Fordham Guests Talk “The Bloomberg Years”

The talk was held in the 12th floor lounge of the Leon Lowenstein building. (HAILEY MOREY/THE OBSERVER)

The talk was held in the 12th floor lounge of the Leon Lowenstein building. (HAILEY MOREY/THE OBSERVER)


On the morning of Wednesday Nov. 11, the 12th floor lounge of Leon Lowenstein Center saw the start of the newest installment of Fordham’s new video archive on governance in New York City, covering the Bloomberg years with guests Robert Tierney and Seth Pinsky. Hosted by Office of Administration and coordinated by Thomas Dunne, the intended take-away was to offer students and faculty insight into the management style used by former New York City Mayor, Michael Bloomberg.

Both employed under Bloomberg, Tierney and Pinsky played key roles in the development of New York City, on both an economic and physical level. Their personal roles in the history of the city’s politics making for a well-informed discussion that delved into the contemporary issues of housing affordability, the swelling of the city’s population, and landmark preservation, giving historical, economic, and political context to the issues.

Tierney, former chair of the Landmarks Preservation Commission, and a current fellow at NYU’s Wagner School and member of the Board Of the Fund For the City of New York, self identified as, “A preservationist with sanity,” looking to conserve the past of New York in its buildings and sites while still recognizing the necessity of future development.

Pinsky, former president of the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) and current Executive Vice President of RXR Realty, focused his commentary on economic development under Bloomberg, driving a discussion on housing affordability and business growth.

Former editor and columnist from the NY Daily News, Richard Schwartz,  facilitated the discussion, withdrawing long-winded answers and explanations from the speakers. The interviewees used the questions to play off each other, building together their experiences in their separate departments to paint a bigger picture of the growth that occurred under Bloomberg.

Schwartz prefaced the Bloomberg Years as “one of the greatest periods of fiscal and economic development.” Pinsky attributed this success to collaboration, a key part in the way Bloomberg built the administration, later explaining that political productivity is a result of “rigorous analysis, comprehensive planning, and political courage.” Tierney reiterated the importance of political courage with concession to Pinsky’s statement, continuing on to credit political and governmental foresight along with courage for a clearer vision and proper implementation of policy.

Despite being held at the Lincoln Center campus, the event pulled a crowd from the Rose Hill campus as well, a professor and a number of students sitting in attendance. As the topics supplemented the material she’s been learning in class, Emily Mohri FCRH ‘17 acknowledged that the speakers really “put it in perspective,” while Megan DeFrank FCRH ‘17 elaborated that it was “nice to hear an insider perspective.”

Upon the completion of the interview, a comment was made by a woman leaving, “It must be really interesting hearing it from a young perspective, hearing it as history,” leaving the discussion on the note that while it may be politics of the past, but the Bloomberg years will to continue to have their effect on the forward progression of New York City.

Additional reporting by Katie Moran, Contributing Writer