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RE:NEW YORK CITY

Report - July 2021

RE:NEW YORK CITY

250 Ideas from New Yorkers to Revive NYC's Economy, Spark Good Jobs, and Build a More Equitable City

by the Center for an Urban Future

Tags: middle class jobs project economic opportunity economic growth workforce development immigrants entrepreneurship small business creative economy higher education low income

  • The following is the introduction and full list of ideas from RE:NEW YORK CITY: 250 Ideas from New Yorkers to Revive NYC's Economy, Spark Good Jobs, and Build a More Equitable City
  • Click here to explore the full report and read all of the bold, actionable ideas contributed by over 175 New Yorkers

ABOUT THIS PROJECT
This report is a blueprint to renew New York.
New York’s next mayor—and the many other new leaders across city government entering office in January 2022—will need to take bold action to ensure that the promising recovery underway across the city will take hold and accelerate.They should be prepared to implement policies that will not only help the city’s economy bounce back and address the many structural economic challenges exacerbated by the pandemic, but also enable New York to build a stronger and more equitable economy over the long run.

This report points the way. It includes actionable ideas from over 175 New Yorkers—including small business owners, company CEOs, labor leaders, community advocates, nonprofit practitioners, artists, college presidents, and former government officials. Organized into 10 core principles, the nearly 250 ideas that follow include concrete policy suggestions for bringing back the roughly 500,000 jobs lost over the past year, strengthening small businesses, and boosting the hard-hit arts sector. But they also include ideas for helping New Yorkers of color boost incomes and build wealth, making skills-building a key part of an equitable recovery, bolstering the hardest-hit workers and communities, and reimagining streets and public spaces.

As this report makes clear, New Yorkers are full of bold ideas. Now is the time to turn these ideas into action.


Ten Core Principles for New York's Recovery
(Click Links Below to View Ideas)

I. Spark NYC’s Economic Comeback
II. Strengthen NYC’s Small Businesses
III. Help New Yorkers of Color Boost Incomes and Build Wealth
IV. Embrace Public Health to Make New Yorkers Healthier and Grow the Economy
V. Make Skills Building the Centerpiece of an Equitable Recovery
VI. Reimagine Streets and Public Spaces and Re-Invest in Vital Urban Infrastructure
VII. Boost the Hard-Hit Arts Sector to Bring Back the City’s Magnetism and Vitality
VIII. Build a Stronger and More Inclusive Economy for the Long Run
IX. Prioritize Hard-Hit Workers and Communities
X. Shore Up the Building Blocks of NYC’s Economic Success


INTRODUCTION

New York City’s rebound from the depths of the COVID-19 crisis is already underway, with life returning to once-silent streets and a resilient energy pulsing from Wakefield to Far Rockaway. But to ensure a strong, equitable, and lasting economic recovery, city leaders will have much more work to do.

New York’s 10 percent unemployment rate remains among the highest of any major city in the United States, with nearly 400,000 residents out of work. Tens of thousands of small businesses have closed, and thousands more are hanging on by a thread. No other city is coping with as many structural economic challenges brought on by the pandemic, from the rise of remote work and the slow recovery of tourism to the ongoing disruption in retail and the severe blow dealt to the arts. At the same time, the city is reckoning with enormous disparities in the physical, social, and economic impact of the pandemic on communities of color—as well as structural inequities that long predate the arrival of the virus.

Faced with a long road to a full and equitable economic recovery, New York City needs bold and actionable ideas that can be implemented now and into 2022 to bring back nearly half a million jobs, strengthen small businesses, revitalized hard-hit corridors and communities, restore the city’s vitality and magnetism, and reassert New York’s cherished role as a beacon of economic opportunity to the world.

No one individual or organization has all the answers. But together, New Yorkers have the ingenuity and experience needed to rebuild a stronger and more inclusive economy for the long run. That’s why the Center for an Urban Future turned to more than 175 exceptional New Yorkers from every corner of the city’s economic and cultural life for their ideas on sparking a lasting economic recovery to the benefit of all.

This report gathers together concrete ideas from a diverse mix of New Yorkers who reflect the city’s many strengths, including community advocates and small business owners; CEOs in media, healthcare, technology, and nonprofits; artists and cultural leaders; heads of social services organizations; experts in finance, law, and public health; labor leaders; award-winning designers and architects; leaders in education and workforce development; creative economy innovators; and former government officials that have steered the city through previous crises—from the 1970s to post-9/11 and the aftermath of the Great Recession.   

The nearly 250 ideas contained in this report provide an ambitious yet achievable blueprint for cultivating a robust and inclusive economic recovery. These ideas run the gamut from tapping the city’s high school and college students to help small businesses innovate, to reimagining public streets and parks for art and commerce, to launching hubs for freelance workers and cooperative businesses in every borough, to investing in the public health infrastructure needed to prepare for the next crisis. Taken together, these ideas offer a sweeping vision for an economic recovery that is urgent, practical, and hopeful.

More than any other crisis in recent memory, the COVID-19 pandemic has brought on and exacerbated challenges that will require both immediate action and long-term transformation to address. This report provides city leaders with specific ideas organized into 10 core principles: spark NYC’s economic comeback; strengthen NYC’s small businesses; help New Yorkers of color boost incomes and build wealth; embrace public health to make New Yorkers healthier and grow the economy; make skills building the centerpiece of an equitable recovery; reimagine streets and public spaces and re-invest in vital urban infrastructure; boost the hard-hit arts sector to bring back the city’s magnetism and vitality; build a stronger and more inclusive economy for the long run; prioritize hard-hit workers and communities; and shore up the building blocks of NYC’s economic success.

The nearly 250 ideas in this report offer bold and practical suggestions to do all this and more. One clear theme is an unwavering belief in the power of New Yorkers to tackle big challenges together, including ideas to unlock the potential of emerging technologies and new growth industries; invest in low-income entrepreneurs across every community; transform the urban landscape with “people streets”; put teaching artists back to work supporting community-led revitalization; and make New York the best-prepared city in the world to manage the next public health crisis.

The following 30 ideas provide a small sample of the creativity, vision, and optimism that runs through this blueprint for the city’s long-term economic recovery:

  • Pair tech-savvy CUNY students with small businesses that need help adopting technology
    S. David Wu, President, Baruch College
  • Help prepare NYC for the next pandemic by making New Yorkers healthier, through investments in public health, preventative care and health literacy
    Wafaa El-Sadr, University Professor and Dr. Mathilde Krim-amfAR Chair of Global Health, Columbia University
  • Launch a major advertising campaign to make people feel like they’re missing out if they don’t come back
    Andrew Robertson, President and CEO, BBDO
  • Enact a tax on financial transactions or unoccupied condos to fund job-creating climate resiliency projects
    Richard Kahan, Founder, Urban Assembly
  • Replicate the Brooklyn Navy Yard model elsewhere in NYC to make real estate more affordable for small businesses
    Tim Tompkins, former President, Times Square Alliance
  • Spur the return to offices by supporting public programming that reinvigorates business districts
    Larisa Ortiz, Managing Director, Streetsense
  • Transform every tenth street across NYC into “people streets”
    Bjarke Ingels, Founder, Bjarke Ingels Group
  • Plan now to deal with the next infectious disease, borrowing from what worked in Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Vietnam
    Jeffrey Shaman, Epidemiologist and Director, Climate and Health Program, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University
  • Create NYC Coin: a local currency for the five boroughs
    Fred Wilson, Founder, Union Square Ventures
  • Help NYC become a global leader in the sex tech industry
    Cindy Gallop, Founder, MakeLoveNotPorn
  • Create a Teaching Artist Jobs Corps
    Kemi Ilesanmi, Executive Director,The Laundromat Project
  • Break the logjam around housing development in NYC with a grand bargain around housing and jobs
    Rafael Cestero, President, Community Preservation Corp.; former Commissioner, NYC Department of Housing, Preservation and Development
  • Create thousands of jobs by putting an additional teacher in every classroom
    Richard Buery Jr., CEO, Robin Hood; former Deputy Mayor for Strategic Policy Initiatives
  • Expand affordable housing options by allowing trailer parks in NYC
    Jonathan Peters, Professor of Finance, College of Staten Island
  • Spur economic development in underserved communities by making long overdue public realm improvements
    Purnima Kapur, Chief of University Planning and Design, Harvard University
  • Launch major workforce training initiative focused on women and the care economy
    Reshma Saujani, Founder, Girls Who Code
  • Support the CUNY Internship-to-Employment Model
    Felix Matos-Rodriguez, Chancellor, City University of New York
  • Turn vacant storefronts into cooperative spaces for small businesses
    Jessica Johnson, President, Johnson Security Bureau
  • Emulate the AgLanta initiative to scale up urban agriculture in NYC’s hard-hit communities of color
    Mark Gardner, Principal, Jaklitsch/Gardner Architects
  • Build infrastructure to support entrepreneurship in New York City’s lower-income communities
    Jo-Ann Rolle, Dean, School of Business, Medgar Evers College
  • Let small businesses temporarily set up shop in city parks
    Anthony Ramirez II, Founder, The Bronx Beer Hall
  • Attract film and TV production from Georgia and other states with new incentives
    Jeff Zucker, President, CNN
  • Create good jobs by making it far easier for hospitals to expand and modernize
    Steven Corwin, President, New York Presbyterian
  • Upgrade NYCHA infrastructure and train NYCHA residents to do the work
    Kenneth Lipper, former Deputy Mayor for Finance and Economic Development
  • Make NYC a global capital of public health
    Seth Pinsky, CEO, 92nd Street Y; former President, NYC Economic Development Corporation
  • Prepare New Yorkers from underserved communities to replace municipal workers that will retire in the coming years
    Arthur Cheliotes, Chairman Emeritus, CWA Local 1180
  • Embrace branch libraries as a key driver of an equitable recovery
    Katy Knight, President and Executive Director, Siegel Family Endowment
  • Develop a master plan that charts a path for creating a stronger and more inclusive NYC economy through 2050
    Winston Fisher, Partner, Fisher Brothers; Co-Chair, NYC Regional Economic Development Council
  • Create a Deputy Mayor for Intergovernmental Relations to help make NYC’s case in Albany and Washington
    Carol O’Cleireacain, Adjunct Professor of International and Public Affairs, Columbia SIPA; former Director, Mayor's Office of Management and Budget, and Commissioner, NYC Department of Finance
  • Provide Baby Bonds to every NYC child born in poverty
    Lilliam Barrios-Paoli, Senior Advisor to the President, Hunter College; former Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services

About this Project
The nearly 250 ideas contained in this report were shared in interviews, email correspondence, and roundtable meetings from March to May 2021. CUF reached out to over 350 New Yorkers across all five boroughs and received ideas from over 170 people. CUF asked each person for their ideas on 1) how to spark an immediate economic recovery; 2) how to address structural challenges that have arisen or been exacerbated due to the pandemic; and 3) how to rebuild a more equitable economy for the long term.

The ideas contained in this publication come from each individual contributor to whom they are attributed and not from the organizations with which they are affiliated. The inclusion of any and all ideas in this publication does not indicate endorsement by CUF nor by any individual contributor. Ideas have been revised, edited, and condensed by CUF. Contributors were not asked to endorse the full slate of ideas collected in this report nor are they responsible for any errors or omissions contained in the final publication.


I. Spark NYC’s Economic Comeback
With 500,000 fewer jobs than before the pandemic and many businesses hanging on by a thread, NYC needs immediate solutions to get New Yorkers working again and revive the hardest-hit industries and businesses

Click here to read this section of the full report

  1. Launch a major advertising campaign to make people feel like they’re missing out if they don’t come back
    Andrew Robertson, President and CEO, BBDO
  2. Spur the return to offices by supporting public programming that reinvigorates business districts
    Larisa Ortiz, Managing Director, Streetsense
  3. Save retail with city-backed master leases
    Alicia Glen, Founder and Managing Principal, MSquared; former Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development
  4. Create thousands of jobs by putting an additional teacher in every classroom
    Richard Buery Jr., CEO, Robin Hood; former Deputy Mayor for Strategic Policy Initiatives
  5. Leverage libraries to create a neighborhood-centric approach to economic recovery
    Dennis M. Walcott, President and CEO, Queens Public Library
  6. Push back against cities trying to poach NYC’s tech companies
    Oliver Libby, Co-Founder and Managing Partner, Hatzimemos
  7. Attract film and TV production from Georgia and other states with new incentives
    Jeff Zucker, President, CNN
  8. Enact a tax on financial transactions or unoccupied condos to fund job-creating climate resiliency projects
    Richard Kahan, Founder, Urban Assembly
  9. Activate unused office spaces with artists-in-residence
    Sally Tallant, President and Executive Director, Queens Museum
  10. Spur public works jobs with a campaign to ensure passage of the Restore Mother Nature Bond Act, on the ballot next November
    Amy Chester, Managing Director, Rebuild by Design
  11. Address the COVID-linked youth unemployment crisis by subsidizing youth employment
    Marjorie Parker, President and CEO, JobsFirstNYC
  12. Fully embrace and promote the use of Excelsior Pass
    Jerry Hultin, Chairman and Co-Founder, Global Futures Group
  13. Counter the narrative that NYC is dead with a powerful Relaunch New York campaign
    Deirdre Latour, President, Edelman New York
  14. Launch a major tourism marketing campaign when Broadway returns
    Barbara Byrne Denham, Senior Economist, Oxford Economics
  15. Incentivize property owners to activate vacant storefronts
    Susan Fine, Principal, Turnstyle Market
  16. Use NYC’s purchasing power—and people power—to support local job creation
    Christine Quinn, President and CEO, Win; former Speaker of the New York City Council
  17. Give NYC & Company the funding needed to invest in an aggressive tourism campaign
    Ellen V. Futter, President, American Museum of Natural History
  18. Help employers bring back workers by giving them a payroll supplement
    Tod Greenfield, Vice President, Martin Greenfield Clothiers
  19. Revitalize Chinatown and its hard-hit commercial district by allowing more new technology to display its own unique, vibrant ethnic culture and identity
    Wellington Chen, Executive Director, Chinatown Partnership
  20. Enact a one-year waiver on city permitting processes that inhibit business creation and growth, building on what worked with Open Restaurants
    Tim Tompkins, former President, Times Square Alliance
  21. Convert empty hotels and offices into affordable housing
    Rachel Fee, Executive Director, NYC Housing Conference
  22. Turn vacant storefronts into cooperative spaces for small businesses
    Jessica Johnson, President, Johnson Security Bureau
  23. Create an NYC Climate Corps
    Tonya Gayle, Executive Director, Green City Force
  24. Encourage satellite offices throughout all five boroughs
    Rosemary Scanlon, Economist, former Divisional Dean, NYU Schack Institute
  25. Support transportation alternatives for New Yorkers wary of returning to trains and buses
    Cesar Claro, President, Staten Island Economic Development Corporation
  26. Transform vacant commercial spaces into small business incubators
    David Bolotsky, Founder and CEO, Uncommon Goods
  27. Create local business vouchers to stimulate local economic activity
    Emil Skandul, Principal and Owner, Capitol Foundry
  28. Spend capital dollars to help create good construction jobs and rebuild communities
    Gary LaBarbera, President, Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York
  29. Upgrade NYCHA infrastructure and train NYCHA residents to do the work
    Kenneth Lipper, former Deputy Mayor for Finance and Economic Development
  30. Launch a media campaign to encourage public gatherings
    Michael Dorf, Founder and CEO, City Winery
  31. Develop a hybrid model where tenants and landlords can apply jointly for financial assistance
    Valerie White, Executive Director, Local Initiatives Support Corporation
  32. Invest in marketing to bring back tourists and reinvigorate NYC’s cultural life
    Jack Lusk, President and CEO, Harris Rand Lusk
  33. Create jobs for youth by investing in community-centered environmental and arts projects
    Karen Fairbanks, Founding Partner, Marble Fairbanks
  34. Make the subway free for a temporary period to get New Yorkers back on trains and into their offices
    Gordon Davis, Partner, Venable; former Commissioner, NYC Parks Department
  35. Address persistent retail vacancies by penalizing property owners that keep spaces empty
    Cliff Chenfeld, Co-Founder, Razor and Tie
  36. Forge public-private partnerships with New York-centered production entities
    Rebecca Damon, Executive Vice President, SAG-AFTRA

II. Strengthen NYC’s Small Businesses
New policies are needed that not only help small businesses survive the long recovery ahead but also strengthen the many businesses that were fragile even before the pandemic—and create a far more supportive business environment in the future.

Click here to read this section of the full report

  1. Pair tech-savvy CUNY students with small businesses that need help adopting technology
    S. David Wu, President, Baruch College
  2. Replicate the Brooklyn Navy Yard model elsewhere in NYC to make real estate more affordable for small businesses
    Tim Tompkins, former President, Times Square Alliance
  3. Tap teen photography students to help small businesses ramp up social media marketing
    Seth Bornstein, Executive Director, Queens Economic Development Corporation
  4. Let small businesses temporarily set up shop in city parks
    Anthony Ramirez II, Founder, The Bronx Beer Hall
  5. Help NYC restaurants compete for massive DOE and senior center food procurement dollars
    Matthew Jozwiak, Founder and CEO, Rethink Food
  6. Reduce the burden on small businesses by greatly expanding the number of violations that are curable
    Gregg Bishop, former Commissioner, NYC Department of Small Business Services
  7. Empower underemployed New Yorkers to help small businesses get online
    Torrence Boone, Vice President of Global Client Partnerships and Site Leader for New York, Google
  8. Create a Super CDFI to solve the financing gap for thousands of small businesses
    Michael Schlein, President and CEO, Accion
  9. Boost NYC’s restaurants and restaurant workers by supporting lease incentives and tip pooling
    Danny Meyer, Founder and CEO, Union Square Hospitality Group
  10. Leverage community assets to bolster neighborhood businesses and build local prosperity
    Lloyd Cambridge, Founder and CEO, Progress Playbook
  11. Step up investment in credit enhancement to get affordable capital to small businesses—and pair those investments with outcomes-based funding for technical assistance
    Steven Cohen, President, and Rachel Van Tosh, Chief Operating Officer, Pursuit Community Finance
  12. Make it easier for NYC’s many cash-based small businesses to access government grants and loans
    John Wang, Founder and President, Asian American Business Development Center
  13. Create relief grants program for street vendors
    Mohammed Attia, Director, Street Vendor Project at the Urban Justice Center
  14. Subsidize housing for students studying design and technology in exchange for a work/study requirement to help local businesses
    Justin Hendrix, CEO and Editor, Tech Policy Press
  15. Enlist tech-savvy teens and young adults to help small businesses adopt technology
    Seth Bornstein, Executive Director, Queens Economic Development Corporation
  16. Reduce liability insurance premiums for restaurants and venues during lockdown periods
    Michael Dorf, Founder and CEO, City Winery
  17. Use technology to improve the permitting and regulatory process for small businesses
    Gregg Bishop, former Commissioner, NYC Department of Small Business Services
  18. Encourage corporate employees to interact with their local communities and support small businesses
    John Wang, Founder and President, Asian American Business Development Center
  19. Enlist local university students to help small businesses innovate, grow, and scale
    Micah Kotch, Managing Director, URBAN-X
  20. Provide direct financial support to cooperative businesses
    Saduf Syal, Coordinating Director, NYC Network of Worker Cooperatives
  21. Reduce the burden on small businesses by requiring impact statements for relevant legislative proposals
    Jessica Walker, President and CEO, Manhattan Chamber of Commerce
  22. Emulate the AgLanta initiative to scale up urban agriculture in NYC’s hard-hit communities of color
    Mark Gardner, Principal, Jaklitsch/Gardner Architects
  23. Create economic opportunity zones to spur inclusive innovation in key growth industries
    Alexa von Tobel, Founder and Managing Partner, Inspired Capital
  24. Work with community-based organizations and business assistance nonprofits to direct federally-funded relief grants to New York’s hardest-hit businesses and communities
    Linda Baran, President, Staten Island Chamber of Commerce
  25. Preserve industrial jobs by helping small manufacturers tap into the 21st-century economy
    Barbara Blair, President, Garment District Alliance
  26. Lift the caps on opportunities for street vending for licenses and permits
    Mohammed Attia, Director, Street Vendor Project at the Urban Justice Center
  27. Incentivize corporate executives to mentor small businesses
    Jessica Johnson, President, Johnson Security Bureau
  28. Collaborate with local tech businesses to expand internet access and jobs
    Clayton Banks, CEO, Silicon Harlem
  29. Help businesses compete in the metaverse
    Jason Musante, Global Chief Creative Officer, Huge

III. Help New Yorkers of Color Boost Incomes and Build Wealth
A strong and equitable economic recovery will require a new level of investment in communities of color, focused on connecting New Yorkers to good jobs, building community wealth, and supporting immigrant and minority entrepreneurs.

Click here to read this section of the full report

  1. Provide Baby Bonds to every NYC child born in poverty
    Lilliam Barrios-Paoli, Senior Advisor to the President, Hunter College; former Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services
  2. Establish a “Curb Recidivism Fellowship” to provide new supports for youth who’ve been involved in the criminal justice system
    Clayton Banks, CEO, Silicon Harlem
  3. Increase wages for the nonprofit human services workforce
    Nathaniel Fields, CEO, Urban Resource Institute
  4. Increase wages and income supports to build economic stability for low-income communities of color
    Jennifer Jones Austin, CEO and Executive Director, FPWA
  5. Help far more women and minority-owned construction firms succeed through capital funding and set-aside projects
    Cheryl McKissack Daniel, President and CEO, McKissack
  6. Build infrastructure to support entrepreneurship in New York City’s lower-income communities
    Jo-Ann Rolle, Dean, School of Business, Medgar Evers College
  7. Develop geographically targeted financial recovery supports for small businesses in the hardest-hit communities
    Lourdes Zapata, President and CEO, SoBro
  8. Expand Freelancers Hubs across all five boroughs
    Rafael Espinal, Executive Director, Freelancers Union
  9. Launch a community-owned cooperative hub in every borough
    Saduf Syal, Coordinating Director, NYC Network of Worker Cooperatives
  10. Help New Yorkers of color start and grow businesses in the marijuana industry
    Marlene Cintron, President, Bronx Overall Development Corporation
  11. Target investments to support businesses in hard-hit communities
    Marjorie Parker, President and CEO, JobsFirstNYC
  12. Create more inroads for BIPOC-led construction firms
    Julio Peterson, Vice President of Real Estate, The Shubert Organization
  13. Enhance supports for local businesses hit hardest by the pandemic
    Nathalie Molina Niño, Investor and Author
  14. Develop a neighborhood-based strategy for promoting and accessing local services
    Margaret Honey, President and CEO, NY Hall of Science
  15. Develop a comprehensive and multi-faceted approach to revitalize communities of color
    Sister Paulette LoMonaco, formerly with Good Shepherd Services
  16. Increase investment in facilities and resources within high-need communities
    Anthony Munroe, President, Borough of Manhattan Community College
  17. Expand benefits and extend local voting rights to the immigrant communities that will power New York’s economic recovery
    Van Tran, Associate Professor of Sociology, CUNY Graduate Center
  18. Support the East Harlem 125th Street Community Visioning Action Plan
    Sonal Jessel, Director of Policy, WE ACT for Environmental Justice
  19. Publicize the facts about companies' hiring of New Yorkers of color
    Gail Mellow, Executive Director, New York Jobs CEO Council; former President, LaGuardia Community College

IV. Embrace Public Health to Make New Yorkers Healthier and Grow the Economy
New investments to improve New Yorkers’ physical and mental health will benefit those hardest hit by the pandemic, make New York better prepared for the next health crisis, and lay a foundation for job growth.

Click here to read this section of the full report

  1. Make NYC a global capital of public health
    Seth Pinsky, CEO, 92nd Street Y; former President, NYC Economic Development Corporation
  2. Plan now to deal with the next infectious disease, borrowing from what worked in Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Vietnam
    Jeffrey Shaman, Epidemiologist and Director, Climate and Health Program, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University
  3. Help prepare NYC for the next pandemic by making New Yorkers healthier through investments in public health, preventative care and health literacy
    Wafaa El-Sadr, University Professor, Dr. Mathilde Krim-amfAR Chair of Global Health, Columbia University
  4. Create new jobs and career pipelines in mental health to respond to the growing demand for mental health services following the pandemic
    Pamela Brier, former President and CEO, Maimonides Medical Center
  5. Learn from the pandemic to make deeper progress reducing incidence of respiratory illness
    Jeffrey Shaman, Epidemiologist and Director, Climate and Health Program, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University
  6. Invest federal funding in integrated, community-based health
    Jeanette Moy, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Public Health Solutions
  7. Make New York the global city best prepared for the next pandemic
    Gifford Miller, Principal, Signature Urban Properties; former New York City Council Speakre
  8. Transform the city’s test- and-trace corps into a new public health workforce
    Christine Kovich, Co-Founder, Harlem Biospace
  9. Create the government infrastructure to prepare for the next pandemic by expanding the Mayor’s Office of Resiliency mandate to include public health threats
    Sam Chandan, Silverstein Chair and Academic Dean, NYU Schack Institute
  10. Continue to provide free and widespread rapid testing so that unvaccinated New Yorkers can participate safely in the local economy
    Melva Miller, CEO, Association for a Better New York

V. Make Skills Building the Centerpiece of an Equitable Recovery
To help reconnect the unemployed to a changing economy and ensure more New Yorkers of color can access the good jobs of tomorrow, New York should make new investments to strengthen CUNY, tech training, ESOL programs, and other workforce development initiatives.

Click here to read this section of the full report

  1. Launch major workforce training initiative focused on women and the care economy
    Reshma Saujani, Founder, Girls Who Code
  2. Revitalize the city through a green workforce pipeline for NYC youth
    Sue Donoghue, President and Park Administrator, Prospect Park Alliance
  3. Expand ESOL programs and other workforce training that help immigrants succeed in a changing economy
    Steven Choi, Senior Advisor, New York Immigration Coalition
  4. Prepare New Yorkers from underserved communities to replace municipal workers that will retire in the coming years
    Arthur Cheliotes, Chairman Emeritus, CWA Local 1180
  5. Support the CUNY Internship-to-Employment Model
    Felix Matos-Rodriguez, Chancellor, City University of New York
  6. Close the digital divide and create onramps to tech careers through Community Help Desks
    Bertina Ceccarelli, CEO, NPower
  7. Create more inclusive career pathways by rethinking job requirements and scaling up apprenticeships
    Jack Azagury, Market Unit Lead for US Northeast, Accenture
  8. Invest in training and upskilling for direct care workers
    Deborah Estrin, Professor of Computer Science and Associate Dean for Impact, Cornell Tech
  9. Invest in specialized workforce training programs for entry-level roles in the life sciences that do not require a college degree
    Joe Landolina, CEO and Co-Founder, Cresilon
  10. Implement free community college and provide stipends to workers pursuing education
    Rosemary Scanlon, Economist, former Divisional Dean, NYU Schack Institute
  11. Invest in the facilities and faculty of NYC’s greatest engine of social mobility: CUNY
    Michelle Anderson, President, Brooklyn College
  12. Invest in the community college to senior college pipeline
    S. David Wu, President, Baruch College
  13. Help CUNY expand certificate programs, enabling more students to boost workplace skills and advance in their careers
    Frank H. Wu, President, Queens College
  14. Break down silos that have kept immigrants from benefiting from most workforce training programs
    Wayne Ho, President and CEO, Chinese-American Planning Council
  15. Expand opportunities for minority workers in construction by requiring apprentices on every government-funded contract
    Bishop Calvin Rice, New Jerusalem Baptist Church
  16. Train New Yorkers to maintain electric vehicle infrastructure
    Celeste Frye, CEO, Public Works Partners
  17. Invest in bridge programs that help New Yorkers with only a high school diploma access quality tech training
    Plinio Ayala, President and CEO, Per Scholas
  18. Improve job prospects for the many New Yorkers with low literacy levels by boosting funding for adult education
    Eileen Torres, Executive Director, BronxWorks
  19. Use carrots and sticks to get more large companies to fund job training programs
    Wayne Ho, President and CEO, Chinese-American Planning Council
  20. Remove barriers for dislocated or incumbent workers and expand financial aid for short-term programs
    Anthony Munroe, President, Borough of Manhattan Community College
  21. Create a talent-matching program for biotech
    Orin Herskowitz, Executive Director, Columbia Technology Ventures
  22. Invest in community-based organizations that provide workforce development programs for immigrant populations
    Aakriti Khanal, Development and Research Manager, Adhikaar for Human Rights and Social Justice
  23. Create Joint Technical Campuses in every borough to expand technical career pathways for high school students
    Richard Kahan, Founder, Urban Assembly
  24. Create an upskilling fund to expand access to tech careers
    David Yang, Founder, Fullstack Academy
  25. Revamp NYC’s vocational education programs for today’s economy
    Kenneth Lipper, former Deputy Mayor for Finance and Economic Development
  26. Build a youth-focused life sciences talent pipeline
    Christine Kovich, Co-Founder, Harlem Biospace
  27. Help New Yorkers acquire digital skills and establish a badge for those who meet baseline tech fluency
    Celeste Frye, CEO, Public Works Partners
  28. Invest in quality childcare for New Yorkers in workforce training programs
    Plinio Ayala, President and CEO, Per Scholas
  29. Boost funding for summer youth employment and NYCHA youth programs
    Liz Neumark, Founder and Chair, Great Performances
  30. Adopt a year-round public school schedule
    Norma Kamali, Fashion Designer
  31. Create and support workforce programs for women
    Christine Quinn, President and CEO, Win; former Speaker of the New York City Council
  32. Integrate clean energy workforce training and installation projects to get people to work and green the city
    Chris Collins, Executive Director, Solar One
  33. Foster alignment between philanthropy and non-profit organizations
    Jerelyn Rodriguez, Co-Founder and CEO, The Knowledge House
  34. Link workforce development, small business recovery, and job creation
    Jukay Hsu, Co-Founder and CEO, Pursuit
  35. Strengthen New York City’s competitive advantage in a global economy—and spur economic recovery— by focusing on talent development
    Abby Jo Sigal, Founding CEO, HERE to HERE
  36. Revamp NYC’s youth workforce development system to support more programs that prepare young adults for good jobs
    Edward Summers, Founder, The Thinkubator
  37. Target workforce development programs for domestic violence survivors and homeless individuals
    Nathaniel Fields, CEO, Urban Resource Institute

VI. Reimagine Streets and Public Spaces and Re-Invest in Vital Urban Infrastructure
Expanding and improving open spaces and upgrading public infrastructure will help create accessible jobs while making the city more sustainable, resilient, and attractive to residents, workers, tourists, and entrepreneurs.

Click here to read this section of the full report

  1. Transform every tenth street across NYC into “people streets”
    Bjarke Ingels, Founder, Bjarke Ingels Group
  2. Spur economic development in underserved communities by making long-overdue public realm improvements
    Purnima Kapur, Chief of University Planning and Design, Harvard University
  3. Transform regional commutes and city streets by banning private cars in Manhattan
    Vishaan Chakrabarti, Founder, PAU
  4. Launch a master plan to redesign NYC’s streets
    Steve Hindy, founder, Brooklyn Brewery
  5. Launch a WPA-style program to create jobs and upgrade aging infrastructure in city parks
    Adrian Benepe, President, Brooklyn Botanic Garden; former Commissioner, NYC Parks Department
  6. Improve bus infrastructure to support off-peak travel for essential workers
    Betsy Plum, Executive Director, Riders Alliance
  7. Spur private sector investment in open space and transit by replicating what worked in the East Midtown rezoning
    Dan Garodnik, President and CEO, Riverside Park Conservancy; former Member of the New York City Council
  8. Phase in paid commercial street parking to generate revenue for the city and take back space for outdoor dining and micromobility networks
    Margaret Newman, Practice Leader for Urban Places and Smart Mobility, Stantec
  9. Activate public spaces and spur arts performances in communities in every corner of NYC by developing tool kits for community groups
    Eldon Scott, President, UrbanSpace NYC
  10. Create a Department of Care to strengthen local capacity to reimagine, maintain, and care for public spaces.
    Justin Garrett Moore, Program Officer, Humanities in Place, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
  11. Establish a commission to make NYC green—literally
    Susan T. Rodriguez, Architect
  12. Turn Eastern Parkway into a global cultural destination
    Anne Pasternak, Director, Brooklyn Museum
  13. Improve parks in underserved communities by investing in operations and maintenance
    Robert Hammond, Co-Founder, The High Line
  14. Improve the commutes of essential workers by subsidizing micromobility e-vehicle purchases
    Paul Lipson, Principal, Barretto Bay Strategies
  15. Launch a Saving Time initiative to reduce commute times for essential workers
    Jerry Hultin, Chairman and Co-Founder, Global Futures Group
  16. Extend the Hudson Bergen Light Rail to Staten Island
    Jonathan Peters, Professor of Finance, College of Staten Island
  17. Embrace the “Bigger Apple” through regional transportation and zoning reform
    Jim Venturi, Founder and Principal, ReThink Studio
  18. Support the use of city waterways for last-mile package delivery to decongest streets
    Paul Lipson, Principal, Barretto Bay Strategies
  19. Expand affordable housing options by allowing trailer parks in NYC
    Jonathan Peters, Professor of Finance, College of Staten Island
  20. Implement a feminist housing plan to support women and single parents
    Jessica Katz, Executive Director, Citizens Housing and Planning Council
  21. Create jobs and stabilize housing owners to make building renovations
    Douglas Eisenberg, Founding Principal, A&E Real Estate Holdings
  22. Repurpose unused commercial space as Big Tech-backed cooperative housing
    Anil Dash, CEO, Glitch
  23. Upzone industrial zones and transit-rich neighborhoods to build more housing
    Alon Levy, Fellow, NYU Marron Institute
  24. Prioritize affordable home ownership, not just rental housing
    Sheena Wright, President and CEO, United Way of NYC
  25. Reinstate city subsidies for community centers in affordable housing developments, redirecting funds from law enforcement
    Karim Hutson, Founder and Managing Member, Genesis Companies
  26. Double city funding for affordable housing development and preservation
    Rachel Fee, Executive Director, NYC Housing Conference

VII. Boost the Hard-hit Arts Sector to Bring Back the City’s Magnetism and Vitality
Policies that reinvigorate the city’s now-fragile cultural sector—from working artists and museums to music venues and Broadway theaters—will be key to a tourism revival and a lasting economic recovery.

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  1. Create a Teaching Artist Jobs Corps
    Kemi Ilesanmi, Executive Director, The Laundromat Project
  2. Help struggling performing arts groups by providing free rehearsal spaces in schools
    Randi Berry, Executive Director, IndieSpace
  3. Provide a Basic Income for artists to work at cultural organizations
    Sally Tallant, President and Executive Director, Queens Museum
  4. Change city laws that effectively prevent NYC from building artist housing
    Barbara S. Davis, COO, The Actors Fund
  5. Clarify safety guidance for public-facing cultural organizations
    Dan Gallant, Executive Director, Nuyorican Poets Cafe
  6. Help artists rebuild New York City by investing now in long-term affordability
    Esther Robinson and Guy Buckles, Co-Executive Directors, ArtBuilt
  7. Replicate successful Depression-era arts programs
    Louise Mirrer, President and CEO, New-York Historical Society
  8. Create workforce development programs for people in the arts
    Barbara S. Davis, COO, The Actors Fund
  9. Expand and improve recovery support for NYC’s small arts organizations
    Dan Gallant, Executive Director, Nuyorican Poets Cafe
  10. Streamline the funding and permitting process for live outdoor performances
    Melva Miller, CEO, Association for a Better New York
  11. Ensure “Community Facility” zoned space goes to community-based arts and culture organizations
    Randi Berry, Executive Director, IndieSpace
  12. Create grant-matched Individual Development Accounts for artists and entrepreneurs
    Esther Robinson and Guy Buckles, Co-Executive Directors, ArtBuilt
  13. Expand the Cultural Institutions Group
    Louise Mirrer, President and CEO, New-York Historical Society
  14. Ensure that city arts funding goes to organizations that pay a living wage
    Mary McColl, Executive Director, Actors’ Equity Association
  15. Rezone commercial space to lower occupancy costs for independent creatives and artist cooperatives
    Jonathan Marvel, Founding Principal, Marvel Designs
  16. Rethink commercial and retail space to empower artists and encourage creative industries
    Lexy Funk, Founder and CEO, Brooklyn Industries
  17. Provide grants and guidance that help arts organizations across the 5 boroughs take advantage of the Open Culture program
    Katie Shima, Design Director, Situ Studio
  18. Help cultural institutions bounce back withsubsidized admission
    Gordon Davis, Partner, Venable; former Commissioner, NYC Parks Department

VIII. Build a Stronger and More Inclusive Economy for the Long Run
More than just a short-term recovery, NYC needs policies that build on the city’s competitive advantages, spark the creation of middle class jobs, and address structural economic challenges further exacerbated by the pandemic.

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  1. Create NYC Coin: a local currency for the five boroughs
    Fred Wilson, Founder, Union Square Ventures
  2. Help NYC become a global leader in the sex tech industry
    Cindy Gallop, Founder, MakeLoveNotPorn
  3. Attract early-stage entrepreneurs by making NYC a test bed for new technologies
    Shaun Stewart, CEO, Newlab
  4. Break the logjam around housing development in NYC with a grand bargain around housing and jobs
    Rafael Cestero, President, Community Preservation Corp.; former Commissioner, NYC Department of Housing, Preservation and Development
  5. Boost the city’s economy by making it easier for NYC startups to win city technology contracts
    Anil Dash, CEO, Glitch
  6. Develop a master plan that charts a path for creating a stronger and more inclusive NYC economy through 2050
    Winston Fisher, Partner, Fisher Brothers; Co-Chair, NYC Regional Economic Development Council
  7. Create good jobs by making it far easier for hospitals to expand and modernize
    Steven Corwin, President, New York Presbyterian
  8. Help women entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses by supporting family care
    Jo Ann Corkran, Managing Partner, Golden Seeds
  9. Create a Deputy Mayor for Intergovernmental Relations to help make NYC’s case in Albany and Washington
    Carol O’Cleireacain, Adjunct Professor of International and Public Affairs, Columbia SIPA; former Director, Mayor's Office of Management and Budget, and Commissioner, NYC Department of Finance
  10. Support infrastructure projects by streamlining the public procurement process
    Louis Coletti, President and CEO, Building Trades Employers’ Association
  11. Deliver city services better and more efficiently by vastly upgrading NYC government’s technology systems
    Andrew Rasiej, CEO, Civic Hall
  12. Accelerate electric vehicle adoption with far more charging stations
    Cheryl Cohen Effron, Founder, Conjunction Fund
  13. Build a Green Jobs Task Force to power NYC’s clean energy transition
    Tim Cawley, CEO, Con Edison
  14. Incentivize companies to hire employees based in NYC
    Andrew Rasiej, CEO, Civic Hall
  15. Launch a Startup Culture Card to retain and grow start-ups and tech talent
    Steven Rosenbaum, Executive Director, NYC Media Lab
  16. Refrain from excessive tax increases that could undermine NYC’s economic recovery
    Stanley Grayson, Chief Operating Officer, M.R. Beal; former Deputy Mayor for Finance and Economic Development
  17. Support the growth of a key NYC industry by extending the film/tv tax credit program
    Rebecca Damon, Executive Vice President, SAG-AFTRA
  18. Harness NYC’s competitive advantages in the creative economy
    Kai Falkenberg, General Counsel, G/O; former First Deputy Commissioner of the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment
  19. Create a Newlab-type facility for life sciences
    Shaun Stewart, CEO, Newlab
  20. Grow NYC’s presence in the adult entertainment industry
    Cindy Gallop, Founder, MakeLoveNotPorn
  21. Revise the real estate tax methodology for commercial entertainment venues that do not receive any public subsidies, tax benefits, or other financial assistance from the city
    Julio Peterson, Vice President of Real Estate, The Shubert Organization
  22. Create a Construction Czar to oversee and coordinate major projects
    Louis Coletti, President and CEO, Building Trades Employers’ Association
  23. Invest in Sunnyside Yard Intermodal Station and other large infrastructure projects that enhance NYC’s competitiveness
    Elizabeth Lusskin, President, Long Island City Partnership
  24. Support manufacturing of PPE and sterilization products and services
    Marlene Cintron, President, Bronx Overall Development Corporation
  25. Invest in broadband for modernizing manufacturing in the industrial sector
    Elizabeth Lusskin, President, Long Island City Partnership
  26. Build a Tourism Dashboard
    Vijay Dandapani, CEO, Hotel Association of New York City
  27. Invest in manufacturing companies that sustain and generate employment in marginalized communities
    Tod Greenfield, Vice President, Martin Greenfield Clothiers
  28. Keep the tech industry in NYC
    Dawn Barber, Co-Founder, NYC Creative Tech Week
  29. Make Willets Point a tech and finance hub
    Dian Yu, Executive Director, Downtown Flushing Transit Hub Business Improvement District
  30. Keep workers with families in NYC
    Sara Holoubek, CEO, Luminary Labs
  31. Ramp up local media coverage and civic engagement
    Dick Ravitch, former Lieutenant Governor, New York State; former Chairman and CEO, Metropolitan Transportation Authority
  32. Make New York City the destination for cutting-edge construction technology and expertise by incentivizing innovation and attracting new and diverse talent
    Claire Weisz, Founding Principal, WXY Studio
  33. Facilitate conversations with Fortune 500 executives and early-stage founders to help NYC tech startups succeed and grow
    Karin Klein, Founding Partner, Bloomberg Beta

IX. Prioritize Hard-Hit Workers and Communities
To counter the unequal economic toll of the pandemic, New York needs new policies that give a boost to domestic workers, restaurant employees, undocumented immigrants, communities of color, and others disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.

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  1. Offer a re-orientation program for 3K-12 students
    Jeanette Moy, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Public Health Solutions
  2. Boost the impact of local nonprofits to help hard-hit communities by paying nonprofits on time
    Gail Mellow, Executive Director, New York Jobs CEO Council; former President, LaGuardia Community College
  3. Prioritize essential workers in affordable housing lotteries
    Jessica Katz, Executive Director, Citizens Housing and Planning Council
  4. Embrace branch libraries as a key driver of an equitable recovery
    Katy Knight, President and Executive Director, Siegel Family Endowment
  5. Provide financial relief to low-income New Yorkers by extending energy savings programs to summer months
    Sonal Jessel, Director of Policy, WE ACT for Environmental Justice
  6. Continue funding for civil legal services for low-income New Yorkers
    Sheila S. Boston, President, New York City Bar Association
  7. Support efforts to train restaurant workers for current industry needs
    Rev. Prabhu Sigamani, Director, ROC-NY; and Director, CHOW, ROCUnited
  8. Support the informal childcare ecosystem
    Sheena Wright, President and CEO, United Way of NYC
  9. Provide new income supports for NYC’s fast-growing (but low-wage) direct care workforce
    Jodi M. Sturgeon, President, PHI
  10. Create new office targeting K-12 students who disconnected from school during pandemic
    Reshma Saujani, Founder, Girls Who Code
  11. Support initiatives to boost financial literacy among marginalized communities
    Neil Blumenthal, Co-Founder and Co-CEO, Warby Parker
  12. Create a city-funded Section 8-like housing benefit
    Lilliam Barrios-Paoli, Senior Advisor to the President, Hunter College; former Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services
  13. Improve inclusivity through a path to citizenship for undocumented New Yorkers
    Jennifer Sun, Co-Executive Director, Asian Americans for Equality
  14. Persuade NYC’s leading law firms to commit their pro bono time to help New York-based clients
    Deborah Farone, Strategic Marketing and Management Advisor, Farone Advisors
  15. Integrate and expand ethnic studies educational programming
    Vivian Louie, Professor of Urban Policy and Planning and Director of the Asian American Studies Center and Program, Hunter College
  16. Leverage the city’s rich nonprofit sector to spur interracial/ethnic dialogue
    Vivian Louie, Professor of Urban Policy and Planning and Director of the Asian American Studies Center and Program, Hunter College
  17. Build a new, foundational safety net centered on the needs of immigrant communities
    Steven Choi, Senior Advisor, New York Immigration Coalition
  18. Launch a Care Corps to create quality caregiving jobs while helping parents and other family caregivers pursue education and training
    Katy Knight, President and Executive Director, Siegel Family Endowment.
  19. Create a new “flexicurity” program to cushion the blow for New Yorkers who lose work due to automation
    Emil Skandul, Founder, Capitol Foundry
  20. Ensure a stable, well-trained security workforce in all homeless shelters
    Kyle Bragg, President, 32BJ
  21. Use city-owned real estate and unused lots to create indoor spaces for teens and young adults
    Alain Sylvain, Founder, Sylvain Labs
  22. Implement real estate tax abatement for nonprofits
    Paul Wolf, Co-Founder, Denham Wolf Real Estate
  23. Provide remote work opportunities for New Yorkers who must shoulder at-home caregiving
    Nathalie Molina Niño, Investor and Author
  24. Offer free, extended-day childcare for eligible families
    Eileen Torres, Executive Director, BronxWorks
  25. Create and fund a prevailing wage for the human services sector
    Frederick Shack, CEO, Urban Pathways
  26. Continue to exercise the city’s local power to establish standards for gig workers
    Kyle Bragg, President, 32BJ
  27. Require free or highly subsidized Internet in every new affordable housing unit
    Cheryl Cohen Effron, Founder, Conjunction Fund
  28. Tackle the digital divide through broadband infrastructure and digital literacy support
    Jennifer Sun, Co-Executive Director, Asian Americans for Equality
  29. Scale up funding and speed up rollout to close the digital divide
    Barbara Byrne Denham, Senior Economist, Oxford Economics

X. Shore Up the Building Blocks of NYC’s Economic Success
A fast and full economic recovery will be difficult without policies that ensure New York remains a safe, clean, and highly livable city.
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  1. Prioritize quality of life investments that help NYC attract and retain its talented and diverse workforce
    Seth Pinsky, CEO, 92nd Street Y; former President, NYC Economic Development Corporation
  2. Focus on the fundamentals
    Mary Ann Tighe, CEO, New York Tri-State Region, CBRE
  3. Maintaining safety and cleanliness must be a priority
    Stanley Grayson, Chief Operation Officer, M.R. Beal; former Deputy Mayor for Finance and Economic Development
  4. Invest more resources in street cleaning
    Vijay Dandapani, CEO, Hotel Association of New York City
  5. Restore safety for residents and businesses by bringing together community leaders and NYPD
    Dian Yu, Executive Director, Downtown Flushing Transit Hub Business Improvement District
  6. Prioritize efforts to keep NYC safe
    Kenneth T. Jackson, Barzun Professor Emeritus of History, Columbia University; President Emeritus, New-York Historical Society; Editor in Chief, The Encyclopedia of New York City
  7. Enlist neighborhood alliances to boost public perception of safety
    Neil Blumenthal, Co-Founder and Co-CEO, Warby Parker

This study is part of the Middle Class Jobs Project, a research initiative made possible by the generous support of Fisher Brothers and Winston C. Fisher