Queens, New York
Edward Borges is a veteran New York State legislative aide and former journalist who developed and implemented Empty Beds, Wasted Dollars, the strategic communications and advocacy vision and plan to support the transformation of New York's juvenile justice system from a failed, punitive, correctional model to an evidence-based program to improve outcomes for children and make communities safer. He accomplished this in his then capacity as communications director for the New York State Office of Children and Family Services, where he guided the agency's narrative, including comprehensive media relations, to advance Governor David Paterson and Commissioner Gladys Carrion's ambitious reform of New York State's juvenile justice, child welfare, and child care systems.
Despite formidable opposition from Republican state legislators in whose districts facilities were located and the New York State employees who worked in them the Empty Beds, Wasted Dollars campaign is widely-credited with generating the political capital necessary to close more than half the states juvenile jails where many children in custody had been maltreated by state employees—and where an emotionally disturbed 15-year-old boy was killed in 2006, when two state employees pinned him down on the floor, face down, and sat on him until he stopped breathing.
Borges also led the agency's crisis management communications; served as principal liaison between the Governor's communications team and the agency; wrote op-ed articles and speeches; and developed and implemented the agency's Web 2.0 and social media marketing strategies (YouTube, Facebook).
Before joining the Spitzer / Paterson administration, he was a motion picture literary agent at International Creative Management (ICM), the talent and literary agency in Century City, and was a consultant on diversity issues to Disney's ABC Television Network.
In the late 1990s, Borges was legislative director of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) flagship affiliate, the New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU) -- the leading civil rights organization in New York State. In this position, he tracked state and county legislation impacting New Yorkers’ civil liberties; developed and executed detailed political and media relations strategies; lobbied members of the Legislature, Governor’s staff, and newspaper editorial boards; wrote special reports, op-ed articles, and speeches; and served on the ACLU’s National Communications Strategy Group.
Borges spent more than a decade working as a journalist. He was a contributing writer at Los Angeles magazine, The New York Observer, and The Village Voice and a staff writer for The New York Daily News and The Miami Herald. While at the News, he won three Associated Press Managing Editors Awards for Writing. Borges also was involved in developing the highly popular website, The Smoking Gun.