Op-Ed | A working people’s agenda
Last week, in Queens — the borough I grew up in — I reported to New Yorkers on the state of our city. I outlined what we’ve accomplished in the year since I took office, and my vision for the future. We are going to build a city for working people, one that is more affordable, safer, cleaner, and more livable.
We focused on four essential pillars: jobs, safety, housing, and care.
Because without a strong working class, this city cannot survive.
Working people need good jobs and pathways to get those jobs. And those jobs need to be able to support a home for New Yorkers and their families.
That is why we are reimagining our workforce system, connecting 30,000 New Yorkers to apprenticeships through a new Apprenticeship Accelerator. It’s also why we are creating the jobs for the future, through our first of its kind biotech start up incubator that will be home to the next generation of transformative companies, and our Kips Bay life sciences hub, which will help create jobs and train New Yorkers for high demand careers in the life sciences, healthcare, and public health.
And we are ensuring that more city dollars go to minority and women-owned businesses as well as creating a new Nursing Education Initiative to support 30,000 current and aspiring nurses over the next five years.
And while we are finally seeing crime begin to decline in New York City, we must continue to make our streets safe, and it starts with getting New York City’s Most Wanted off our streets.
We are going to get the roughly 1,700 known offenders responsible for a disproportionate amount of the city’s violent crime off the streets.
And we are going to keep our streets safe by holding reckless drivers accountable. We are going to go to Albany to get legislation passed that increases the penalties for serious crashes, running red lights, and impaired driving.
Our city cannot be livable unless it is clean and sustainable. So we are investing millions to make our city cleaner and greener.
Last year we launched the country’s largest curbside composting program in Queens in order to Get Stuff Clean, and by the end of 2024, composting will be citywide and year-round. We are electrifying our city vehicles, and we have reached a deal with Uber and Lyft to have a zero emissions fleet by 2030.
And we are going to build on the success of our Open Streets and Open Restaurants programs by creating permanent community spaces in each borough.
We must have homes for working people. We are working to add 500,000 more homes across all five boroughs—so that everyone has an affordable place to live. We are going to build in every borough and every neighborhood. And that means creating housing in areas that currently only allow manufacturing and office uses while protecting good jobs in the center of our city’s economy. We are going to make Midtown Manhattan a true live-work community. And we are building more housing in high-opportunity neighborhoods and near transit hubs. I recently announced plans for 6,000 new homes and 10,000 new jobs around four new metro stations in the Bronx. And at Willets Point we’re working to build the largest new 100 percent affordable housing development in 40 years — that’s 2,500 new, affordable homes for New Yorkers.
Building new houses is essential for our future, but we also need to address the housing crisis today. So we are going to protect tenants and help New Yorkers stay in their homes by investing over $22 million in tenant protection programs.
We must also ensure that the social safety net is there for working people, so we are expanding it; making it easier for New Yorkers to access public benefits and healthcare. This is an agenda for working people.
As we pursue these programs, we want to keep New Yorkers up to date on the very latest. That’s why we’re launching a new initiative to talk directly to New Yorkers about the issues you care most about. You can sign up for this email newsletter at nyc.gov/hearfromEric to receive breaking news and updates on city initiatives — all tailored to your personal interests. Whether it’s a new park opening, or a new Open Streets in your neighborhood, you’ll be the first to know.