Should Marty Markowitz Be “Ambassador for NYC”?

brooklyn borough president marty markowitz with nyc mayor bill de blasio
via @MartyMarkowitz

Current Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz was term-limited out of his job, which will go to Eric Adams in the new year. So what happens to him now? His name has been floated as a candidate for parks commissioner in the de Blasio administration, but two Brooklyn pols have a new idea: “Ambassador for NYC.” Incoming Public Advocate Letitia James and Councilmember David Greenfield are petitioning the mayor-elect to appoint Markowitz as “commissioner of the Mayor’s Office for International Affairs, and to rename the position ‘Ambassador for NYC,'” Politicker reports.

It’s a thoughtful idea. “To say Markowitz has an outsized personality is an understatement,” I wrote earlier this year. “Markowitz is his personality. He’s half salesman, half showman.”

Marty has sometimes wielded this power for ill, like pushing hard for the Atlantic Yards development or opposing the Prospect Park West bike lane, but he’s also been an effective hometown cheerleader, Brooklyn’s most prominent brand ambassador—a walking “I’m wawkin here” stereotype of the Brooklyn old-school. He teetered always at the edge of charming and buffoonish, sometimes being both at once, as with the now-iconic highway signs that tell you as you’re leaving Brooklyn to fuhgeddaboudit.

In short, Markowitz has essentially been the Ambassador for Brooklyn for the last 12 years, and a successful one at that, promoting our borough both at home and abroad. For him to do that full-time for the entire city would the best use of his talents, a rare example of someone having the perfect job, doing the thing they’re best at doing. Heck, we kinda wish that’d been his job all along!

Follow Henry Stewart on Twitter @henrycstewart


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