Richard Buery Appointed as NYC’s New Deputy Mayor of Strategic Policy Initiatives

Richard Buery speaking at a panel discussion event organized by Equity for Children at The New School (April 2012)

Equity for Children would like to formally congratulate Richard Buery on his appointment today as New York City’s new Deputy Mayor of Strategic Policy Initiatives, a position newly created by Mayor Bill de Blasio.

“I share the mayor’s vision about what it will take to make the promise of equal opportunity real to everyone,” Buery said at a press conference this morning at City Hall, where his appointment was announced. “We are going to elevate and reform the way that New York City supports families.” [1].

In his newly appointed position as Deputy Mayor of Strategic Policy Initiatives, Buery’s work will focus on implementing some of the new administration’s “most important agenda items and most ambitious priorities,” including the new mayor’s signature pre-K program and assembling a new “Children’s Cabinet” to work across city agencies. These key items of pushing forward policy aimed at achieving greater social equity through pre-K programs is especially of interest to Equity for Children as we have time and again advocated for mandatory high quality pre-K programs, most notably in our homepage feature, ‘The Case for Universal Pre-Kindergarten Education: An Interview with Professor Martin Woodhead, University of Oxford, and Professor Alberto Minujin, The New School,’ released after President Obama’s State of the Union address in October 2013. In March 2013, we also featured an article from former Equity for Children employee, Jessica Tallarico, entitled, ‘Universal Pre-K: An Important Asset for Child Development’ which focuses specifically on the impact of pre-K programs in the United States.

In 2012, Buery participated in a panel discussion organized by Equity for Children centered around Equity for Children’s Executive Director Alberto Minujin’s book, ‘Global Child Poverty and Well-Being: Measurements, concepts, policy and action,’ where he presented a perspective of child poverty in NYC, where 1 in 3 children live in poverty. Buery noted during the event that African-American and Hispanic children are 10 times more likely than white children to experience poverty and deprivation. He also noted that within these communities there is often a deep sense of mistrust of government officials and services. Buery described the complexity of poverty as a system of challenges including hunger, inadequate housing, lack of role models and exposure to violence and abuse that deny children the chance to develop to their fullest potential. He discussed some of the challenges that Children’s Aid Society faces trying to alleviate child poverty, including donor preferences for short-term interventions about problems requiring long-term engagement. Additionally, the system addressing families in poverty is made up of fragmented bureaucracies that too often remain disconnected from each other.

Richard Buery has to this day served as President and CEO of the Children’s Aid Society, a private charitable organization based in New York City that serves over 70,000 children per year, providing foster care, medical and mental health services, and a wide range of educational, recreational and advocacy services through dozens of community centers, a Children’s Aid operated charter school in the Bronx, camps and other locations in the New York area.

It is exciting for all of us at Equity for Children to see our friend and partner in the advocation of children’s rights to be recognized by Mayor de Blasio with this newly formed position. We wish him the best of luck in the years to come and hope to continue our work together on these important social issues.


[1] De Blasio Appoints Richard Buery as Deputy Mayor for Policy Initiatives.

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