Keith Tubbs recently joined Capalino+Company as Principal in the Legislative + Political Affairs team. Below, Keith elaborates on his background, the major upheaval surrounding the 2021 municipal elections, and how the private sector should navigate these challenges.
Give us a little background on your work with 32BJ:
Prior to joining Capalino+Company, I served in various roles at 32BJ, including guiding political and legislative programs in Pennsylvania and New York. During my four years at 32BJ, one of the major issues I worked on was reauthorizing the 421a tax exemption program in New York. This tax exemption program was not only crucial to preserving and expanding affordable housing, but it also preserved prevailing wages for thousands of building service workers- many represented by 32BJ.
Tell us about your role with Capalino+Company’s Legislative + Political Affairs practice and the type of work your team does?
I joined Capalino+Company to assist with the expansion of the firm’s Legislative and Political Affairs practice, which lobbies City, State, and government agencies on behalf of businesses, trade associations, and not-for-profits in order to affect regulation, legislation, and public policy. We also work with clients to secure government funding for operations, programs and capital construction. My team also collaborates with the firm’s other practice areas to maximize success and minimize risk when working with elected officials and government agencies.
Big change is coming to New York City’s electoral landscape in 2021: What can we expect?
In 2021, 35 of the City Council’s 51 incumbents, as well as the Mayor, Comptroller, and four of the five Borough Presidents, will be ineligible for re-election due to term-limits. In addition, there will be a new City Council Speaker. This is not an unprecedented scenario for New York City: in 2001, 37 City Council seats, all citywide offices, and four out of five borough presidencies were open due to new term limits imposed by a ballot referendum by voters.
Although this creates a measure of uncertainty, it equally provides an opportunity for businesses looking to expand or enter the New York market. The private sector and non-profit community have an opportunity to educate potential candidates on the importance of the services they provide New Yorkers.
How will the 2021 Municipal elections affect NYC’s real estate, tech, and not-for-profit community, and what issues will businesses in these sectors face?
In the technology and innovation sector, some of the challenges businesses will have to deal with include navigating responsible regulations for things such as artificial intelligence, automation, and privacy concerns that allows for innovation. The real estate sector will grapple with issues like prevailing wage, project labor agreements, MWBE goals, community benefit agreements, and other challenges from special interest groups.
The pendulum of the electorate is moving towards the left and navigating this for some private sector businesses will be tough if they have not demonstrated a strong commitment to being responsible corporate and community partners. Businesses that have not only begun to think about these challenges, but implemented policies that directly address these concerns will have a head start for the 2021 elections. Capalino+Company is well positioned to help private sector and not-for-profit companies to navigate these challenges.
What’s the biggest thing that excites you about coming work every day?
I work with a diverse portfolio of clients and I get to help them navigate the challenges they face- whether it be navigating the legislative process, strategic planning, or a ULURP process that can seem overwhelming. Helping clients to figure out solutions to complicated problems is a part of the job that will always make this type of work exciting.
If you could have any other job, what would it be?
Helping to marry the hip hop community to the philanthropic community. Not sure if there is an actual name for this…..yet.
To learn more about Capalino+Company’s Legislative + Political Affairs team and how we can help you succeed in New York City, contact Keith Tubbs at firstname.lastname@example.org or 212.616.5847.
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