New New York: Making New York Work For Everyone Action Plan Puts Forth 40 Initiatives as a Roadmap for the Future
Plan Includes Five Areas of Focus for 2023 to Support the Regional Economy and Make New York City an Even Better Place to Live and Work
Also Includes Recommendations of 59 Member New New York Panel Led by Robin Hood CEO Richard Buery and Former Sidewalk Labs CEO Dan Doctoroff
Governor Hochul: "Being static is not natural for New Yorkers. We're always on the move, we like the energy, constant motion. So, we have to break away. And here's our challenge: We have to identify and embrace policies that'll get us off this plateau and lead us back to climbing the mountain, the summit where we all will meet together."
Hochul: "In my upcoming State of the State address, I will put forth a comprehensive housing plan, and within this, it will include the building of 800,000 new units of housing over the next decade. And I want to make it sooner than that. It's an ambitious goal, but it's one we must meet."
Earlier today, Governor Kathy Hochul and Mayor Eric Adams announced the New New York: Making New York Work For Everyone action plan developed by the New New York Panel, which the Governor and Mayor convened earlier this year. The action plan includes a set of 40 proposals intended to serve as a roadmap for the city's future and make New York City an even better place to live and work. Launched in May 2022 and led by co-chairs and former deputy mayors Robin Hood CEO Richard Buery and former Sidewalk Labs CEO Daniel Doctoroff, the broad and diverse panel of civic leaders and industry experts worked for six months to generate recommendations for the city and state at a time of historic alignment between the two. The recommendations center around how the City and State could partner with each other and across sectors to reimagine a New New York that propels the city and region forward for its next chapter of growth.
AUDIO of the event is available here.
PHOTOS of the event are available on the Governor's Flickr page.
A rush transcript of the Governor's remarks are available below:
Good morning, everyone. Good morning. I feel like Steven kind of threw down a challenge like what do the Mayor and I have to do to get on ABNY TikTok. We'll try to come up with something really clever throughout the process here today, but this is great. I'm so proud to be here today as your Governor, but also as someone who lives and breathes New York and lives and breathes New York City.
I have spent so much time in New York City. I've been staying in hotels here for eight solid years, probably a longer residency than a lot of our snowbirds. And I really feel the pulse of this city, and it's a beating heart and I want to make sure that that heart never goes on life support, that we keep it beating strong. And that's what today's event is all about. So, I want to thank Steven for everything he does as Chair of ABNY. Melva Miller, I've known her a long time throughout her other incarnations in government and in civic work, business work. I want to thank her for her leadership in this as well. And of course, my partner, Eric Adams, I'll be introducing in a few moments. And Richard Buery, thank you for stepping up, and Dan Doctoroff. I know you dedicated enormous amount of time to this process.
I also have a few of my members of my dream team here as well. We have the head of the MTA - let's give him a round of applause, Janno Lieber. Hope Knight is here, the Head of Empire State Development. Members of my administration, Karen Persichilli Keogh, who everyone knows is the Secretary of the Governor and many other talented individuals.
So, you know, ABNY's always been here for New York since its inception. It was conceived in a very difficult time. It was born out of the financial crisis of the seventies, and a lot of people had given up on New York City at that time. It was real, we had fallen so far. People were leaving, crime was rising and people thought the future was hopeless. But ABNY was founded by true believers, business leaders, civic leaders, labor leaders who never, ever gave up on the promise of New York. And today, my friends, it is that same sense of optimism that we harness and put to work to lead our comeback. [We've] come a long way since the inception of ABNY and we are not going back.
Last year when I spoke here, we were just coming through the throes of the pandemic. We thought we were starting to see the other side - it was November 18th. Well, little did we know that 10 days later, Omicron, another variant would take us down or at least try to. A lot of unknown back then. But as I said to you then, and I still believe this, this is not a moment to despair. It's a moment of great opportunity. And that pandemic still with us, it really showed us the cracks that perhaps had been there. We know they were there all along, but they really widened and gave us a clear view of the challenges that were systemic. Poverty, racism, different income levels. The wage gap is the largest here than anywhere in the nation, and they're just too hard to not look at and embrace. Perhaps, we ignored them in the past, but no longer. It also gives us a chance to redefine ourselves and to finally fill those cracks and build the fair, better, more equitable New York.
So, the pandemic caused us to rethink everything - how we work, where we work, how we get around, how we spend our time, our lives and where our priorities are. We're truly not living in the same New York that we were back in March of 2020. But where are we? Where are we? Well, let's be real honest. After some positive trends for a while, we seem to have plateaued. You think about daily office occupancy, vacancy rates, subway ridership, foot traffic in Midtown - although I walk it every day, it seems crowded to me - but it's still not what it has been. They're still below pre-pandemic levels, but plateauing is not a natural state for New Yorkers. Being static is not natural for New Yorkers. We're always on the move, we like the energy, constant motion. So, we have to break away. And here's our challenge: We have to identify and embrace policies that'll get us off this plateau and lead us back to climbing the mountain, the summit where we all will meet together.
But how do we adapt to these new realities? That's the question. How do we adapt? As well as addressing the longstanding problems that society has ignored for too long. Let's talk about one of these - housing crisis. I was watching the numbers this morning. Inflation's a little better than it was. Gas prices are down, thank God. But the largest expense for people, it's still their rent, the cost of their housing. So, this has been decades in the making without a doubt. This is not a new phenomenon, and I spoke about this at the New York Housing Conference just a few weeks ago, and we know that New York is the place that workers, families and businesses want to be, but many cannot afford to move here, to live here or relocate here.
So, this has been decades in the making without a doubt. This is not a new phenomenon, and I spoke about this at the New York Housing Conference just a few weeks ago, and we know that New York is the place that workers, families, and businesses want to be, but many cannot afford to move here, to live here, or relocate here.
And the answer is simple, not the answer. The question is, why didn't we build housing? Why, why, why? The statistic that says it all is that before the pandemic, we created jobs, we're still creating jobs. Steven mentioned Micron. That's 50,000 jobs coming to New York State that were literally heading off to Texas.
We lassoed them back. They're still not happy about it, but that's alright. So, jobs are being created here. All over. We created jobs though at three times the rate as we created housing to put the people in who will work in those jobs. So, that's the disconnect, leaving us with 1.25 million jobs and only 400,000 new units of housing.
So, the jobs are there, the housing is not, and that's why in my upcoming State of the State address, I will put forth a comprehensive housing plan, and within this, it will include the building of 800,000 new units of housing over the next decade. And I want to make it sooner than that. It's an ambitious goal, but it's one we must meet.
And we're taking a similar, no holds barred approach to our other intractable problems. You know, childcare, public transit. We know how important these two dynamics are in terms of getting people back to their jobs. We've already made historic investments in the region from the LIRR track, third track. Getting that done was extraordinary.
East Side Access, incredible. Four Metro North stations in the Bronx. I just announced that a couple days ago. And what that's going to do. Thank you. It's going to bring workers with a much shorter commute to the better paying jobs right in Midtown. It's going to create opportunities, change people's lives and it's long overdue. Penn Access. And why not in a glorious new Penn Station, and I am not taking my foot off the pedal on that one. That has to happen. That is going to define us for generations to come when we get that finished. So, I have three words for what we need to do for our public transit system.
We have to make sure that it's clean, safe, modern. Simple words. A lot of work behind each one of those but we're up to task. Another one of our missing links on why we're not having the same sense of vitality in our offices. Why they're not getting completely filled up is because a lot of parents can't get back to work. Childcare, especially for moms. The weight is still on moms. It was on me 35 years ago and now that baby is home taking care of his daughter because there's paid family leave for him. So, I see the cycles, I see the challenges families are facing. They want to be here; they want to raise their kids here in the most exciting place on the Earth.
But if you can't find a house. You can't get the childcare. It just doesn't work. So, we need to continue expanding access to childcare as well. We've made historic investments and we're not done yet. So, the foundation is there. The foundation for our economic recovery is right before us. We just need to build on top of it now and you'll hear more about our plans next month, but we can't continue to approach 21st century problems with 20th century solutions. We need to do what we've done in the past. We go big, we go bolder, and we go New York. We need to adapt. And we have an uncanny ability, an uncanny ability here in New York to avert crises and disasters and turn them into opportunities.
Just down in lower Manhattan, 20 years ago terrorists tried to destroy a way of life and we came back stronger, built back extraordinary buildings, places that are so energetic. People want to be there. We can do that here in our business districts throughout this city. We have to. We have to. And that's why Mayor Adams and I convened the New New York panel. Bringing together 50 of our region's smartest people, the best and the brightest, business, community, labor leaders, bringing them all together with that common goal, just like the origins of ABNY decades ago. Bring them together. What are you thinking? How are we going to do this? How are we going to overcome the challenges?
And I want to thank Rich Buery and Dan Doctoroff once again. I mean, this was no small task. As I said back there as we were gathering, I said, "you know me, I'm going say we're going to get together one year from now and say, what did we get done?" I'm all about holding people and institutions accountable, so we will measure after what you hear we're planning on doing here today, our success. People count on that. They expect that from us. But we had to find innovative solutions to our biggest problems. Over the past five months, they worked around the clock. Worked so hard. One goal, a coordinated joint policy agenda and action plans, and here's the radical part, between the city and the state. See that? See how crazy that is? Working together because guess what? I represent the same people, the same places, and the same businesses that the Mayor does, right? So, we have a reason to work like this to lift this city up.
And we will make our business districts stronger and more vibrant and more inclusive. We can because we have to ensure that people know that these are business districts, but they're not limited to that. They don't have to just be for business any longer. Why can't we have people living there as well? That's the radical idea behind what we're talking about here today. We have to also make it easier for people to get to work, improving the commutes to Manhattan. We're going to keep focusing on that, strengthening our employment hubs and workplaces so people can be closed at home. We're going to be continuing to create those jobs. You don't know this, but I spent every week on the phone, calling business leaders from out of state. I call Texas. I say, "You really want to have a business in Texas?" I just say things like that, "Look at your football team." I mean it's just whatever I have to do, I will take my shots. I'll say, "Really, women don't have rights to an abortion in your state?" So, you need to know for me I am tenacious when it comes to persuading people that there's no better place to be than in New York. And if you have anybody you want me to call, I'll be happy to call.
But I remember, I know at the foundation of all this, and we will get to all the specifics. The foundation of all this must be public safety. That's top of mind for everyone, including myself. It's something the Mayor and I are consumed about. We talk about this, we focus on this, we strategize on this. We're laser focused on keeping New Yorkers safe. They deserve it. We're working together on subway safety, keeping guns and criminals off our streets. We understand the urgency because none of this matters, what we're talking about here today, if New Yorkers don't feel safe. So, our number one priority will always be to protect New Yorkers, but I am looking forward to continuing this dialogue, you're going to hear some great ideas from this panel here today. It's the right approach. It's going to take all levels of government to implement them.
And I won't sugarcoat this. I tell like it is I'm pretty straight talking. It's not going to be easy. There have been institutional barriers for a long time to keep the status quo where it is, but the pandemic didn't allow us to keep the status quo. Things have changed and I need to go back up to Albany, work with our leaders, push and prod, because good ideas don't always make it over the finish line in Albany. But I know, just over the horizon is the next session. New opportunity, more details will be unveiled in my State of the State on how I will take parts of what you're talking about here today, the parts that say, "State laws need to change," and I'll work hard to get it done. But the person who's also going to continue to be this partner with me is our Mayor. And that is what is going to make a profound difference. So, was just literally a year ago, it was a little over a year ago. Seemed like he's been around a lot longer. Just elected, and we stood together, and I said, "The era of the Governor of New York and the Mayor of New York City fighting each other is over. Instead, we're going to fight for the people we represent." And we've deepened our relationship since that time. We've worked so closely on many joint initiatives, sharing ideas.
And I feel like a little bit of an expert on relationships, having been married to the same guy for 38 years. It comes down to communication. The Mayor and I talk all the time. Our teams talk all the time. We share ideas. And that is what is making the difference. And you'll feel that difference, and we don't need to get in the news for having this kind of fight. We're going to get in the news for making this happen. Partnership, friendship because that's how we lift them up. And I want to thank him for his leader up until this date with the way that, today forward, we embrace this joint effort, to lift New York City to the greatest heights because that's what we do, because we are New Yorkers. And I want to thank everyone on this Commission, all of you here, for your time and your towns. We're not done yet. We're just getting warmed up. Thank you very much.