Announcement advances key proposal from Speaker Adams’ State of the City address

City Hall, NY – Today, New York City Council Speaker Adrienne Adams announced the members and structure of the New Arrivals Strategy Team, a diverse set of experts to improve the overall response to the recent immigration of our newest New Yorkers by developing solutions that promote their successful integration and economic contributions to communities across the five boroughs. The team includes a cross section of veteran city government leaders, immigrant New Yorkers with direct experience, non-profit leaders, service providers, and funders. First announced at Speaker Adams’ 2024 State of the City, the New Arrivals Strategy Team will aim to evaluate the government and non-profit response to this latest wave of migration and identify shared priorities for immediate action and long-term planning to best integrate newcomers and improve supportive services for all New Yorkers.

“In the past two years, tens of thousands of people have come to New York City in search of safety and a better life,” said Speaker Adrienne Adams. “Managing their arrival and supporting their success has come with challenges, exposing longstanding deficiencies in our social safety net and delivery of city services. There has also been a lack of collaboration with valuable partners at all levels towards solutions, which has been an impediment to the city’s progress. Immigrants and their contributions have always been a central part to what makes New York City special, and it’s critical we get this right for people seeking asylum in our city and all New Yorkers. I’m proud to form the New Arrivals Strategy Team, bringing together government experts and other critical stakeholders. I look forward to their work crafting a roadmap that can move our city in the right direction and help our partners in government and the non-profit sector better serve newcomers and longtime residents alike.”

The New Arrivals Strategy Team is comprised of three components: an advisory board, nine cohorts of stakeholders representing over 75 organizations, and Council staff. The cohorts, across several issue areas, will meet over the next several months to identify priority policy recommendations to address immediate and long-term needs. The Advisory Board will provide guidance and expertise on actualizing change and implementation of each cohort’s priorities. Council staff will contribute research and operational support, as well as manage the release of a series of reports that outline strategies and action steps for achieving the identified solutions.

Members of the New Arrivals Strategy Team Advisory Board include:

  • Plachikkat V. (PV) Anatharam, served over 30 years in city government at the Mayor’s Office of Management and Budget, NYC Health + Hospitals, and the NYC Housing Authority.
  • Larian Angelo, served 27 years in city government as First Deputy Director at Mayor’s Office of Management and Budget, Vice-President for Administration at Guttman Community College, and NYC Council Finance Director.
  • Lilliam Barrios Paoli, served for several decades in city government as former Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services, Chair of NYC Health + Hospitals, and Commissioner of five different agencies under four different mayors.
  • Ester Fuchs, former Special Advisor to the Mayor for Governance and Strategic Planning (2001-2005) and first woman to chair a NYC Charter Revision Commission. Currently, she is a Professor and Director of the Urban and Social Policy Program at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs.
  • David Jones, has led Community Service Society as its President/CEO for 38 years and is an MTA board member; former Executive Director of the NYC Youth Bureau and Special Advisor to Mayor Koch; former Chair of the Board of Carver Federal Savings Bank, founding member of the Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone, and board member of NYC Health + Hospitals and the Primary Care Development Corporation.  
  • Ruth Messinger, served for 20 years in city government as former Manhattan Borough President and Council Member. Today, she is the Global Ambassador for American Jewish World Service, an international human rights organization that she ran from 1998-2016.
  • Lisette Nieves, served in a variety of cross-sector leadership positions in municipal and federal government, academia, and the non-profit sector over the past 25 years. She is currently President of the Fund for the City of New York and a Distinguished Clinical Instructor with NYU.

The Issue-Area Cohorts consist of the following:

  • Children, Youth, and Young Adults
  • Culture and Social Connections
  • Funding and Non-Profit Development
  • Health and Hunger
  • Language Access
  • Legal Services and Supports
  • Shelter, Housing and Resettlement
  • Women and LGBTQIA2S+ Advancement
  • Workforce Development and Labor

“The Council’s New Arrivals Strategy Team is long overdue and a proactive response to meet the current moment,” said Council Member Alexa Aviles, Chair of the Committee on Immigration. “This is what real leadership looks like and must begin with a plan that engages in meaningful conversations with experts, providers, and directly impacted people. I welcome this Speaker’s efforts to deliver policy recommendations rooted in facts, and I look forward to supporting this vital work through my role as Chair of the Committee on Immigration.”

“The rich history of immigrants fueling New York City’s vibrant culture and economy is the exact reason of why NYC is called ‘the center of the universe’,” said PV Anantharam, NAST Advisory Board member. “We must acknowledge that this wave of new arrivals is not a new phenomenon but a longstanding tradition that defines our city’s essence. By proactively putting systems in place to provide newcomers with the tools and opportunities to build new lives, we not only honor this legacy but also strengthen the city’s economic foundation. I am honored to be a part of the New Arrivals Strategy Team’s Advisory Board and push for those policies that will help ensure our sustained growth and prosperity for all New Yorkers.”

“Just like our immigrant parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents, our newest arrivals bring a wealth of skills, talents, and entrepreneurial spirit that significantly contribute to our economic vitality,” said Larian Angelo, NAST Advisory Board member. “They drive innovation, create jobs, and foster economic growth in key sectors, including healthcare, construction, and small business. Embracing and supporting newcomers not only strengthens our workforce but also enhances our global competitiveness and ensures a robust economy for generations to come.”

“Recognizing and tapping into the resilience, resourcefulness, and tenacity of new arrivals is paramount to driving our city forward,” said Lilliam Barrios Paoli, NAST Advisory Board member. “Harnessing these qualities not only enriches our cultural and social fabric but also fuels innovation and economic growth. By empowering newcomers and integrating their unique strengths, we create a more dynamic and inclusive environment that benefits every neighborhood in every borough. I am truly passionate about this work and happy to be a part of the New Arrivals Strategy Team.”

“Thank you, Speaker Adams, for this important and necessary initiative,” said Ester Fuchs, NAST Advisory Board member. “It is both a moral and economic imperative to integrate asylum seekers into the life of our city. We must recognize that new arrivals are not just a challenge but represent an opportunity for our city. History has shown us that investing in the success of new arrivals, not only benefits them, but also fuels innovation, entrepreneurship, and sustainable economic growth for our city.”

“New York was built on the backs of immigrants and will continue to be a magnet for those who find fertile soil in it to sow and reap their dreams,” said David R. Jones, NAST Advisory Board member.“The challenge before us is how best to effectively manage new arrivals to our city so that they are able to acclimate into society, become financially independent, and contribute to the city’s economic growth and recovery.  I look forward to contributing to the work of the Speaker’s `New Arrivals Strategy Team’ and working with this amazing group of experts on ways to ensure the successful integration of newcomers into our city as well as improving the lives of all New Yorkers.”

“We are a city of immigrants, the forebears of many of us; these individuals built our city and helped create a strong local economy,” said Ruth Messinger, NAST Advisory Board member. “The establishment of the New Arrivals Strategy Team fills a crucial gap, and I am thankful to the Speaker and her staff for this effort. Today’s newcomers are vital contributors to our present and future social security and tax base, and prioritizing their full integration into the life of the city will benefit us all.”

“Gaining insights from our non-profits working with the newest New Yorkers is both essential for their effective integration and for harnessing newcomers’ positive economic impact on the City,” said Lisette Nieves, NAST Advisory Board member. “The critical services our non-profits have been providing improve newcomers’ social integration, which, in turn, fuels economic growth. I am grateful that the Speaker is bringing us all together.  Listening to and investing in these organizations is both strategic and vital for our city’s future success.”

“New York has been built and rebuilt by immigrants for centuries – and by better integrating our newest neighbors into the social and economic life of our City, they will be better equipped to carry on this legacy,” said Murad Awawdeh, President and CEO, New York Immigration Coalition. “The City Council’s New Arrivals Strategy Team is an important effort to finally move away from a short-sighted emergency response, and into one where we truly support the long-term success and vitality of asylum seekers and immigrants in New York. By engaging non-profits, community-based organizations, and asylum seekers themselves, the New Arrivals Strategy will be informed by the direct expertise of the communities that will be impacted by the City’s asylum seekers policies, and foster approaches that will allow our newest New Yorkers to fully integrate and contribute to the future economic success of our City.”

“We thank the Speaker and the Council for leading us out of a “crisis mode” response and towards strategic, organized, and thoughtful planning for the future,” said Sarah Costa, Executive Director, Women’s Refugee Commission. “Immigrants and refugees are grateful for the safety and opportunity New York City and communities around the U.S. have provided. They are resourceful and resilient and are ready to contribute their hard work and talents, as they have throughout the city and the nation’s history. Listening to what they tell us they need as they adjust to their new lives and providing some support will enable these new arrivals and our communities to thrive.”

The Cohorts include members of the following organizations:

Advocates for Children of New York * Afghans for a Better Tomorrow * Africa Is Everywhere * African Communities Together * Afrikana * Arab American Association of New York * Artists Athletes Activists * Asian American Federation * Ballet Hispanico * Callen-Lorde * CAMBA * Catholic Charities of New York * Central America Legal Assistance * Children’s Health Fund * Chinese American Planning Council * Coalition for Asian American Children and Families * Coalition for Homeless Youth * Columbia School of International and Public Affairs * Community Healthcare Network * Community Service Society * Consortium for Worker Education * Covenant House NY * DC 37 * El Puente * Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies * Good Shepherd Services * Haitian Americans United for Progress * Haitian Women for Haitian Refugees * Her Justice * Hispanic Federation * Homeless Services United * Hot Bread Kitchen * Immigrant ARC * Immigrant Children Advocates’ Relief Effort * JCCA * La Colmena * Literacy Assistance Center * Make the Road New York * Masa * Mixteca * Mother Cabrini Health Foundation * NAMI – NYC * New Immigrant Community Empowerment * New York City Central Labor Council * New York City Employment and Training Coalition * New York Immigration Coalition * New York Lawyers for the Public Interest * New York Legal Assistance Group * Northern Manhattan Improvement Corporation * Philanthropy New York * Planned Parenthood of Greater NY * PowerPlay NYC * Project Rousseau * Queens Public Library * Refugee Translation Project * Rethink Food * Robin Hood * Riverside Language Program * SBH Health System * Tenement Museum * The Children’s Village * CUNY Citizenship Now! * The Door * The Legal Aid Society * The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Community Center * The Museum of the City of New York * The New York Community Trust * The ROCC * Tirdof * UJA Federation New York * UndocuBlack Network * United Neighborhood Houses * United Way of New York City * UnLocal * Urban Resource Institute * Volunteers of America * Win * Women’s Refugee Commission * YMCA of Greater New York