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Transcript: Mayor de Blasio Mayor de Blasio Announces a Comprehensive Set of Strategies to Spur the Creation of 100,000 Jobs

June 17, 2017

Mayor Bill de Blasio: Thank you so much, Josh. And Josh, I want to thank you for – first of all, congratulations on what you’ve achieved coming out of Riverdale, you told me originally? And working your way up and getting into this field that is so important.

So, thank you for the good work you do but I also want to amplify the point that Josh made a moment ago. New York City can be the cyber security capital of the world. This is an area everyone in this room understands how great the need is, and I think it’s fair to say – and you’ll hear from one of the experts a little bit later – but I think it’s fair to say this is a field with tremendous growth potential. And we all have a lot of catching up to do and those jobs should be here in New York City because more and more of the talent is here and the companies doing the work are here and there’s a potential to combine that with our obvious strengths, such as the presence of the finance industry, and make us a global capital. And with that comes many thousands of jobs – high-quality, good-paying jobs.

So, Josh, you’re in the first wave of New Yorkers who have benefitted from this growing field and the plan we’re announcing today will help to expand the cybersecurity industry in this city greatly as well as expand a number of other areas that provide good-paying jobs to New Yorkers.

So, Josh, thank you, congratulations, and I wish you a very bright future ahead.

The concept here – I want to talk about the plan today – was based on the work of so many members of this administration. You’ll hear from some of them but I want to thank the others who put real hard work into this plan. And I’ll hold it up to begin because it’s a – such an important plan – New York Works, and this what a lot of you have asking for and we’ve been hard to put together.

This is the formal unveiling of New York Works. And in addition to Deputy Mayor Glen, and of course all of her staff, I want to thank the President of the Economic Development Corporation James Patchett; Commissioner for the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment, Julie Menin; our Commissioner for Small Business Services, Gregg Bishop; our Commissioner of Cultural Affairs, Tom Finkelpearl; our City Planning Chair, Marisa Lago; our DoITT Commissioner, Anne Roest; and our Chief Technology Officer Miguel Gamino; and on top of that the Executive Director of our Office of Workforce Development, Barbara Chang; and the President and CEO of the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation, David Ehrenberg. All of them contributed greatly to this plan.

So, let’s go over what this is about. The concept goes back to the very beginning of this administration. We understood that there were so many New Yorkers struggling to make ends meet. We understood that our economy was not working for too many people and that our economy had to grow but it had to grow in the right direction in a way that created not only more jobs but more good-paying jobs, more jobs that reached New Yorkers in all five boroughs – New Yorkers of all backgrounds.

That was the core concept of what we set out to do. And when we talk about what I believe is a central issue facing New Yorkers right now, affordability, I said in my State of the City address that one element of addressing the affordability crisis has been central to the work of Deputy Mayor Glen and her team, it’s the creation of affordable housing. But the second piece of the equation is raising incomes, providing more and more jobs with higher incomes and better benefits that’ll allow people to be able afford the cost of living in this city.

We had to attack from both sides of the equation. The New York Works plan gets right at that second piece – the ability to create more and more good-paying jobs so New Yorkers can afford their own city and can help their own city to thrive.

Now, I talk to people all over the city who say to me that they feel, often, that their own city is slipping away from them. We can’t let that happen. We can’t have that state of affairs where people don’t feel there’s a chance to keep living here.

We know if we continually protect affordable housing and create more affordable housing, that will help immensely. But this piece of the equation has been the big missing link for so many people – the opportunity to get a good-paying job and a job that can be a long term career.

Josh is 26 years old. Is that correct?

Josh Horowitz: That’s correct.

Mayor: Josh is 26, born and bred. Went to – you said Queens College?

Horowitz: Yes.

Mayor: Now in a field, at the age of 26 – Josh is in a field that if he chooses to stay with for 10 years, 20 years, 30 years he could do it and he could always have a good salary and he could always afford to live in his own city.

That’s the world we want to create for hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers especially young New Yorkers starting out who don’t have the advantages of their predecessors in previous generations who always knew they could afford their own city. We want today’s generation to know they can as well. It’s our job to give them the opportunities that will allow for that.

So, this connects to an overall philosophy that I would regard as a high-investment model of government. You can debate different philosophical world views. Some believe in supply-side economics. Others, like myself, believe the role of government is to make smart investments that build a better society, and that we have an opportunity in this city to shape the economy of the future.

I wish with all my heart the federal government took the same attitude. It’s been a long time since that’s been the case. I wish the federal government was, every day, investing more and more in infrastructure and research and education and mass transit. No one in this room has the illusion that that’s been the case for a long time, and it doesn’t look, necessarily, like that will happen any time soon.

But we, in New York City, because of our extraordinary strength, as a city and as a government, we have an opportunity to make key investments that will have a huge multiplier effect going forward.

So, whether it is the investment in creating new jobs or affordable housing or other things that underlie our economic strength – the investments we’ve made in education, what we did with pre-K, and what we will do with 3-K are the right thing for children but they’re also about addressing economic inequality and they help us build an environment for success economically.

They help us build an environment where more and more people can stay in this city or attract to this city to create businesses and build them. The same with public safety, obviously. The investments we made in public safety have been quintessential to our economic growth.

Part of why we have 34,000 more jobs than we had four years ago is because these investments have ratified to so many people who do create jobs that this is a place they can be long term.

So, that’s the theory underlying all of it.

Now, I’ve talked about the job growth and we’ve given you updates along the way. I’m very proud to say, one I’ve told you previously, we have the most jobs in the history of New York City. That number is actually now increased to almost 4.4 million. We were at 4.3 million for quite a while and it’s gone up, meaningfully, now to almost 4.4 million.

We intend to go further. And we’re very proud of the fact that unemployment is at a 40-year low. And we’re very, very proud of the fact that all of the different initiatives I just described also help to get a huge number of New Yorkers out of poverty. By year’s end we predict 281,000 New Yorkers will have been lifted out of poverty compared to just four years ago.

These things are happening and working, and it’s not by accident. It’s because of investment and it’s because of a strategic approach. So, we know the job here is to lift the floor for everyone in this city, to improve the quality of life, to improve the ability of people to afford this city, and to make sure that a middle class lifestyle really is available to more and more New Yorkers.

That is not an illusion. I think a lot of what we saw in the year 2016 all over America was a cry for help from a lot of people worried that a middle-class life was no longer going to be possible in this country.

Well, in our city, we’re taking the steps to show that the middle class is alive and well, and can grow again. This is about creating long term, good-paying jobs.

So, the 100,000 new jobs that we talk about here in New York Works, these will be developed over the next ten years. They will benefit at least 250,000 people because of the impact they will have on families.

Obviously, anywhere else in the country 100,000 jobs benefitting 250,000 people would be positively seismic for most communities. Here, even though we are so big, it’s still an extraordinary step when you look at the context of the kind of job growth we expect going forward. This will be at the core of it but particularly at the core of the development of the higher paying jobs.

Here’s what my mandate was to the team that put together this plan. These 100,000 jobs in here, here’s the criteria.

They had to be jobs that would not be created otherwise. We know there’s going to be a certain amount of organic job growth in a variety of fields. The idea here was 100,000 jobs that would be sparked because of a strategic investment.

Second, they uniformly have to be good-paying jobs and jobs that can be part of an ongoing career.

And third, they have to be targeted to New York City residents like Josh. We would create mechanisms as part of this plan to maximize the opportunity for New Yorkers to get these jobs and have that long term track.

That’s what this plan is all about.

Now, we believe this also will help protect us regardless of what happens in the larger economy. We’ve seen ups and downs to say the least. The diversification of our economy is crucial to our future. Making sure these sectors grow rapidly is a defense against anything else that might happen in this country or in the world that might affect our economic future.

We have an opportunity to shape our own destiny through this plan. And the cybersecurity example is a particularly powerful one. Here is a field that in theory could develop in several places.

But we have such natural advantages. We have to maximize the growth of the cybersecurity sector right now, right here and not let it slip away because those jobs are going to be developed somewhere. If we act now, we believe they will be developed here and it will become a very big sector.

He who hesitates is lost, they say. We are not hesitating. We are investing right now to make an impact.

To break down the jobs you will see in this plan, and we’ll go into more detail with your questions – 30,000 of these jobs will be new jobs in the technology sector, again, jobs we believe would not have been created otherwise; 15,000 healthcare and life sciences; 10,000 in the creative and cultural sectors; 20,000 in modern manufacturing and industrial sectors.

I want to note in that category, 4,000 jobs through the Freight NYC initiative which is very exciting – a smart move in terms of job creation, in terms of the environment, having more and more of the freight in the city coming in by rail rather than truck.

And for all the people deeply concerned about congestion in this city, the FreightNYC initiative is projected to take 50,000 truck trips off our roads every single year. So, this one has a lot of powerful features.

And then another 25,000 jobs that will be based on creating new space for sectors that need space. And again, these will be additive jobs, jobs that would not have been created otherwise because the space will be available for the expansion of those industries.

So, to wrap it up before I turn to Alicia, I want to come back to this company. I had a great tour of the office here at SecurityScorecard, a lot of really engaged employees, glowing – this is not a euphemism – glowing statements about the future of not only this company but the cyber security field and the broader tech field here in this city.

The things for years and years we wanted to hear talented young people say about New York but too often we heard about places like Silicon Valley or the Boston area. I heard the kinds of statements from the talented employees of this firm that made me very, very hopeful about the future, that they see a long term economic future in New York City and they want to be here because of the exciting stuff happening here.

To give you a context on just this one field, cyber security. The field, as you know, all of us can know this from our own experience, about a decade ago if I had said cyber security to you it wouldn’t have registered necessarily a whole lot. You wouldn’t have thought about a big, booming economic field.

Here’s the projection, by the year 2020 this industry is projected to be a $170 billion industry. Just stunning growth and obviously related to the larger changes in the world technologically. Again, why shouldn’t it be us? Why shouldn’t we be the center of that industry?

And here’s what we have. We have the skilled workers. We have the potential in terms of the presence of the finance industry in particular but we need to take full advantage of these possibilities by really supporting these industry’s growth right now.

The $30 million we’ll put in will launch the city’s first business accelerator for cybersecurity. So, it will be both a message to everyone in this field that we intend to be a center but it will also help to develop the new businesses like this one. This company started with – how many people was it?

Horowitz: Two people.

Mayor: How many years ago?

Horowitz: About three-and-a-half years ago.

Mayor: And now has 110, growing by the minute. This is an example where an accelerator can help companies to catch fire and grow very, very quickly. We want that capacity here. It will train New Yorkers and it will provide the opportunity for these companies to grow. So, I’ll conclude by saying this is undoubtedly an ambitious plan. It is a plan to achieve a lot quickly. And it’s plan to create whole new areas of economic strength.

It is ambitious but so are New Yorkers. It’s the very nature of the place. When we see an opportunity, we grab it. We don’t let it slip away. When we see a chance to be the center of the universe, we say, “That should be us.” And that’s what this plan helps us to achieve.

A few words in Spanish –

[Mayor de Blasio speaks in Spanish]

With that I want to turn to the leader of this effort. And she and her team have done a fantastic job putting together the New York Works plan. Our Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development, Alicia Glen.

Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen, Housing and Economic Development: Alright thank you Mr. Mayor. Am I on? Okay.

Mayor: Yes I was going to say –

Deputy Mayor Glen: A technology glitch.

Mayor: Be tech savvy.

Deputy Mayor Glen: Thank you so much.

Mayor: Here we go. Red is on. Who knew?

Deputy Mayor Glen: It was his tech glitch – it was red is on –

Mayor: There you go –

Deputy Mayor Glen: Okay. So thank you very much. As the Mayor said this has been a massive undertaking. He’s already thanked so many of the commissioners who are here but I do want to again put it into the context of we – we put this plan together in a relatively short period of time with an incredible group effort, the level of intensity that reminds me back of the housing plan and the extraordinary work that went into it. I want to really just give a shout out to James Patchett obviously, and his team particularly [inaudible] who have just been extraordinary insiders who really make this machine work. It’s been an extraordinary group effort.

I had a chance to speak to many of you this morning about the plan but I really want to re-emphasize a fundamental fact which is that this plan is really not business as usual for government. We spent a lot of time looking at various jobs plans that have been developed across the years and across state, regional, local, federal government to really sort of understand how people talked about this work in the past. You know in many ways, not to say they’re a dime a dozen, but they usually are about positioning yourself to take credit for a lot of different things that are going on in the economy already. Or are often announced at the bottom of a cycle, and so you have an opportunity to sort of go up with the cycle. And we really wanted to do something fundamentally very different with this plan, and to commit ourselves to a level of – of intellectual rigor and honesty that I think is really unprecedented and be held accountable for the strategies and the investments that we’re proposing to make here today.

So again, a few real differences if you were to actually want to spend time reading other jobs plans. Some of the things that are really different about what we’re doing here is, you know, we are committed to and only applying our work here with a quality screen for all the jobs generated. And that is a first in any large municipality – to ever apply a quality screen to the jobs that we’re going to be counting. We’re also only going to be reflecting direct jobs from City action. So not indirect jobs, which is a common metric that you’ll see in other reports, and not unrelated jobs, so not the fact that a coffee shop opens up three blocks away because we have taken an action. These are direct jobs that you can trace back to direct City interventions. And we did this because we really want to be able to accurately measure our impact.

So not only are we doing it in a very different way, we're also going to be reporting on our progress every year. Again, the Mayor demands a high level of transparency and rigor, and we’re going to commit to doing that and provide updates every year. So I think the thing is – to really – again to re-emphasize, we do believe very strongly that despite all the other reasons why there is going to be job growth that what we do as a municipality, we do believe that the investments we make can shape and should be targeted to make a more inclusive economy, and to be very strategic in those investments.

So it’s not, you know, you’re old school sort of five year Soviet plan where we say this town is going to make this widget and this worker is going to be in that seat. But it is a real attempt to be thoughtful about the sectors where what we do really matters. But also recognizing that in any ten-year plan there’s going to be a degree of nimbleness that’s required as the world continues to evolve. So again, similar to the housing plan for those of you who followed that, not every site was identified in the housing plan. It can’t, right? We don’t know every site that a developer is going to buy, we don’t know everything that is going to happen. But this sets a blueprint and a set of commitments and strategic investments that if enacted, and it will be enacted, we know will lead to 100,000 quality, accretive jobs. And again this is about not what would be happening necessarily just naturally, but 100,000 jobs that we can say, “Because we did these things, we now can trace these jobs.”

So, there’s a bunch of hard inputs in the plan, things like our real estate assets, right. We talk a lot about things like the Brooklyn Navy Yard, we’re making a choice about how to activate those sites. We’re talking about targeting our discretionary tax incentives through our IDA in a very specific way. We’re talking about making investments in workforce training like our tech talent pipeline. We’re talking about significant land use and regulatory actions like zoning of East Midtown or updating our zoning resolution to encourage modern manufacturing. And we’re talking about making investments in infrastructure that essentially make all of this possible, and specific investments like the South Brooklyn Marine Terminal where we will actually now be able to receive more freight.

And so we’re putting all of those inputs into this plan, but we also have to recognize that over the next ten years trends around automation, around the gig economy, around a whole series of things are going to impact the plan and we have to be honest about that, and again position ourselves to constantly adapt to those.

So here again, as the Mayor said, are the five real focus areas of the report – technology, we obviously talked about cyber security. We are the global center of finance, and this is where cyber security can really, really take off. And again, not compete necessarily with what’s going in the D.C/Virginia area, but organically grow and take advantage with the connections in the finance and insurance and media industries. So we need to make an aggressive plan today to make sure that those connections are made, and this industry really can explode in a positive way.

Life sciences and health care, we talked a lot about that. It’s both about delivering quality health care to our patients but it’s also about making sure that the people who are figuring out how to cure those patients are able to commercialize that research and grow it here so we employ more people here, we grow more companies here, we have more revenue here. Culture and creativity, we can’t say enough about why does anybody want to live here to begin with? Because it’s New York. It’s because you can go to a play and then a club, and then you can go to an art show all walking around the city. We need to continue to invest in our culture and creative sectors, and be out in front. That’s why our augmented and virtual reality initiative, for example, is so important to keep us on the cutting edge of culture.

Manufacturing and industrial. Again, with the focus on freight and the environment, on our change in distribution we have a real opportunity here to do smart cities infrastructure investment in manufacturing and industrial. And the idea here is to invest in New Yorkers so that New Yorkers like Josh right, we don’t have to go to MIT and Harvard to go recruit people, we can get them right here. We have an absolute obligation to make sure that dear I say kids or young adults like Josh have an opportunity to work here and grow their businesses here, and we’re absolutely committed to making sure we make those connections.

So there are 25 initiatives here, I’m sure you’re going to have some fun digging through it. We’re really excited to talk about them. But I just want to close. Again, we’re at an amazing time in New York City. We have the lowest unemployment in over 40 years, we have almost 4.4 million jobs, crime is down, test scores is up, the cultural and civic life has never been stronger, and yet even with all those positive things we have to be vigilant. We have to continue to make investments in order to keep the story not just growing but to make it a better story for everybody. And so it’s no time to rest on our laurels, we have a ton of hard work to do and we’re not going to stop until we get it done.

Thank you.

Mayor: Well said. Thank you very, very much. Finally, I want you to hear – this is another version of a New York success story unquestionably. And I just want to tell you, in terms of this work here at SecurtyScorecard, Sam Kassoumeh has a lot to be proud of. It’s amazing, you know, I’ve read so many stories of the person who started something in their garage – you, you are just a modern classic. Two people in a shared work space and now you have a company that is posed for tremendous growth because of your leadership and ingenuity. And also what you’re doing is going to protect so many people and so many institutions from threats from around us. So, it’s a tremendous service you provide as well. So, Sam, congratulations and we’d love to hear from you.


Mayor: Wonderful story, Sam. And congratulations. “In a city where speed and –” what was the word?

Kassoumeh: Speed and ambition.

Mayor: “Ambition are the norm.” That’s we’re going to put that up on a wall somewhere. Excellent. Thank you very much, Sam.

Okay. Let’s take questions on this plan and then we’ll go to other topics. Let’s take questions on this. Mara.

Question: Yeah, just wondering how many or what percentage of these jobs are accessible to New Yorkers who don't have a college degree or any college?

Mayor: Commissioner, James, you want to speak to that?

President Patchett: We focused on industries particularly where we believe that there were opportunities for people without a college degree. In the case of this plan, we believe that, over 25 percent of the jobs will be accessible to people without a college degree. But we're also investing in training and associated workforce development that will ensure more people will be able to get into college and get the opportunities for on-the-job training. So, we're hoping that that number will grow.

Mayor: Let me also add, first of all – Josh does not have a college degree because he grabbed opportunity before finishing college like seems to me that a lot of very famous people in the tech world have done exactly that. So, you're on a good trajectory there.

But, seriously, I think there are a substantial number of jobs for folks coming out of high school and we're going to obviously keep burnishing the Department of Education's focus on career and technical education linked to these very same fields. And that's a whole separate discussion but it’s an important one – reorienting career and technical education to the fields that are growing and that work is underway.
But second, one of the things I've heard most powerfully from the tech community in 2013 was even though they loved Cornell Technion deeply, they said, "That's one piece of the puzzle." They said, "We also need lots of people coming out of CUNY." And that's not just the four-year degrees, that's the two-year degrees too.

So, I think the important thing to see here is there's a range. Jobs for folks who have a high school degree, jobs for folks who get the two-year degree and then, the industry, particularly the tech community, snaps them up, and then four-year degree and beyond. All of those are needed.

What we're trying to do, and certainly the investments we've made in two-year STEM degrees are part of this. Think about it this way, you want your high schools focused on these fields for those jobs that can work right out of high school, you want CUNY focused two-year and four-year and you want all of the City's training programs, separately, to be focused as well. And if all of those things are synergized, which hasn't been the case historically but now they are. That touches a lot of New Yorkers and hits the range of jobs that are available here.

Okay, way back.

Question: Two questions. In terms of the training, though, for someone who doesn't have a college degree or even a high school degree, isn't there a lot that goes into working in the cyber  security field? So what training specifically? And does this plan address people that don't have high school degrees as well who are really on the bottom rungs of poverty and trying to get jobs?

Mayor: I'm gonna start and then pass it but I think we’ll turn to you and talk about the kinds of folks we're looking for.

Look, I want to emphasize, this plan is to create quality jobs which more and more people need in this city and that includes a whole lot of people who have a high school degree, who have a two year degree, who have a four year degree and have had trouble finding a job that they could actually live on. So we try and do a lot of different things obviously, in government. I would not say this is the perfect plan for someone who never graduated high school. That is a separate challenge we have to face and our good news is we've been driving down the dropout rate constantly and increasing the graduation rate.

But there are some jobs that are going to fit someone who has not graduated high school or only has high school more than some of the ones in here unquestionably. A frustration I hear all the time, is folks who did graduate high school or have a two year degree or have a four year degree who aren't sure they can make it here. They cannot find a good paying job. And this is the core of what this is trying to get at, establishing a greater number of good-paying jobs.

Now in terms of what you're looking for and the range of things you're looking for and I met folks from the different elements of Sam's company including his very impressively named customer success wing of his company. Sam, talk about the kinds of folks you're looking for.

Kassoumeh: Sure. So at SecurityScorecard, we look for folks that have had real hands on experience. We call them "white hat hackers" and these, I'm not sure if you've heard this term white hat hackers, these are the good guy hackers. These are folks that understand how to break into systems. They understand how a hacker thinks but use that knowledge to help find vulnerabilities and exploits and problems and provide them to organizations so that they can secure their own company, their vendors and partners and, their supply chain ecosystem.

So, for us, one of the most important skill sets that we value is the hands-on experience. Folks that are sitting in their garage or in their bedroom downloading the hacker tools, tinkering around with the internet, playing around in sandboxes, simulating what it’s like to break into a website or a network, and then translating that into value that we can provide to organizations.

Mayor: So what kind of – just one second before going on – just range of educational backgrounds that fit the different things. Not just the white hat hackers but all the different functions you have in the company. What kind of folks are you hiring and what's the range?

Kassoumeh: You know, it's interesting, for security folks and developers, we have traditional computer science majors. But we also have a broader range of folks that have graduated with degrees in liberal arts, with degrees in music studies, renaissance studies. But what it comes down to is the folks that have the passion, that are curious to understand what makes the system work and how can I get the system to do something that it's maybe not intended to do and then providing that information back to companies so that they can kind of patch and fix their systems.

Mayor: I’m going to question you one more time – high school degree, two-year college degree, four-year college degree, more? How much of each are you looking for broadly?

Kassoumeh: Yep. It really depends on role but we have folks that kind of fit that entire gamut. Of course, the more formal education that an individual has the higher likelihood that they can rise in the rankings and become a senior or principal level member of the team. Like, a subject matter expert but we hire across the entire gamut.

President Patchett: I would just like to highlight a few things in the plan that go to specifically address the issues that you raised. One of the greatest challenges of the growth of the tech industry in New York City and in the cyber security particularly, which I think you guys would agree with, which is the absence of talent or the inadequate level of talent in these areas specifically.

The University of Maryland has a program that includes 8,000 people specifically focused on cyber-security. Our largest program is 500 and it's at John Jay College. So one of the key elements of our cyber-security plan is in investing in a cyber security campus which will enhance the number and the sizes of the programs that are specifically dedicated to cyber security and the number of folks who are partnering with our academic institutions that are providing specific education in these areas and have the opportunity to grow and get these jobs.

Second thing I would say is that the plan also includes an investment in a CUNY teacher core to double the number of graduates coming out of CUNY in computer science. It's a very specific initiative because you recognize the talent in computer science, generally, is one of the greatest needs in New York City and there's no better place to invest than CUNY to ensure that New Yorkers are getting the benefits of that training.

And then finally, I would highlight the fact that we can tend to continue to grow our Tech Talent Pipeline plan which takes people both with college degrees and without college degrees to develop computer science expertise and get jobs in cyber and elsewhere.

And finally the Apprentice NYC model which we're piloting as a part of this program or as a part of this jobs plan, it's specifically targeted at people who have lower levels of education but can develop on-the-job skills training to be able to excel in careers and where the city will assist in funding training to ensure that those people can be successful regardless of their level of education.

Mayor: I just want to note off of that. We obviously were very impressed by what the Bloomberg administration did with Cornell Technion and that campus approach that helped crystallize some of the growth in the tech sector. For those of you who were at our announcement around life sciences, we intend to model same concept with a life sciences campus that we think will energize the growth of that sector here in New York City.

Here's another example around cyber security. I think it is both symbolically important but also very materially important for those considering investment to see a city creating that kind of centerpiece to help epitomize the growth potential. I've gotten an education along the way on the reality of Silicon Valley and what it means for us and Sequoia being involved as an investor here; it's a very, very powerful sign about the growth of technology community here. And the fat that they chose you is an example of a bigger paradigm shift. We want to epitomize that and that campus notion is part of it.

Okay, David.

Question: Just a couple kind of related questions. Quickly have you guys decided whether the life science campus will be in Queens or Manhattan yet?

Mayor: RFP process and a lot of other things going on. What do you got?

President Patchett: We'll be releasing the RFP later this year at which time we'll determine where it's going to be.

Question: So you don't know whether it's going to be Queens or Manhattan?

President Patchett: Have not decided yet , Western Queens or Manhattan.

Question: This company that we're in SecurityScorecard now, two people as we've learned today, two people three-and-a-half years ago. Now it's 100 people. It seems like that industry is accelerating pretty well on its own. Here we have a thirty million dollar investment according to the plan, to create 3,500 good paying jobs, about $10,000 a job. That seems like pretty good investment. What's the secret here? What's the secret sauce to getting all those jobs for ten grand each.

Mayor: Well, I'll start and pass to the experts. I think really important to understanding this and I hope, as you read it this jumps off the page. It is the consolidation of each sector. The underlying principle here is you're not just trying to create jobs with a sort of limited goal in mind. We are trying to consolidate the growth of sectors in the city for the long term as part of a deepening of a diverse economy. But also there's critical mass reality.

Again, to take the history around technology, what happened first in Silicon Valley and then, Route 128, et cetera, and in the Boston area and then, finally, has happened more and more here. We believe that a lot of times the government investments help reach that tipping point.

So, you wouldn't say it today, I mean you're an expert, I would say as a layman, we would not say today that we are the capital of cyber security. We have to get there and we have to get there fast.

So it's not just, is it $10,000 a job, perfectly fair question or will it reach 3,500 jobs. It's will it create the sort of point-of-no-return in the good sense. Will it get us to be that center that then we continue to be for decades thereafter?

Question: The concept here is that through these direct investments you'll be able to say we created this particular set of jobs, right? So, you're saying that with a $10,000 investment we will have created one job or out of $30 million into this sector we can say we created 3,500 jobs. But what you're saying now [inaudible] it sounds like this whole plan is about creating an environment such that jobs will flourish. Which is already happening in the city. We have the unemployment rate of four percent –

Mayor: Yeah. Respectfully, I don't think those are mutually exclusive points. I think you're right some jobs are happening organically and we are trying to identify the ones we think will happen more, better because of this investment. But we also are absolutely concerned, in the best sense. We want that critical mass point on cyber security, want that critical mass point on life sciences.

We do not – and David it's a very, very fair question, I want to give you the counter – we don't think we would get there without investment and I'll let the experts again speak too but I'm the layman interpreter. We do not think if prior sector dynamics were left to their own devices, we would get there in a highly competitive economic world. We think these investments are the crystallizing factor.

President Patchett: David, it’s a good question but I just want to be clear. We believe that there are 10,000 jobs that will be sparked in cyber security over the course of this ten years as a result of our investments by creating the environment. We are only taking credit for 3,500 of those because those will be directly identifiable as a result of our specific programs.

The reason we can get a great return on our investment here is because we're investing it specifically education and really convening, which is the greatest role the government can play here. We have institutions, our major institutions – healthcare, finance. You can speak to this better than I can but when you work at a major institution it’s very hard to create the environment where you can successfully share technology with all of these start ups that are being created, And if you're in a startup it's very hard to find an in into these institutions so you can sell your product.

The thing that makes you most successful is the ability to get a contract with a large institution that needs your technology but getting in the door there is very challenging. So, just by the government showing up and convening these players together and creating specifically an accelerator in which we're a convener and bringing these folks together. We believe we can create a lot of jobs and a pathway for these companies to grow here as opposed to companies that are located in Silicon Valley and don't have the government here in New York City where we have these large institutions and need those technologies, bringing them together to the table with our startups.

Mayor: Yeah, one other point on this because it really gets to the heart of the matter. My last couple of trips out to California. There's no question – Miguel Gamino is here, our CTO who we overtly stole from San Francisco. One of the things, and you were helpful in helping me understand this, Miguel. I don't want to say it's a mystery per se. I don't want to overstate but there is a certain amount of lack of cognition of how to get started in New York, or how to connect to New York, or how much as you heard earlier the difference between not having an office in New York if you're a venture capital firm or whatever part of the tech community. Are you even going to have an office? Let alone a general office. Is it a place someone can go and build a business? How do you get started? How do you navigate it? How do you find housing that you can afford?

There is a translation issue if you will. And the more the sector is growing, the better that that gets answered to people organically. But, the government has a very major role to play – helping to reduce those barriers to entry, helping to take away some of the mystery, helping to show a pathway.

And look, private sector folks do key off of government signals and government actions and government investors, investments I should say. So, I think there's a lot of pieces to the equation but I was very struck in the last few visits how much folks who had an interest said they were looking to see what the role of New York City government would be as one of their decision points of whether they would invest.


Question: Do you guys have goals for specific boroughs? Like, this many for Bronx, Staten Island, etcetera?

President Patchett: Not yet.

Mayor: That's –

Question: Oh, okay. Do you think you might come up with them?

Mayor: Well, it's been typical of everything we do as we build it out to start to fill in the specific points. So for the parallel that Alicia made on the housing plan. The housing plan started with broad parameters and then more and more came down to actual sites with actual affordable housing. That will happen, too with specific job creation.

I’ve talked a lot about the fact that job creation is much more five-borough now than it used to be in the past and we want to build that. When you think about the sectors in here, not that I think your question is just about Staten Island but, if you think about the sectors here a lot of them have tremendous potential to grow in any of the boroughs and we want to see that happen. So, the answer to me is that we'll be filling it in piece by piece as each opportunity arises.

Deputy Mayor Glen: I think even the initiatives that we've had more specifics in the book are much more five-borough than any other plan you've seen and the idea is really to both diversify the economy and also diversify where our job centers are. That also has a lot of ancillary benefits and it’s very much connected to our work and our zoning and our transportation policies where if more people lived within walking or biking distance of where they worked then we would also take some strain off of our mass transit.

So, these are all interconnected and so the goal is very much to have specific opportunities to do that kind of work in each of the boroughs and there is again a series of initiatives here that are so far reaching geographically than any other plan I've seen. And again, will continue to be flushed out as we do more work.

Question: [Inaudible] this is a pitfall to the freight plan, how would that impact Staten Island from – what I wasn't able to go to the briefing but, is the idea that maybe it would reduce traffic on the expressways?

Deputy Mayor Glen: Absolutely, so, this you'll love, go ahead.

President Patchett: Very specifically we're putting in an investment to start of $40 million into the South Brooklyn Marine Terminal to allow us to bring in container barges from across the Hudson. What we've seen is that, given a typical containership 85 percent of the goods need to go west of the Hudson. So they're locating in New Jersey. So, that means the 15 percent of goods that are coming east go on a truck across the Goethals Bridge and into Staten Island then across the Verrazano Bridge into the rest of New York City.

If we can get more of our goods coming into South Brooklyn Marine Terminal on container barges, the containers can be unloaded there or put on trains and moved either to Long Island or else only we have the last mile of truck actually happening in the city as opposed to having the entire duration of the trip occur in New York City.

It's not only a benefit because it reduces the number of truck trips. It also means that we have the goods just being delivered to residences in smaller vehicles that are more fuel efficient and friendlier to our local communities as opposed to having big tractor-trailers coming across and trying to do deliveries all across town. It's just a win-win.

Mayor: Yeah it's a very big deal and this may be some unabashed good news that Staten Island Expressway has borne the brunt and it now doesn't have to as much because of this plan. That's a big deal in of itself and I've been on the Staten Island Expressway enough times to understand why Staten Islanders are so frustrated by it, so, we want to get those big trucks off as much as possible.

But here's the thing that was amazing in this, this is a classic back to the future. There used to be barges going across the Hudson all the time and the harbor all the time with rail cars on them. And then that was considered outmoded and off we went to this truck centered world, which has been a disaster environmentally and in terms of congestion.

It's now come full circle where these barges actually make sense again and because you take the New York City market, eight-and-a-half million people and then add on Nassau and Suffolk, which I believe is another two-and-a-half to three million, that's an extraordinary amount of commerce, a lot of which does not need to come up through Staten Island, could come right across the harbor in a way that didn't work in the recent past.

So, this is a big deal. And again, job impact and impact of reducing congestion and better environmental dynamic as well.

Yeah, way back.

Mayor: Mr. Mayor, two quick ones on accounting and then on the orders getting these jobs. On accounting, will the salary, the $50,000, will that be adjusted for inflation at any point, seven, eight, nine years down the road?

And two, will you be tracking if these jobs vanish and taking those away from the talliers who are all about just propping them up in the first place?


Mayor: Very fair questions and don't think we've figured out all the mechanics, both things I would care about. I obviously want to make sure the value of the jobs is strong and that we are looking at in the context of potential job loss. Now, right now again, in theses areas I don't think, we're talking within the sector not with the city overall and are we building within each sector? I don't believe these are sectors we are going to see losses in anytime soon. So, that one may be a little abstract but what would you guys say?

President Patchett: To your first question, yes, we will be adjusting over time consistent with CPI or other metrics. All the analysis that's done based on the plan and the jobs that we know can count is based on what industries are paying $50,000 today. So, over time we anticipate that those wages will go up commensurate. We don't anticipate there being any meaningful change as a result of that because our plan, again, is based on people making $50,000 today and over time they should make more in those industries commensurate with inflation.
To your second question. We're not going to go out and put a tag on every individual worker, so, we're not going to necessarily know what happens with them over time.

Deputy Mayor Glen: [Inaudible]

President Patchett: Yeah, the cyber security folks might.

Deputy Mayor Glen: [Inaudible]

President Patchett: Government frowns on that.

Mayor: This won't hurt a bit.

Kassoumeh: [Inaudible]

President Patchett: It’s going to be hard for us to know exactly what happens to every person over time. We're really focusing on the jobs that we can create but obviously we're focused on businesses where we anticipate there be an opportunity for growth and sustainability. And we're also not trying to take credit for every single job that's ever created as a result of a company that comes out of an accelerator. So, what we're looking for is direct jobs a result of that. If that company grows to be 100,000 people that comes out of one of our accelerators we're not going to take credit for all of those jobs –

Mayor: But I think the crucial point is, this plan requires accountability that we have to create this many jobs based on these investments.

So again, I understand your point about well what if there were losses elsewhere? In some ways that's a separate discussion of how we would deal with that strategically. I want you to see this almost in its simplicity as investment and return on investment. We are demanding the we produce this many high paying jobs from this investment.

Question: And strictly on connecting New Yorkers, so, when you're investing money in any of these incubators or programs or spaces, are you allowed legally to mandate that jobs go to only people currently living in the five boroughs?

Mayor: We can do a lot. I wish we could do a sure, knock you over the head, legal mandate. That one we don't have the legal authority to do but we can do a lot that achieves the goal.

Deputy Mayor Glen: I think there's a couple of different issues there. One is, we do require and [inaudible] robust program called Hire NYC where people who are receiving benefits from New York City must avail themselves of our services and we hope that our services are well structured so that New Yorkers get those jobs. But also when we are doing competitive RFPs, if we're looking for incubators, obviously, companies who are responding to those RFPs, who are committing themselves to focusing on creating jobs for New Yorkers and holding themselves accountable for that are obviously things that we look upon favorably when we evaluate a variety of responses.

So, we have a number of different tools. None of them are perfect but I think when you add them up altogether, and the Mayor's clear mandate has been, that again, we would much rather, say, folks who are coming out of the CUNY system, not to say anything bad about a kid who doesn't go to CUNY but, we do want to make sure that when we are making a direct investment of taxpayer dollars that there is a more correlation between that investment and an identifiable benefit to a New Yorker.

Question: [Inaudible] TV –

Mayor: Louder, please.

Question: I am [inaudible] and I have two questions. First is talking about who build the sectors that [inaudible] is there any certain model we can learn from the Silicon Valley, San Francisco, or others [inaudible]?

Second is, is there any counts for the groups, organization, or the conference group involved to share their experience on this area?

Mayor: I'll turn to Sam and my colleagues. I don't know the answer on if there's a particular model we're working off of and I would say on the second point, the sharing of the experiences. Obviously, that begs an interesting question because these companies are growing based on their own proprietary achievements and obviously the field is fraught with sensitivities because of the very battles that are being fought every day to preserve security.

But I think on the question of a model that works, what I can say is this follows some very successful models in terms of fostering the technology community overall. We certainly know that power of incubators and we know the power of focusing a lot of activity in a single place and how that builds out. Who wants to speak to that?

President Patchett: I would give you two examples specifically in cyber security. One is Israel which is really the world capital of cyber security. It's where they've really built a particular expertise in it as a result of their academic institutions and the tremendous industry that's coming out of there and the startups that are happening there. And a lot of it has been built on the back of their industries and supporting their industries, so, that is a really classic example.

And the other one I alluded to which is D.C., which again has become the United States cyber security capital specifically because those businesses are supporting the needs of the federal government. We are looking to New York City to support the needs of our large institutions here which clearly have a need to prepare for cyber security. Those are not the only customers that Sam and his competitors and compatriots are looking to deal with. But because there is such a concentration of them here, we know that we have a competitive advantage in getting those contracts and having our startups be the ones who work with finance, with insurance, with real estate, with media, with healthcare. That is how we build an industry successfully and we have a competitive advantage there.

Kassoumeh: I would add that, I think your second question actually fuels the first. So, there are programs that allow us to share experiences. Both security companies to other security companies, as well as security companies with both public and private sectors. Obviously the security market is quite hot and there's constant competition popping up. But for us the goal is of course, to compete, but, the ultimate goal of the industry is to secure the companies that we do business with. Both on a B to B and a B to C level.

We exchange information through various programs – conferences, there's information sharing programs that exist both in the city and nationwide that allow us to talk about what we’re seeing in the market, emerging threats, how companies are growing and evolving their security program so that we collectively, both corporations, small businesses can provide the best, most accurate, up-to-date information on how to build robust security program.

I think that's in addition to looking at some of the other cities or countries that are leaders in cyber security those are the moments that help us define the frameworks that we use to grow and secure. Next one, go ahead.

Question: First a question for Sam then for the Mayor. How much does an entry level job here pay?

Kassoumeh: You know it really depends on the skill set, the specialization. I think the answer can apply to any industry. It really depends on the level of experience. Pay is quite competitive both from internship all the way to principal level.

Question: Also, for somebody who's not at an executive level but a Josh sort of level what's your [inaudible]?

Mayor: Josh pull out your W2 forms.

Kassoumeh: It's competitive with software engineering in New York City.

Question: What is the number because we're talking here about Josh and certain [inaudible] Well, how much do you pay?

Mayor: Let me ask it this way, I think it'd be helpful. This plan focuses on $50,000 and up, so maybe give you a sense of roughly where does that fall in your, the percentages of your jobs here.

Kassoumeh: Yep, that's in range with an entry level job. It can range from $50,000 all the way up to six figure.

Question: If you don't pay less than 50,000, I'm just trying to get a sense, where here, you made the example –

Kassoumeh: Yeah, absolutely. Depending and the role again, if you're a college intern coming and working here part time and getting an hourly wage, you would make less than $50,000 over the course of a year.

Mayor: Right, but full time – full time employees are largely $50,000 and up.

Kassoumeh: That's correct.

Mayor: What's the second question? He's – hey, he's a private firm. You can ask us anything you want all day long but he's a private firm he has to, I put him up there [inaudible], but respectfully, he has a right to some privacy within his firm, but I think the answer is, it sounds like a very high percentage of your jobs are $50,000 and up.

Kassoumeh: That's correct.

Mayor: Okay. Go ahead.

Question: You held up the book and said there's 100,000 jobs in here but I can't make the numbers add up.

Mayor: Alright, I’m going to –

Question: You say 30,000 tech jobs but when I look at the initiatives that give the numbers here I count 8,600 jobs. You say 15,000 life sciences jobs –

President Patchett: So, we have a sheet that adds it to 100,000 where you can see all our initiatives, if you'd like to –

Question: You haven't given us the complete information.
President Patchett: Well, it's not. Look, this is a pathway for the 100,000 based on our current – we'll hand it out to you.

It's just not, the reason it's not in the plan is because this is our current estimation on how we get to 100,000 but this is a ten-year plan. Technology evolves very rapidly, so in the same way that we didn't identify every housing site when we launched our housing plan, we believe – we have a framework for how we get to 100,000 right now with a series of very specific initiatives that we'll share with your right after or when you'd like.

But, again we have to be aware that we have to be nimble because we're responding to right now with clear need in cyber security. It may be that our vision for cyber security in two or three years needs to change radically and we need to focus on other industries and we need to be prepared to do that, but we have very clear math that adds to 100,000 which we'll be happy to share with you.

Question: Your plan is a pathway to 100,000. So 100,000 jobs aren't in this plan?

Mayor: I want to put the peril again, you can be disputatious all you want. The Housing New York plan was 200,000 units of affordable housing over ten years. May 2014. We did not by any stretch of the imagination show exactly where those 200,000 units would be or how they would be specifically produced in each and every borough, each and every year. As you know, we are ahead of schedule on that plan and on budget on that plan. This is the framework. It will be filled in.

Some of the pieces have already been announced in terms of life sciences. That specific announcement was made – the Made in New York campus in Sunset Park, some of the Brooklyn Navy Yard pieces. They're just gonna keep growing and keep growing. But the numbers that I have presented here, we will repeat, that tech, the projection is, tech will be 30,000, health care and life sciences 15, creative and cultural 10, modern manufacturing and industrial 20, and new commercial space 25. That's where you get the 100,000.

Okay, who hasn't gone? Go ahead, Jillian.

Question: A couple of unrelated questions. The first being, can you tell us more about the nightlife ambassador job? Which is a lot people –

Mayor: Are you saying you want to apply for?


Question: Marcia –

Mayor: You'd be very good Marsha. You would be exceptional.

Question: [Inaudible] get me away from TV. You’d be happy.

Mayor: How much do you want?


Million dollar signing bonus.

Question: Can you tell us what that is and, you know, I guess what the goal of that is?

Mayor: And we stole that one – I told you we stole Miguel from San Francisco. We stole this idea from London. Talk about it. London and Amsterdam. We only the coolest. Go ahead, Julie.

Commissioner Julie Menin, Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment: Yes, both London and Amsterdam have what's termed a night mayor and it's someone who is a liaison to the nightlife community. And we think this is very important. Earlier this year our office released an economic impact study on the music industry, really showing that jobs and wages in the music industry were going at five and seven percent respectively outpacing the city average. So this is an area of tremendous growth for New York, so we want to have an office that's really going to work with the various music venues, with the night clubs, with bars and restaurants. And also, of course, take into account the community perspective.

So, there will be advisory council comprised of a number of different stakeholders to also work with this office as well. And in these cities that have employed this approach have actually been able to reduce noise complaints and other community complaints yet grow the industry at the same time. So we don't think these approaches are mutually exclusive.

And lastly, I would say this is a very similar approach to what the administration took, of the Department of Consumer Affairs, where we were able to lower fines by one-third for violations. For example, where a word in a sign was not correct but there was clearly no harm to individuals. So we want to take a similar approach here.

President Patchett: If could just add – Julie's office also put out a report that showed a 20 percent decline in smaller music venues over the last fifteen years. And we believe for the vibrancy of the music scene in New York City, the success of artists here in New York City, there has to be smaller music venues available for them to perform, so preserving that industry and continuing to grow it is essential to this and that's why, one of the reasons why we're investing in this.

Mayor: Go ahead.

Question: Just a second question. You do talk a lot about the life sciences industry, you visited Seattle and met with people there. I’m just wondering what you learned on that trip about trying to lure an industry like that, that often needs a lot of space to a city

And sort of coupled with that and what you talked about with San Francisco, how do you convince people that New York is a tech startup friendly environment particularly after there have been some very public disputes between City Hall and companies like Uber, Airbnb?

Mayor: Miguel, why don't you come up to bat also for this question? I'll start but I think you can speak with great expertise. Let me do the first one. So, your question is your answer. So, I sat there with the cream of the crop of the life sciences industry in Seattle and it was space, space, space, and more space. That was the central concern. And again how do you navigate a place as dense as New York city on the space level?

When I presented to them, a map of the east side of Manhattan and showed its proximity to Governor's Island and to Long Island City, and I said, "Let me just tell you what's in this. It's a three mile stretch that has Cornell, it has NYU, it has Sloan Kettering. I mean, it's just an amazing concentration of medical facilities, top flight medical facilities, academic facilities. I challenged them very positively.

Obviously this was recognizing these were firms based in Seattle or other experts based in Seattle and our goal was to get them to invest in New York. They're gonna stay in Seattle as their home but we wanted them to invest. And I said, "How many places in the world can you find this concentration of talent?” Rockefeller University's another great example right there.

This concentration of talent in academic and health care fields that exactly go to what you're trying to develop in terms of new products? I think it was a good wake up call.

And the next question was space and I said, "Here's the vision. To build out a campus. It could be centered in one of these places and it could also develop in other parts of this immediate area." Because we consider it such a priority, we're gonna lean in with city land, city resources, everything we have to make that happen. I think that was, I'm not saying this to be grandiose, I think it was a revelation to folks who previously thought, New York's already spoken for it's built like there's nowhere to go, to hear we're gonna create the space. We're gonna make this happen. And I think this was very exciting to them in terms of being able to tap into everything that's here.

So, we're going to be doing a lot of follow up on those discussions because we want to open up that investment.

To the question of tech friendly environment, I'll give my view and then I want Miguel to speak to it. So, what I heard was that technologists were impressed by the growth of the tech community in New York City. That was the first point I heard consistently. That it was now edging up on 350,000 jobs. So the original questions, a decade or two ago, of could it consolidate were being answered more and more. That the critical mass of talent was obviously more and more available.

And I made the point about quality-of-life and access to other sectors that they care about deeply – finance, advertising, media, you name it, all being here. I think in terms of the role of government,  what was exciting was tech talent pipeline and computer science for all in the public schools. Those were two examples that really captured the imagination of folks I was talking to. And then the Union Square Tech Hub we're putting together was also a big positive.

I expected, and we planned on some discussion, some honest discussion about some of the challenges with the sharing economy. I think it's there in people's minds. I think there's obviously some who philosophically are gonna be concerned about that. But it was not central to the conversation because bluntly, it was a much more practical conversation. That the things that they needed to invest they were seeing from New York City. Miguel, what do you want to –

Miguel Gamino, Chief Technology Officer: Yeah, I think that having come from San Francisco and known a lot of people in that space, and our hosts could speak to this too, I think talent is a huge driver in New York. It has a rich repository of that talent and diverse talent on top of that.

And so, diversity of the economy, diversity of the talent pool, and then the role of government as the mayor said and this plan being evidence of the government playing an active role in making investments that continue to grow that critical resource that's so important to that sector, I think are, kind of, at a very high level, all of the ingredients to this very important recipe.

The industry having grown here so well recently I think also signals that. That this is a place for tech, not just locally or even nationally but globally, New York is definitely a world city. And that is, these technologies are intended, I think, most business plans intend to scale globally. And so I think New York certainly offers that as a core essence of doing business here.

Mayor: I want to turn to Sam and see if he has a comment. Very important question but I want to just note the diversity point is really interesting because it kept coming up. That I think the tech world has been doing some soul searching on the question of diversity but also there's a growing recognition that a diverse workforce helps in the process of reaching global markets. So it was very appealing in the discussions we had when I noted that we have arguably the most diverse talent base of any major tech center in the country. That seemed to register strongly.

Kassoumeh: Sure. I would echo the comment about talent – people being the main ingredient for success of a growing startup and tech community in New York. I bifurcate that statement, people into two buckets. You have the folks that are working at companies. So, having individuals who are educated in computer science. For us, cyber security is obviously key right now it's a global search for us. When we look for cyber security talent, because of the competitive nature for the skill set, we open up and look globally. Which has some advantages but obviously can be more expensive in terms of recruiting.

The second type of people or talent that has helped us flourish are the markets and the corporations that have hired incredibly, incredibly passionate and innovative people who are very much willing to work with startups. When we started the company and it was just five of us. We were still lucky enough to have connections to executives of large banks, health care industries, technology companies, who spent time with us, listening to our value prop, giving us advice on where we could provide more value, growing and scaling a tech company in New York. And this information they seated with us I partially attribute to our success.

Now in terms of the global scale, the rest of the world absolutely views New York as a technology hub and has a great deal of respect. One example of a partnership we've done. We're working with London Digital Security Center which is sponsored by the city of London and the mayor of London to help ensure that companies in London have accessibility to security tools and services that are built in the United States to help them secure their own ecosystem both in England and across the EU.

Mayor: Excellent, okay. Who has not had a question? Go ahead Gloria.

Question: You talked a little, you touched on this at the beginning but some of the plans you've rolled out so far – affordable housing, pre-K, 3-K – target a specific sector of the population. This seems to be targeting another group. Is that part, you talked about addressing income inequality from both sides. Can you just elaborate a little bit more on that? And are you looking to target the kind of New Yorker who, you know, got a better job offer in Jersey and rent is cheaper over there and, you know, they're struggling between those two things, they want to be here but they're spending all their money on rent? That kind of thing.

Mayor: Yeah, I think it's that type of New Yorker and it is a New Yorker who has tried to find a good, long term career and has not felt they had access, and I think this gets to the diversity point too. That a lot of people had plenty of talent but didn't have entry and this starts to change that equation in a variety of ways in addition to things like Computer Science for All and tech talent pipeline and STEM investments in CUNY.

So, yeah, I think I don't want to speak about Josh's life, having only met him today but, you know, if a kid from Riverdale goes to Queens College, ends up feeling like I don't know how I'm gonna be able to stay in my own city, I don't like that. I think we have to, it's inherently our responsibility to make sure that people who grew up here have opportunity here. But it's also about addressing the fact that, you know, a lot of what has existed in the past felt and was to so many people, particularly people of color, folks from outer boroughs, immigrants they didn't feel like they had an entry point. We have to change that in tech and also in other sectors.

Look, I am an interventionist. There's no question about it. I believe the government can do a lot of things that correct for injustices or gaps in our situation. So this is intervention both to spur on an economic sector but also to create opportunity more equitably both in terms of geography and peoples backgrounds.

Commissioner Menin: But certainly in the media and entertainment sector which traditionally has not been as diverse, we have a real focus in this administration on really increasing access and inclusion. So, you’ll see for example, in this plan we're doing a five million dollar fund for women filmmakers to increase their economic opportunity. We're doing an animation program for middle and high school public school students. We are training 1,400 of them to have careers in animation because the job estimates show that this is a real growing and burgeoning field. In VR and AR we are putting in six million dollars to build the first government sponsored VR-AR. And again for particularly young kids who are attracted to gaming, this is a real focus of opportunity to break down barriers.

Mayor: Well said, okay. Who hasn't, just want to see anyone who has not gotten the first round before we go to the second round.

Question: So, just to be clear, you're saying people who make less than $50,000 are not in the middle-class and have bad-paying jobs.

Mayor: No. I appreciate the wonderfully transparent nature of your question.


No. It's very clear, this never a bad thing. Look. We spent a lot of time working to improve wages and benefits. And I said in the State of the City, the efforts in this city, I think, helped to spur action at the State level on the increase of minimum wage – certainly what we did earlier on the living wage executive order and other actions, what we did on paid sick leave here in this city, what we did on paid parental leave.

That was about raising the floor for everyone. Of course you're gonna have an economy where some people are working at a minimum wage and some people are making a higher income. And some people do very, very well. We understand that.

But the whole operational theory here is keep bringing up the base. So that's a lot of what we focused on the first few years. Raising that floor in terms of wages and benefits. Keep providing the support in terms of education and affordable housing that even if you are lower income, you have a chance to have a good life. But when I talk about good paying jobs is what we should aspire to, for as many people as humanly possible. And $50,000 – I will make no bones about it, it is an arbitrary number but I think it is still a meaningful number.

If you're making $50,000 in this city, you have a real chance at economic stability and the ability to pay for the cost of living, and also it correlates very, very importantly to jobs you can stay in long term. One of the powerful things I've seen in the tech sector is people can get there and stay there for the rest of their career. Versus a lot of lower paying jobs that of course people are striving for a way to get above. So, no, if someone's got a minimum wage job, not only do I honor that, we're trying to do a lot of other things to support them if that is their level of income and to help them raise up higher. That would be my answer.

President Patchett: The only thing I would add is, the $50,000 –  two quick facts for you – two quick facts for you. One is it's a real tipping point for whether people can afford their housing or not. Sixty-five percent of people who make less than $50,000 are rent burdened. Only about 25 percent are rent burdened over $50,000. So it is a real tipping point in terms of your ability to afford your housing.

And secondly, just very simply the median income in New York City is $55,000 a year approximately. Pew Research defines middle income as approximately two-thirds to double the median income. So $50,000 is right in that range and that's why – they are both very consistent with just national thinking around how you should define middle income.

Question: [Inaudible] you're saying these jobs are good paying because they make this much. So, naturally when someone who makes less than that, including many of your employees in the City, would be like, "Well, is my job not good paying? Why can't I have a good paying job?"

Mayor: Well, that look. Again that's the nature of the economy. I understand it but I'm not falling into that trap. I don't know anyone who makes a minimum wage who doesn't want to make more money. It's as simple as that and we and every company, every government everywhere pays what they can pay for each level of work. But the goal is to make more of our economy based on higher paying jobs but not for just the chosen few but for folks from every background.

So I think it is a definitional trap that doesn't shed any light honestly. Of course, if someone's making a minimum wage and that is what they're able to reach at that point, our job is to try and make sure they can have the best possible life and that includes constantly trying to improve what comes with that minimum wage.

But of course, go out in the street and find minimum wage folks and ask them would they rather be making $50,000. They will say yes.

Question: What your saying is one thing's good –

Mayor: I'm saying it's a definition of what I think is something to aspire to that we can help create more of. Again I, you can ask it all day long but I don't think it's getting you anywhere. The notion is we want more people to have jobs at that level. That are unquestionably the kinds of jobs that give both long term potential and the ability to afford this city.

Question: Yeah, kind of uniquely among industries tech, life sciences [inaudible] year and I think it's fair to say that in ten years, the needs of those industries will not look like the needs of those industries today. So what is the mechanism in this plan to kind of figure out when and where to redeploy resources for maximum effectiveness?

President Patchett: I think it's just, that's just my job. I mean, I know I mean –


Very genuinely we have laid out programs here that today make sense and get you to a 100,000 jobs but we're very aware that there, you know, right around the corner there may be the next cyber security and we need to be hyper aware of that and that is what the Economic Development Corporation does and why all of our, all of my colleagues who I really want to shout at all the commissioners who are here and really contributed to this plan whether it's from a cultural affairs perspective, whether it's about the Brooklyn Navy Yard, whether it's about City Planning or media, entertainment, or small businesses. That's why we're all so focused on this together. That's what we do. And we will continue to evolve this plan because we're not gonna, we're not gonna start a cyber security accelerator in eight years because we will have missed the boat we have to continue to evolve.

Mayor: Right, amen. Willy.

Question: How many jobs paying $50,000 or more will be created by the designation of a money inflation [inaudible]?

Deputy Mayor Glen: We'll get back to you.

Question: No, it's a serious question. This is a jobs plan. That's in the job plan. How many jobs will it create besides one which is the nightlife ambassador.

Mayor: The nightlife ambassador. There's one.

President Patchett: We'll get back to you but we do – but the difference, again what we anticipate is that more of the smaller music venues and smaller night operators will have the ability to stay open and be successful. And that is the reason that is in this plan because those businesses are clearly struggling to succeed and we have to invest in their success.

Question: So, you'll get back to me, you have not calculated that number.

President Patchett: Meaning, I don't have a number in front of me.

Deputy Mayor Glen: I think – no, we do have a number. We just don't have it in front of us. So it's a number. Really, it's a sort of small business sort of number, right? The number of venues that will continue to either stay open or grow or be able to open and some number of artists and musicians who will do it. So we will give you a number but we don't have it right now.

Question: [Inaudible] a spreadsheet with all the numbers that add up to a hundred thousand in front of –

Deputy Mayor Glen: Well, I –

President Patchett: I do.

Deputy Mayor Patchett: We do but it doesn't have the sub-sub number under night ambassador. We'll get you the number.

Mayor: Nightlife ambassador's not the biggest job driver. Go ahead.

Question: [Inaudible] of the twenty five [inaudible] on the press release that's all.

Question: When you were looking at these industries and sectors of the economy to create this plan, is there anything you looked at and said, "Oh, we better stay away from that because there's sort of a bubble there or that's, you know, seems to have been growing of late but is really slowing down and doesn't have a future in New York City?"

President Patchett: Well, the thing that I would, I mean, the thing that we looked at that we chose not to invest were places – areas that are growing on their own and where there's really no reason for the, I mean, right now we're in an enormous area of growth across the board honestly. Every sub-sector is growing in our latest jobs report.

What we don't want, it's like some people would say and I think we've heard this that, you know, "Why is the number of 30,000 jobs in tech, when that's a large sector?" And the reason for that is because technology is growing very broadly and most of the technology industry does not need our investment because it's gonna grow on it's own right now. Whereas there are particular sub sectors where we really believe we can invest. So we shy away from areas where we didn't, where we think there's enormous opportunity for success but where there's really no role for the government to play in encouraging its growth.

Mayor: And I would add that there is clearly a screen for income level. You know, retail and tourism are two examples that we've had some real growth in and that doesn't mean that every single one of those jobs is not in this level but if you had to generalize, you would say, I think a lot of governments have spent a lot of time fostering jobs at lower income levels just for the numbers. And the explicit concept here is where do we see higher impact jobs, again career track kind of jobs. So those are two areas that are doing well but also we wouldn't put an emphasis on investment because of incomes that come with them.

Deputy Mayor Glen: And just for a little tidbit, we also looked at journalism and thought, what's the future of journalism in an evolving world.


So, sorry guys. I just gotta tell you. This is what we're dealing with. We did cross some things off the list guys.

Question: The mayor just said the other day to [inaudible], you know, maybe it's time we invest in more public –

Deputy Mayor Glen: Well, here we are for journalism. Sorry, I got sort of – sorry about that.

Mayor: No, we don't have the public media plan. Okay, way back, Dave.

Question: Follow up is there gonna be a –

Mayor: Hold on, hold on. You've had a couple of chances. We're coming to you. We're coming to you. Go ahead, Dave.

Question: The biggest just general quantity growth in these industries is organic. It's also because this City is [inaudible] do it's people want to live in the city and [inaudible] so forth. Do you think just about – you cut the budget by $1.35 million, if there wouldn't be more job opportunities –

Mayor: So, let me speak to, I hear two points and correct me if I am missing. One is – that I want to clarify this, which is essentially a capital investment plan meaning it is, like everything else capital, our ability to generate the resources and then apply them to the physical needs of the city. That scenario I've been really clear, I think – I believe in an expansionist approach to capital spending up unto the point that we feel is still fiscally responsible. And we see more and more of the things that people need and they care about need to capital spending, affordable housing, more school seats, job creation, roads, bridges, you know, you name it.

So, this is essentially a capital spending plan. Much less so expense side. But I think if your second question is a sort of supply side question and effect, is that what I'm hearing? That, you know –

Question: It's my question yes, but obviously, you've been around long enough that you know the criticism from the other side will be that instead of $10,000 or $15,000 per job, if you did, you know, the opposite you might get the same kind of effect. It won't be as tailor made. It's more, I suppose, a philosophical question about where do you see the role of spending and taxpayers spending.

Mayor: Yeah, I just, I believe, I'm just a believer in investment in every sense. I mean, I think the notion that, you know, smaller government is better for the economy has been disprove so many times over. It's silly. I think supply side economics has been invalidated to its core. We were just talking earlier about the very powerful example of the state of Kansas, that for a lot of reasons looked like it would do well economically until, you know, a right-wing governor set off on a rigid tax cutting plan and started to undermine all of the public infrastructure pieces that supported the economy and just this last week got rejected by his own Republican legislature.

I think this is sort of the debate running through so much of what's going on in this country, right? So, I always say, look at our economic competitors who are doing well. Why is Germany, Germany? Why is China, China? Because they invest incessantly and they believe it is a normal government function. Education, infrastructure, research, technology. They're just investment engines and they don't have this crazy fault line running through their countries that developed from, basically, Ronald Reagan on questioning the role of government investment. And growth connects to investment.

So, here you could say, "Okay, well we're this great world city could you just step back and let it happen?" I would argue we have a lot of evidence it doesn't work that way. And I'd be interested since Sam is in the center of this, he can comment, but we see constantly, and I hear this from folks in all business sectors, what do they want to be someplace.

Public safety which is obviously about investment – the 2,000 new officers and everything else we've done. Better education system which is for the employee’s children but it is also for the work force of the future.

As I said, one of the most exciting things to the folks in California, was the Computer Science for All initiative here.

Obviously, physical infrastructure. Space, in the case of life sciences. It keeps coming back to investment questions and then the sort of consolidation of each sector is a crucial point. I give Michael Bloomberg a lot of credit. I think Cornell Technion was a brilliant move. It was an investment play by the City to consolidate the growth of the tech community. And it had material elements. You know creating a facility that would bring in a lot of talent and help foster the creation of companies but it also had a massive symbolic impact on the tech community to see the government stepping forward. And if you look other places where the government isn't stepping forward, it's easy for investors and companies to just walk on by and go someplace where they see that level of focus. So I strongly suggest the investment model is proven.
Do you want to speak to this?

Kassoumeh: I would just add one point which is that we've seen in several instances investments that the City of New York has made have a direct positive effect on SecurityScorecard. Whether it's doubling down on a specific skill set or education, we've felt kind of the echo effect or the reverberation of that especially with the talent and the people we're hiring.

One example, maybe not a direct example, but one example is a partnership that we've done with Columbia University's data science team. They had been working with the City of New York to grow expertise around data science which is hybrid of developer and aesthetician and they were looking specifically to use their data science skill set to help generate new types of security analytics that can help companies have a forward looking indicator to the likelihood of a breach. And those types of partnerships have not only been beneficial for Scorecard but also created a bridge for things like the universities, the talent at the universities, and our recruiting campaigns.

Mayor: Excellent, okay. Go ahead.

Question: I have two questions that are kind of related, two sides of the coin. So be careful how you answer the first one.


Mayor: It's a trick question. That's very genteel of you to warn me.

Question: The first question is, there's nothing in here about the financing machine, which has been –

Mayor: It's so interesting. The Wall Street Journal noticed that. I'm sorry. Bloomberg noticed that same point.

Question: [Inaudible] which certainly isn't the diverse industry in terms of [inaudible] why not bolster, why not use the City's resources to bolster the diversity and the strength of the finance industry which [inaudible]?

Mayor: I gotcha but now I must know the second question.

Question: No, you don't. It's not a trick. But it's –

Mayor: Come on. You opened the door my friend.

Question: Do you want to hear both questions?

Mayor: Yeah.

Question: So second question is this.


[Inaudible] industry is booming and growing in which is the film industry, motion picture industry, TV industry. Studios which received some City help but also had some entrepreneurs who invested and risked millions of dollars in capital. And now the City is coming in and offering studio space and subsidizing it, and kind of opening it up to a competitor of these studios who have put money into it, who have contributed to building up this industry, and some of them are upset that the City is suddenly kind of opening up their industry –

Mayor: Perfectly – I mean look, I want to speak to both because they are good questions and they're fair to the thought-pattern of how all this works. I have spent time around folks from many of the major studios and from the various entities doing the production. I had a conversation with Les Moonves from CBS a year or two ago and he said, "We love everything we're doing in New York but we're running out of space. We want to do more. You guys have to help us find more." And we simply have gotten to a point – and Julie or Alicia can speak in more detail – where if you've got a bunch of existing companies and they're doing great but you need more capacity to consolidate the strength in the industry, of course we want to do anything and everything we can.

Question: If they're investing millions –

Mayor: Again you're missing – listen to what I'm saying. I respect greatly those who risk and I hope they do very well especially because that correlates with building jobs here in the city but I don't think those people are getting in anyway hurt or unrewarded for their efforts. I think they've been doing very, very well, the existing companies with studios, but we needed a lot more capacity. And we needed capacity that was going to help spread job growth. To Anna's question earlier, you know, we are very interested in where we can build capacity in different boroughs and spread job opportunities around. I'll let them speak to that further.

But on the first part of the question, which is also a very fair question. So, we have a legacy industry with finance and I would argue that we have a legacy industry with finance. Since a lot of this is about strengthening and consolidating areas that we want to do better in that are not 100 percent  rooted here, that's true of tech. That is true of life sciences. That is true with film and TV although we've done much, much better, we also saw a long period of decline. You just heard us talk about cyber security as an example of something that there's plenty of other places trying to build. We want to assert ourselves.

But I think finance, by definition, a very strong presence is a given. That's my trying to answer them all. Do you want to go first or do you want Julie to go first?

Commissioner Menin: Okay –

Deputy Mayor Glen: [Inaudible].

Commissioner Menin: First of all we have two million square feet of film and stage space currently in New York. By adding an additional 100 percent, it adds a needed inventory, hundred thousand square feet, it adds very much needed inventory.

The Mayor recently announced the TV numbers for New York City. We're up to fifty six scripted TV shows shot in New York City. That's eight percent growth over the year before. Three hundred and thirty six movies shot in New York. We simply must have more stage space to continue this kind of upward projector.

So, if we want to position the city to have continued growth, it's the responsible thing to do. Furthermore, many of the existing stage spaces receive City support. Both Kaufman, Steiner, and others. And the third point that we would make is that all of the existing sound stage spaces can bid on this RFP, it's an open RFP, open to all.

President Patchett: The only point I will make about finance really quickly is we, this plan does include finance in very much in the way it includes all industries. And since cyber security's critical to the finance industry and many of the jobs in cyber security will be the [inaudible] offices and the fusion centers that are going to locate in New York as a result of our investments. It's not just the startups, it's also the tech and fusion jobs that will – sorry – cyber security jobs and fusion centers that will be at our finance firms.

Mayor: Okay, last call. Yes, David?

Question: Two very quick questions. Will you commit to putting online a spreadsheet, as is done for the housing plan, that enumerates which companies are generating the jobs, when those jobs are generated, and what the City financing was associated with each job?

Mayor: I have no problem with that. Any concerns about that?

President Patchett: Well, we're –

Mayor: Go ahead.

President Patchett: What we're committing to is an annual report on the progress of the plan. That was a very specific question, so I just don't want to commit to that.

Mayor: So, we will give you a definition.

Question: [Inaudible]

Mayor: Well, obviously there has to be regular accounting and we will give you a definition of what can be included in that.

Question: And certainly, $1.35 or whatever it is billion that is associated with, that's capital and expense spending. What is the tax –

Mayor: That's capital.

Question: It's only capital.

Mayor: No, the 1.35.

Deputy Mayor Glen: A little bit of expense –

Mayor: A little bit of expense, I'm sorry. Overwhelming, with capital.

Question: But, so what is the associated sort of tax incentive cost of this plan? How much in tax incentives are associated with generating the jobs?

Deputy Mayor Glen: So, this came up earlier. The $1.35 does not include any potential tax expenditure. The tax expenditure that we have announced that we have appetite for in our discretionary incentive programs currently contemplated are about $300 million of IDA incentives for the life sciences industry. That is not necessarily all of the proposed tax expenditure but what we are not doing, which is more typical with plans like this, is to announce a new as of right incentive program. To sort of relocate or lure people.

These are again within our existing discretionary taxing authority. We will have again targeted programs. And again we will underwrite those deals to again ensure that we're not over subsidizing any particular deal but we do want to be more strategic and there will be some additional tax expenditure.

Mayor: Okay, last call on this before we go to general topics. Going once, twice, general topics. You've had so much Anna, we're goin way back there.

Question: So, I'm here, sorry –

Mayor: Way back. Yes?

Question: You've been – you've done two, I believe, tele-town halls about [inaudible] –

Mayor: Correct. Yes.

Question: So, it’s a two-part question. So, I want to know what impact you think they've been having and then, two, if the state legislature doesn't do anything in terms of electoral reform bills, are you exploring any options at the city level to make voting more accessible?

Mayor: Yeah, the first question, so we had a tele-town hall last night. We had 15,000 people on it. That's a very good sign of the level of concern and interest. We're trying to focus as much attention on the State Senate as possible on this issue. Long road in this state – this has been decades in the making this problem.

Our goal is to have the biggest impact we can right now. Obviously we're going for a victory right now. But we also know that this is going to be an ongoing movement. I really like the Assembly bill. I'll personally go even farther and do vote by mail, beyond that.

So I think this is going to be something we'll be working on a lot of different ways at the legislative level for a while but I like what I'm seeing in terms of level of interest and uptake that's happening now.

The second point is, yeah look. I think the frustration is growing with the voting process and I don't know if any of your were listening in on the tele-town hall but Jason Kander, former Secretary of State Missouri, who I think a lot of you know from his exceptional campaign ad last year, he made the point that people are expecting in most elements of their lives nowadays, some kind of customer friendly experience and speedy experience. You have your customer success. Well, board elections does not have a customer success department. We can affirm that. And it's getting to a critical mass point.

So my answer is we have put this $20 million dollar offer on the table. We're gonna find ways to create even more incentive for the board to take that and look for any and all ways to improve the voting experience. So this is a decisive moment in my view. What happens in Albany and really calling the question on the board about their choices and then trying to figure out what we can do from there. This is one where you'll know the result when you get there. When people can actually vote with confidence and without massive lines. And feel they had an experience like almost everything else that they experience in life, where it's normal and efficient. That's when we're gonna know we got there and we won't stop until we get there.


Question: Mayor, we had a long investigative report that aired last night [inaudible] Build it Back and I have a couple of questions about that. I guess, foremost, well first I don't know if you had a chance to see it but –

Mayor: I did not.

Question: There were finds that the homes that had been repaired using up to $80,000 of city funds or City funds through federal government. But only sell for as much as $400,000 dollars. So I'm just wondering why not just, you know, pay folks to move into houses.

Additionally, a lot of people have reported shoddy construction and years of delay. And obviously this is, you have talked about an inherited problem, but, you know, it's been several years since it's been under your control as well.
Mark:   Sure, well I'll start and then Alicia and James are grizzled veterans of this –

Deputy Mayor Glen: He's out.

Mayor: Yeah, but he still knows a lot. I said, you know, I was out in Staten Island for one of the announcements and I said, "This is a never-again situation. This was built wrong from the beginning and we need to, and we will start the process now, of determining a different model, god forbid, we ever face this again." This was absolutely, positively the wrong model to begin with. And the proof again, it's a variation on the election question. The proof is been in the actual doing of it. This wasn't the right idea. And, look, warts and all, the Build It Back team has continued to soldier on. I think it's 1,400 homes have been rebuilt since the anniversary last October. So the pace continues and the portfolio keeps decreasing.

I've talked to a lot of people. I don't want to give you a perfect answer on the quality of the construction work. I've talked to a lot of elect officials, a lot of community leaders, and residents, generally speaking over these three-and-a-half years, the quality of construction has not been the concern that’s been raised to me. It has been the speed. But we will certainly look into any specific complaint.

But, look, this chapter will end and then we need a very, very different model for the future. I'm not at all satisfied with this experience but I also think given the hand we were all dealt starting with Sandy which was horrible for everyone involved at least we know there are thousands of people who are back in their home and for whom there was a positive resolution. And we're gonna keep trying to do everything we can to finish this as well as possible. Do you want to add?

Deputy Mayor Glen: I would only add, Josh, that, I mean, on those examples of the $800,00 and the valuation coming in at maybe four or five hundred thousand dollars, again, part of that is, those are outliers, but part of it is also function of the fact that we gave people choices. Right? This is not just about dollars. It's about having people make a choice to stay in communities and we could've taken a very different approach. And so the same thing we're being criticized for in terms of the cost, there's also a human and intangible value to this because these are many families and people who have lived in these neighborhoods for years. And so in order to build a house for them that in fact is resilient for the long run, it costs a lot of money. That is a true statement. But we – and some families chose to be bought out and move.

So again, each individual story has it's own narrative but the fact that fundamentally we do think there is a human value here that's not always captured in that sort of, gotcha, $800,000 story is something I think is really important. And those families, I think would say, they're really pleased with the fact that we went down this road with them and we've allowed them to stay in those neighborhoods for years.

Mayor: Okay, yes?

Question: Mr. Mayor, shifting gears dramatically just for the moment, just your comments about the shooting in Washington. Also as a public figure and politician make this, does it make you nervous that somebody could be out there lurking at any time? I know there's also extra security. I heard today at City Hall in light of what's happened yesterday.

Mayor: First of all, my heart goes out to Congressman Scalise and his family and his colleagues. Look, you know, this should be sobering to people of every political persuasion. What happened to him, what happened to Gabby Giffords, it's wrong by every measure. And it's a painful reminder of something bigger we have to address in this country, it's everything. It's the easy availability of guns, it's the challenge of untreated mental health conditions, obviously the polarization running through our country but it's a lot of things at once. But it's unacceptable for anyone to use violence and we should all stand in solidarity right now.

Look, unfortunately in public life, I think you can say today but I think you could say probably down through history, the minute you enter this arena, it comes with risks. I think all we can do is be smart about it. The NYPD does a fantastic job protecting elected officials from here, myself included, but they also, remember they protect the President of the United States when he's here. They protect foreign dignitaries including some of the most unpopular leaders on the Earth when they come here. And they do an absolutely amazing job.

And, you know, we certainly let members of Congress know that if there's anything more that we can do to help them at this time, we're ready to do that. But, no, we live in a tough time. We live in a dangerous time and all of us in public life just have to accept that reality and keep moving forward. Marcia.

Question: [Inaudible] almost daily subway [inaudible] taking the subway to City Hall there are already delays on A, C, and the –

Mayor: Thank you for the update, Marcia. That is very nice of you. News I can use.

Question: A number of your opponents have criticized what you've done in terms of dealing with the MTA. Several have suggested that the City increase the amount of money that you contribute to the MTA capital plan which is already got one percent of the capita. I wonder if you think that the City should do that or if you don't, if you would support another fundraising mechanism that provides more money for the MTA. Tolls on the East River bridges [inaudible] pricing, a surcharge directed towards the MTA much like the Mayor Dinkins did the Safe Street, Safe Cities model in order to raise money for police. Something to get more money to try to fix the problem.

Mayor: I think the problem is not first and foremost the availability of money. I really don't. I think the reality is the MTA has a very substantial budget including the $2.5 billion dollars we gave them, and the money is not being directed at our subways sufficiently. And I want to be very clear, I think you asked this question a few days back, that a lot of the other things that I wanted to focus on, I have focused on including this announcement today and now I'll be focusing on the MTA a lot more. But not because I buy into the notion that we have to invest more. I think we've invested a lot already and I think the MTA has a lot of money.

I think it's about changing the approach. The numbers on the subway ridership versus everything else that the MTA does, you've seen them. It's the biggest imbalance in the world. The number one thing by far the MTA does is New York City subways but they do not use their money in anyway consistent with the reality of the ridership. And so, we need to rebalance that situation. And that's what I'll be working to do. So, I think a lot of the money is there. We need to use the money on the subways.

Question: How can you rebalance the money that goes to the subways when the MTA at the leadership of, Andrew Cuomo, has decided to spend their money on – I don't want to call it big ticket items but large items like rebuilding JFK, rebuilding [inaudible] –

Mayor: Well, those are Port Authority obviously in those case.

Question: But also, he's used it for cashless tolls. He's got a lot of big ticket things that they're doing. A third rail for the Long Island Railroad. You know, there's Metro North things. I just wonder if you think those things are not kinds of things you'd like to see the MTA put its money into and you would instead – how do you, if those things have already been budgeted how do you get that money going into –

Mayor: Like everything else in government, first of all. They're all fine things. There's nothing bad on that list but there's a crisis right now with our subways and it has to be addressed. So what would we do here in the city. And again I want to start by, thank you for acknowledging the division of labor that the State of New York is responsible for the MTA.

You know, when we have a challenge with policing, education, public housing, public hospitals, go down the list, that's my responsibility period. I don't expect the Governor or the President to call up and say, "Geez, I see you got a problem. Let me think of how I can help you out." That's a fantasy. It's our responsibility.

Now if we saw that one of those pieces needed a lot more help, I gotta find a way to generate the revenue or shift revenue from one thing I'm doing now to that area of concern. I just have to do it. You can't sit and watch a problem develop and not make strategic moves to address it. So, it's not that those other areas of spending aren't important, it's about timing and it's about degree, right? So, maybe there's some other things that are great to do for the city, for the region but are not as important for five to six million people a day having a reliable subway ride.

The problem, Marcia, is, this conversation has been changing month by month because of the facts on the ground. I still fundamentally believe the subway system does a great job in the bigger scheme of things compared to almost anywhere in this country. It's a much better mass transit system. But the delays are mounting. And the disruptions are mounting. So, it's real simple, what do you do to fix that and how do you compensate by moving resources, and moving focus to the areas of where the problems are the greatest. And that's where, you know, you do a plan. And so, you know, my message to the MTA and the Governor is, show us the plan.

I don't think anyone anticipated the fullness of this problem. I want to be very fair. I think a lot of the other things the Governor's working on are great things. But now we got new problem on our hands and we need a plan.

Question: [Inaudible]

Mayor: I think we're doing that right now in this dialogue, Marscia. I think it is, look, the concerns being felt by the public are mounting. You know, obviously everyone in Albany knows that. The press coverage is mounting. I've made very clear that we want to see a plan and I've made clear if we don't see one in a reasonable period of time, we will offer our own. Yes?

Question: On the same topic, as I understand it, you rode the subway yesterday for the first time in a few weeks or the first time since things kind of got notably worse and as it was, someone tweeted that you had to wait for a couple of cars to go by because they were full.

So, I'm wondering if you see value in experiencing, you know, the same frustrations as New Yorkers by riding the subway. And if so, particularly during this time when there are so many issues, do you plan to use it more often and do you think someone like Governor Cuomo would benefit from doing the same thing?

Mayor: I'm not gonna speak to his reality. He has to make that decision for himself. I'll tell you this simple thought. You know, over the last three-and-a-half years, I've used the subway many, many times particularly when it was just the most convenient way to get somewhere. There's always a value in being anywhere. If I go into a school, that's good. If I go into a public housing development, that's good. If I go into Bellevue, that's good. I mean anywhere I go, I get a sense of things going on. It's helpful. It's never perfect, you know? We have to be real about that. It's good. I have been doing it. I'll be doing it more because I'm going to be focusing on the subways more.

But it begins with I would take the subway when it was convenient when the schedule allowed for it etcetera. I'll certainly do that and do that more now as we focus on the issue. I don't think, you know, if I'm taking the subway ride a number of times a week, it gives me the fullest perspective on what everyone's going through. I think it's helpful. But again I've said to you guys, I think I have a pretty good base level understanding from the twenty years when I just took the subway. I never was much of a bus user. And I didn't have a car so it was essential to my life. But I recognize there are some things happening now that are worse even than what I experienced.

That being said, when I started taking the subway all the time there was not air conditioning. That is a better thing now. But, yeah, I'll be out there. But much more important than that is, again we're going to be pushing for a plan and I think the critical mass point is coming. Rich.

Question: Mr. Mayor, then again on the same topic. So clearly mayoral control of the schools and it's had beneficial effect –

Mayor: Absolutely, Rich. And that's a fine observation.

Question: So, would it also be true that mayoral control of the subways, would have a beneficial effect.

Mayor: I'll say it this way. I think the structure of the MTA has a problem to begin with. I think, all of people just don't know the history. MTA and Port Authority were both created in part to address regional needs but it wasn't as pristine as that. It was also to avoid public accountability. And I think there should be public accountability. I think it's great that if something goes wrong with schools, just come see me – policing, fire, you know, you know the whole list – corrections. And then if it's something on a whole list of other matters, you see the Governor or something else, you see the President. I think that's the way the world needs to be organized. I say it all time internally. It's some specific person in charge of every single thing we do. If it's not one person ultimately in charge, you don't have effectiveness and accountability.
So, here's what I'd say. The current approach, there's a lot to critique. But I do appreciate that the Governor even within the current approach at MTA did come forward very, very clearly, to his credit, and said he is fully accountable. Okay, that's good. Let's see the plan. Let's make the changes. Let's move forward. I think that could work. Now, in the bigger scheme of things especially as New York City has gotten stronger and more able to manage a whole host of areas, is there an argument for the MTA being run by the City of New York? There absolutely is.

Twenty years ago, you should have said mayoral control of education, it might have seemed crazy. But now, the city is more and more effective. And it works. So, yeah there's an argument for it. But that's not gonna happen anytime soon. The issue right now is, since there is a clear accountability structure, no matter how imperfect the MTA structure is, there is at least a clear sense of who's accountable. Great. Let's get a plan. Let's shift resources. Let's fix this problem.

Question: [Inaudible]

Mayor: I tried to give you a more gentle answer, Marcia.

Question: [Inaudible] answer my question.

Mayor: I – do you want to? I wouldn't say it like that. I'd say if the MTA can fix the problem, that is the optimal solution. If the MTA will not fix the problem, I'd rather have the City of New York run it. That's the way I'd say it. Jillian.

Question: On that subject again because I think that's all anyone cares about recently –

Mayor: And we put it under Alicia's portfolio. Just want to say that, right? That's news, right? Okay, go ahead.

Question: Do you think [inaudible], you know you said, public outrage and the press coverage is mounting but do you think that resonates in Albany which is not served by the MTA where legislatures are getting ready knock off for the entire rest of the year later this week. I mean, how do you get that message –

Mayor: I think that's part of the problem. You are absolutely right. That's part of the problem. Take the other examples for a moment schools, police, etcetera and I see you guys all the time and then I see everybody on the street and every elected official. If I had the illusion I could escape accountability, it's erased everyday, every hour. I think there is an artifice about the structure of the MTA that does dilute that sense of accountability. And you're right. The legislature has a certain amount of remove although I’m sure the the City members both experience the subway and talk to their constituents all the time.
But, look, to be fair. Even though I think this kind of model is not the way of the future, right? The model. It was built, again, in part to make fair increases something that could be achieved with political insulation, right? I don't think that's the mature model for the future on any part of government. Of course, we want much more direct accountability and transparency.
That being said, the larger achievements of the MTA –  so when I, you know, started NYU in 1979, which was when the MTA was beginning its comeback, I mean, the distance covered from then until recently is stunning. And so we have to give them their due. The turnaround, the Richard Ravitchs, and the David Guns, and whoever all the other players were, I mean, did something miraculous with the existing structure. And we do have to give people their due for that. But it has to continue. And I think that's the real question. Can't rest on your laurels.

So right now we got a fundamental problem. People are finding their lives disrupted and delayed all the time. And can't continue like that. So, it's a great moment for the MTA to shine and come up with a plan and fix it. And if it can't fix it, then it says something about the structure and whether it will work for the long term.

Question:[Inaudible] another question. Mayoral candidate Bo Dietl is holding a press conference today and –
Mark:   I'm deeply concerned.


Question: Well, outside of Gracie Mansion where he is protesting new regulations that loosen the penalties for public urination by encouraging people to urinate outside of Gracie Mansion –

Mayor: Class act.


Question: I wanted to get your reaction to the press conference but also to just the general criticism of, you know, he used this as a quality of life crime that people wouldn't want around their home.

Mayor: The concept of offering our police officers different options, which I didn't make up that notion. Talk to Bill Bratton and now talk to Jimmy O'Neill about their views as lifelong policing leaders, about the importance of officer discretion and training officers to use the different tools available. There are times where it's a warning. There are times a summons. There's times when it's an arrest. All that has happened here is to offer another tool of civil penalty rather than criminal penalty, that's just good strategic sense. That's just common sense that our officers will be able to use that tool effectively.

So, I find it very interesting when people question the success of the NYPD. Which is really what's going on here. You either believe in the NYPD's current philosophy or you don't. This is absolutely consistent with everything that Commissioner Bratton and Commissioner O'Neill have done. They have been consistently been bringing down the levels of arrest while decreasing crime, improving quality-of-life. It works. So, we're gonna continue on this path regardless of any stunts. Yes?

Question: I just wanted to follow up on a question I asked you last week about the video of the Staten Island cop waving his gun. Have you seen the video? Do you have any thoughts on it?

Mayor: I've had a conversation with the Commissioner about it. It is under investigation. I will always be straightforward. I have not seen it. I am waiting to hear back from the Commissioner on the investigation.

Question: Why haven't you seen it yourself?

Mayor: Because there's many, many things that I have to attend to and once I knew it was properly under investigation, it's not my focus to see that video. It's my focus to hear what comes of the investigation. Yes, Marcia?

Question: Mr. Mayor, you rode the subway yesterday, I wondered if you could tell us how you felt about the ride. I know you had to let a couple trains go by because it was overcrowded. I mean, it's obvious that's one of the big problems but how was your ride and how was – how did you feel about the fact that you had to let two trains go by?

Mayor: Fine. I want to be really upfront with you guys. I, again, I spent twenty years just riding the subway and then ever since I've ridden the subway, you know, all the time in different ways. That wasn't anything new to me. That has happened for years and years and years. That's different from  – I mean, yeah. There's an overcrowding dynamic that is new, like on the L-Train, classically that's new. I agree. Seeing an overcrowded train go by or the trains that just went literally through the station not – there's one when they stop and they're so crowded you can barely get in and I've gotten on a lot of those. And, I was very expert at squeezing my way in. Now, I have all these other people who come with me. It messes up my approach. But – I think I'll just leave them sometimes.


But the trains, we've all had the experience. The trains that just go by because they're totally full already or because they're trying to clear out a bunch of trains. That's not new. I think what's new is the pervasive overcrowding. L-Train is a great example. What's new is the number and frequency of electrical problems and the signal problems, right? That's actually new. So, I think what a lot of subway riders are going through today, I have experienced off and on, like everyone, throughout our lives. It's just happening more and it's not good. And it doesn't have to be that way. That's what I want to go at. Way back. Melissa.

Question: Mr. Mayor, what's your comment on the rise in opioid deaths. We know it's a national problem. It's not just in New York. We know you have some new targeting investments in this area.

Mayor: Yep.

Question: Did the City respond quickly enough? Could they have possibly foreseen this increase and when do you think it will start to turn around?

Mayor: I think it will start turning around the remainder of this year going into the next. The numbers that are being talked about today were actually referenced when we made the announcement on the opioid plan. The last year uptick shocked everyone. And it is largely about fentanyl. Let's be clear, it is not just the underlying problems which are profound. Something's going on in this city. Something's going on in America why so many people are turning to opioids and there's a lot of things we are trying to disrupt like the overuse of prescription drugs and the availability of heroin. But the real reason we're seeing this horrible uptick in deaths is the presence of this very deadly chemical, fentanyl.

NYPD has put in a place a variety of tactics to undermine the presence of the fentanyl and the supply of fentanyl coming into the city. More and more resources are going that way. It's a piece of the overall change in policing as we are bringing down violent crime and addressing other problems. We're shifting resources on to new challenges like opioids but I think also the presence of treatment and 8-8-8-NYC-WELL is gonna be a big part of that. Getting people able to get treatment more readily through that methodology. I think it will all start to add up.

And, finally, the availability of naloxone with all of our officers, all or our EMTs, our firefighters. The number of reversals has been increasing. Thank God. Reversals of overdoses.

So, those are horrendous frightening figures. They were figures we knew already and they spurred on the action and I believe you will start to see the numbers change in the course of this year.

Question: We saw the crack epidemic in the '90s. There were tremendous consequences for children in terms of homelessness, child welfare consequences. What do you know about the sort of second level of consequences that result of opioid epidemic and what is the City doing, if anything, to prepare for those?

Mayor: It's a great question. I don't know if I could give you a full enough answer. I think Dr. Palacio would be the person who could give you the best sense of that. I think it's, you know, it's something that if continued unabated you could compare it to those kind of horrible long term phenomena. We don't believe it has to be that way. Be the most important thing I could say to you. It's got the full attention of this government, of NYPD, Health Department, Health + Hospitals, Fire Department, EMTs, the whole thing. And again I think the tide is gonna turn.
I also think a public consciousness has changed very rapidly. I think the prescription drug reality was really out of control and wasn't being challenged and now is much more overtly. And that is different, I would argue, than some of these other horrible public menaces of the past because that could be stopped at the front end of the equation. That is about educating health professionals and educating patients. If you have a situation that requires two days of a pain killer, you should not be given a 60 day supply nor should you ask for it. I think more and more people are starting to understand that. Josh.

Question: Finally about the subways. You wouldn't dismiss your personally riding in it as cheap symbolism a few days ago. I guess, do you still feel the same way? Do you think there's a value in, as you mentioned not just going down and seeing the day to day what you experienced in the past being worse now, but in other people seeing that you recognize that there's an actual issue.

Mayor: Well, I was talking about – your question is fair but I think it's a little bit mixing two things together. I was talking about this core notion that I'm gonna do the daily routine that I believe will make me the most effective in this job and as I said, that those vehicles are moving wherever I go. I could be at – you name whatever conveyance I'm using, even if I'm walking. Those vehicles are wherever I am. So, I wanted to be real about, if someone said, "Oh, we'd love you to leave those cars behind and wouldn't that be ideal." It's just not happening. That's what I was trying to refer to. But, the – and that's obviously for security reasons – but, no I think, of course it's good for me to experience it. To build on. I've had a lot of experience in the subways, as you heard. Of course it's good to always be out there checking out different ways. I don't think it's going to be revelatory. I think we should honest about that.

When I visit a school, it's helpful. It does not give me a full sense of everything going on in the school system. When I visit a subway, it's helpful.

I think your second point is fair. Does it communicate to the people of the city that I'm paying attention. Yeah, I think even more will be the way we manage this discussion about the changes needed in the MTA. So it's good to show up in the subways, but I'm much more interested in the substance of things. I am much more interested in what's actually going to affect people's lives and that will be if we achieve some changes in the way the MTA is focusing. On the creation of a plan to actually address this, on the shifting of resources. That's the bread and butter people want to see from me. One more in the back, go ahead.

Question: [Inaudible] subway is more.

Mayor: Yeah, I said I'm gonna focus on this more and I'll be out there. Again, there were a lot of times I've been in the subways that did not raise your interest, so it's something I've doing throughout but I will certainly in this period of time be out there because it is part of a very overt effort to ask for real changes in the approach the MTA is taking. So, in this case I'll say it, you know, very straightforward, no artifice. Sure, I'll be out there as part of making a point. Much more important is the substance where we're gonna be demanding a plan or offering our own. Last one.

Question: You talked about crowded subway cars. Today there are reports about crowded new ferries. The brand new ferry service is extremely crowded. What do you think can be done to alleviate that.

Mayor: It's again I'll start with, I said to all of you in Red Hook, it's a good problem to have. One headline writer suggested I was endorsing long lines as a good thing. I think that was disingenuous. We are starting an entirely different form of transportation. Right? We've had ferries but we've never had citywide ferry service in a century. This is the beginning of something much bigger. And those long lines actually are really promising but they should not exist, right? I can say both of those things together. They show a tremendous amount of demand, more than was projected. It's like IDNYC. They thought it was gonna be 100,000 people it turned out to be over a million.

So this very idea is capturing people's imagination. And it could be a very big deal for this city if it keeps growing. You're talking about a huge positive impact in terms of reducing congestion in the roads and subway. So I'm encouraged by the levels of ridership. But the bad news is, this was not what we projected. So we are quickly changing the game plan both in terms of immediate things we can do to provided more boats for each run. But also, it's begging the question now of whether we have to get a whole different fleet for what we anticipate.

With that I turn to James Patchett, who will give you his update.

President Patchett: Thank you. Thank you, Mr. Mayor. So, we – prior to this weekend, where we had seen overcrowding was on the East River Ferry route and we decided to do, which was always a part of the plan, was to deal with peak demand through chartering larger vessels because what we do not want to do is design an entire system around a few peak days in the summer. So we designed the system for a base load of travel. It was always anticipated that we would be able to upscale our vessels in order to deal with peak demand during summer weekends. And we chartered two 400-person vessels for this past weekend in order to deal with increased demand on the East River Ferry route. This past weekend it was 90 degrees, we saw an unbelievable amount of ridership to the Rockaways. That was really where people were going this weekend, which is not surprising, but I will say it is almost impossible to project, the number of people in New York City who want to go to the beach in the Rockaways on a boat that has beer on tap. It's an almost unprojectable number.

Mayor: That's the sound bite of the day.

President Patchett: So, the answer is a lot. What we've done based on our experience to date is we have directed my team to run additional vessels this weekend, which is always part of the plan to deal with increased demand. Additional vessels on the routes where we anticipate extra demand and the weather's not expected to be quite as nice, so we may not have quite the level of demand that we had last weekend but we're gonna be prepared for more demand. And at the same time, longer term planning we have up-sized three of our vessels that are currently under construction that were midway through to be able to accommodate 250 passengers instead of 150 passengers. That will help with peak demand but that's also essential to dealing with the level of demand we've seen along the East River Ferry throughout the course of commuting times.

Mayor: So, that is news, that three vessels are now being upgraded from 150 to 250. Those will be delivered when?

President Patchett: Next summer.

Mayor: Okay. But look, again, this is to talk about work in progress. I mean, we're gonna keep changing with the times. If this trajectory continues, it means more vessels, bigger vessels, and, again, it speaks volumes to the possibility of adding additional routes. So, right now we're making the immediate adjustments but I think by the end of this year going into the next year, we're gonna have a picture of just how big a deal this is. And if it is as promising as it seems, then we're gonna be back as part of the budget process talking about a whole nother wave of building this out.

Thanks, everyone.

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