By New York News Network
On Thursday, Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio announced another appointment of his administration, introducing Lilliam Barrios-Paoli as his Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services.
Ms. Barrios-Paoli has served three New York City mayors, she is currently the commissioner of the Department for the Aging, but Mr. de Blasio, nevertheless, indicated the new deputy mayor would set a significantly different city policy.
In his opening remarks Mr. de Blasio spoke about three areas where he believed the city needed renewed focus and change, homeless policy, education and neighborhood healthcare.
Mr. de Blasio criticized past efforts to help the poor as too limited and suggested city policies had “kept people stuck in place,” as he referenced in his remarks the vivid story painted by The New York Times in this week’s Invisible Child series following one 11-year old homeless child, Dasani.
“We have the highest number of people in shelters in the history of this city. The highest number in a city-run shelter system ever. The highest number of people who are homeless people, in any sense, literally, since the Great Depression,” Mr. de Blasio said.
This, he said, had to change, and Ms. Barrios-Paoli would help him do it. Mr. De Blasio said the deputy mayor would tackle not only the record number of homeless families but would also simultaneouly develop and implement preventive measures.
Mr. de Blasio said full-day Pre-K and middle-school after-school programs would be “foundational to setting our children on the right path regardless of their economic circumstance.”
Ms. Barrios-Paoli, he said, had the values, knowledge of city government, the non-profit sector, and “the urgency,” to bring needed change to the social problems he had outlined.
Ms. Barrios-Paoli concurred, “I’ve spent the bulk of my career trying to work on behalf of the poor, ” and “totally believe that we’re living a tale of two cities – no question about it.”
“I know what works and what doesn’t work and I will certainly try to attack the ones that don’t work right away,” she concluded.