Mayer’s Op-Ed: The State Of Our City, You Can Make It Here

January 29, 2024

Last week, in the Bronx, the borough where hip hop was born, I reported to New Yorkers on the state of our city.

When our administration came into office 24 months ago, we had a clear mission: protect public safety, rebuild our economy, and make this city more livable for New Yorkers.

Two years in, we are seeing real results. Crime is down, jobs are up, and every day we are delivering for the hard-working people of New York.

We took 14,000 illegal guns off our streets and drove down shootings and homicides by double digits, while getting millions of people back on our subways.

We created 270,000 private-sector jobs and set a first-of-its-kind minimum wage for deliveristas, as we worked with our brothers and sisters in labor to get them the pay and the benefits they deserve.


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We unlocked billions of dollars for public housing through the NYCHA Preservation Trust, and broke affordable housing records — financing the most affordable homes in city history and connecting more New Yorkers to affordable homes than any other year.

We drove down the cost of child care for working parents, increased public school enrollment, boosted test scores, and revolutionized reading in our classrooms.

We made our streets cleaner and greener with more parks and less garbage bags and rats. And we did all of this while marshaling our entire city government to respond to the asylum seeker humanitarian crisis.

The last two years have been about resetting and renewal. Now, it is time to make the future together.

That starts with public safety. While New Yorkers welcome the future of transit, we cannot have mopeds speeding down our sidewalks or dangerous lithium-ion batteries burning down our buildings.

We are going to work with the City Council to create the “Department of Sustainable Delivery” — a first-in-the-nation entity that will regulate new forms of delivery transit and ensure the safety of drivers, delivery workers, and pedestrians.

And while we are doing everything in our power to keep our streets safe, we all know there’s a secret weapon inside our bedrooms, kitchens, and on our living room sofas. We are protecting our children from online harm by becoming the first major American city to designate social media as a public health hazard, just as past U.S. surgeons general have done with tobacco and firearms. We cannot stand by and let big tech monetize our children’s privacy and jeopardize their mental health.

The future of our economy is green, and that’s why we announced the “Harbor of the Future” — our plan to create 53,000 temporary and permanent jobs, generate $95 billion in economic impact, and establish New York City as the global destination for green technology, innovation, and opportunity.

Our administration has already advanced projects from the Bronx to Brooklyn to Manhattan and Staten Island that will drive research and innovation in emerging fields. This year, we will add a new stop along the Harbor of the Future with a $100 million Climate Innovation Hub at the Brooklyn Army Terminal. This hub will bring business development, incubation, and research to Sunset Park as we invest in clean tech innovation and manufacturing.

And while we’re rebuilding our economy, we must also make sure New York remains a livable city that is cleaner, greener, and more affordable. Chief among our priorities here is to ensure that people are not priced out of their homes. That is why our administration is advancing a powerful agenda both to build more housing and keep people in the homes they already have.

This year, we will build on our past success with our ‘24 in 24’ initiative, advancing 24 housing projects on public sites to create or preserve over 12,000 units. We will also expand our Homeowner Help Desk, which provides counseling and resources to keep people in their homes, to the entire city. We are going to be a city of yes when it comes to housing: “yes” in my backyard, “yes” on my block, and “yes” in my neighborhood.

COVID taught us that people don’t just want public spaces — but that public spaces are essential. We are going to continue reimagining the urban experience for all New Yorkers, including a complete makeover of Kimlau Plaza in Chinatown. And we are going to build and refurbish four major public skate parks in the Bronx and Brooklyn.

Additionally, we must make sure that all New Yorkers can share in our city’s success. Last week, we released a more than $40 million action plan — “Women Forward NYC” — to connect more women to job opportunities, dismantle barriers to health care, reduce violence against women, and so much more.

We also announced the cancellation of over $2 billion in medical debt for up to half a million working-class New Yorkers, a life-changing policy that will keep money in New Yorkers’ pockets.

“… remain a place where anyone can make it …”

Thanks to these investments, and the dedication of our public servants and millions of hardworking people across the five boroughs, New York City will remain a place where anyone can make it. Without a doubt, the state of our city is strong. 

We Can Make It Here | State of the City 2024 (youtube.com)

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