New York Community Trust Central to Shaping the Mayors Office of Strategic Partnerships
Soon after his first term as New York City mayor began in 2014, Bill de Blasio paid a visit to The New York Community Trust. The election was over but he had another campaign in mind.
There was this idea to shake up mental health treatment in the city, but before what eventually became Connections to Care could get underway, de Blasio would need organizations like the Trust to match $6 million in federal grant money. Expecting that partnerships like these could be beneficial throughout his tenure as mayor, de Blasio’s next campaign was to get city nonprofits behind him for an even bigger initiative – a grant-making nexus of nonprofits, philanthropies, businesses and government agencies overseen by the Mayor’s Office of Strategic Partnerships (OSP) that he would create that same year.
The New York Community Trust had already worked with de Blasio and his wife Chirlane McCray during his tenure as public advocate. When he came to their offices as the newly-inaugurated mayor, staff at the Trust were receptive to what he had to say about Connections to Care – and how it might build on the work they were already doing, according to Patricia Jenny, vice president for grants at the Trust.
“From the very beginning (he) was very interested in getting involved in our work,” she said in a telephone interview.
Four years later, OSP has raised more than $417 million for a broad range of initiatives aimed at promoting social and economic equality. It does this by promoting the city as a matchmaker among philanthropies, nonprofits, government agencies and businesses – and helping fledgling programs become adopted citywide. Through its control of city-run charities, OSP allows de Blasio to enact many progressive proposals without having to look towards Albany to raise taxes to pay for them...