Few people have had more of an impact on the recent history of New York City and State than Richard Ravitch. He built some of its most notable buildings, cleaned up its most notorious public transportation agency, helped the city escape financial ruin, and served as Lieutenant Governor in the wake of Eliot Spitzer’s resignation. Roosevelt House celebrated the publication of Mr. Ravitch’s memoir, So Much to Do: A Full Life of Business, Politics, and Confronting Fiscal Crises.
This discussion at Roosevelt House highlighted two aspects of this essential book: the stories of what Mr. Ravitch did and saw in his career of more than forty years, including colorful anecdotes about political leaders such as Ed Koch, Hugh Carey, and Daniel Moynihan, as well as the lessons he learned and why they are relevant to the serious fiscal problems facing cities and states across the nation. Mr. Ravitch believes the most potentially devastating economic and financial crisis in the near future will emanate not from federal debts and policies, but instead from state and local governments in denial about financial commitments they don’t have the resources to cover.
Richard Ravitch recalled his lifelong engagement in New York politics and commitment to public service. Drawing on his multifaceted career, points the way to solutions for the fiscal problems looming in many cities across the country.