I just noticed that the word “transition” appears quite frequently in the obituary section. “Our dear Aunt Betty has transitioned into the afterlife… We are at peace knowing dear Grandmother Anna is transitioning into the next part of the eternal cycle…” As a member of the Mayor’s Transition Team, I am excited to be at the beginning of a new phase of life for New York. Transition means forward movement, growth, and future. With each appointment, the structure of city government emerges more clearly, a distinctively progressive architecture defining its growth. This weekend, I received the following phone call: “Hello?”
“Oh, hello, may I speak to Hoong Yee Lee Krakauer? This is Melissa Mark-Viverito.”
I stared at the phone and said, “This is she. Como esta?”
OMG, did I really just say that? She laughed and said, “Muy bien, gracias! The reason I am calling is that I am putting together my transition team and you came highly recommended. Would you consider joining my efforts to set up house?”
The last time I got a call like this I became part of the mayor-elect’s transition team which has been a fascinating experience. The call caught me off guard and I somehow got it together quickly enough to express that I would be happy to help the mayor-elect build a new city administration and said,
“Of course, it would be an honor.”
Muscle memory is a great thing. I expressed my gratitude for being considered to join her transition and to assist in helping her build her team to the best of my ability. I have been told that in addition to her own Speaker staff, there are several key positions and approximately 237 jobs at the central agency of which half need to be filled by new staff that “looks like the city it serves”. This sounds like a page from the Mayor’s playbook for his transition team.
The next time I see Melissa, I will be sure to say, “Por supuesto! Seria un honor.”
This is my second transition. I have stopped reading obituaries and I remain wary of my next transition request. The way I see it, three strikes and I am out.