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VOLUME 26, NUMBER 18 FEBRUARY 13-FEBRUARY 26 2014 LAPPIN TAKES OVER DOWNTOWN ALLIANCE P. 3 PRE-K PUSH WORRIES DOWNTOWN ADVOCATES BY JOSH ROGERS f Mayor Bill de Blasio wants effective grassroots help for his push to expand pre-K seats starting this September, there may be no better group to turn to then Lower Manhattan’s school advocates who have fought for and found several school locations in recent years. But if he wants obedient foot soldiers, he’ll have to look somewhere else. Many of the Downtown advocates are worried the push to add pre-K space throughout the city will compete with the need to solve Lower Manhattan’s overcrowding problem [See article, P. 7]. “It seems like they’re giving you a decorated horse, but they’ve already pulled two I Continued on page 6 MAYOR TAPS DOWNTOWN LEADER TO PLAN THE CITY BY LI NCOLN ANDERSON alling it “very, very personal” and “a particularly moving day” for him, Mayor de Blasio last Friday appointed his friend Carl Weisbrod chairperson of the City Planning Commission. As Planning chief, the mayor said, Weisbrod “will have a huge positive impact on the future of this city.” That’s because Weisbrod will be a key partner in helping the mayor realize his vision of reshaping the “tale of two cities” into a single, more equitable city. “We see the City Planning Commission as a central piece of a strategy to change this city’s reality,” de Blasio declared, “to make sure that people can afford to live here and have jobs that they can feed a family on.” The two men have been friends since first working together back in the Dinkins administration in the early 1990s. The new mayor’s confidence in Weisbrod, the former president of the Downtown Alliance, was evident when he tapped him to be co-chairperson of his transition team, helping de Blasio select many of his top administration appointments. Now, in turn, Weisbrod himself has been tapped to be one of the mayor’s most crucial agency chiefs. C Downtown Express photo by Milo Hess Parade Float Red was naturally the dominant color Feb. 2 in Chinatown for the neighborhood’s annual Lunar New Year celebration. More photos, P. 23. Continued on page 17 5 15 CANAL ST RE ET • N YC 10 013 • COPYRIG HT © 2013 N YC COMMU N ITY MED IA , LLC


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