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Mayor Adams, D.A. Bragg Announce New Midtown Community Improvement Coalition To Enhance Quality Of Life, Protect Public Safety In Midtown Manhattan

July 2, 2024

Coalition Includes More Than 20 City Agencies and Community Partners to
Create a Cleaner, Safer, and More Vibrant Midtown Business District 

NEW YORK – New York City Mayor Eric Adams and Manhattan District Attorney Alvin L. Bragg, Jr. today announced the launch of the Midtown Community Improvement Coalition, a new interagency quality of life improvement hub that brings together law enforcement, elected officials, and community and business leaders to address public safety and quality of life issues in Midtown Manhattan. Modeled off the successful 125th Street Business Improvement District (BID) Interagency Hub, the Midtown Community Improvement Coalition includes more than 20 city agencies, service providers, and other government and community partners.

The coalition will work to address a range of public safety issues, including retail theft, substance use, the mental health crisis, beautification, illegal scaffolding, unlicensed cannabis shops, and more. The coalition will deploy teams to conduct regular walkthroughs to observe issues in real time and speak with local community members and businesses on the ground. They will also identify specific individuals in the area who may need connections to services, such as housing or medical care, and make referrals to the appropriate city agency or service provider.

“With the launch of the Midtown Community Improvement Coalition we are doubling down on our commitment to improving quality of life, protecting public safety, and beautifying these historic and beloved neighborhoods for working-class New Yorkers,” said Mayor Adams. “Government working hand in hand with the community is crucial to creating a vibrant, cleaner, and more livable city where all New Yorkers can thrive, and that’s why the community’s input is so important to our success. Thank you to all of our partners for working so collaboratively to make our city better.”

“Midtown Manhattan is essential to the economic well-being of our city — and the entire region. It’s among the busiest commercial districts in the entire world, home to thousands of permanent residents, iconic tourist attractions, restaurants, retailers, and critical transportation hubs that are the gateways to our city,” said Manhattan District Attorney Bragg. “This new coalition, which combines the resources and expertise of a variety of agencies and providers, will enhance public safety and quality of life for everyone in the area. We have already proven the success of these inter-agency collaborations through the 125th Street Hub, and I know we will be just as successful in Midtown. I want to thank Mayor Adams and his administration, the NYPD, the Garment District Alliance, and Times Square Alliance for their commitment to realizing this collaborative effort.”

The coalition is the result of an ongoing partnership between the Adams administration and community partners dating back to 2023 focused on addressing community of life and public safety concerns within the geographic areas of 34th Street to 45th Street, between 7th Avenue and 9th Avenue, as well as 34th Street to 37th Street on 8th Avenue. It is co-chaired by Tom Harris, president of the Times Square Alliance; Barbara Blair, president of the Garment District Alliance; and Brian Weber, president of the Midtown South Precinct Community Council. In 2023, Mayor Adams launched the ‘Community Link’ initiative spearheaded by First Deputy Mayor Sheena Wright. Community Link brings together various city departments and agencies to work together with the community and business leaders to address complex and often chronic community complaints that require a multi-agency response. Participating city agencies include:

  • Mayor’s Office of Community Mental Health
  • Fire Department of the City of New York
  • New York City Department of Buildings
  • New York City Department of Consumer and Worker Protection
  • New York City Department of Environmental Protection
  • New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
  • New York City Department of Homeless Services
  • New York City Department of Parks and Recreation
  • New York City Department of Sanitation (DSNY)
  • New York City Department of Small Business Services
  • New York City Department of Transportation
  • New York City Police Department (NYPD)
  • Office of the Special Narcotics Prosecutor for the City of New York

Since its inception, Community Link has already convened five community improvement coalitions throughout the five boroughs. Over the last 18 months, these coalitions have responded to over 800 complaints and conducted over 600 operations to address quality of life concerns raised by the communities they serve.

“We are thrilled that the Midtown West neighborhood has joined forces with the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office and the Adams administration to develop and implement 2024 solutions for the quality-of-life challenges we see on the corridor in midtown between Penn Station and the Port Authority that balances the needs of those suffering on our streets with those of residents and visitors to our neighborhood,” said Tom Harris, president, Times Square Alliance. “I am confident that if we all work together, our neighborhood will work better for all New Yorkers.”

“The Garment District Alliance is gratified that Mayor Eric Adams and Manhattan District Attorney Bragg are taking up the challenge of combating social disorder on Eighth Avenue between Penn Station and the Port Authority,” said Barbara Blair, president, Garment District Alliance. “The challenges in this area have always been there but grew exponentially during the pandemic. The concentration of social service entities adds an additional layer. The Midtown Community Improvement Coalition will directly address conditions in a coordinated way. The causes of public realm disorder are complex. This Coalition is an opportunity for the Sheriff's office, NYPD, DSNY, and others to respond as a team. In the first weeks that we have been working together we have collaborated to close loopholes and worked in a results-driven process. With 57 hotels in the district welcoming millions of stays a year, commuters using the two of the largest transportation hubs in the country, office workers, and residents will all be beneficiaries of the Midtown Community Improvement Coalition."

“The Midtown South Precinct Community Council welcomes Mayor Adams and District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s ongoing commitment to address chronic public safety and quality-of-life issues along the 8th Avenue corridor,” said Brian Weber, president, Midtown South Community Council. “We are thankful for our partnership with the Garment District Alliance and Time Square Alliance, and the support of the Midtown South Precinct, the NYPD, the District Attorney Office, and the Mayor’s Office for collaborating on the formation of this coalition tasked with facilitating solutions beyond the scope of singular city or state agencies. Coordinating and utilizing existing tools and resources across a range of social services and enforcement agencies, we endeavor to ensure the safety, health, and well-being of all residing, working, commuting, or visiting this area daily.”

“We are at our best when we work together. That’s why I’m excited that the Adams administration and DA Bragg are convening community members from across Midtown West to establish a coalition to monitor and address public safety and quality of life issues,” said New York State Senator Brad Hoylman-Sigal. “This unique partnership will combine the power of government agencies, community service groups, and mental health service providers to ensure that all those in this neighborhood are getting the help they need while also enhancing the experience of anyone who lives and works here. I am looking forward to seeing this partnership of over 20 organizations grow and help the west side of Manhattan live up to its full potential.”

“The formation of a new Midtown Community Improvement Coalition is critical to addressing the public safety and humanitarian crises that have worsened significantly in recent years,” said New York City Councilmember Erik Bottcher. “Building a system that focuses all the resources of government on addressing these problems and fosters a collaborative approach from our agency partners is exactly the kind of strategy we need to get a strong handle on the issues facing the Garment District and Hell’s Kitchen. In order for New York City to thrive, midtown must thrive, and this is an important step in the right direction. I want to thank Mayor Adams and District Attorney Bragg for convening this coalition and I look forward to continuing to work with all stakeholders to make New York City a better place to live, work, and visit.”

“Our Community Improvement Coalitions have had a lot of success cleaning up various areas around the city, and their work has been second to none,” said NYPD Chief of Patrol John Chell. “The partnerships they have formed continue to provide tangible results in improving the quality of life for the people of this great city.”

“Undertakings such as this one are exactly why the Community Improvement Coalitions were formed,” said NYPD Deputy Inspector Maurice Williams. “We have the resources and knowledge to make an immediate and long-lasting impact on this community and are eager to bring about a positive change that residents and visitors will be able to feel.”

“We look forward to continued collaboration with all our partners as we develop innovative strategies to address public safety and quality of life issues impacting midtown Manhattan. This critically important area, which includes Times Square and the 8th Avenue corridor, serves as a major transportation hub for millions of people and as a preeminent center of entertainment and cultural attractions for visitors and city residents alike,” said Bridget G. Brennan, Special Narcotics Prosecutor, City of New York. “I applaud Mayor Eric Adams, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, and all of our other partners for their leadership in listening to communities, and for drawing on an array of perspectives and expertise to secure the safety and vibrancy of midtown.”

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