The Employee Engagement Committee (EEC) held its monthly meeting the week before Thanksgiving, on November 14. The first item on the agenda was requests for volunteers to deliver Thanksgiving dinners to residents experiencing gas outages. This endeavor embodies an EEC principle: giving back to the community and helping those less fortunate.
Next up was a visit from Interim Chair Stanley Brezenoff. He is very affable and easy to talk to and has been in public service in NYC for over 50 years. He has worked under numerous mayors and governors during his tenure, building a wealth of knowledge and experience that he gladly shared with the committee. He is sharp-witted and full of humor but deadly serious about changing the way NYCHA does business.
Chair Brezenoff explained that NYCHA is “under siege.” He encouraged us “to not be so daunted by what we face that we are paralyzed” and become incapable of making positive change. He wants us to carry a “can-do” attitude into our daily work environment. These concepts are very familiar tools for EEC members. As leaders in our fields, we constantly try to pass these ideals forward to our co-workers.
The members then discussed a range of subjects with the Chair. Derrick Taylor, Manager of AS/400 Operations, brought up accountability regarding the RAD program. Resident Buildings Superintendent Chaking Moore talked about pre-planning for major initiatives. Housing Assistant Rebecca Glynn discussed opportunities for improvement and collaboration with residents. Analyst Valerie Pepe emphasized the importance of communication up and down the chain of command, from the Chair to the caretaker in the field.
Chair Brezenoff noted that upper management is developing a program called NYCHAStat, which is similar to CompStat, a very productive tool for the police department. NYCHAStat will focus on cause (not blame) to turn things around. EEC members offered valuable input on the development of this tool of change. Hopefully we will be able to see the root causes of problems in real time and develop solutions to change the way we do business at NYCHA.