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Officials and Community Members React to Mayor de Blasio's OneNYC Initiative

April 22, 2016

OneNYC Steering Committee

"This administration is turning big goals into real progress," said First Deputy Mayor Tony Shorris. "Thanks to the tireless work of all our agencies and commissioners, New York is growing stronger, more equitable, more sustainable and more resilient. And we've only just begun."

“This year saw major progress towards our goals: a bold strategy for cutting building greenhouse gas emissions, expanding recycling and collection of organics, tripling solar, cleaning our air, improving our transportation options, keeping our water clean, and investing in our parks," said Nilda Mesa, Director of the Mayor's Office of Sustainability. "When we set our goals high, and get to work on them, New Yorkers get to live in a city that’s more sustainable every day."

“Last year, Mayor de Blasio released One New York: The Plan for a Strong and Just City (OneNYC) and made several aggressive commitments, such as lifting 800,000 New Yorkers out of poverty, dramatically reducing our greenhouse gas emissions and waste sent to landfills, achieving the cleanest air of any large U.S. city, and ensuring that those on the front lines of climate change – often the most vulnerable New Yorkers – are protected against its risks,” said Daniel Zarrilli, NYC’s Senior Director of Climate Policy and Programs and Chief Resilience Officer. “Today’s release of the OneNYC 2016 progress report shows the substantial progress that has been made all across the city to put us on the path toward achieving those goals and demonstrates the type of leadership that will be required to address the substantial climate and equity challenges ahead.”

"We are proud of the progress we have made in the past year towards creating a more equitable city", said Mindy Tarlow, Director of the Mayor's Office of Operations. "Increases in the minimum wage, growth in early and higher education opportunities, and a continued focus on improving the health and wellbeing of our residents will all contribute to better health and economic outcomes for New Yorkers".

"The City is committed to a vision of a stronger, more equitable city that is also more sustainable and more resilient. The progress in this report shows that we are making good on that commitment. By continuing our focus on equitable and sustainable growth, our city becomes stronger and more capable of meeting the challenges ahead," said Deputy Mayor Richard Buery for Strategic Policy Initiatives.

Larian Angelo, First Deputy Director of the Office of Management and Budget said, "OneNYC envisions a city where jobs, the environment and social justice can all grow together."

Carl Weisbrod, Chair of the New York City Planning Commission, said, “As our city continues to achieve record growth in both population and jobs, we are committed to ensuring that all New Yorkers participate equitably, and that we provide the housing, amenities and infrastructure that keep our neighborhoods vibrant. We are proud of the progress the City has made in 2015. There is more work to do and we look forward to collaborating with communities throughout the city.”

OneNYC Advisory Board Members

"One year in, Mayor de Blasio and his OneNYC program are successfully addressing the significant global challenges of climate change and inequality. By continuing to deliver on OneNYC's aggressive goals, New York City is providing a model for others globally as they seek to implement the UN's Sustainable Development Goals. I applaud him for his leadership and look forward to further successes in New York City,” said Jeffrey D. Sachs, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s Special Advisor on the SDGs and Director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University.

"We applaud Mayor de Blasio for substantial progress on nearly all of the 202 OneNYC initiatives program announced exactly one year ago," said Marcia Bystryn, President of the New York League of Conservation Voters. "Sending zero waste to landfills and reducing emissions 80 percent by 2050 are exactly the kinds of ambitious goals we should be striving for, but their completion is a long way off. The only way we get there is to take stock in interim progress. Critically, this progress report also contains milestones to be completed by the end of 2016 and 2017. These will not only increase transparency but they will also keep everyone engaged and focused as we work toward a greener, healthier and more equitable New York."

“I am encouraged by the progress the city has made in improving air quality by launching the NYC Retrofit Accelerator to help owners convert from #4 oil to cleaner fuels, prioritizing buildings in high poverty neighborhoods because of their higher incidence especially in Northern Manhattan and the Bronx where the asthma rates and health disparities are so great,” said Peggy Shepard, Executive Director, co-Founder of WE ACT for Environmental Justice. “The reduction in particulate matter is an important public health benefit since studies show that exposure to have such negative health impacts on our families. Aggressive implementation of OneNYC initiatives must continue if we are to achieve equity throughout our neighborhoods.”

“OneNYC reflects the progress that New Yorkers have made toward objectives that ensure the sustainability of our planet. The business community is an enthusiastic supporter of this important initiative,” said Kathryn Wylde, President and CEO of the Partnership for New York City. 

“Congratulations to Mayor de Blasio and the OneNYC team for the impressive progress they have made,” said Tom Wright, President of Regional Plan Association. “With the work on this initiative over the past year, New York is demonstrating the value of tackling the interrelated challenges of equity and sustainability in a cohesive way.”

“The Building and Construction Trades support the OneNYC plan as the future of our city and region depends on smart, fair and sustainable planning. In addition, we welcome these critical investments in our region which will serve as catalysts for the creation of good middle class jobs, while also addressing climate change," said Gary LaBarbera, president of the 100,000 member Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York.

“We know from our annual survey of low-income New Yorkers that many feel they are losing ground economically due to stagnant wages and rising rents,” said David R. Jones, President and CEO of the Community Service Society. “Raising the floor on wages is critical to helping prevent more New Yorkers from falling into poverty and creating opportunities for our most vulnerable residents to move up rather than slip further down the economic ladder. The mayor successfully fought to increase the minimum hourly wage to $15 for all New Yorkers while taking his own actions to lift wages for city workers and social service providers, expand universal pre-K to needy families and build more affordable housing for low-income New Yorkers. These efforts are helping to create a more equitable City, and we look forward to working with the mayor on other anti-poverty initiatives.”

“The de Blasio Administration is to be commended for prioritizing infrastructure investments as part of its OneNYC campaign,” said Richard T. Anderson, President, New York Building Congress. “The City is making expansive improvements in transportation, including a historic investment in the MTA and adding $1 billion to the City’s street resurfacing efforts. The City has also produced an unprecedented $15 billion dollar five-year capital plan for schools and increased investments in water and sewer infrastructure. These are the types of core systems upon which a livable, sustainable City is built.”

“As an advocate, my job is to push for progress and relentlessly point out how much more we need to accomplish. But there are moments we must step back and appreciate how far we have come and have confidence in the direction we are headed. This is one of those times. I applaud the Mayor for his vision and leadership on so many of these fronts. Few elected leaders across the country focus so intently on issues of poverty, in particular. I am proud to be living in a city insistent on placing this issue front and center and happy to be part of this critical effort,” said Allison Sesso, Executive Director of the Human Services Council.

“Working with the OneNYC Advisory Board has been a terrific experience as we work to shape the future of New York under the leadership of the de Blasio administration,” said Cheryl McKissack, President and CEO of McKissack & McKissack.” The transportation and infrastructure needs of our evolving economy are driving important changes to the construction industry in New York, including a changing workforce landscape. These changes also represent significant opportunity to improve workforce equity in the building trades and professional services that support construction in New York.”

"In just one year Mayor de Blasio and his administration have made tremendous strides in advancing the goals of OneNYC," said Jennifer Jones Austin, CEO and Executive Director of the Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies. "Being among the first elected officials in the nation to call for a $15 minimum wage, Mayor de Blasio fought for and helped secure a path to $15 for all New Yorkers, and committed to funding the wage increase for all employees of the City and of human service agencies working under contract with the City. The fulfillment of this one initiative will reduce poverty and improve both income and opportunity for hundreds of thousands of people."

"A year ago the Mayor announced a very ambitious and comprehensive plan for the future of this City. The progress made in only a year is truly remarkable,” said Hank Gutman, Chair of Brooklyn Navy Yard. “I am particularly pleased by the focus on creating sustainable, quality high-paid jobs for the people the economic recovery left behind and the bold new transportation initiatives. Much is left to do, but we are off to a great start."

“OneNYC breaks ground by uniting environmental performance and social equity,” said Andy Darrell, New York Regional Director at Environmental Defense Fund. “Energy efficiency upgrades, community solar and more affordable housing can cut pollution and bills – improving quality of life for all New Yorkers. EDF looks forward to working with Mayor de Blasio to build on this progress and create a more sustainable future for New York City.”

“OneNYC is an exciting plan that connects the dots between environmental prerogatives, social infrastructure and green jobs. It's really setting a new agenda for sustainable cities by linking questions of ecology, economy and equity,” said Kate Orff, Founder, SCAPE landscape architecture and urban design.

"The challenges of the 21st century require continued commitment to the goals set forth in OneNYC, and the past year's achievements generate hope for a resilient New York City, including the heart of its natural areas ­– Jamaica Bay,” said Adam Parris, Executive Director, Science and Resilience Institute at Jamaica Bay.

“Recognizing that the triple E’s – Environment, Economy and Equity – are part of an interconnected fabric, not separate silos is a major step forward for the de Blasio administration,” said Carlton Brown, co-Managing Director of Direct Invest Development. “It is not an easy job convincing the civil servants up and down the line of authority in city government that the practices of the past, the manner in which decision were made, will not facilitate economically secure, environmentally sound, and socially equitable futures for all New Yorkers. The good news is the work is underway!”

Elected Officials and Community Stakeholders

Council Member Costa Constantinides, Chair of the Committee on Environmental Protection, said, "We have seen significant progress on the City's OneNYC plan that are bringing us closer toward our goal of reducing carbon emissions 80 percent by 2050. We're already dropped emissions 12 percent and will continue to implement policies that take us even further. I am proud that our air quality has improved, our solar capacity has increased, and we've implemented over 3,000 new green infrastructure projects. These types of innovative solutions will help us in our efforts to combat climate change."

“OneNYC sets forth a number of goals critical to fulfilling our moral obligation to preserving a resilient, affordable, and equitable future for our City. As Chair of the City Council’s Committee on Recovery and Resiliency, I believe strongly in the importance of building capacity for human resiliency along the way, in addition to physical resiliency. In the past year, OneNYC has enabled us to take important steps forward,” said Council Member Mark Treyger, Chair of the Committee on Recovery and Resiliency. “As OneNYC enters its second year, I look forward to working with the administration to ensure that green workforce development, and sustainable career and technical education programs are part of our sustainability and human resiliency planning. I appreciate the sincere attention and investments in coastal resiliency and flood insurance rate reduction, and I will continue to advocate for these priorities, particularly in areas where redrawn FEMA flood maps will significantly raise insurance rates in the coming years. I hope that in its second year, OneNYC will continue to make progress in transforming from an ambitious set of resiliency, equity, and sustainability goals into concrete actions that improve quality of life for New Yorkers in all neighborhoods.”

“From reducing greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution to improving housing affordability, Mayor de Blasio’s OneNYC Plan is an historic commitment to the long-term economic and environmental sustainability of our city. As we approach the 400th anniversary of New York’s founding, OneNYC will serve as a vital roadmap in our efforts to navigate the challenges and opportunities of a new century,” said Senator Brad Hoylman.

“Today is Earth Day. And world leaders from more than 150 countries will arrive at the United Nations in New York City to sign the historic Paris Agreement on climate change preparing the way for a global shift to a low-carbon future. Mayor de Blasio has issued today a report that is good news for Lower Manhattan which is on the front line of sea level rise. This reminds us that there is more to be done for all of all New York and for all New Yorkers,” said Catherine McVay Hughes, Chair of Manhattan Community Board 1.

“Addressing the twin challenges of climate change and inequality are at the heart of the OneNYC plan. We congratulate Mayor de Blasio on the progress he has made on putting this plan into practice in Community District 3 and citywide,” said Gigi Li, Chair of Manhattan Community Board 3. “There is still much more work to be done, and we look forward to continuing our partnership with the Mayor’s Office to reduce the risks of climate change to our communities and improve the quality of life in our neighborhoods.”

“Today’s OneNYC updates show that New York City continues to set the global standard PlaNYC established nine years ago for sustainability action, transparency, and data-driven government,” said Rohit T. Aggarwala, Chief Policy Officer at Sidewalk Labs, former NYC Director of Long-Term Planning and Sustainability (2006-2010) and Chair of the Regional Plan Association Fourth Regional Plan. “I'm especially pleased that the City has adopted the new global standard for calculating urban greenhouse gas emissions, which will help the world's leaders fully embrace the contributions cities can make to the fight against climate change.”

“When Mayor de Blasio released OneNYC last year, it was designed to take the long view to ensure a healthy, prosperous and equitable city well into the future,” said Mark Watts, Executive Director of C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group. “His leadership has helped shape a global conversation around empowerment and inclusion of city dwellers in the face of a changing climate. The progress New York City is making will be keenly watched by other city leaders around the world, as they also look to address the connected challenges of climate change and inequality.”

"The Mayor is delivering on the bold commitments made in OneNYC and is taking the critical steps now that are necessary to reach those long-term targets. The Rockefeller Foundation is proud to partner with the Mayor's team on the work ahead across its resilience and equity initiatives,” said Peter Madonia, Chief Operating Officer at The Rockefeller Foundation

“Con Edison is committed to making NYC a more sustainable and resilient city. We are supporting our customers’ interest in clean energy by connecting their solar panels to the grid, providing incentives to make their homes and businesses more energy efficient, and helping them convert to cleaner fuels,” Craig Ivey, President of Con Edison Company of New York, Inc.. “As we complete our four-year $1 billion citywide storm hardening program and install smart grid technologies, we appreciate the Mayor’s OneNYC program, and for the City’s focus, collaboration and support as we work together to secure NYC’s future.”

“I applaud the progress being made on resiliency by the Mayor and his team,” said Seth Pinsky, Executive Vice President at RXR and former Director of the Special Initiative for Rebuilding and Resiliency (SIRR). “From the Bloomberg administration through the de Blasio administration, New Yorkers are showing that the very serious issue of climate change is one that people of all political stripes can come together to address effectively.”

“A year later, New York is making real and impressive progress in building resilience to a wide range of challenges it faces. As the world’s first resilience strategy, OneNYC is paving the way and serving as an example for hundreds of other cities around the world,” said Michael Berkowitz, President of 100 Resilient Cities – pioneered by the Rockefeller Foundation. “Since its release, New York has worked tirelessly on implementing and enhancing this plan in response to input from the community and changing conditions – it’s an excellent example of building the practice of resilience and will continue to play a role in creating a strong and just New York City as time goes on.”

“I applaud the Mayor for making substantial progress on his OneNYC program,” said Jessica Lappin, President of The Alliance for Downtown New York. “The Administration has continued to support Lower Manhattan and the Downtown Alliance is proud to work with the Mayor’s team on its ongoing set of coastal resiliency investments.”

“We applaud the City's commitment to flood protection in the Two Bridges Area as part of OneNYC's vision for a resilient and sustainable city. We understand the challenges of climate change and are encouraged by the progress of OneNYC's efforts to protect our shorelines and achieve environmental and economic sustainability, said Trever Holland, Board Member of Tenants United Fighting for Lower East Side.

"The OneNYC Progress Report provides the concrete evidence that the transformation to sustainability in New York City is underway,” said Cynthia Rosenzweig and Bill Solecki, co-Chairs, NYC Panel on Climate Change. “An important part of that effort is the City's measurable progress in responding to climate change. The City is addressing the causes of climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions – and its effects – by developing resilience to extreme events, especially on the coasts."

"We applaud the administration and its OneNYC program for advocating to moderate the increases on FEMA’s costly flood insurance premiums, which are becoming a financial burden for middle- and working-class families, and for fighting for more accurate flood insurance maps,” said Christie Peale, Executive Director of the Center for NYC Neighborhoods. “Our work together is essential to preserving affordable homeownership in our coastal communities," said Christie Peale, Executive Director of the Center for NYC Neighborhoods.

“The Mayor’s Office of Recovery and Resiliency is doing important work through its OneNYC program to help low-income homeowners protect their homes from future flooding and get the flood insurance they need. Low-income New Yorkers in flood hazard zones remain at serious risk from future storms, from sea level rise, and from the rising cost of flood insurance,” said Margaret Becker, Director of Disaster Recovery and Community Development, Legal Services NYC. “We need to address these problems with a broad range of solutions to keep NYC a city for all."

Administration Officials

“Access to healthcare and a healthy environment are deeply linked to economic opportunity and overall success,” said Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services Dr. Herminia Palacio. “This administration has prioritized the de-stigmatization of mental health issues, and increased care and resources for our city’s homeless and vulnerable populations, while simultaneously expanding quality, affordable healthcare to low-income and immigrant communities. The OneNYC vision recognizes that improving our city must begin with improving the lives of those most in need.”

"Protecting and upgrading the city's water and sewer infrastructure is a must for our city," said Emily Lloyd, Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner. "Mayor de Blasio's OneNYC is a necessary and transformative plan to ensure the future of New York City for all, and I am proud to join him in achieving it."

“With the vision and commitment of OneNYC, NYC is accelerating the pace of land cleanup and is now the most advanced city in the U.S. in stewardship of contaminated land. By remediating and revitalizing polluted land, we are making our communities safer and more resilient to the effects of climate change, while also creating new building space for safe affordable housing and small businesses that will provide thousands of permanent new jobs,” said Dr. Daniel Walsh, Director of the Mayor’s Office of Environmental Remediation. “To make sure that our resources are focused on low-income neighborhoods and environmental justice areas that have a disproportionately high burden of land pollution, we have also created over 30 social equity programs to help communities plan and implement their grass-roots vision for cleanup and reuse of contaminated vacant land.”

"New York City continues to rise to the challenge in curbing the effects of climate change for this and future generations,” said NYCHA Chair and CEO Shola Olatoye. “Through Mayor de Blasio's vision and OneNYC, NYC's public housing is making bold steps to become more sustainable, resilient and equitable for residents in communities across the City."

"The Buildings Department is proud to support the Mayor's bold vision for a stronger, more sustainable city. We've launched a new unit to speed applications for affordable housing, updated the city's energy code to cut carbon emissions, and, with significant investments from the Mayor, are transforming the agency to give all New Yorkers faster service and greater transparency when they do business with us," said Department of Buildings Commissioner Rick D. Chandler, PE.

“Over the last year the City has put in place the tools for people to recycle and reuse more. And it's working,” said Kathryn Garcia, Commissioner of the Department of Sanitation. “Today New Yorkers are composting their food, keeping e-waste out of landfills and recycling their metal, glass, plastic and paper.”

“The de Blasio Administration should be proud of the tremendous progress we have already made on our OneNYC goals,” said Polly Trottenberg, Commissioner of Transportation. “In addition to New York City’s unprecedented investment of $2.5 billion in the MTA Capital Plan to expand mass transit, we at DOT are doing our part to create a more greener and more sustainable future by growing Citi Bike, extending our 1,000-mile network bike lanes and creating a new and different transportation network for our growing City – a network that will include select bus service, streetcars and ferries.”

"With historic air quality improvements, a $15 minimum wage, UPK and other key initiatives, OneNYC will reduce health disparities in our city and prevent thousands of New Yorkers from dying before their time,” said Dr. Mary Bassett, Commissioner of the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. “Where you live shouldn't determine how healthy you are and how long you live, and OneNYC is critical to making every neighborhood a healthy neighborhood."

“The administration has been a strong supporter of the public health system and has taken an innovative approach to the way behavioral health care is provided in the City,” said Dr. Ram Raju, President and CEO of NYC Health + Hospitals. “We look forward to doing more to expand access to care in underserved communities as we carry on our mission to care for all New Yorkers regardless of their immigration status or ability to pay.”

"As steward of New York City's 14 miles of beach, nearly 30,000 acres of parkland, and more than 2,000,000 street and park trees, NYC Parks works toward a bright, green future for all New Yorkers. OneNYC has enhanced our impact by bringing greater capital funding, public programming, and innovative green design to parks across the city through the Community Parks Initiative and Parks Without Borders," said Department of Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver, FAICP.

“The progress of OneNYC is seen every day in the communities we serve, through housing recovery, new resiliency investments, and providing jobs to Sandy residents through Sandy Recovery Workforce1,” said Amy Peterson, Director of the Mayor's Office of Housing Recovery.

“We are proud to continue doing our part for Mayor de Blasio’s vision of a thriving and equitable city,” said Department of Social Services Commissioner Steven Banks. “We are changing the way we approach both housing and employment, working with our clients’ unique needs and skills to find them stable homes and jobs that will lead them out of poverty.”

“The City has been a leader in increasing access to broadband technology while focusing on equity. These investments will make it easier for New Yorkers to connect not only with each other, but also to employment, education and other resources. We’re also making great strides in expanding opportunities and support for our minority and woman-owned business enterprises, putting us well on our way to reaching our goal of $16 billion in contracts over the next 10 years,” said Counsel to the Mayor Maya Wiley.

“We are proud to be delivering on Mayor de Blasio's promise to create a more sustainable and equitable City by connecting more New Yorkers to quality jobs, helping small businesses to launch and grow, and fostering thriving neighborhoods," said Gregg Bishop, Commissioner of the Department of Small Business Services. "Through HireNYC, we are working to connect New Yorkers to open positions created through the City's purchases and investments. To meet the Mayor’s goal of awarding $16 billion over the next ten years to M/WBEs certified with the City of New York, we’ve raised the number of certified M/WBE firms to 4,115 and awarded over $1.6 billion in contracts. Our grant programs are making neighborhoods even stronger, and SBS is also directly engaging communities as we plan and launch key commercial revitalization programs.”

"Immigrant communities in New York City are growing stronger day-by-day, and OneNYC has certainly had an impact," said Commissioner Nisha Agarwal of the Mayor's Office of Immigrant Affairs. "By creating a system of accountability, the de Blasio administration is ensuring that immigrant communities are experiencing the benefits of a more sustainable, resilient, and equitable city."

"In just one year, we're already delivering significant results on Mayor de Blasio's OneNYC plan,” said Maria Torres-Springer, President and CEO of the New York City Economic Development Corporation. “We've brought more good paying jobs to all five boroughs. We're investing in resilient infrastructure to build strong neighborhoods. And, we're helping more MWBEs access opportunity so they can continue to grow and thrive."

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