Bill de Blasio Appoints Gladys Carrion to Head of Administration for Children's Services
Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio selected Henry Street Settlement's youth building as the venue to announce his latest appointment on Sunday - Gladys Carrión will be the new head of the Administration for Children's Services.Stories about the press conference announcing the appointment appear in dozens of news outlets, but here's the story you won't see everywhere else - what he said about Henry Street. "I want to thank David Garza, the Executive Director of Henry Street Settlement, for having agreed to have this gathering here today," said de Blasio. Henry Street Settlement really epitomizes so much of the challenge we face today, but this challenge has been met by the Henry Street Settlement since, literally, since 1893. This is one of the historic sites in the fight to make sure that the needs of children and families were met, that the needs of low income people were met. "If you think about the Tale of Two Cities we're living today in New York City, in previous versions of that reality that this city has faced, Henry Street Settlement was one of the first efforts to address those inequalities. And the ideas that came out of the settlement house movement, animated the larger progressive movement of 100 years ago, animated the New Deal. A lot of the key figures in the New Deal, people like Eleanor Roosevelt and Francis Perkins had spent time around the settlement house movement. So you're here today touching a bit of history that means so much to us as we think about how to address today's challenges. "And for folks on the Lower East Side today, just as has been true in every year since 1893, whether it's social services, healthcare, or even arts and culture, folks who happen to not have a lot of resources have turned to Henry Street Settlement. By the way, one of the first playgrounds for children, literally one of the first places that poor children could play in a neighborhood that was crammed just Cheek by Jowl with tenements, and where there was no room for children, one of the first was created by the Henry Street Settlement in 1902. Henry Street Settlement [placed the first nurse in a public school] and that later led to our New York City Board of Education adopting the idea on a wider level. "The point is obvious: Here you have an example of where people said we were dealing with unacceptable realities and you have to innovate and we have to create something that doesn't exist yet and then show that it could happen on a wider level. You're going to see us do that with full-day pre-K and after-school. You're going to see us do that with affordable housing. You're going to see us do that with protecting community healthcare. The same impulse that started here over 100 years ago continues to animate all of us, and certainly animates the leader that we're going to announce today. "Each year, 50,000 New Yorkers benefit from the work of the Henry Street Settlement, and again, I want to thank David Garza for his extraordinary leadership of this organization. And this is obviously the right place to come to talk about an appointment that is truly near and dear to my heart, a commissioner for the Administration of Children's Services."