Economic Development

A Jobs Plan that Rebuilds the Economy For All New Yorkers, and a ‘15 Minute Neighborhoods’ Plan for a Brighter, More Equitable Future

Shaun Donovan will work relentlessly to get New Yorkers back to work, committing to creating 500,000 jobs for New Yorkers by the end of his first term. The Donovan administration will prioritize building an equitable economy where all New Yorkers have the opportunity to build the skills they need to secure good jobs, grow professionally, and make a good living. 

The devastation wrought in 2020 by the COVID-19 pandemic and the national reckoning on race that followed the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and others have only made it clearer that we cannot simply work toward a return to normal. We must hold ourselves and our economy to a much higher standard.

We need a city committed to using its power and resources to ensure a fair playing field for everyone; where everyone has a fair chance at a life of dignity; where everyone can earn a decent living, build a business, and test their talents and ambitions; and where businesses thrive—in every neighborhood and every borough.

We need a city committed to investing in neighborhoods and communities, and the small businesses and entrepreneurs that power them, and to driving job growth, stimulating entrepreneurship, sustaining the environment, and enhancing the quality of life of all New Yorkers. Every New Yorker 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.

We need a city focused not only on the problems of today, but the opportunities of tomorrow: with Shaun’s plan, we will build the industries that will drive long-term growth and create good jobs for years to come.

In rebuilding our city, we need to start where job loss and economic decline have been most sharp and consequential. Our plan for New York’s economic recovery is anchored in six key principles of equitable development:

  • Grow the economy to create opportunities for all New Yorkers
  • Build a path for every New Yorker to develop skills that are directly tied to jobs
  • Invest in neighborhoods, beginning with those that have endured the greatest disinvestment
  • See, understand, and address racial inequalities explicitly, and measure progress
  • Address inequalities head-on in partnership with community and business leaders
  • Prioritize racial equity through strategic leadership and key appointments

Our Jobs and Growth plan will focus on:

Our Neighborhoods plan will focus on:

Getting New Yorkers to Work

New Yorkers are confronting unemployment at unprecedented levels. Jobs in tourism, accommodation, restaurants, retail, culture, and the arts have been decimated and small businesses have shuttered.

Our first step will be supporting the creation of 500,000 jobs for New Yorkers by the end of Shaun’s first term. Equally, we must improve the quality of employment opportunities for all New Yorkers, ensuring that many more New Yorkers are able to secure middle-income jobs and that all New Yorkers can see a way to grow their skills, income, and financial security. We will build clear paths for New Yorkers to enter middle-income work. We will also leverage our investments in infrastructure to support the long-term growth and prosperity of the entire city.

Reversing the current trend, the Donovan administration will utilize the full scope of the City’s capital budget and increase long-term, capital investment. We will work closely and collaboratively with state leaders to align state capital investments with those of the City, ensuring the greatest impact with respect to employment and long-term economic value. Shaun will work tirelessly with colleagues in the Biden administration and on Capitol Hill to secure substantial federal investments in strengthening New York’s economy and building the infrastructure that will put New Yorkers to work and drive growth for decades to come.

In the Donovan administration, these large-scale investments will be targeted at the projects which will have the most durable impact on the growth of our economy. We will expand our transit system, especially in underserved transit-deserts. We will increase the supply of affordable housing in every borough of New York City and build adequate permanent housing for people who have experienced homelessness. We will invest fully in the infrastructure we need to improve our economy and be ready to meet the changing climate. 

Building on Shaun’s successful work with labor, including the historic agreement he worked to forge with 32BJ that raised wages for building workers in affordable housing, the Donovan administration will ensure competitive wages for all New Yorkers

Our investments in infrastructure will strengthen our neighborhoods, position us to thrive in the face of climate change, and get New Yorkers to work. 

We are committing to the following policies and programs:

Rebuild our tourism & nightlife industry

The economic pressure related to the collapse in tourism has been immense. Coming out of the COVID pandemic, New York City will again be one of the top tourism destinations in the world and we will work vigorously to extend the prosperity that tourism brings to all parts of New York City. To speed along our recovery in the critical tourism industry—the hospitality industry alone provided as many as 400,000 jobs before the March shutdown—we will work hand-in-hand with industry partners and the Business Improvement Districts (BIDs). Before full-scale international and business travel has returned in full, we will drive visitor activation with a campaign to encourage locals to go out again. As the COVID pandemic wanes, the City must also promote regional visitors and eventually the essential international and business travelers. 

Working to sustain the rich cultural life of our city and support the tourism industry, the Donovan administration will make sustained investments in arts and culture and will work closely with philanthropy to galvanize private contributions to this essential sector to the New York City economy. Another key piece in attracting visitors will be publicizing our “NYC Safest City Commitments,” a comprehensive set of policies geared toward fostering safer streets while growing local economies.

Ensure public transit can get people to work

The Donovan administration will be fully focused on building back the New York City transit system. We will collaborate with the State of New York to ensure that the public transportation needs of New Yorkers are met, and with Federal colleagues to direct proper funding for the MTA. 

Deeply in debt and facing a collapse in farebox and tax revenue, the MTA has contemplated cuts as high as 40% to commuter and subway service. Such cuts would cause immense damage to the Manhattan business center, where the pre-COVID employment density simply cannot be supported without public transit operating at full daytime service. They would also disproportionately impact individuals with fewer alternative transportation options, either because of cost barriers or the public transit options near their home.

See our entire Transportation Platform, including our plans for launching true Bus Rapid Transit (BRT), embracing cycling and micromobility, and creating pathways for increased City oversight of the MTA.

Establish a comprehensive citywide apprenticeship program

We will create the largest comprehensive skills-based training program in the US for thousands of students in secondary (DOE) and post-secondary (CUNY) education, purposefully linked to workplace training and tightly aligned around the sectors where middle-income job growth will be strongest: life sciences, health, information technology, design, and finance. We will ensure access for adults seeking skills training and professional advancement, as well as secure and enshrine pay thresholds so that the program does not widen the pay gap. 

As part of these efforts, we are committed to investing in the establishment of 10,000 apprenticeship placements by 2025.

A key step will be to guarantee at least one paid job, apprenticeship, or internship opportunity that connects to a meaningful career pathway to every high school student, helping students identify and develop interests along with skills. Read more about this and other commitments to preparing our young people for family-sustaining employment opportunities in our Education Platform.

Our plan will establish intermediaries to deliver the services required for a large-scale, citywide program implementation. Building on the remarkable success of New York’s labor unions in delivering apprenticeships and training at scale, we will invest in intermediary partners to recruit and manage the employer relationships which are critical to our success, manage training slots, and deliver a high-quality experience for employers and trainees who participate, similar to the NYC Job Corps (see next section). These intermediaries will design workplace training programs in collaboration with employers, and coordinate apprenticeship assignments with employers, aligned with skills assessments and interests. We will also charge the City’s education system to fully integrate workplace learning into their educational pathways, and engage and hold corporate partners accountable.

At the Department of Education and CUNY, we will illuminate paths for students that connect learning with work by establishing firm curricular links such as credits for workplace training and alignment of classroom lessons with workplace activities. Additionally, we must accommodate workplace training in the school day schedule.

New York City employers—in the building trades, in health care, in tech and elsewhere—have rich experience to bring to our apprenticeship program. We will galvanize this experience and their commitment; employers will establish suitable supervision for the apprenticeship roles they create, ensuring these roles add value to the companies. We will expand the City’s collaboration with New York’s unions, helping to extend the impact of the tens of millions of dollars that the unions have invested in apprenticeships and training programs. 

Launch an NYC Jobs Corps

The Donovan administration will establish an NYC Job Corps which will put young people to work and create opportunities for shut-out workers. Among many others, the NYC Jobs Corps will engage justice-involved individuals in work and skills-training.

NYC Job Corps will provide customized, on-the-job experience to get participants workforce-ready. The Jobs Corps will target industries that are critical to the City’s long-term success, including our infrastructure needs, to identify jobs and employers that are ready to accept a cadre of City-trained professionals. 

Despite an abundance of quality jobs in various industries across NYC, there are groups of New Yorkers who face significant challenges accessing these employment opportunities, and this population has grown because of the pandemic. At the same time, employers struggle to find candidates with the requisite skills and diverse backgrounds. The Job Corps will address a misalignment among job seekers’ experiences, the skills that training and education providers teach, and the needs and requirements of employers

The NYC Jobs Corps will be an extension of the more specialized NYC Climate Corps, announced within our Climate Platform. Based on the Clean Energy Service Corps program, an AmeriCorps program established under President Obama to employ young Americans on clean energy and resilience projects through nonprofit and local government grants, the Climate Corps will build on local efforts like the CUNY Service Corps to create strong financial and educational opportunities for New Yorkers. The Jobs Corps would take a similar approach, bringing together the public, private, philanthropic, and academic sectors to identify training and work opportunities for our residents.

Capitalize on successful models 

We will capitalize on existing, successful models so as not to reinvent the wheel. When an existing model is working, like labor union apprenticeships and training, we will take notice and focus on transferability to other industries. We will collaborate with NGOs and social entrepreneurs to build on successful private models that deliver rapid, focused, and high-quality training in order to expand access to skilled, middle-income jobs for low-income New Yorkers, building on the examples of Catalyte, Year Up, and Pursuit.

Create a “CUNY Center for the Future of Work”

As the COVID crisis eases, there will be important lessons learned and opportunities for students to hone skills relevant to new working and learning environments. With its unmatched ecosystem of public and private schools, universities and research institutions, and powerful corporate and entrepreneurial entities, New York City will be well positioned to seize on this learning opportunity. 

By establishing a virtual space open to any CUNY student and faculty member who wish to engage with employers on applied learning, micro-internships, capstones, and skill badging programs in STEM, humanities, and liberal arts areas, we empower students to adapt to changing realities.

The Center will work with member employers who have talent needs and are willing to invest in a set of programs and opportunities for students and faculty to engage in applied learning projects and student- and faculty-led consulting engagements. This program idea is based on successful employer and university collaborations in Washington, California, and Maryland that engage students in real-life problem solving.

Enable distance learning for key high-growth sectors

We will create a “Workforce Innovation Lab” that is tasked with curriculum and program development in health care, IT, and sustainability and climate management areas that is fully available online. We can integrate certificates and programs in partnership with employers who have training needs based on the changing nature of work and technological advancements. The Lab will create programs to be implemented throughout the learning and workforce ecosystems of New York City.

Partner with the corporate community

In addition to the previously mentioned private-public efforts to upskill New Yorkers and combat racial economic inequality, our administration will develop new ways to introduce talent to employers throughout the training process to ensure strong rapport between parties before hiring decisions are made. 

We know through our early conversations with large employers and professional associations that a clear explanation of the value proposition will provide employers with a deeper understanding of the depth and potential of a partnership convened by the City. Employers best understand their needs and forthcoming industry trends; they want to ensure that their investment in time, resources, and capacity yield high-quality talent and results. We will work to develop a value-add holistic employer engagement system through enhancing our intermediary capacity and prioritizing mutually beneficial relationships.

Investing in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Too many New Yorkers have been shut out of a pathway to economic security, even at times when the city’s economy has grown rapidly. Black and Brown New Yorkers earn less than White New Yorkers in many sectors of the New York City economy and are underrepresented in middle-income jobs. Latinx business ownership is lower than five years ago and Black ownership is too low. Half of all working New Yorkers labor in the service sector, earning wages that average $40,000 per year. Women especially are heavily overrepresented in lower-paid service jobs.

Not only is it our responsibility to help build up communities that have often missed out on the benefits of our city’s growth, doing so would translate to a stronger economy and greater opportunity for all New Yorkers. The pathway to a more equitable economy cannot be imposed: the Donovan administration will work hand-in-hand with every community to understand how to best meet its needs and help ensure economic prosperity for its residents.

We are committing to the following policies and programs:

Make commitments and measure progress

We will designate a Chief Equity Officer in the mayor’s cabinet to set goals, measure progress, and collaborate with all agencies of the City of New York to ensure progressive achievement. Two primary pillars of our equity work include:

  1. Refocusing the New York City Economic Development Corporation around driving economic growth that is tied to economic equity for all New Yorkers
  2. Strengthening the minority and women-owned business enterprises (MWBE) network and infrastructure to ensure we are making the most equity-minded decisions when determining and awarding contracting opportunities

We will launch Equity Corporate Commitments to drive substantially greater Black, Latinx, and Asian job participation in high-wage and middle-income work. We will convene the top 100 largest employers in New York City to engage their support in achieving employment and compensation equity across racial, ethnic, and gender groups. The corporate community alone cannot carry the burden of building a better, more fair economy: we will engage their expertise and work with the business community collaboratively and creatively to put in place pragmatic, far-reaching solutions. 

Most importantly, we will partner with the business community on a broad-based public-private initiative to upskill New Yorkers and significantly reduce racial economic inequality in NYC. We will establish a City-led program, in partnership with employers and non-profit leaders, to recruit and train candidates across New York City and match them to jobs in high-skilled industries where economic growth, incomes, and future opportunities are greatest. Building on past successes, the Donovan administration will bring apprenticeship, job, training opportunities to scale, making them available to many more New Yorkers in every borough.

The Chief Equity Officer, a cross-agency advocate, collaborator, and ultimate responsible stakeholder, will work to achieve a set of specific, measurable targets in program design and implementation, as well as structural policy-making, to ensure that we are turning the lens on ourselves—on our own actions and behaviors—to critically evaluate our decisions.

These equity targets include, but will not be limited to: 

  • An orientation, in all aspects related to the equity and inclusion, that seeks to acknowledge, understand, and elevate the lived experiences of all people—especially people of color. To achieve this, the Donovan administration will take a data-driven and collaborative approach to identify and catalog inequities. 
  • Fair and transparent hiring practices, including transparency around promotions 
  • Increased, concrete targets for the contracting of City business with MWBE-certified companies—with strict standards for the attainment of these targets
  • The creation and implementation of a systematic rubric to evaluate equitable service delivery across neighborhoods
  • Increased outreach and public engagement with communities of color, including community-based organizations and equity-focused think tanks
  • Increased access to City services for communities of color, immigrant communities, and marginalized communities, especially in the wake of a public health crisis
  • Internal advocacy to support or change existing services using a disparity reduction framework
  • Increased facilitation and collaboration between communities and institutions to eliminate inequity in all areas of government, with a particular focus on education, criminal justice, environmental justice, housing, and economic development

Through the role of the Chief Equity Officer and the larger equity team, we will commit to a breadth and depth of institutional transformation that prioritizes engagement, partnership, and learning from communities to achieve meaningful, and sustainable results. 

Leading in Innovation

Over four centuries, New York City has been at the forefront of economic and commercial innovation in the United States. With unmatched human talent, a conglomerate of businesses and research centers, and financial muscle, New York remains exceptionally well positioned to lead in the development of new industries that will propel job growth and prosperity.

New York’s top position as a hub of economic activity in the technology industry remains unchanged. Industry leaders like Amazon, Facebook, and Google have redoubled their investments in the city even during the COVID pandemic. Media giants including Disney are investing heavily in expanding their operations in New York City. In addition to continued growth in technology and media, New York can support the development of two new, important sectors: life sciences and climate adaptation. 

We are committing to the following policies and programs:

Invest in life sciences innovation

Our administration will drive large-scale investments in expanding the life sciences sector in New York City, emphasizing primary research and product innovation, early- and growth-stage companies, and executive offices. 

We will improve and build upon existing collaborative efforts with life sciences industry leaders, major universities, and New York State, capturing a growing wave of investment and job creation. We will use our convening power to align private investments with regulatory actions and encourage private investment to build lab space while land costs and construction costs are lower.

The Donovan administration will work with communities to identify areas to nurture hubs for the life sciences industry and the creation of strong employment centers beyond the existing midtown commercial core. Building on existing developments, we will engage residents in the Bronx and Harlem in a comprehensive planning effort to collaboratively shape a vision for a dual uptown life-sciences hub that is anchored in robust job training, clear pathways to employment for residents, and a twenty-year development cycle. 

Additionally, we will update the zoning requirements for lab space to spur the development of a new life sciences lab hub in the Bronx and ensure adequate capacity at existing First Avenue and West Harlem hubs. We must simplify lab building requirements by aligning the building code with national standards. 

In addition to good jobs, our focus on building the life sciences industry in New York City will have a strong impact on public health in New York—bringing cutting edge research to the city hospitals, the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, and the private medical centers. 

Attract top life sciences talent

The Donovan administration will work to cement New York City’s leadership role in primary research. We will leverage the combined power of the mayor and universities to recruit top research talent. Our office will develop a free-standing, fully endowed research center for life scientists in Upper Manhattan, building on the model of the Broad Center in Cambridge and leveraging the resources of City College, Columbia University, the West Harlem life sciences hub, and the future hub in the South Bronx. 

We will also build a “Grad-School-to-Enterprise” Training Pathway for PhD students in the life sciences, accelerating the transition from doctoral research to high-skill work at life sciences businesses for the roughly 80% of doctoral students at New York City university programs who are likely to choose industry work rather than a career at a university research career. Such a kickstart to the industrial workforce will draw still more investment in life sciences businesses in New York. 

Establish a clear path for clinical trials 

We will convene a panel of experts to leverage New York City’s abundance of hospitals, patient data, and drug firms to propose citywide changes to boost clinical trial speed and ease of operability. This will not only benefit health outcomes, but will also make our city a more attractive place for biotech and pharmaceutical firms to operate. City area hospitals such as NYU Langone, New York Presbyterian, Mount Sinai, and Hackensack have taken the lead in accelerated COVID-19 vaccine clinical trials. The City has an important opportunity to learn from these experiences and implement an improved, citywide clinical trial process for future treatments and drugs, further cementing our city’s leadership in this fast-paced field. 

Provide life sciences job readiness at all levels

We will align NYC Apprenticeship, CUNY science and health education, and the “Corporate 100,000 Jobs Commitment” to guide New York City students and workers to life sciences jobs across the educational spectrum.

One focus will be on developing lab technician apprenticeship programs that can provide a means of upward mobility and a path to PhD programs or other specialized training for any New Yorker, particularly those from disadvantaged communities and backgrounds, through practical lab and research experience.

Lead the world in climate adaptation and jobs 

New York City was an early leader in affirmatively planning for climate change through PlaNYC, as well as in setting rigorous, ambitious regulatory standards, such as the City’s Climate Mobilization Act. It will be up to the Donovan administration to demonstrate that New York City can deliver on these aspirations. Doing so would propel the growth of an immense number of local jobs. Indeed, the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that employment in this sector is projected to be among the fastest growing in the country. 

As mentioned above, a key effort will be the development of the NYC Climate Corps. Additionally, we will work to align our workforce training with the skills required for the Clean Buildings Transformation, in trades including electrical, plumbing, and façade adaptation. We will center these efforts on New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) rehabilitation by supporting workforce development objectives and a pathway to convert 1,000,000 units to clean power.

In keeping with the spirit of public-private partnership necessary to solve the issues facing our city, we will support private sector innovations for “Finance & Install” offerings for small residential building owners seeking to make clean energy investments.

Our administration will establish greater certainty about the regulatory framework and requirements for buildings’ climate adaptation investments, with an eye toward managing costs. Building on the successful process to increase the minimum wage in New York State, we will establish a wage board to set fair terms for compensation for climate adaptation workers, integrating rates of pay, work rules, and scope regarding private and public projects. 

We will align zoning, regulatory, and tax incentives to support private investments in the wind power generation sector, creating jobs in such areas as harbor services, information technology, and power transmission and storage facilities.

Building Thriving Neighborhoods and a Thriving Economy

Neighborhood commercial corridors are the heartbeat of New York City’s economy, and will be vital as we create 15 minute neighborhoods throughout the city. Half of private sector employment occurs outside of the Manhattan commercial core and over the past five years, job growth has been fastest in the boroughs outside of Manhattan.

Our quality of life is greatly enhanced by access to abundant goods and services in our neighborhoods. With working habits evolving in response to COVID, more and more New Yorkers are working from home—further rooting their lives in their neighborhoods. 

Yet neighborhood businesses have taken enormous hits: the growth of online shopping not only hurt local retailers but also caused increased congestion and emissions from freight movement, too often in disadvantaged communities. The COVID pandemic and the imperative for social distancing decimated already struggling retailers and neighborhood restaurants and bars. 

Investing in the economic hubs of New York’s neighborhoods—beginning with the neighborhoods which have received the least investment to date—will drive job growth, stimulate entrepreneurship, sustain the environment, and enhance the quality of life of all New Yorkers. Importantly, the investments and programs which support neighborhood hubs will also be useful for driving the revival of New York’s commercial core.

We will target investment in programs, supports, and resources, like MWBE mentorship, that have been lagging or failing for the past 10 years. In addition, we will prioritize the one thing small businesses—all small businesses—need most, capital. We will deploy the convening power of the mayor to establish the NYC Entrepreneurship Financing Fund and leverage public, private and philanthropic investments to fund it. By meeting and exceeding the needs of small businesses, we work from the ground-up to create livable and enjoyable neighborhoods that are designed to accentuate New York’s streetscape and spur greater economic activity.

We are committing to the following policies and programs:

Target investment where it has historically lagged

Our first neighborhood-based investments will be in communities where public and private investments have lagged. By strengthening transit, affordable housing, and neighborhood business districts, we will get New Yorkers back to work, propel the growth of small businesses, and drive equitable, sustainable economic growth for years to come. 

In a Donovan administration, residential tenants, property owners, and business owners will participate in decision-making about investments, capital projects, and changes in zoning and regulations—working closely with other elected officials. Local residents will be involved in decision-making in thoughtful and new ways, engaging the full range of diverse opinions of a neighborhood. Because neighborhoods differ greatly, investments and regulations will be designed to be flexible. We will find ways to advance stewardship—emphasizing both local control and local responsibility, especially to advance education and youth engagement. 

Our neighborhoods must be designed to welcome, value and support diversity for residents, visitors, and workers. 

Support small businesses and New York entrepreneurs

Great neighborhoods have a thriving, vibrant local economy driven by a diverse group of businesses and entrepreneurs. The Donovan administration will nurture entrepreneurship, especially among immigrants and Black and Latinx New Yorkers, providing technical assistance that is anchored in proven approaches. We must also strengthen the minority and women-owned business enterprises (MWBE) network and infrastructure to ensure we are making the most equity-minded decisions when determining and awarding contracting opportunities. The City’s Chief Equity Officer will drive efforts across City agencies and be responsible for ensuring that we achieve concrete and ambitious benchmarks.

We will center entrepreneurship as a strategy for increasing family wealth-building and leverage city investments with community development corporations and community development financial institutions to deliver evidence-based strategies to support entrepreneurs.

We will deploy the convening power of the mayor to establish the NYC Entrepreneurship Financing Fund and leverage public, private and philanthropic investments to fund it. We will deploy capital to small businesses in neighborhood commercial areas, dispersing small loans to viable retail businesses to help them retool and expand as New York City emerges from the pandemic-driven recession. And we will do so at scale, directing unprecedented levels of financing to underinvested communities. 

The Donovan administration will galvanize business formation, investment, and job growth in New York’s neighborhoods by creating the most thoughtful, consistent regulatory environment for small businesses in the United States. We will build on New York’s progressive regulatory achievements by making these rules visible, comprehensible, and achievable; we will enforce these regulations consistently and fairly. We will reinvent small business regulation—from fines to licensure—and rationalize regulations with an eye to utility, equity, public benefit, clarity, and the costs imposed on businesses. 

We will invest in up-to-date information systems that support business licensure and regulation, using common, shared data across all agencies involved. We will set customer-oriented standards for the delivery of services to small businesses, including bonding requirements and on-time payments, and hold our agencies to account in meeting these standards for all matters irrespective of agency. The Donovan administration will cease to drive business fines as a source of revenue and the City’s Chief Equity Officer will monitor the enforcement of business regulations to ensure the fair and consistent enforcement of these rules across all of New York’s communities. 

Protect our neighborhood business districts

The pandemic has hit our neighborhood business districts in unexpected ways. Businesses are struggling to survive, and many haven’t. In many New York City neighborhoods, the demand for ground-floor retail space has softened and the rules regarding ground-floor uses are rigid and impractical. We will work to encourage the concentration of retail offerings in neighborhood retail districts. Citywide, we will dramatically increase flexibility, allowing for a wider range of ground floor uses that reflect a twenty-first century understanding of what makes for great retail environments, and we will better address retail oversupply by reducing requirements for retail in new construction outside of neighborhood retail districts and by incorporating retail demand into neighborhood planning.

15 minute neighborhoods are anchored by great neighborhood business districts. To achieve high quality public space in business districts and neighborhood commercial areas, the Donovan administration will establish a cross-agency coordination office to deliver comprehensive, coordinated management of public space in the commercial corridors of New York’s neighborhoods, with jurisdiction across the city’s many agencies to address the intersecting regulation of streets, sidewalks and plazas, scaffolding, vending, and sidewalk cafes. We will prepare a single set of city rules—irrespective of the agency that originates the rule—for public space in commercial districts, establish data management practices to anchor decisions by the agencies (regarding pedestrian flow, auto flow, environmental protection, state of good repair, etc.), and clarify lines of responsibility across agencies and ensure consistent accountability for the fulfillment of these. These changes will encourage innovative uses of our shared space, improve residents’ experience, ease mobility, and make life substantially easier for small business owners. 

We will knit the BIDs into this coordinated public space management effort and leverage their local area expertise and delivery capacity. 

The coordinated public space management program is also essential for the continued success of the Manhattan commercial core, as a tool for ensuring that this remains the best place to work, do business, and invest in the United States.

Help people get around in a New York minute

15 minute neighborhoods are great places to be, are easy to move around in, and are ones from which residents can quickly and easily access the jobs, services, and activities that make New York City the greatest city in the world. 

The Donovan administration will invest in enhanced public space and transportation to enable more resilient local business corridors that are safe, walkable, and convenient to local residents, including sidewalk improvements, high-quality transit facilities (e.g. bus shelters, up-to-the-minute trip information) and safe bike and scooter lanes. We will commit affirmatively to a standard of universal accessibility in local transit improvements

For the neighborhoods that are most isolated from high-speed subway connections, the Donovan administration will promptly implement high-speed bus service, connecting residents to the commercial core in every borough. We will further work closely with the MTA—and make full use of the city’s power through board membership and direct fiscal contributions—to ensure that investments are directed to neighborhoods, not solely to the commercial core and other parts of Manhattan. 

The Donovan administration will introduce a comprehensive approach to managing the impacts of the “last mile” for at-home delivery services

Read more about our plans to revitalize and strengthen New York City’s transportation options within our Transportation Platform.

Committing to Making New York the Safest, Most Connected City

Communities thrive when everyone in them feels safe and healthy. As we recover, we must make sure that every neighborhood is a great place to live in, visit, or own a business in. To jumpstart growth, the Donovan administration will launch a comprehensive program to deliver on the promise that all neighborhoods are safe and welcoming, called the “NYC Safest City Commitment.” We will work closely with travel industry partners to knit the NYC Safest City Commitment into promotions so that everyone around the world knows that New York City—and our exceptional neighborhoods—are safe, spotless, open for business and ready to welcome visitors.

Most importantly, we will restore New Yorkers’ trust in their neighborhoods, and particularly in neighborhoods where trust has long been declining. Yes, New York City is the most diverse place on the planet—but we all want the same three simple things—safe, clean streets, good schools for our children, and equal access to opportunity. Achieving that last human right–for equal opportunity—starts in the neighborhood. It starts with accessible high-speed internet, it starts with strong transit, and it starts with an affordable health care system. And it starts with a real commitment to New Yorkers.

We are committing to the following policies and programs:

Support neighborhoods in staying safe and clean

To ensure that everyone feels safe in all of our neighborhoods, the Donovan administration will implement community-driven, community-specific public safety programs to address crime in commercial areas (e.g. vandalism, shoplifting, robbery) and leverage the NYC Jobs Corps to divert offenders from the criminal justice system and deliver community clean-up as restitution.

As we rebuild, everyone wants to feel that their neighborhood is clean, comfortable, and cared for. The Donovan administration will set standards for trash removal, street cleaning, and graffiti removal and work in close collaboration with the Department of Sanitation, the BIDs and neighborhood groups to ensure a high level of delivery to these standards. We will work carefully to make sure that business owners and residents know what is expected of them and what the new standards are, and enlist their support in meeting these standards.

Keep our neighborhoods healthy

Everyone deserves access to great health care, close at hand. The Donovan administration will work with the NYC Health & Hospitals Corporation, Federal Qualified Health Centers, and other health care providers to leverage our robust public health system and expand health care service delivery directly in 15 minute neighborhoods, introducing state-of-the art neighborhood health clinics that are integrated in neighborhood retail corridors. Modeled on the service-intensive private offerings, these neighborhood clinics will substantially improve public health monitoring and the delivery of routine health care services. 

We will work to close the gap in primary care access by providing alternatives to high-cost emergency department care, improving the overall health of communities. We will do this by assessing each neighborhoods’ needs, and providing necessary public-private partnerships to drive community planning and investment.

Focus on making office buildings safe

As New Yorkers return to work, we will all want to know that the buildings where we do business are clean and safe. The Donovan administration will work with health experts and property owners to establish a scoring system for office buildings, measuring their delivery of healthy workspaces (considering, for example, fresh air flow; contactless navigation through public spaces, cleaning commitments, and effectiveness of contact tracing and notification for tenants). We will publish these scores, allowing everyone to understand that New York City is the Safest City in the world.

Ensure all neighborhoods have internet connection

In 2020 New Yorkers learned that universal high-speed internet is as important a public utility as is water, heat or electricity. The Donovan administration will fulfill the long-deferred promise to bring affordable, high-speed internet access to every neighborhood, every retail corridor, and every household in New York City. We will ensure that businesses in neighborhood districts have access to affordable high-speed internet and collaborate with community groups and business associations to support business owners with the skills they need to take advantage of online services and opportunities.

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