For two weeks, courtesy of George Soros and other advocates for a “Just City,” New Yorkers will be able to relay comments and suggestions to mayor-elect Bill de Blasio in a tent on Canal Street in downtown Manhattan. Talking Transition, an organization devoted to creating an “open conversation about the future of New York City,” has erected a large tent open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily, where people can attend presentations and workshops on issues facing New York and offer ideas to the incoming administration.
Taking Transition is not formally associated with de Blasio, but is funded by the Open Society Foundations (one of George Soros’s largest philanthropic endeavors), the Ford Foundation, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, and other groups. Besides the tent, Talking Transition teams will travel throughout New York, iPads in hand, to collect input from concerned citizens.
“This experiment creates a forum for civic participation in our city’s governance which will elevate the best ideas and highlight the most glaring needs,” Darren Walker, president of the Ford Foundation, said in a statement. “If we are to create a Just City infused with equity and inclusion, the voices of the people must continually be heard.”
Earlier this month, de Blasio won a landslide victory over Republican Joe Lhota after campaigning on an overtly progressive agenda.