Increasingly it is cities and towns, rather than states or countries, that are being asked to take the lead in developing and implementing policies on everything from climate adaptation to addressing housing inequality to upgrading infrastructure. Yet historically, these smaller jurisdictions are ill-equipped to meet this challenge. In his new book, “Start-Up City: Inspiring Private and Public Entrepreneurship, Getting Projects Done, and Having Fun,” Gabe Klein tackles head-on all the things that impede the public sector from acting more nimbly: the perennial under-staffing, the weight of bureaucracy, legacy systems and regulation, and the often adversarial relationship with the private sector.
Klein is one of a long roster of speakers who will appear at the New Jersey Future Redevelopment Forum Friday, March 11, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Hyatt in New Brunswick. Tickets are $190 for New Jersey Future members and $205 for nonmembers. Visit www.njfuture.org, call 609-393-0008, or E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Klein is the former director of the Chicago department of transportation under Mayor Rahm Emanuel and former director of the District of Columbia department of transportation under then-mayor Adrian M. Fenty. In Washington he launched Capital Bikeshare, the first large-scale bikeshare system in the country, and in Chicago he launched Divvy, now the largest bikeshare system in the country. Before entering the public sphere, Klein worked for startups, including Zipcar, where he served as vice president for four years. He also wrote a business model for the first point-to-point car sharing concept and co-founded the first all-natural multi-unit food truck company in the United States.
In 2015 Klein joined Fontinalis Partners as a special venture partner on their new fund. He continues to advise technology and mobility companies, including Transit Screen and Phone2Action. He is on the boards of the National Association of City Transportation Officials and the transportation website Streetsblog.
Other speakers include:
Stephen S. Sweeney, president of the New Jersey State Senate since 2010. A union ironworker by trade and the current general vice president of the International Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental and Reinforcing Iron Workers Union, Sweeney has sponsored and supported measures to protect the rights of workers and support organized labor. He has led the effort to raise New Jersey’s minimum wage.
Michele Adams, president, Meliora Design. Adams is a water resources engineer whose work focuses on sustainability, green infrastructure, and engineering designs informed by ecology.
Anne S. Babineau, partner at Wilentz, Goldman & Spitzer. She leads the firm’s multi-disciplinary redevelopment practice.
Amy Chester, managing director of Rebuild by Design, is responsible for day-to-day operations, management, fundraising, and strategy for the initiative of the Hurricane Sandy Task Force and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Sherry Cronin, executive director, Downtown Westfield Corporation, the management entity for Westfield’s Special Improvement District.
Christopher Daggett, president and CEO, Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation.
Victor De Luca, mayor of Maplewood Township and former director of the Ironbound Community Corporation in Newark.
Joseph DeMarco, business administrator, city of Bayonne.
Jeffrey C. Dey, CEO, Resource Renewal LLC. Dey is a geologist, licensed site remediation professional, and business manager.
Russ D. Dudley, environmental engineer, Tetra Tech, focused on watershed resilience and natural infrastructure implementation.
Caren Franzini, president, Franzini Consulting, which helps design and enhance programs and projects for economic development organizations; offers strategic guidance with real estate development projects; and identifies local, state and federal incentives to fill funding gaps.