Council Speaker unveils agenda to expand workforce development and entrepreneurship, increase affordable housing, and improve health and safety with a focus on underserved communities
The Bronx, NY – New York City Council Speaker Adrienne E. Adams delivered her State of the City address today at Justice Sonia Sotomayor Houses and Community Center in the Bronx, outlining her vision to invest in the City’s workers, expand opportunities for entrepreneurship, prioritize affordable housing, and improve the health and safety of neighborhoods.
The full text of the speech can be accessed here.
An accompanying report on the Speaker’s proposals can be found here.
Speaker Adams announced several new proposals, including those to increase industrial development, increase and preserve affordable housing, advance guaranteed income programs to move New Yorkers out of poverty, expand Fair Fares, and fix the City’s 3-K system.
Support for our city’s workforce, entrepreneurs and small business owners is essential to expanding economic mobility for more New Yorkers through many diverse pathways. The City must fill understaffed public service roles that provide critical services to New Yorkers, leveraging the job opportunities to employ New Yorkers in need of employment. By removing barriers and providing targeted support to foster economic mobility, the City can unlock new opportunities that help more New Yorkers reach their full potential and strengthen our workforce, economy, and communities.
The Speaker outlined the following priorities and proposals:
- Advocating for budget investments in key city agency front-line positions that serve New Yorkers and urging the city to expedite agencies’ abilities to effectively hire.
- Collaborating with municipal labor unions and the mayoral administration to identify jobs that no longer require college degrees and other unnecessary qualifications, passing legislation that opens more civil service jobs to New Yorkers.
- Supporting additional resources and pipeline programs for public service occupations with staffing shortages, such as mental health workers, nurses, public defenders, and housing attorneys.
- Increase city and state resources for public defenders and civil legal services attorneys to hire, provide salary increases to implement discovery laws, address court delays, and ensure legal representation in housing, immigration and other civil proceedings.
- Establish “Social Worker Fellows” program to cover tuition for those pursuing social work degrees who provide mental health services in public institutions, such as schools.
- Expanding CUNY Reconnect and Investments in CUNY
- Proposing deeper investments to expand CUNY Reconnect to more eligible New Yorkers and broadly increase support for CUNY.
- Expanding Workforce Development for Disconnected Youth
- Expanding the Renaissance Technical Institute’s program that provides free vocational training to young people, particularly disconnected youth, at-risk students, or justice-involved young people.
- Expanding to NYCHA’s Sedgwick Houses in the Bronx, Red Hook Houses in Brooklyn, and South Jamaica Houses in Queens.
- Expanding the Renaissance Technical Institute’s program that provides free vocational training to young people, particularly disconnected youth, at-risk students, or justice-involved young people.
- Prioritizing Industrial Development for Jobs, Manufacturing, and Green Energy
- Leading on comprehensive reform of the city’s outdated 1961 manufacturing zoning in the upcoming “Zoning for Economic Opportunity” text amendment to foster industrial economic development, protecting industrial areas from commercial intrusions that undermine the sector’s ability to meet the city’s economic, employment, and environmental needs.
- Identifying industrial sites in outer-borough neighborhoods that can provide space to cultivate industrial business growth and entrepreneurship opportunities. For example, in Southeast Queens, the 15-acre industrial site that was once home to the Elmhurst Dairy has been vacant and unused for several years. Located in the Jamaica Industrial Business Zone (IBZ), the site’s proximity to Downtown Jamaica and CUNY’s York College presents a major opportunity for industrial job growth and workforce development. Working together with the State and the private property owner, the City can reactivate sites like this with a job-intensive industrial use that also helps fulfill citywide manufacturing or green energy needs.
- Expanding NYCHA Resident-Owned Businesses
- Advancing legislation requiring the creation of a business directory of NYCHA tenant-owned businesses and a marketing campaign to highlight them.
- Advancing legislation requiring SBS to expand its Business Pathways programs beyond catering and childcare to include creative fields, retail, cosmetology, and others periodically identified as of interest to NYCHA residents.
- Advocating for NYCHA and EDC to identify vacant spaces appropriate for commercial pop-ups and business incubators and develop a program to make these available to NYCHA entrepreneurs.
- Collaborating with private partners to launch a NYCHA business competition that provides business development support, networking opportunities, and awards to support entrepreneurs.
- Investing in worker cooperatives at NYCHA.
- Providing funding to worker training programs at NYCHA to include entrepreneurship programming.
New York City faces a dire housing crisis that disproportionately burdens low-income and working families and exacerbates homelessness. While the city is growing in population and jobs, available homes and housing production have fallen behind dramatically, resulting in a housing shortage. As a result, competition for affordable housing is fierce and rents continue to reach record highs. The New York Times recently reported that over the last two decades, the city’s Black population has decreased by almost 10 percent, driven out by skyrocketing rent prices and the increasingly elusive dream of owning a home. This exodus is deeply concerning and illustrates the need to confront our housing and opportunity crisis that is costing the city its diversity.
In December 2022, Speaker Adams released “A Housing Agenda to Confront the City’s Crisis,” which details actionable steps to increase housing production with a focus on equity, deepening affordability, preservation, and restoring capacity for housing agencies and staff. As part of affordable housing preservation, the City must also address the poor conditions within NYCHA developments.
In her State of the City, Speaker Adams proposed the following housing proposals:
- Contribute to safeguarding public housing by combining all of our existing city, state and federal financing tools within a single newly developed NYCHA building to provide new Section 9 units for existing public housing residents living within a development.
- The same new building would continue to be owned by NYCHA but would include additional city and state-funded mixed income units developed in partnership with another housing entity. Ground floor usage could include community spaces, healthcare centers, supermarkets, childcare centers, or other commercial uses.
- Advance a Fair Housing Framework Law
- Introducing legislation establishing a citywide Fair Housing Framework that creates community district-level targets for housing production, preservation, voucher use, and neighborhood investment.
- This will help increase housing production and ensure every community equitably contributes to affordable housing production. will be introduced in the coming days.
- The criteria for calculating neighborhood goals will be based on several factors, including access to opportunity (jobs, economic development, etc.), services, infrastructure capacity, and displacement risk.
- This legislation will help ensure that all neighborhoods throughout New York City address the city’s housing crisis, while delivering investments for local residents.
- Introducing legislation establishing a citywide Fair Housing Framework that creates community district-level targets for housing production, preservation, voucher use, and neighborhood investment.
- Increasing Affordable Housing Production through Zoning Changes
- Advocating the State to eliminate the 12 FAR cap to increase density in parts of the City, and pursuing a new city-level framework that utilizes Mandatory Inclusionary Housing to direct more affordable housing in these areas where restrictions currently exist.
- Proposing to allow for reasonable increased density in development beyond what certain types of current zoning permits if it provides housing at deep affordability levels for people with annual incomes of $56,000 and below.
- Update Mandatory Inclusionary Housing (MIH) to deepen affordability, reflecting the rapid inflation of Area Median Incomes (AMI) during the last decade that has outpaced actual income inflation. It would require the deeply affordable option of MIH (Option 3) and increase the proportion of units dedicated to the lowest-income households – earning incomes of $48,000 on average and below – from 20 percent to 25 percent. This would be contingent on the state providing the necessary affordable housing credits to facilitate its development in New York City.
- Strengthening Housing Preservation
- Advocating to expand funding and improve the effectiveness of existing programs within the City’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD), including the “Neighborhood Pillars” and “Landlord Ambassador” programs for renters and the “HomeFix” and Homeowner Help Desk programs for small homeowners.
- Pursuing budget, legislative and policy solutions at the city-level and working with our state government partners to address the issue of vacant public housing and rent-stabilized units.
- Increasing community-based ownership and participation by exploring expanded use of community land trusts and other social housing tools.
- HDFCs and land trusts can increasingly be used to expand affordable homeownership, similar to a project Speaker Adams helped finance to construct affordable homes through a transfer of distressed property in HPD’s Open Door program. It was the first construction of affordable homes through land transferred to the Interboro Community Land Trust, providing lasting affordable homeownership opportunities to sixteen low-to-middle income households, and can be replicated.
Healthier, Safer Neighborhoods
Health, safety, and opportunity have been the hallmarks of our city’s first women-majority City Council, and improving the health and safety of our neighborhoods is critical to increasing opportunity for all New Yorkers. Too many communities currently lack access to the basic support services they need to thrive. The City must begin to address long-standing inequities that undermine the health and safety of our neighborhoods through the improvement of current programs and systems, and the implementation of new ideas.
- Creating year-round public pool access and expanding free swimming programs.
- Expanding half-price rides on buses, subways, and Access-A-Ride to more low-income New Yorkers by expanding eligibility of the Fair Fares program to New Yorkers with incomes up to 200% of the federal poverty level.
- Committing $5 million towards guaranteed income programs that provide direct anti-poverty assistance payments to low-income mothers with infants and to vulnerable youth – those at risk of poverty due to engagement with the foster or justice systems.
- Fixing the City’s 3-K and early childhood education program with reforms and solutions. This includes expanding 3-K programing with new contracts, adequate staffing and capacity to immediately reimburse providers to address the late contract payments that have undermined programs.
- Elevating proven community safety investments to stop cycles of violence including building on a new Speaker’s initiative for Community Safety and Victim Services providing $100,000 to each Council district.
- Renewing the City’s Commitment to Close Rikers with Action.
The speech was simultaneously broadcast in Spanish, Mandarin, Bangla, and American Sign Language (ASL). The video of the speech can be found on the Council website via this link.
Photos from the speech will be posted on the New York City Council’s Flickr page.
“Speaker Adrienne Adams understands the importance of higher education to boost the economic mobility of New Yorkers and strengthen our city,” said CUNY Chancellor Félix V. Matos Rodríguez. “It’s only been a year since she introduced the idea of CUNY Reconnect in her last State of the City and already more than 16,000 students have re-started their education through the program. These students will improve our workforce, our economy and the overall well-being of our local communities. We are grateful to have her and the City Council as partners and we look forward to our continued work together to make our city greater.”
“The City Council was the force behind establishing the Fair Fares transit discount program in 2019. Under the leadership of NYC Council Speaker Adrienne Adams, the Council is poised to once again lead on the critical need to ensure that our public transit system is more accessible and affordable to all New Yorkers,” said David R. Jones, President and CEO of the Community Service Society of New York. “By increasing the income eligibility threshold for the Fair Fares program from 100 percent of the federal poverty line to 200 percent, more working-class New Yorkers with incomes just above the eligibility cut-off will be able to take advantage of the program. Opening enrollment to more working-class New Yorkers — a good portion of whom exclusively rely on mass transit – makes economic sense too because it will boost MTA farebox revenues at a time when the transit authority is struggling to close a $600 million deficit. With today’s announcement, Speaker Adams and the City Council have doubled down on their commitment to making our public transit system the gateway to economic opportunity for all New Yorkers.”
“It’s so refreshing to see a set of proposals around supporting entrepreneurship that are squarely focused on NYCHA residents,” said Jonathan Bowles, Executive Director, Center for an Urban Future. “New Yorkers living in public housing are already highly creative and entrepreneurial, but Speaker Adams’ proposals will ensure that a lot more NYCHA residents are able to benefit from the city’s small business assistance services. It will help NYCHA residents succeed in their businesses and build wealth.”
“Despite being a majority-minority city, New York’s efforts to invest and support MWBEs have been disappointing,” said Bertha Lewis, President of The Black Institute. “The latest Annual Report on M/WBE Procurement from Comptroller Brad Lander has revealed that Black and Brown-owned businesses comprise only 2% of the total value of city contracts and vendors, compared to the over 70% share enjoyed by businesses owned by White women. This is unacceptable, even more so when over half of these businesses are paid late, denying them the capital to continue to grow a healthy minority business community. The Black Institute therefore applauds Speaker Adrienne Adams for taking the initiative and leading the effort to expand and improve access to capital for MWBEs and proposing legislation that will help minority businesses to continue growing.”
“We know that the safest communities are the ones with the most resources, not the most incarceration,” said Darren Mack, Co-Director of Freedom Agenda, Urban Justice Center. “The long-overdue investments Speaker Adams has outlined – in supportive housing, community-based treatment, and diversion and re-entry programs – will make our communities stronger, healthier, and safer, and keep us on the path to closing the Rikers Island jails. For generations, Rikers has fueled cycles of trauma and violence instead of interrupting them, at great moral and financial cost. We applaud Speaker Adams for her leadership and commitment to erase this stain on our city once and for all.”
“CCC applauds Speaker Adams for a State of the City address that delineates critical action steps needed to advance an inclusive and equitable recovery,” said Jennifer March, Executive Director of Citizens’ Committee for Children of New York. “This focus is needed now more than ever, as New York City’s children and families continue to struggle with unacceptable disparities deepened by the Covid-19 pandemic. So many of the proposals advanced today resonate with CCC, as they promote economic mobility; increase access to stable, affordable housing; and center on investments in people and communities – improving access to health and behavioral health care, early education and youth services, and prioritizing violence prevention and decarceration – as the surest path to safety and wellbeing. We stand ready to work with Speaker Adams and the entire City Council to move these priorities forward as the CFY’24 budget process proceeds.”
“Teaching more New Yorkers how to swim and providing spaces for indoor exercise will make our city safer and healthier,” said Carter Strickland, VP of Mid-Atlantic and New York State Director for the Trust for Public Land. “Green schoolyards show that schools are beloved community hubs, and leveraging public investments in existing pools will benefit more residents and create the lifeguard corps we need to keep our magnificent public beaches open all summer.”
“In light of the discrepancy in access to adequate park space around the city and the rise in temperature as a result of climate change, it is critical that our city’s kids have equal access to swimming pools in all neighborhoods during the hot summer months,” said Heather Lubov, Executive Director of City Parks Foundation. “But access alone is not enough. This is a life safety issue — teaching kids to swim not only offers you a sport you can practice at any age to stay healthy, but also offers important survival skills that will last a lifetime. Funding NYC Parks with 1% of the city’s budget will ensure that these critical services can take place.”
“Thank you, Speaker Adrienne Adams and the entire New York City Council, for the continued commitment to fighting hunger in our city. The skyrocketing cost of food has left many New Yorkers struggling to feed their families, and SNAP is the first line of defense against hunger. We’re grateful the City Council is fighting to protect and strengthen SNAP, while ensuring the Department of Social Services has the staff capacity to enroll all eligible New Yorkers in these critical benefits,” said Rachel Sabella, Director of No Kid Hungry New York. “We’re also pleased to see the Council’s plans to improve access to food in the summer, which we know to be the hungriest time of the year for many families. Working in partnership with the Department of Education to make sure summer meal sites are in the places families live, work and play will be a game-changer, making it easier for kids to access these vital meals.”
“CityFHEPS vouchers are one of the best tools we have to support homeless New Yorkers as they move out of shelter and in to apartments of their own — but this program is only as effective as the City’s bureaucracy,” said Christine C. Quinn, President & CEO of Win, New York City’s largest provider of shelter & supportive services for homeless families with children. “Speaker Adams is right to focus on breaking down bureaucratic roadblocks that keep families in shelter longer than they have to. Ensuring CityFHEPS works as well as possible will help homeless New Yorkers and save taxpayer funds — it’s a win-win for New York, and I look forward to pushing these fixes forward.”
“High-quality early childhood education can be a game changer for children’s education and must be available to the children who need it most. We appreciate Speaker Adams’ attention to strengthening 3-K and look forward to working with the Council to ensure that the City has seats in the places where they are needed; that families, including those living in shelters and immigrant families, get information and support to enroll; and that preschoolers with disabilities get the services they have a right to receive in those programs,” said Kim Sweet, Executive Director, Advocates for Children of New York.
“New York’s recovery and continued vitality depends on the hard work and expertise of community based early care and education providers in child care centers and home-based programs,” said Tara N. Gardner, Executive Director of the Day Care Council of New York. “Yet, many child care providers are struggling to keep their doors open because of late payments from the Department of Education. And the hardworking women and men who are NYC’s early childhood teachers, support staff, providers and directors are still not paid salaries on par with their counterparts in public schools. The City must take action in this budget to achieve salary parity for the early childhood workforce and ensure sustainability and stability for the organizations that provide child care. We are proud to work with Speaker Adams and the City Council to reform and strengthen New York City’s early care and education system!”
“Too many New Yorkers continue to struggle both socially and economically from the impact of the COVID pandemic. Our city’s recovery must prioritize the safety and well-being of all New Yorkers, especially those who have been historically disadvantaged. With this State of the City address, Speaker Adams has presented an agenda that puts the people of New York City first and calls for new investments and strategies that will create economic opportunity through workforce development, entrepreneurship, support for working mom’s through early childhood education, and new resources for CUNY,” said Dr. Ester R. Fuchs, Professor of Public Affairs and Political Science at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs. “At the core of effective and responsible government is identifying the problems and implementing the policies and programs that will actually improve people’s lives. I applaud Speaker Adams’ unwavering commitment to doing just that.”
“The current moment calls for innovative approaches to connecting low income and jobless New Yorkers to new careers – we have to broaden our aperture and invest in both training and supportive services like childcare and transportation if we are going to build a more equitable and inclusive economy,” said Aaron Shiffman, Executive Director of Brooklyn Workforce Innovations. “We applaud the Speaker’s proposals to initiate funding that removes barriers for people in training and apprenticeship programs, and to bridge the gap between residents of homeless shelters and City jobs.”
“A focus on equity must be at the center of any economic development strategy for New York City and we commend the Speaker for taking this approach,” said Leah Archibald, Executive Director of Evergreen Exchange, Industrial Jobs Coalition (IJC). “Preserving and growing industrial jobs – with their high wages, low barrier to entry, and opportunity pathways for our diverse workforce – lies at the heart of a true equitable economic development strategy. The Industrial Jobs Coalition (IJC) is excited to engage our stakeholders, the Speaker, and the Council to ensure these proposals protect and reimagine the City’s industrial zones and enhance the capacity of Industrial Business Service Providers so as to advance economic equity and opportunity for every New Yorker.”
“To enter a lucrative and sustainable field like construction, women and parents must have access to resources that address their specific needs in the industry,” said Kathleen Culhan, President of Nontraditional Employment for Women (NEW). “Affordable and quality childcare options that operate during nontraditional hours remain elusive for women entering or working in the trades. NEW is proud to stand with Speaker Adams and her fight to secure funding for wrap around services for preapprentice and apprenticeship programs to address challenges around childcare, eldercare, and transportation.”
“We applaud Speaker Adams, Education Committee Chair Rita Joseph, and the Black, Latino and Asian Caucus for their leadership prioritizing high-quality, accessible early childhood education,” said the Campaign for Children – a coalition of over 150 organizations, parents, and advocates focused on early childhood education and the youth services ecosystem. “Contracting, payment delays, workforce pay disparities, and an unnecessarily complicated enrollment experience for families, are all jeopardizing the strength of the early childhood system. Today the Speaker took a strong position by publicly pushing the Adams Administration to address this crisis, and we thank Speaker Adams for prioritizing solutions to support our city’s youngest and their educators.”
“An expansion of Fair Fares can’t come soon enough,” said Riders Alliance Senior Organizer Danna Dennis. “Especially when millions of New Yorkers are overwhelmed with the cost of living in this city and living paycheck to paycheck, Fair Fares is an essential lifeline. Rent, food, childcare and transportation costs are approaching all time highs and Speaker Adams’ expansion proposal would put several hundred dollars back in the pockets of the New Yorkers who most need a break. We’re eager to work alongside the speaker, our colleagues at Community Service Society, and our vast coalition to win over Mayor Adams and see Fair Fares expansion included as a centerpiece of the final adopted budget this June.”
“On behalf of our 5,500 members in New York City—the HR professionals and business leaders who safeguard the lives and livelihoods of workers in every sector of the economy—SHRM commends Speaker Adams for prioritizing workforce development and policies that will strengthen the education-to-employment pipeline,” said Emily M. Dickens, chief of staff and head of public affairs at SHRM, the Society for Human Resource Management. “Skills-based hiring is an especially important component of these efforts. SHRM looks forward to partnering with the New York City Council to help reach untapped talent and remove barriers to employment.”
“We applaud Speaker Adams for continuing to push the city forward and advancing many initiatives that mirror our vision for a better New York,” said Carlo A. Scissura, Esq., President and CEO of the New York Building Congress. “Under her leadership, the Council is furthering policies and programs that will make a difference at every level, including converting empty offices into new homes, a multi-million-dollar expansion of workforce development centers, and eliminating excessive parking minimums. Thank you, Madam Speaker, for demonstrating time and again that New Yorkers are ready to rewrite our future and create a more accessible and equitable city – one that says yes to housing creation and development and uplifts our workforce, small businesses, and MWBEs.”
“We appreciate Speaker Adams and the City Council for their commitment to help the city’s post-COVID workforce and understanding the importance of a robust mental health and substance abuse prevention workforce,” said Amy Dorin, President and CEO of The Coalition of Behavioral Health. “The Coalition for Behavioral Health looks forward to continuing our partnership with the Council to address the mental health and substance abuse issues of all New Yorkers and those that support them”.
“Safe Horizon, the nation’s largest nonprofit victim services organization, applauds Speaker Adrienne Adams and her colleagues for putting forth common-sense solutions to addressing violence in our communities. We know that survivors want, need and deserve many different paths to safety and healing, and the City Council’s approach will help ensure exactly that. We look forward to our continued partnership with the City Council to help children and adults find immediate services and pathways to healing,” said Michael Polenberg, Vice President, Government Affairs, Safe Horizon.
“As one of the city’s largest homeless services providers, we applaud Speaker Adams and the New York City Council for their visionary leadership to increase affordable housing,” says Eric Rosenbaum, President and CEO of Project Renewal. “By removing barriers to the creation of critically needed housing, the Speaker’s proposals can reduce homelessness while addressing our city’s mental health and substance use crises, alleviating the stress and trauma associated with housing instability.”
“At NYCETC, we’re fighting to make sure our most historically marginalized have access to the employment support services and training they need to succeed–because we know that investing in New Yorkers means investing all over New York City,” said Gregory J. Morris, Chief Executive Officer of New York City Employment and Training Coalition. “Speaker Adams’s efforts to secure new funding for apprenticeship training and care support for those enrolled in apprenticeships should be applauded—and we look forward to working with the Speaker to ensure everyone has access to the skills, training, and education needed to thrive in the local economy.”
“I applaud Speaker Adams efforts to provide further financial safeguards for the independent workforce. It will allow them the ability to choose their clients and projects without the fear of non-compete agreements restricting their financial opportunities. Non competes can also be the difference between feeding their family or affording living in our city,” stated Rafael Espinal, Executive Director of the Freelancers Union. “New York City continues to be a leader in the fight to advance freelance worker protections and I am excited on behalf of freelancers to join Speaker Adams on this important freelance legislative initiative.”
“We are pleased to hear that Adams’ vision for the city includes expanding opportunities for affordable homeownership and protecting existing homeowners,” said Christie Peale, CEO and Executive Director of the Center for NYC Neighborhoods. “With new proposals from both the Mayor and the Governor focused on increasing housing supply, it is more important than ever to fully fund the community-based housing nonprofits that do the work to protect New York’s homeowners from displacement. We are grateful for Speaker Adams’ leadership and look forward to working with her and other city leaders to expand access to vital homeowner assistance programs such as the Homeowner Help Desk, HomeFix, and the Foreclosure Prevention Initiative in order to preserve and expand homeownership opportunities for all New Yorkers.”
“As a workforce development organization, the Consortium for Worker Education knows how difficult it can be to find a path to quality employment without support for basic needs like transportation, eldercare and childcare,” said John K. McDermott, Director for Strategic Partnership of the Consortium for Worker Education. “The CWE and our union and community partners are deeply grateful that Speaker Adams and the City Council will be supporting aspirational workers in the FY24 budget through the creation of training and apprenticeship support programs that can provide these critical, “wrap around” support systems for people proactively engaged in career development. CWE looks forward to working with the Speaker and the Council on their continued support and advocacy for workers and their families.”
“The City needs bold programs for workforce development and financial inclusion that center Black and Brown communities to ensure all New Yorkers have access to the benefits of economic growth and development. We applaud Speaker Adams and the City Council for advancing plans to expand workforce hubs across the city, increase SBS resources for minority- and women-owned businesses, and support equitable lending programs. We also endorse plans to pilot critical anti-poverty measures including offering free financial literacy training through DCWP for under-resourced young adults,” said Blondel Pinnock, President and CEO of Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation.
“The mounting housing and homelessness crisis is putting extraordinary pressure on working class New Yorkers, who are counting on their elected officials to advance a concerted approach to ease their burden,” said Nick Brasse, Chief of Staff at Volunteers of America-Greater New York (VOA-GNY). “We are encouraged to see Speaker Adams outline such an approach in her State of the City and are particularly pleased to see her prioritize legislation that would make CityFHEPS vouchers easier to obtain, advance an ambitious fair housing framework, and provide support for the mental health workers serving on the front lines of this emergency. VOA-GNY is grateful to Speaker Adams and the NYC Council for continuing to be visionary partners in our work to end homelessness.”
“Urban Upbound thanks Speaker Adams for her commitment to investing in financial literacy programs as a critical tool to lift New Yorkers out of poverty,” said Bishop Mitchell Taylor, CEO and Co-Founder of Urban Upbound. “As pioneers and longtime advocates of one-on-one financial counseling for low-income New Yorkers, Urban Upbound enthusiastically supports all efforts to reach more individuals, particularly youth, and offer this key service in a holistic manner, paired with other poverty eradication programs. Our success breaking the cycle of intergenerational poverty for NYCHA residents is proof that this model works, and we look forward to working with the Council on their efforts to bring these programs to more people.”
“A focus on equity must be at the center of any economic development strategy for New York City and we commend the Speaker for taking this approach. Preserving and growing industrial jobs – with their high wages, low barrier to entry, and opportunity pathways for our diverse workforce – lies at the heart of a true equitable economic development strategy. The Industrial Jobs Coalition (IJC) is excited to engage our stakeholders, the Speaker, and the Council to ensure these proposals protect and reimagine the City’s industrial zones and enhance the capacity of Industrial Business Service Providers so as to advance economic equity and opportunity for every New Yorker,” said Leah Archibald, Executive Director of Evergreen Exchange, Industrial Jobs Coalition (IJC).
“New York City’s future depends on a strong municipal workforce that is both prepared and supported to deliver the critical services we all rely on,” said Henry Garrido, Executive Director of District Council 37. “We thank Speaker Adams for her leadership in advancing these workforce development initiatives and look forward to a continued partnership with the City Council to address the barriers our members face in and out of the workplace.”
“The City’s healthcare workforce crisis, accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic, threatens care for thousands of New Yorkers, particularly those in communities already hit hard by health disparities,” said Dan Savitt, President and CEO of VNS Health. “VNS Health applauds Speaker Adams for her leadership in tackling this pressing issue and directing City resources to address it. We look forward to our continued partnership with Speaker Adams and the New York City Council.”
“Teaching more New Yorkers to swim will save lives, make people healthier, and is the long-term solution to the current lifeguard shortage,” said Jordan Brackett, Chief Executive Officer of Asphalt Green. “Over the course of our history, Asphalt Green has taught over 100,000 children to swim and given $40 million worth of free swim classes to young people who otherwise could not afford lessons. With more pool space and increased financial resources, we can reach many more people. Asphalt Green applauds the Speaker’s efforts to make pools more accessible and increase funding for free swimming programs throughout the City.”
“We are delighted to hear that the Speaker and City Council are prioritizing aquatics programming and pool access,” said Sharon Greenberger, President and CEO of the YMCA of Greater New York. “As a City surrounded by water, it is imperative that we give residents the skills they need to be safe around the water. We applaud the Speaker’s commitment to working with community based organizations to support free swim programs in this year’s budget while also providing healthy recreation and pathways to lifeguard training and certification and employment.”
“City Harvest thanks the Speaker for her commitment to fighting hunger by supporting programs that provide fresh food to families across the City at select NYCHA locations,” said Jerome Nathaniel, Director of Policy & Government Relations at City Harvest. “At a time when food price inflation is at a 40-year high, the Speaker’s investment in City Harvest’s Mobile Markets can serve as a lifeline for hundreds of thousands of families. We look forward to continuing to serve our fellow New Yorkers alongside our bold leaders in City government.”
“GrowNYC is proud to partner with Speaker Adams to provide farm fresh affordable produce to underserved communities throughout the Boroughs,” said Marcel Van Ooyen, President and CEO of GrowNYC. “Today, 1.5 million New Yorkers are facing food insecurity. The measures taken by the Speaker and the City Council reinforce their commitment to alleviating food insecurity and another step towards empowering New Yorkers to equitable food access.”
“The industrial sector has always been and will continue to be a crucial component of the city’s economy. Speaker Adams’ policy ideas are common sense proposals that will breathe new life into industrial zones across the city,” said Justin Rodgers, president & CEO, Greater Jamaica Development Corporation. “Here in Jamaica, reactivating the former Elmhurst Dairy site would be a tremendous boon for the community and complement our overall revitalization efforts in southeast Queens.”
“Los Deliveristas Unidos at Worker’s Justice Project commends the New York City Speaker Adrienne E. Adams for uplifting the existence and contributions of Deliveristas at the 2023 State of the City Address, said Ligia Guallpa, Executive Director of Worker’s Justice Project. “We look forward working together to deliver much needed micro-mobility infrastructure such as e-bike charging stations and critical resources and that will address the unsafe and unjust working conditions that 65,000 app delivery workers are experiencing, while they keep New Yorkers fed and safe during emergencies like snowstorms, hurricanes and a pandemic.”
“We commend New York City Council Speaker Adrienne E. Adams’ affirmation today that she will marshal the resources necessary to close the jails on Rikers Island by 2027,” said Courtney Bryan, Executive Director of the Center for Justice Innovation. “The Speaker’s support comes at a crucial moment. Since the release of the Lippman Commission report that has served as a blueprint for closing the Island’s jails, the dangerous and inhumane conditions—which have contributed to the deaths of 20 people in City custody since the beginning of last year—have only gotten worse. The Center for Justice Innovation is committed to working with the City to close Rikers in the next four years through expanding the availability of community-based alternatives to incarceration, partnering with communities to prevent crime involvement, and creating a fairer, more effective justice system for all.”