissioner of the New York City Department of Transportation by the Mayor in April.  Prior to her appointment, she was a Senior Vice President of Parsons Brinckerhoff, a leading international engineering firm. Commissioner Sadik-Khan is nationally recognized for her expertise in innovative finance, public policy development and transportation issues - knowledge gained in over 15 years of experience at the federal, state and local level.  Before joining Parsons Brinckerhoff, she was Deputy Administrator at the U.S. Department of Transportation.

As Chief Financial Officer, she managed the agency's $4 billion annual capital construction budget and was responsible for developing an innovative finance program which provided localities with increased funding and regulatory flexibility. She also served as Director of the Office of Policy where she initiated the FTA’s Art in Transit program to expand federal funding for art and design in transit facilities and implemented new criteria to improve the ways in which the benefits of transit capital projects were quantified.

Elliot “Lee” Sander, Executive Director and CEO of the MTA, has served as a Corporate Senior Vice President at DMJM Harris, a leading transportation engineering firm, and as Director of the Rudin Center for Transportation Policy and Management at the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service at New York University. Sander is also the founder and co-chairman of the Empire State Transportation Alliance, and he is a Commissioner on the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission.  He graduated from the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown.

Andrea Batista Schlesinger has led the effort to turn the Drum Major Institute, originally founded by an advisor to Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. during the civil rights movement, into a progressive policy institute with national impact.  Under her leadership as Executive Director, DMI has released several important policy papers to national audiences including: Middle Class 2004: How Congress Voted, People and Politics in America's Big Cities, and From Governance to Accountability: Building Relationships that Make Schools Work. She has worked in various capacities to promote educational equity and youth empowerment. She directed a national campaign to engage college students in the discussion on the future of Social Security for the Pew Charitable Trusts, and served as Director of Public Relations of Teach for America before working as the education advisor to Bronx Borough President Fernando Ferrer.

Marc V. Shaw is Executive Vice President for Strategic Planning at Extell Development Company and is responsible for the overall strategic direction of the company. From 2002 to 2006, Mr. Shaw was the First Deputy Mayor and Deputy Mayor for Operations under Mayor Bloomberg. Prior to that he served as the Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.  He also served as City Budget Director, Commissioner for the New York City Department of Finance, and Director of Finance for the New York City Council. Mr. Shaw also held a position with the New York State Senate Finance Committee.  He has been an adjunct assistant professor of Public Services at the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Services at New York University, and is currently an adjunct professor at the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University.

Anthony Ernest Shorris, Executive Director of the Port Authority, formerly served as the Director of Princeton University's Policy Research Institute at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs and as Deputy Chancellor of the New York City Board of Education. He also has served as the First Deputy Executive Director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, as New York City's Commissioner of Finance, and Deputy Budget Director.

Kathryn S. Wylde is President and CEO of the Partnership for New York City, a nonprofit organization of the city's business leaders, established by David Rockefeller in 1979. The Partnership is dedicated to maintaining New York City as a center of world commerce, finance and innovation. Its public policy focus is on issues in the areas of education, infrastructure and the economy.

The Partnership’s economic development arm is the New York City Investment Fund. Wylde served as founding President and CEO of this $110 million civic fund, which was established in 1996 under the leadership of Henry R. Kravis. Wylde was also founding President and CEO of the Housing Partnership Development Corporation, serving from 1982 to 1996.   In that capacity, she was instrumental in creation of a number of pioneering initiatives in affordable housing at the local, state and national levels.   An internationally known expert in housing, economic development and urban policy, Wylde serves on a number of boards and advisory groups, including the New York State Commission to Modernize the Regulation of Financial Services, the Mayor's Sustainability Advisory Board, the Special Commission on the Future of NYS Courts, Independent Judicial Election Qualification Commission for the First Judicial District, NYC Economic Development Corporation, Research Partnership for New York City Schools, NYC Leadership Academy, Governors Island Advisory Council, the Manhattan Institute and the Biomedical Research Alliance of New York.
Elizabeth C. Yeampierre, a Puerto Rican civil rights attorney born and raised in New York City is Executive Director of UPROSE, Brooklyn’s oldest Latino community based organization.  In 1996, Elizabeth helped shift UPROSE’s mission to organizing, advocacy and developing intergenerational indigenous leadership through activism.  In reaching these goals, UPROSE focuses on environmental, economic and social justice.  Ms. Yeampierre is a co-founder of CURE (Communities United for Responsible Energy) and OWN (Organization of Waterfront Neighborhoods).  Ms Yeampierre serves on Mayor Bloomberg’s Sustainability and Long Term Planning Advisory Board and the US EPA National Environmental Justice Advisory Council.


Stu Loeser/John Gallagher   (212) 788-2958

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