Public Accountability in NYC
New York City is currently considering selling schools, libraries, parks, and low-income housing to private corporations. Public funds paid not only for these buildings and spaces, but also for the services that are provided in them. Many feel that city officials have shown little accountability to public interests in the making of these decisions. What happens when public goods are not managed in transparent ways? What happens to democratic accountability when public goods come under private management? How does access to these resources serve the public good? Elizabeth Blackmar, professor of social and urban history at Columbia
University; Aaron Pallas, professor of sociology and education at Teachers College; and J. Phillip Thomson, professor of political science and urban planning at MIT, tackle these questions in this provocative look at the consequences of privatization.