Monday, June 10, 2013

From former Markowitz staffer, a cautionary tale (and a nine-person communications office, as of 2004)

Sharon Toomer, briefly Borough President Marty Markowitz's communications director in 2004, writes
In Marty Markowitz Tenure, a Cautionary Tale, in Voices of NY. Her thesis:
As he leaves office after three terms and 13 years in office, Markowitz’s role in advocating for a private developer who did not deliver on his promises, is a cautionary tale for Brooklyn voters who will elect a new borough president this November.
What's next? Toomer reports:
“The next borough president will have to contend with the social effects of economic development,” says Martine Guerrier, a longtime Brooklyn resident and former Assembly candidate for Fort Greene/Clinton Hill.
...“A lot of Brooklyn communities had projects happen to them,” says Guerrier. “The borough president has limited power, but part of the job is pushing for what we need in the borough.”
In my own reporting for City Limits' Brooklyn Bureau, those interviewed have suggested not only a focus on equity, but also on transparency, community board reform, and civic empowerment.

Markowitz's office focus

Toomer offers a piquant detail:
Since the 1990s, Markowitz has organized two major summer concert series in north and south Brooklyn, drawing concertgoers from across the city. He has two drivers and travels all corners of Brooklyn seven days a week, from the early morning to late night. He has unending energy, and can be counted on to show up at constituent family reunions, bar and bat mitzvahs, restaurant openings, block parties, church events, parades and senior citizen centers. His office churns out proclamations to just about any group or individual. At one point in 2004, Markowitz had a nine-person communications office and a separate events department.

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