Martha Stark is the first African-American woman to serve every bit New York Metropolis Finance Commissioner. The Brooklyn native studied at New York Academy and was captain of the schoolhouse’due south varsity basketball squad and a former White House Young man.
Martha Stark is the start African-American woman to serve every bit New York City Finance Commissioner. The Brooklyn native studied at New York University and was captain of the school’s varsity basketball game squad and a former White House Young man.
I believe in the ability of numbers. I don’t know when my conventionalities in numbers began. Possibly when I was a child. My high school dropout, bookkeeper dad came domicile each week to tell us that he had played the numbers — my neighborhood’s equivalent of lotto but lots more complex.
Dad would convert every thought and dream to a number with help from his trusty dream book. Y’all had a dream about mice? Consult the book. “That’s a 12, 17 or 21. What was the mouse doing — climbing out of a garbage can? Well climbing is a 21, 34, or 42 and garbage is a 17, 39, or 32. And so, let’due south play 12 and 21 (the opposite of each other), 17 (it appeared twice), and 34, the year your mom was born.”
Mayhap it was my mom’southward retort to my dad’s obsession with playing the numbers that helped me sympathize the power of numbers. She cited my dad’due south record: “You have hitting the number once in the last 150 weeks. We could have used that money to supercede the fifteen-yr-erstwhile burrow.”
Or perhaps it was my mother’s focus on our grades. “You got a 97? What’s your strategy for those extra iii points?” Mayhap it was my dad’due south legitimate number playing, his love of doing his friends’ tax returns to earn a little actress money—a skill he taught his xv-year-quondam daughter that led to my current chore as the New York City Finance Commissioner, aka the tax collector.
But numbers besides scare me. What does information technology mean that my mom died when she was just 46 and I was but 21? What does information technology mean that my brilliant doctor brother, who told me he would live forever, followed suit and died at the historic period of 46 on his 17th wedding anniversary?
Maybe it is merely that numbers don’t lie. Management gurus frequently say you are what y’all measure, which might explain why I haven’t been on a scale in the last year. Whatever the reason, my conventionalities in numbers grows stronger every day: As I try to improve what we practise at the NYC Section of Finance, an agency responsible for collecting more than $xviii billion in city revenues; as I effort to persuade my 17-year-old niece that she has to go to college. Most people wouldn’t expect her to amount to much, equally the child of a single mother, just information technology helps to show her the numbers. Without a college education, she won’t exist able to pay for her manicures, pedicures, makeup consultation and the fancy car she then wants.
Every bit I try to live each day equally if information technology could be my final — I turn 46 on June 30 — I know numbers volition guide me through the futurity. Numbers may scare me, but they also tell me information technology’s likely I’ll make it well past 46 and keep serving my love hometown. Knowing that, I’m going to keep believing numbers.