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Mayor-Elect de Blasio Announces Transition Team

By Colby Hamilton | November 6, 2013 3:38pm
 Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio announces his transition team co-chairs Jennifer Jones Austin and Carl Weisbrod on Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2013.
Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio announces his transition team co-chairs Jennifer Jones Austin and Carl Weisbrod on Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2013.
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DNAinfo/Colby Hamilton

UNION SQUARE — Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio is wasting little time getting ready to take over City Hall.

Less than 24 hours after easily winning the mayoralty, de Blasio announced the leaders of his transition team on Wednesday.

Jennifer Jones Austin, the CEO and executive director of the nonprofit Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies, and Carl Weisbrod, one of the architects of the revitalization of Times Square, will lead de Blasio’s recruitment and planning team as the mayor-elect builds his administration over the next two months. 

“We’ve got 55 days until opening day,” de Blasio said during the press conference held at the Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies’ headquarters in Manhattan. “We’re here the morning after the election, ready to go, emphasizing the fact that we’re going to need every single hour of those 55 days to do our work as best [as] possible.”

De Blasio said the transition team would help him create an administration that “mirrors the glorious diversity of this city,” while looking for the right personnel to enact the promises he made as a candidate.

“The people of this city have spoken. The mandate is clear,” said de Blasio. “It is our obligation to create a city in which our prosperity is shared and where there’s opportunity for all.”

The transition team announcement came shortly after de Blasio met with Mayor Michael Bloomberg at City Hall. De Blasio said the mayor promised to make his team available to ensure the transition was as smooth as possible.

“He laid out some of the issues facing the city in the near term that we need to coordinate on,” de Blasio said. “He was very helpful, and we agreed to stay in regular touch.”

To prepare for the transition, de Blasio’s campaign launched a website — www.transition2013.com — as a new Twitter handle, @nyctransition. De Blasio said he hoped New Yorkers would use site and social media to provide their thoughts and ideas, as well as to keep track of the process.

Two other key members of the transition team were also announced Wednesday.

Laura Santucci, the acting executive director of the Democratic National Committee and former special assistant to the Obama White House, will serve as its executive director. A close de Blasio aide during his time as public advocate, Ursulina Ramirez, will serve as the deputy executive director.