ICYMI: SHAUN DONOVAN UNVEILS PLAN FOR “15 MINUTE NEIGHBORHOODS” POLICY VIA VIRTUAL COMMUNITY ROUNDTABLE

**FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE**

 January 29, 2021

Contact: Yuridia Peña, [email protected], (718) 790-0837

ICYMI: SHAUN DONOVAN UNVEILS PLAN FOR “15 MINUTE NEIGHBORHOODS” POLICY VIA VIRTUAL COMMUNITY ROUNDTABLE 

During a community roundtable with local business leaders and community advocates, NYC Mayoral Candidate Donovan released the second part of his two-part Economic Recovery Platform, which creates “15 minute neighborhoods” aimed at revitalizing communities and supporting local businesses.

 The detailed plan would ensure that every New Yorker, regardless of their zip code, has access to a great public school, fresh food, rapid transportation, a park, and a chance to get ahead within 15 minutes of their front door.

NEW YORK, NY  On Friday, January 29, Shaun Donovan, mayoral candidate; former Obama-Biden Administration Housing Secretary and Budget Director; and former New York City Housing Commissioner under Mayor Bloomberg, hosted a virtual roundtable to unveil his “15 Minute Neighborhoods” policy plan. 

The virtual roundtable included a panel discussion with local community advocates and policy experts, featuring Dustin Jones, Disability Rights Advocate and President & Founder of United for Equal Access NY; Allison Marino, Director, Bronx Impact Alliance, CD6 at Phipps Neighborhoods; and LaToya Meaders, Co-Founder and Director of Operations, Collective Fare. The panel, moderated by Larisa Ortiz, Managing Director, Public + Non-Profit Solutions, Streetsense, focused on how the policy would improve the quality of life of all New Yorkers and help rebuild the city’s economy. 

Key quotes and a video from the virtual roundtable are available below. 

“15 Minute Neighborhoods” Community Roundtable

“If you’ve lived in a wealthy neighborhood, you may never have known a New York where anything you wanted was not immediately accessible to you. We must have a city where the same benefits of New York life are available to all,” said NYC Mayoral Candidate Shaun Donovan. “We need a city committed to investing in neighborhoods and communities, and the small businesses and entrepreneurs that power them, by lifting up neighborhoods to drive job growth, and enhancing the quality of life of all New Yorkers. Every family should have the opportunity to live in a 15 minute neighborhood, where a great public school, fresh food, access to rapid transportation, a park, and a chance to get ahead can all be found within 15 minutes of their front door. With this plan, the policies I’ve introduced so far, and the many still to come, we can make this vision a reality.”

“As an urban planner and having run a small minority business in Queens for many years, 15 minute neighborhoods are an innovative way to transform our neighborhoods into thriving hubs that create economic advancement for everyone,” said Larisa Ortiz, Managing Director, Public + Non-Profit Solutions, Streetsense. “This bold policy would benefit all New Yorkers and bring access to fresh food, rapid transportation, education and connectivity to families, revitalizing their communities and fueling this economy.”

“I love the idea of the 15 minute neighborhood. In the borough of Brooklyn for instance, if you want to go shopping for anything, you need to travel outside of your community and that’s hard for people with disabilities, that’s hard for single mothers, and that’s hard for many people,” said LaToya Meaders, Co-Founder and Director of Operations, Collective Fare. “If you know that you could walk to fresh groceries, knowing that the food there was as equitable as it is downtown, then everyone will have a chance to get all of the resources that they need.”

“I think the 15 minute commute in your neighborhood is such a great idea. I think it’s going to create a sense of community in ways where we don’t have it. When it comes to accessibility, that’s a big problem in the city. You have some places that are transportation deserts. Where I grew up in Queens Village, we had no subway. You had to take a bus 30 minutes just to get to your local subway station…if it’s not accessible and you’re a person like me with a disability, getting out and going anywhere is going to be quite tricky,” said Dustin Jones, Disability Rights Advocate and President & Founder of United for Equal Access NY. “I live in the outer boroughs — I live in the Bronx — and it’s no secret when people want to go somewhere, most people from the outer borough are going into Manhattan…they have everything they need in that centerpiece. Why should someone have to go from the outer boroughs to Manhattan just to get fresh food? Just to get access to doctors, or get access to work?” 

“We need to make sure that the businesses that our communities rely on most directly are the ones with the widest pipelines, with the least red tape, the most support and the most direct access to the healthy, nutritious, culturally relevant choices that our neighbors deserve to access in their communities,” said Allison Marino, Director, Bronx Impact Alliance, CD6 at Phipps Neighborhoods. “We see gentrification happen when the best amenities are brought to a neighborhood — like transportation access and fresh food choices and those are things that we have to stop considering — as a society — as luxury amenities, because those are basic necessities and we cannot have a 15 minute neighborhood without them.”

This plan comes a week after the first installment of Donovan’s Economic Recovery Platform titled A Jobs Plan that Rebuilds the Economy For All New Yorkers which outlines how the city can add 500,000 jobs for New Yorkers by the end of Donovan’s first term. Both of these ambitious goals are only attainable through Donovan’s comprehensive approach.

For more information on “15 Minute Neighborhoods” and Donovan’s overall Economic Development Platform, please visit shaunfornyc.com/issues/economic-development/.

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