Published On: Mon, Apr 7th, 2014

Robert Feldstein goes out west to Seattle

Feldstein, the newly appointed  head of the city’s  Office of Policy and Innovation, will be bringing with him  some of the  lessons he learned as a member of  Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s team in of New York City.

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Robert Feldstein, who recently wound up a four years stint on the management team of Michael Bloomberg, the former New York City Mayor has just migrated west to Washington state and the city of Seattle.

Feldstein when west to take up an invitation from Seattle’s recently appointed mayor Ed Murray to launch an Office of Policy and Innovation for the city similar to the one which he was closely involved when on Bloomberg’s management team.

The fact that Mayor Murray reached out to Feldstein could not have been more fortuitous for the talented administrator, as he was, in any event, time to move to the city to be near his girlfriend, who, almost a year earlier, had taken up a job as an architect in the Seattle offices of international architects ZGF, which meant transferring from her home town of Brooklyn.

Feldstein, will stand out from the crowd of new appointees on Mayor  Murray’s management team as he is one of very few new faces in the 4th Avenue executive offices where he is now based.

Mayor Murray reportedly picked out Robert Feldstein specifically because he wanted to have someone who was hands-on familiar with the approach that have been developed  by Bloomberg Philanthropies,  which had gone by the title of Innovation Delivery. The  Innovation Delivery concept was established with the purpose of helping local and city government to provide their services in a more effective manner, through adopting a strategy which involves putting together a team  of analysts capable of quickly marshalling data that will give a true assessment of the situation and how to improve it.

The Bloomberg Philanthropies model is currently going through pilot stages in no less than five major North American cities, amongst them Chicago and New Orleans as well as Seattle.

With only a few weeks into his new position,  Feldstein is already firmly ensconced in one of Mayor Murray’s  highest-profile projects in his first tenure- that to raise the minimum hourly wage for city employees to $15 an hour. While a considerable number of US cities and states have already raised their minimum wage, none of them have even aspired to reach $15 an hour, which will mean an increase of almost two thirds  on the current average hourly rate being paid by Seattle.

Already the reaction to Mayor Murray’s minimum wage proposal is making waves, but already some factors in the tourism industry rushing to point out that they’ll be put out of business if they have to raise their employees’ hourly rates by the proposed 65 percent, as well as causing a ripple effect on all salaries.

Feldstein will also be involved in coordinating the multimillion-dollar construction projects that are currently dominating Seattle’s waterfront as well as how to convince more of the city’s residents, especially those in the low-income brackets, to take advantage of the recently introduced utility-discount program.

After Robert Feldstein  graduated from Harvard University, he  took some time out, seven years in total , to accumulate some hands-on working experience working for the Center for Court Innovation in Brooklyn, where he wheels involved in operating the Red Hook Community Justice Center in the bar.

The Red Hook Community Justice Center gained a reputation as being one of the first local community courts, to provide first time offenders with a range of opportunities to break out of the effects of the environment,  including treatment for drug addicts, job training and education whilst often  suspending a criminal charge.

Feldstein wound up his spell at Red Hook Community Justice Center to continue his studies, earning a Masters degree in education from Stanford University, after which he spent a number of years as a high school teacher.

That was until his former boss at the Red Hook project, John Feinblatt, was invited to take charge of Bloomberg’s Office of Policy and Strategic Planning. Feinberg immediately approached Robert join his team an offer which he found difficult to refuse, and over time became Feinblatt’s chief of staff.

During his four years in Bloomberg’s policy office, Feldstein was reportedly involved in the passing of  universal background checks for gun sales as well as the publication of the considerable proliferation of weapons sales online.

 

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