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"Talking Transition" Tent Seeks Input From New Yorkers

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While Bill de Blasio plans his transition to mayor, he will be getting a number of ideas -- some of them possibly emerging from a tent not too far from City Hall that has been shrouded in a bit of mystery. NY1's Josh Robin filed the following report.

If you've recently been around Canal street and Sixth Avenue in SoHo you may have noticed something. No one would talk about it for days. But now word is the big thing has something to do with this week's big news. Sort of.

It's called "Talking Transition" to have an effect on the ongoing transition in City Hall administrations.

Organizers of a 15-day-long event hope the months-long dialogue about New York's future doesn't end now that Election Day has passed.

"Typically after election day, and between Election Day and inauguration, the whole conversation about policy goes quiet, it goes inside, it becomes the domain of very few people and the energy evaporates after Election Day. And we're trying very much to change that," said Andrea Batista Schlesinger of Open Society Foundations.

The tents will host town halls and break-out sessions. Outside, in all five boroughs, canvassers will ask regular New Yorkers their views about city government services.

"We're trying to use this moment of transition to ensure that a lot more New Yorkers can actually continue to inform the policies of the new administration," said Danny Fuchs of "Talking Transition."

A number of thoughtful and influential people are expected at the tent. But it's still unclear if the person with the most influence over the next administration will also attend, the mayor-elect himself.

"My sense is that he sees the value in a public that's engaged and asking questions and promoting ideas, and we too would love for him and for his transition team to be listening, and to be taking these ideas seriously," Batista said.

The ideas, some may say, skew to the left side of the aisle. After all, groups seen as more liberal are among the sponsors, although city libraries are also taking part.

NY1 is the television partner of the event.

Organizers insist all sides are welcome, even encouraged.

"I was in a meeting the other week where we talked about how we make sure lots of different ideas come to the fore. And that's going to happen," said Hugh Hogan of the North Star Fund.

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