Today, Mayor de Blasio and Gabrielle Fialkoff, Senior Advisor to Mayor de Blasio and Director of the Office of Strategic Partnerships, announced that over $400 million has been raised in private and philanthropic funding.
The funds have been raised through the City’s independent nonprofit organizations since 2014 to drive forward the Mayor’s agenda for an equitable and inclusive City. By collaborating with City agencies and across sectors, the Office has overseen the launch of partnerships that have brought critical services and resources to New Yorkers in need.
“To implement lasting and meaningful societal change, the private, nonprofit, and business sectors must work together. That is why I created the Office of Strategic Partnerships,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “Successful programs such as the Center of Youth Employment, Computer Science for All, and Connections to Care have improved the lives of New Yorkers and I look forward to broadening the scope of the work in the years to come.”
“We’re making New York City a healthier, fairer, more prosperous place for all – but government cannot do this work alone,” said First Lady Chirlane McCray, Chair of the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City. “Through the Office of Strategic Partnerships, we’ve linked arms with our philanthropic and business partners across the City to bring services and opportunities to more New Yorkers than ever before.”
“Mayor de Blasio knows that we need an all-hands-on-deck approach to create the fair and equitable City we envision. Government alone cannot solve our most pressing issues, the business sector, nonprofits, and philanthropy must all work together to if we hope to move the needle on inequality,” said Gabrielle Fialkoff, Senior Advisor and Director of the Office of Strategic Partnerships. “Four years since the creation of the Office of Strategic Partnerships, our progress proves that this dedicated platform is a game-changer to build an inclusive City that leverages the best each sector has to offer.”
Mayor de Blasio created the Office of Strategic Partnerships in 2014 to bring together the business, philanthropic, and nonprofit sectors to work with government toward the shared goals of reducing inequality, promoting fairness, and addressing disparities across New York City. Through its oversight of the City-affiliated nonprofits and by working with organizations that serve as private partners to City Agencies, the office has designed innovative public-private partnerships that leverage expertise, resources, and skills across these sectors to impact priority issue areas, including workforce development, health equity, immigration, education, and housing.
The city-affiliated non-profits and organizations that serve as private partners to City agencies are: the Mayor’s Fund to Advance NYC, the Fund for Public Health, the Fund for Public Schools, the Fund for Public Housing, New Yorkers for Children, NYC Police Foundation, FDNY Foundation, and the Aging in New York Fund.
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Current initiatives include:
The Center for Youth Employment, a project of the Mayor’s Fund to Advance NYC, helps prepare young New Yorkers for career success by working with City agencies, employers, private funders and provider organizations to support 100,000 high-quality internships, mentorships and summer jobs per year.
- Impact: CYE has increased high quality internships and summer jobs by recruiting employers citywide and offering tools to support young people in their work. For example, in partnership with the with the Department of Youth and Community Development, CYE has helped grow the Ladders for Leaders internship program from 267 interns & 87 employers in 2013 to 1,850 internships and 600 employers in 2017; tripled the number of summer jobs for vulnerable youth (in foster, shelter or juvenile justice systems) from 1,000 in 2014 to 3,170 in 2017; and created seven sector-specific Industry Funds to support internships, skill building, and related opportunities to help youth enter careers in NYC’s top fields.
Computer Science for All, an Equity & Excellence for All initiative with the Department of Education and the Fund for Public Schools to bring computer science education to all 1.1 million students by 2025.
- Impact: Since its launch in the 2015-16 school year, approximately 1,000 teachers have been trained across approximately 550 schools. Last school year, 3,966 students took an Advanced Placement Computer Science exam, up from 1,137 the previous year, and four times as many students passed the exam compared to the previous year.
Building Healthy Communities, a partnership supported by the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice and Fund for Public Health, is increasing opportunities for physical activity, expanding access to healthy and affordable food, and promoting safe and vibrant spaces in 12 chronically underserved neighborhoods across the five boroughs.
Healthy Food: Through this partnership, urban farms were built in four New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) developments, with two more currently under construction – the first of their kind in the country – providing over 25,000lbs of fresh produce to community residents. The partnership has also supported community gardens that grow and distribute fresh food, school gardens, youth markets for fresh produce, and food boxes.
- Physical activity: Through this partnership, 50 new soccer fields are being built in BHC neighborhoods and other underserved neighborhoods. Each soccer pitch includes funding for youth programming in the community, including soccer clinics, mentoring, and free sporting gear. In addition, Building Healthy Communities provided small grants to 30 community organizations to lead walking tours, fitness programs, street closings, and park programs.
Connections to Care, a ThriveNYC initiative supported by the Mayor’s Fund to Advance NYC, the Center for Economic Opportunity and the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, provides more than 40,000 New Yorkers mental health services in non-clinical settings by training over 1,000 social service staff at community-based organizations citywide.
- Impact: As of September 2017, 15 community-based organizations have trained over 1,000 staff in at least one Connections to Care treatment method, and 8,900 clients have received services through Connections to Care.
Free eyeglasses have been provided by Warby Parker for every student who needs them attending the City’s 227 Community Schools, along with free vision screenings and eye exams. This initiative was made possible through a partnership with the Office of Strategic Partnerships and the Community Schools Initiative.
- Impact: By the end of the 2017-2018 academic year, Warby Parker will have provided over 40,000 pairs of glasses since the program’s start in 2015.
Get Alarmed NYC, an initiative through the FDNY Foundation, provides and installs smoke and carbon monoxide alarms in high-fire risk communities to reduce fire deaths and injuries.
- Impact: 130,000 smoke and carbon monoxide alarms have been installed and distributed to households across the city.
NYC Housing Help, a program piloted by the Mayor’s Fund to Advance NYC, the NYC Human Resources Administration and Department for Homeless Services, provided free, legal, financial, and social services to Bronx families facing eviction to keep their homes; contributing to the creation of the citywide Right to Counsel Initiative
- Impact: 70,000 families were able to remain in their homes through the pilot program alone. As a result of the pilot program, the City made a $155 million annual investment expected to help 400,000 New Yorkers avoid eviction.
Juvenile detention diversion, a pilot program through New Yorkers for Children, works with the Community Connections for Youth Inc. to keep low-risk youth who are arrested and headed to family court out of the juvenile detention system by providing connections to community support programs.
- Impact: Working with 20 youth and their families in the Bronx over the six-moth pilot period, the program achieved a detention rate of only 10%. Due of the success of this pilot, ACS and the NYC Department of Probation were able to extend the program to all five boroughs.
NYCitizenship is a program providing free legal assistance to help legal permanent residents take the next step in becoming U.S. Citizens through a partnership between the Mayor’s Fund to Advance NYC, the Mayor’s Office for Immigrant Affairs, the City’s public library systems, the Human Resources Administration and NYC Opportunity.
- Impact: From April 2016 to September 2017, NYCitizenship services were provided to 11,200 people including screening nearly 2,000 people for citizenship eligibility in library branches and HRA sites across all five boroughs. Almost 1,000 naturalization applications were filed, with over 750 accompanying fee waivers. In that period, nearly 350 clients were able to naturalize.
NYCHA Tech Pilots, a 2017 initiative of the Fund for Public Housing, in partnership with MetaProp NYC and Grand Central Tech’s Urban Tech Hub, to bring property management, operations, and resident amenity innovations to the New York City Housing Authority. The initiative comes at no cost to NYCHA or the Fund for Public Housing, but successful tech solutions proven through the pilots can become fundraising priorities for the Fund in 2018 and beyond.
- Impact: Three companies – BlocPower, Pansofik, and Enertiv, are in the initial testing phase to bring energy savings, early moisture detection, and an operations performance system that will increase efficiency to NYCHA.
The Office of Strategic Partnerships is also designed to mobilize the private sector in times of emergency to make critical services and resources available to communities in need. In the wake of hurricanes Irma and Maria, the Mayor’s Fund established a warm weather clothing drive to help Puerto Ricans whose lives were destabilized after the storms. During the particularly dangerous 2018 flu season, the Mayor’s Fund worked with the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene to form a partnership with Walgreens and Duane Reade to provide 1,000 vouchers for free flu shots in neighborhoods with high concentrations of uninsured or underinsured families. Following tragic and unexpected explosions in East Harlem (2014) and the East Village (2015), public-private partnerships were established to raise money for victims and find housing for displaced individuals.
Moving forward, the Office of Strategic Partnerships will deepen its commitment to current initiatives and will engage the business, philanthropic, and nonprofit sectors to work towards an expanded set of priorities in the second term. The Office will support the Mayor’s goal of closing the Rikers Island jail complex; assist vulnerable out-of-school, out-of-work youth; and align the Building Healthy Communities Initiative to support the goals outlined in the Mayor’s Action Plan to Improve Neighborhood Safety.
Promoting Comprehensive Criminal Justice Reform: Mayor de Blasio has pledged to close the Rikers Island jail complex by taking steps to make the criminal justice system “smaller, safer, and fairer.” Working with the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice, city-affiliated nonprofits, and City agencies, the Office of Strategic Partnerships will engage the private and philanthropic sectors in efforts to reduce the City’s jail population, better support women in jail, and reduce recidivism by creating pathways to stability for New Yorkers re-entering into their communities.
Supporting Out-Of-School, Out-of work Youths: To deepen its commitment to youth workforce development, the Office of Strategic Partnerships will take a targeted approach to helping out-of-school, out-of-work young adults achieve steady employment and economic security. Working with City agencies and private partners, the Office for Strategic Partnerships and the Center for Youth Employment will continue to expand paid employment opportunities for vulnerable youth, and support and connect developmentally appropriate programs that blend academic and occupational instruction with career guidance and wraparound services. The office will work with young adult workers at risk of losing their jobs, as well as their employers, to support their retention and long-term advancement toward career-track work.
Aligning Building Healthy Communities with Mayors Action Plan for Neighborhood Safety: Since it was created two years ago through the Fund for Public Health and the Office of Strategic Partnerships, the Building Healthy Communities initiative has worked with several private and philanthropic partners to lead progressive approaches to health equity in underserved neighborhoods across the five boroughs. Looking ahead, The Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice and the Office of Strategic Partnership will connect BHC partners and approaches to the Mayor’s Action Plan for Neighborhood Safety – an initiative that aims to reduce violent crime in 15 NYCHA developments that make up almost 20 percent of all violent crime in New York City’s public housing – to engage residents and partners to ensure environments are holistically healthy and safe. Aligned, the two efforts will better tackle systemic economic distress, poor health outcomes, and violent crime concentrated in a few neighborhoods across the City.
“The groundbreaking Computer Science For All initiative, a partnership with New York City Schools, the de Blasio Administration and the private sector aims to provide computer science education to every New York City student, no matter their zip code, in the largest school district in the country,” said Fred Wilson, Partner at Union Square Ventures. “This 10-year public-private partnership leverages the innovation of the private sector — and its commitment to computer science — while the investment from the government will enable it to achieve lasting impact on an educational issue that affects all New Yorkers.”
“As New York’s community foundation, we proudly work with the city to make life better for all residents,” said Lorie Slutsky, president of The New York Community Trust. “For example, the Trust was an early partner in Connections to Care, which works to remove the stigma of mental illness, close treatment gaps, and act early across the boroughs.”
“Partnering directly with the City is a highly effective and targeted approach to addressing core challenges that confront the long-term health and prosperity of New York for all New Yorkers,” said Rob Speyer, Board Member and Chair of the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City. “As a member and chair of the Board of Advisors of the Mayor’s Fund, I’ve been proud to see how these innovative public-private partnerships have been harnessed over the past four years to help the city support and advance key areas of need.”
“Today’s announcement reflects just a few of the many partnerships Robin Hood is honored to participate in with the City of New York. We are aligned on the ultimate outcomes and all of our work is stronger as we work together to test new models and bring proven approaches to scale. This is the definition of partnership,” said Emary Aronson, Chief Program Officer, Robin Hood.
“To truly build a New York City that catalyzes economic and social opportunity for all, it will take all of us – working across sectors and towards shared goals- to make this vision a reality,” said Brandee McHale, President of the Citi Foundation and Director of Corporate Citizenship at Citi. “Whether its supporting youth employment or helping families achieve financial security, we’re inspired by the progress we’ve seen over the years through our collaborations with Mayor de Blasio and local community partners.”
“We admire the City’s dedication to addressing the inequalities in the City that we call home. It’s been an honor and pleasure to work with the Office of Strategic partnerships over the past three years and we look forward to continuing our combined efforts to make the City more equitable and inclusive than it already is,” said Warby Parker co-Founder and co-CEO Neil Blumenthal.
“The enduring success of our partnership speaks to the continued need for vision care for many New York City students. At Warby Parker we believe all students deserve an equal opportunity to excel in the classroom and that glasses are a key component of this,” said Warby Parker co-Founder and co-CEO Dave Gilboa.
“By combining the flexibility of private funding with the scale of government, public-private partnerships have proven to be a powerful tool to help the City tackle some of our most challenging issues. Key to that work has been the efforts of our City’s Office of Strategic Partnerships, which has proven invaluable in helping set and share priorities as we harness the resources of New York City’s thriving private sector to further the fight for economic inequality, and increase new opportunities for New Yorkers in need. I am proud to have played a small role in reaching this noteworthy milestone, and in recognizing the hundreds of high-impact programs and initiatives that the city has helped launch and support over the past four years,” said Darren Bloch, Executive Director of the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City.
“Collaboration drives lasting change,” said Sara Gardner executive director of the Fund for Public Health in New York City. “We are excited to be collaborating with multiple agencies, community organizations, foundations and corporations, together with the Office of Strategic Partnerships, to develop innovative and impactful initiatives to combat health inequities in New York City.”
“Public health lives at the intersection of the public and private sectors, and the efforts of the Office of Strategic Partnerships have created opportunities for communities to receive access to health services that are critical to an individual’s physical and mental wellbeing,” said Health Commissioner Mary T. Bassett. “I thank the Office of Strategic Partnerships and all of the agencies, foundations and community organizations involved for helping to make New York City a more equitable place.”
“Public-private partnership is essential to the success of New York City’s schools, and private partners across New York City know that when they make an investment in our schools, they are making an investment in our City’s future,” said Ursulina Ramirez, Chief Operating Officer of the NYC Department of Education. “This administration is committed to working with private partners to support equity and excellence for all our students, and our public-private partnerships will continue to have a positive impact on our schools – and our City – for years to come.”
“Private funding allows New Yorkers For Children to pilot programs – in partnership with ACS –that show promising practices in other jurisdictions and test them in New York City. Without private investment, the type of innovation and real time programmatic solutions that we are doing in New York City could not exist,” said New Yorkers for Children Executive Director, Saroya Friedman-Gonzalez.
“Creativity and innovative thinking drive the Aging in New York Fund to think outside of the traditional models of service delivery and programming,” said Aging in New York Fund Executive Director Caryn Resnick. “There are currently over 1.59 million New Yorkers who are age 60 and older, and this number is exponentially increasing. Our ability to develop new models and incubate pilot-programs to support the Department for the Aging in serving this large population is what makes the work that we do so valuable.”
“The Fund for Public Housing is NYCHA’s innovation escape hatch. We are bringing public, private, philanthropic and the nonprofit sectors together to reimagine and improve the way public housing in NYC works. NYCHA houses 1 in 14 New Yorkers and it is worthy of innovation and investment – and we are so excited to work collaboratively, across sectors, to make this happen,” said Rasmia Kirmani-Frye, President of the Fund for Public Housing.
Elizabeth Glazer, Director of the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice said, “As New York City continues to drive crime to previously unimaginable levels, we see our communities leading the way. The Administration is partnering with New Yorkers to create shared public spaces and healthy activities that foster safety. New Yorkers themselves are identifying effective interventions that prevent crime in their neighborhoods. And as the mission to close Rikers advances, we will be working with New Yorkers on the bricks-and-mortar of a justice system that will be a model to the rest of the country.”
“Hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers are eligible to take the next step to become a U.S. citizen. Our partnerships in the private sector have been instrumental in putting more New Yorkers on a path to citizenship,” said Bitta Mostofi, Acting Commissioner of the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs. “Citizenship has civic and economic benefits for individuals, families, and the city as a whole. The private sector support we received allowed us to demonstrate the importance of this work, and ultimately expand this program with an infusion of public dollars. We are so thankful to have the support of the Administration, philanthropy, our city’s library systems and our sister agencies in this work.”
“With the help of the Office of Strategic Partnerships, the Center for Youth Employment and DYCD have recruited major businesses to offer internships to thousands of young people in professions that traditionally have not been accessible,” said DYCD Commissioner Bill Chong.
“We’ve seen a noticeable increase in foundations and corporations stepping forward over the last couple of years to support our work,” said David A. Hansell, Commissioner of the Administration for Children’s Services. “Private-sector support helps us be more creative, innovative and effective as we protect children and support families across New York City.”
“When the Center for Youth Employment was launched nearly three years ago, we had faith that New York City’s business and philanthropic communities would answer the call to partner with City government in supporting programs that help prepare young people for career success,” said David Fischer, Executive Director of the Center for Youth Employment. “Our partners have more than repaid that faith through their generous support and sustained commitment, and we are deeply grateful.”
“Over the past four years, the Office of Strategic Partnerships has been an invaluable resource in our City’s fight to address inequality…”
“Over the past four years, the Office of Strategic Partnerships has been an invaluable resource in our City’s fight to address inequality,” said Harlem Council Member Mark Levine. “In our campaign to pass my legislation creating a universal Right to Counsel for tenants facing eviction, the NYC Housing Help pilot program was powerful proof of how an attorney can dramatically change the outcome for tenants in housing court. Through that pilot program alone we were able to keep 70,000 families in their homes, off the streets, and out of the shelter system—and now today, that protection will help over 400,000 New Yorkers.”