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PR- 096-10
March 3, 2010


Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg today announced the appointment of a Charter Revision Commission to review the entire City Charter and propose to City voters any possible amendments that would improve it.  The Mayor charged the commission with examining the changes made by the 1988 and 1989 Charter Revision Commissions, and other subsequent changes, in light of the lessons learned over the past two decades and the new challenges and opportunities that have since arisen.  The Mayor also charged the commission with conducting an extensive outreach campaign that solicits ideas and recommendations from a wide variety of civic and community leaders, and that encourages the public to participate in hearings that will take place in all five boroughs.  The Mayor appointed Dr. Matthew Goldstein, Chancellor of the City University of New York, to chair the commission, and John Banks, former Chief of Staff at the New York City Council, to serve as Vice-Chair. 

“I’ve charged this Charter Revision Commission with reaching out to every community, analyzing every idea on the merits, and proposing changes that will improve the lives of New Yorkers,” said Mayor Bloomberg.  “Every issue will be on the table, and every voice will be heard.  I want to thank all the members for agreeing to serve, and I also want to thank Citizens Union for making a commitment to conduct its own review of the Charter, which will be a great resource for the commission.”

“I want to thank Mayor Bloomberg for assembling a distinguished and talented commission to conduct a review leading to the development of recommendations on the venerable Charter of the City of New York and the further strengthening of City government,” said Chancellor Goldstein.  “We all look forward to extensive public outreach and input, as well as comprehensive commission deliberations.”

“We commend Mayor Bloomberg for forming a charter commission and charging it to undertake a much needed and thorough review of city government’s form and function, and to freely explore a range of issues,” said Dick Dadey, executive director of the Citizens Union. “The selection of CUNY Chancellor Matthew Goldstein to chair this Commission is an inspired choice.  His leadership in successfully turning around CUNY is tailor made for this commission and speaks to his ability to restructure large institutions to reach a higher level of performance and achievement.  Citizens Union is also organizing its own internal task force on charter review, and we too will specifically look at the historic and far-reaching changes made by the 1988 and 1989 commissions, and those since, to see if those transformations have lived up to their promise, and if not, why not, and examine how they can be improved.  We look forward to working alongside this commission in providing support, ideas, and recommendations on how city government can be structured more effectively and efficiently to serve the needs of this great city and our fellow New Yorkers.  This is an exciting opportunity for the city and those interested in how city government functions.”

In making appointments to the Commission, the Mayor considered recommendations made by numerous elected officials and civic leaders.  The commission members’ experience spans across the private and public sectors, including much of City and State government, as well as many civic associations.  The commission includes two university presidents; a former Chief of Staff to the City Council Speaker; a former City Council member; the Counselor to the Mayor; a Chief of Staff to a Borough President; three former Community Board Chairs; members of the City Planning Commission, Campaign Finance Board, Conflicts of Interest Board, and Civilian Complaint Review Board; a Senior Vice President at the Empire State Development Corporation, as well as the Executive Director of the Chinese American Planning Council and an Associate Director at the Regional Plan Association.

The members of the Charter Revision Commission are:

Dr. Matthew Goldstein, Chair, is Chancellor of the City University of New York. Previously, he had served as President of Baruch College; President of the Research Foundation; and as Acting Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs of CUNY. Prior to being named Chancellor, he was President of Adelphi University.  He earned his doctorate from the University of Connecticut in mathematical statistics and a bachelor’s degree in statistics and mathematics from The City College of the City University of New York. He lives in Manhattan.

John H. Banks, Vice Chair, is currently Vice-President for Government Relations at Con Edison.  He was initially named director of Government Relations at Con Edison in 1999, returned to the City Council as its chief of staff in 2000, and moved to his current position in 2002. He is a member of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority board and lives in Brooklyn.

Angela Mariana Freyre, Secretary, is Senior Vice President and Deputy General Counsel of Nielsen Media Research.  She serves as a member of the City’s Conflicts of Interest Board. She lives in Manhattan.

Anthony Perez Cassino is an attorney at the firm of Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy, where he also oversees pro bono activities. He has served as the Director of Pro Bono Services for the New York State Bar Association and as an Aide and Counsel to Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz.  He is a community leader and former City Council candidate who served as Chairman of Bronx Community Board 8 from 2004-2008; Board Chairman of the Riverdale Nursery School & Family Center; and the founder of two organizations: the Coalition of Riverdale/Kingsbridge Schools and the Northwest Bronx Democratic Alliance. He lives in the Bronx.

Betty Y. Chen is a Vice President for Planning, Design and Preservation at the Governors Island Preservation and Education Corporation and a member of the City Planning Commission. Prior to joining the Governors Island Preservation and Education Corporation, Ms. Chen worked for the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, where she was responsible for the development of the World Trade Center Master Plan. She was also a former Project Architect with the New York firm, Tod Williams, Billie Tsien Architects. She lives in Manhattan.

David Chen is the Executive Director of the Chinese-American Planning Council Inc., and is the founding Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Chung Pak Local Development Corporation. He is also a member of the board of the Chinatown Partnership Local Development Corporation and served as a Commissioner on the 2004-2005 Charter Revision Commission. He lives in Brooklyn.

Hope Cohen is Associate Director of the Regional Plan Association’s Center for Urban Innovation. Previously, she was deputy director of the Manhattan Institute's Center for Rethinking Development, where she focused principally on issues of urban environment and infrastructure, and served previously at MTA New York City Transit.  Since 1995, she has served as a member of Manhattan’s Community Board 7, including as Board Chairperson. She lives in Manhattan.

Anthony Crowell is Counselor to the Mayor.  He served as a Commissioner on the 2004-2005 Charter Revision Commission; Chief Counsel to the 2003 Commission; Co-Executive Director to the 2002 Commission; General Counsel to the 2001 Commission; and counsel to the 1999 Commission.  He previously served as Assistant Corporation Counsel. Before joining the City, he managed government affairs and policy at the International City/County Management Association in Washington, D.C.  He serves as Board Chair of the Brooklyn Public Library and is an adjunct professor of state and local government law at Brooklyn Law School and New York Law School. He lives in Brooklyn.

Stephen Fiala is Richmond County Clerk and Commissioner of Jurors, and a former City Council member who served on 2004-2005 Charter Revision Commission.  He lives in Staten Island.

Ernest Hart currently serves as Chief Operating Officer for the Columbia University Medical Center and as Chair of Civilian Complaint Review Board. Mr. Hart’s career extends across many agencies of government, including the New York City Departments of Citywide Administrative Services, Sanitation, Personnel, the Public Employment Relations Board, and the Manhattan District Attorney’s office. Mr Hart also served as Chief of Staff and Counsel to Deputy Mayor Dennis Walcott, as well as the Chair of the New York City Equal Employment Practices Commission and as a member of the New York City Board of Collective Bargaining. He currently serves on the Supreme Court Appellate Division, 1st Department’s Committee on Character and Fitness, on the Queens Borough Public Library Board of Trustees.  He has also been an adjunct professor of law at New York Law School.  He lives in Queens. 

Rev. Joseph M. McShane, S.J., is the President of Fordham University, where he had previously served as dean of Fordham College at Rose Hill, a professor of theology and a member of the Board of Trustees. Father McShane has also served as president of the University of Scranton in Pennsylvania. In June 2008, he was appointed to the Commission on Metropolitan Transportation Authority Financing by New York Governor David A. Paterson.  He lives in the Bronx.

Kenneth M. Moltner is currently counsel in the litigation department of Bressler, Amery & Ross, P.C. after practicing at the firm formerly known as LeBoeuf, Lamb, Greene & MacRae, LLP and Shea & Gould.  He is an Adjunct Professor at the Continuing Education programs at New York University and Hunter College and has presented Continuing Legal Education lectures at the New York City Bar Association and the New York County Lawyers’ Association. He was formerly Chair of Community Board 8 in Manhattan and has been active in the movement for term limits. He lives in Manhattan.

Kathryn Patterson is a member of the City’s Campaign Finance Board and served on the 2003 Charter Revision Commission.  She is a former law partner at the firm Coudert Brothers.  She lives in Manhattan.

Carlo Scissura is Chief of Staff to Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz.  Previously, he was an attorney in full-time private practice and worked in both the New York State Senate and Assembly.  He has served as a member of Brooklyn’s Community Board 11, Vice President of Brooklyn’s Community School Board 20, and as President of Brooklyn’s Community Education Council for District 20.  He lives in Brooklyn.

Bishop Mitchell G. Taylor is the Senior Pastor of Center of Hope International, a non-denominational church located near the Queensbridge Houses. In addition to his work as a pastor, Bishop Taylor is CEO of the East River Development Alliance, a not-for-profit organization he founded in 2004 to expand economic opportunity for public housing residents. Bishop Taylor was appointed to the CCRB in 2009.  He lives in Queens.


Stu Loeser   (212) 788-2958

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