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Commentary/Op-Ed - February 2016

The City’s Next Steps to Ensure Vibrant, Creative Communities

The city’s new Building Community Capacity initiative aims to fortify small and midsized art organizations in communities outside of Manhattan. In this Gotham Gazette op-ed, CUF Senior Researcher Adam Forman shares several ideas for making the initiative a success – helping strengthen cultural organizations in the midst of neighborhood change.

Testimony - January 2016

A promising start for NYC’s new approach to workforce development

In this testimony before NYC Council’s Committees on Economic Development, Small Business and Civil Service & Labor, CUF’s Christian González-Rivera analyzes the first year of the Career Pathways initiative, the city’s new and comprehensive approach to workforce development.

Commentary/Op-Ed - January 2016

6 Ways the State Can Expand Economic Opportunity in 2016

As Governor Cuomo and the State Legislature set priorities for 2016, they should put economic opportunity for New Yorkers at the top. CUF Senior Researchers Christian González-Rivera and Tom Hilliard offer six concrete and affordable ideas to build the skills of the New York workforce, boosting low-income workers and their employers.

Report - December 2015

State of the Chains, 2015

Our eighth annual ranking of national retailers in New York City shows that growth in chain store locations across the city slowed considerably over the last year, with only Brooklyn, the Bronx and Queens experiencing a net increase in the number of national retailers.

Testimony - December 2015

Addressing NYC’s Affordable Housing Crisis

In testimony submitted before the City Planning Commission, CUF's Jonathan Bowles argues in favor of Mayor de Blasio's affordable housing zoning amendments, saying that the shortage of affordable housing is a threat to the city’s continued economic growth and a barrier to elevating low-income New Yorkers into the middle class.

Commentary/Op-Ed - December 2015

Why I support the plan to redevelop the Brooklyn Heights Library

Despite the essential services the city’s public libraries provide to residents across NYC, their physical infrastructure is in trouble. In this City & State op-ed, CUF Executive Director Jonathan Bowles highlights the Brooklyn Public Library’s innovative approach to addressing its crumbling infrastructure.

Commentary/Op-Ed - November 2015

Open up schools to priced-out artists: A resource that’s sitting underutilized

In this Daily News op-ed, CUF Senior Researcher Adam Forman advocates for opening up underutilized spaces in public schools and churches to New York City artists. With leadership and collaboration between government agencies, philanthropy and the nonprofit sector, he argues that these spaces would allow New York City’s creative community to continue to create and thrive in the city.

Testimony - September 2015

A New Approach to Funding Library Improvements

With the city’s public libraries facing a maintenance crisis, CUF executive director Jonathan Bowles says that policymakers should be open to innovative funding approaches. In testimony before the City Planning Commission, he argues in favor of a proposal to build a modern new branch library in Brooklyn Heights as part of a larger residential development. Under the proposal, the developer would also contribute around $50 million towards library improvements at branches across Brooklyn.

Testimony - August 2015

Better Libraries for Brooklyn

In testimony before Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, CUF Researcher Jeanette Estima makes the case for redeveloping the Brooklyn Heights branch library. Not only will a new library better serve the neighborhood, it will also help address decades of deferred maintenance in branches throughout Brooklyn.

Commentary/Op-Ed - August 2015

Help artists revive NYC neighborhoods: Build up culture and housing at the same time

In this Daily News op-ed, CUF Senior Researcher Adam Forman makes the case for integrating cultural planning with city planning to provide much needed affordable space for New York artists, designers and cultural organizations, and jobs for local residents — ensuring a more diverse creative sector.

Commentary/Op-Ed - July 2015

Boosting Adult Education in New York

With 1.6 million adults in New York lacking a high school diploma, Tom Hilliard and Brenda Dann-Messier argue that the state needs a bold new commitment to strengthening its adult education system. In this commentary, they lay out several steps policymakers could take to rebuild the adult ed system for the 21st century economy.

Report - June 2015

Creative New York

From museums to film studios, the creative sector is one of New York City’s most important economic assets. But the city’s working artists, nonprofit arts groups and for-profit creative firms face a growing number of challenges.

Commentary/Op-Ed - June 2015

The Virtuous Cycle of Keeping Your City Affordable for Artists

In this Next City op-ed, CUF researcher Adam Forman discusses how New York’s affordability challenges are threatening its remarkable community of artists, nonprofit arts groups, and for profit creative industries. He outlines three ideas for what the city should do to support and retain New York’s now thriving creative economy in the years ahead.

Commentary/Op-Ed - June 2015

City Officials Must Do More To Boost New York’s Creative Sector

In this City & State op-ed, CUF executive director Jonathan Bowles calls on the de Blasio administration to support the arts and the broader creative sector. He argues that the creative sector provides the city with its greatest competitive advantage, but notes that New York faces growing competition from other cities that are aggressively cultivating their creative economies.

Commentary/Op-Ed - June 2015

What can cities do to nurture the arts & the creative sector?

In an online essay for Zócalo Public Square, the Center’s Jonathan Bowles argues that the healthiest creative economies owe their success not to gilded performance halls, but to large and sustainable clusters of artists, musicians, dancers, designers, writers, and other creative professionals. He writes that cities wishing to bolster their creative economy should start by developing policies that attract and retain artists.

Commentary/Op-Ed - May 2015

Make Commercial Spaces Affordable Too

In this City & State op-ed, CUF executive director Jonathan Bowles analyzes the growing demand for commercial spaces in New York. He argues that as Mayor de Blasio develops innovative proposals to address the city's affordable housing crisis, the administration should also move to unleash the potential of commercial spaces that have long gone vacant or underutilized.

Testimony - May 2015

Mayor de Blasio’s 10-Year Capital Plan: Ambitious But Insufficient

At a time when so much of the city’s essential infrastructure is in need of repair and expansion, funding for New York's infrastructure projects is critical. In a May 2015 testimony before the City’s Committee on Finance, CUF executive director Jonathan Bowles presents new ideas for capital funding streams.

Report - May 2015

Seeking a State Workforce Strategy

As New York’s economy continues to grow, the state needs a workforce development strategy that prepares and connects New Yorkers to careers.

Commentary/Op-Ed - May 2015

Fulfilling CUNY’s workforce promise

In this commentary, CUF senior fellow David Jason Fischer takes a close look at the City University of New York’s role as a workforce development provider. While he finds that CUNY’s adult and continuing education programs provide a path to economic advancement for thousands of New Yorkers, he argues that CUNY must address several structural, funding and cultural obstacles if it is to reach its potential as an engine of economic mobility and high-volume source of workforce talent for city employers.

Commentary/Op-Ed - April 2015

Keeping the Water On: New York Must Address Infrastructure, Costs

In this op-ed in the Gotham Gazette, CUF researcher Adam Forman argues that with last year’s spike in water main breaks throughout all five boroughs, Mayor de Blasio should hold firm on increasing water rates and consider additional methods to finance and modernize New York’s water infrastructure.

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