MetroFocus: July 22, 2021

NEW YORKERS MAP BLUEPRINT FOR THE CITY’S ECONOMIC RECOVERY & JOBS
With New York City newly reopened, businesses are beginning to bounce back. But will it last once the novelty of the reopening wears off? The Center For Urban Future set out to find out and tonight they’re revealing the results in a new report titled “Blueprint for New York City’s Economic Recovery.” Outlining 250 proposals from over 175 New Yorkers- from small business owners to labor leaders, several former deputy mayors, city commissioners and others who served in city government- this is one conversation that may prove very influential in mapping out a blueprint for the city’s lasting economic recovery. The center’s Executive Director Jonathan Bowles, Former NYC Deputy Mayor and new CEO of the Robin Hood Foundation, Rich Buery and Founder of Girls Who Code, Reshma Saujani join us.
TRANSCRIPT

> THIS IS 'METROFOCUS' WITH RAFAEL PI ROMAN, JACK FORD, AND JENNA FLANAGAN.

> 'METROFOCUS' IS MADE POSSIBLE BY -- SUE AND EDGAR WACHENHEIM III.

SYLVIA A. AND SIMON B. POYTA PROGRAMING ENDOWMENT TO FIGHT ANTI-SEMITISM.

THE PETER G. PETERSON AND JOAN GANZ COONEY FUND.

BERNARD AND DENISE SCHWARTZ.

BARBARA HOPE ZUCKERBERG.

THE AMBROSE MONELL FOUNDATION.

AND BY -- JANET PRINDLE SEIDLER.

JODY AND JOHN ARNHOLD.

CHERYL AND PHILIP MILSTEIN FAMILY.

JUDY AND JOSH WESTON.

DR. ROBERT C. AND TINA SOHN FOUNDATION.

> GOOD EVENING AND WELCOME TO 'METROFOCUS.'

I'M RAFAEL P. ROMAN.

THOUGH NEW YORK CITY IS BEGINNING TO BOUNCE BACK FROM THE ECONOMIC DEVASTATION BROUGHT ABOUT BY THE PANDEMIC, THERE IS STILL A LONG WAY TO GO.

FOR EXAMPLE, THE UNEMPLOYMENT RATE FOR JUNE WAS 10.6% WITH OVER 400,000 NEW YORKERS STILL OUT OF WORK.

THE CENTER FOR AN URBAN FUTURE, A THINK PACK HERE IN MANHATTAN, HAS PUT TOGETHER A REPORT CALLED RE NEW YORK CITY, WITH 250 IDEAS ABOUT HOW TO REVITALIZE THE CITY'S ECONOMY IN A MORE RESILIENT AND ECONOMIC WAY FROM ENGAGED NEW YORKERS.

JOINING US NOW TO TALK ABOUT THAT REPORT IS THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE CENTER FOR AN URBAN FUTURE, JONATHAN BOWLS AND TWO CON TRICK TORS TO THE RETORT, THE INCOMING CEO OF THE ROBINHOOD FOUNDATION AND THE FOUNDER OF GIRLS WHO CODE.

WELCOME ALL OF YOU.

IT IS A PLEASURE TO HAVE YOU ALL HERE WITH US.

GREAT TO BE HERE.

THANK YOU.

THANK YOU.

> SO JONATHAN, LET ME BEGIN WITH YOU.

YOU KNOW, THIS SEEMS TO BE A DIFFERENT KIND OF RAPPORT FOR THE CENTER FOR AN URBAN FUTURE IN THAT, AS I SAID, YOU WENT OUT AND SOLICITED IDEAS FROM THIS MYRIAD GROUP OF NEW YORKERS FROM MANY DIFFERENT FIELDS ABOUT HOW TO REVIVE THE CITY ECONOMICALLY IN A MORE EQUITABLE WAY.

FIRST OF ALL, WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO DO THE REPORT THIS WAY?

HOW DID YOU SELECT THE CONTRIBUTORS AND HOW WOULD YOU CHARACTERIZE THE RESULTS?

YEAH.

FIRST OF ALL, THANKS SO MUCH FOR HAVING ME ON.

THIS IS NOT A TYPICAL ECONOMIC DOWNTURN, RIGHT?

THIS IS AN UNPRECEDENTED CRISIS IN NEW YORK.

NOT ONLY ARE WE FACING AMAZING UNEMPLOYMENT, THERE IS NEW STRUCTURAL ECONOMIC CHALLENGES FACING NEW YORK INCLUDING REMOTE WORK, BUT ALSO THERE IS OVERWHELMING GLARING INEQUITIES THAT EXISTED IN NEW YORK LONG BEFORE THE PANDEMIC, BUT WHICH WERE GREATLY MAGNIFIED.

AND, SO, WE KNOW THAT NEW YORK, ESPECIALLY WITH THE NEW ADMINISTRATION, A NEW SET OF LEADERS COMING INTO THE CITY, IT NEEDS A LOT OF GOOD IDEAS.

THERE IS A LOT THAT'S GOING TO HAVE TO HAPPEN, A LOT OF POLICIES ENACTED TO BRING THE CITY BACK AND TO DO SO IN AN EQUITABLE AND LASTING MANNER.

WE DIDN'T THINK THAT WE HAD ALL OF THE ANSWERS OURSELVES.

WE THOUGHT THERE IS A LOT OF SMART NEW YORKERS OUT THERE, FOLKS THAT HAVE BEEN ENGAGED IN COMMUNITIES ACROSS THE CITY FOR YEARS.

AND WE WANTED TO TURN TO THEM AND SEE WHAT DO THEY THINK.

HONESTLY, I HOPE THE NEXT ADMINISTRATION TURNS TO A LOT OF DIFFERENT NEW YORKERS AND GET DIVERSE VOICES AND IDEAS ABOUT WHAT'S NEEDED FOR THIS CITY'S FUTURE.

THAT'S CERTAINLY WHAT WE DID.

WE REACHED OUT TO SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS, ARTISTS, ARCHITECTS, LABOR LEADERS AND HEADS OF COMMUNITY-BASED ORGANIZATIONS ACROSS THE CITY AND SO MANY MORE.

THERE WERE 17 PEOPLE JUST AFFILIATED WITH THE CITY UNIVERSITY OF NEW YORK THAT WE REACHED OUT TO FOR THIS.

WE'VE GOT IDEAS FROM SIX FORMER DEPUTY MAYORS, INCLUDING RICHARD WHO IS ON THE SHOW TODAY, AS WELL AS FIVE FORMER COMMISSIONERS DATING BACK TO THE DINKUS ADMINISTRATION.

YOU KNOW, I THINK IT WAS JUST A REALLY GREAT RANGE OF IDEAS.

THERE IS A BUNCH OF ACHIEVABLE THINGS.

LIKE YOU SAID, NEARLY 250 IDEAS.

AND I THINK MANY OF THEM ARE THINGS THAT THE CITY CAN IMPLEMENT IN THE LATER PART OF THIS YEAR AND IN EARLY '22.

YEAH.

SO WE'LL TALK ABOUT ALL THAT TIME PERMITTING.

BUT AS I MENTIONED, RICHARD, YOU BOTH WERE CONTRIBUTORS TO THIS REPORT.

RICHARD, LET ME START WITH YOU.

TALK ABOUT THE IDEA THAT YOU CONTRIBUTED.

SURE.

AND THANK YOU AGAIN FOR HAVING ME ON THE PROGRAM.

SO MY IDEA IN THE REPORT IS REALLY ABOUT EDUCATION BUT ALSO A REPORT ABOUT WORKFORCE.

ONE OF THE THINGS THAT WE KNOW ABOUT THE CHALLENGE THAT THE PANDEMIC HAS CAUSED IN EDUCATION IS THAT A MILLION SCHOOL CHILDREN HAD THEIR EDUCATIONAL EXPERIENCES SEVERELY DISRUPTED THIS YEAR.

ONE OF THE IMPACTS OF THIS DISRUPTION IS THAT WHEN YOU HAVE 30 STUDENTS IN FRONT OF YOU, 30 STUDENTS WHO ARE AT DIFFERENT LEVELS OF ACHIEVEMENT, WHO HAVE DIFFERENT CHALLENGES, DIFFERENT STRENGTH, BEING ABLE TO PROVIDE INDIVIDUALIZED SUPPORT TO 30 STUDENTS AT ONE TIME IS ALWAYS A CHALLENGE.

HOW DO YOU DIFFERENTIATE LEARNING IN A WAY THAT ALLOWS EVERY CHILD TO THRIVE.

THAT'S ALWAYS A PROBLEM.

BUT THOSE PROBLEMS IN THE COMING SCHOOL YEAR ARE GOING TO BE MAGNIFIED TENFOLD BECAUSE DIFFERENT CHILDREN REACT IN DIFFERENT WAYS TO THE HYBRID OR REMOTE LEARNING ENVIRONMENT THAT THEY EXPERIENCED THIS YEAR, BECAUSE STUDENTS AT DIFFERENT LEVELS OF PERSONAL CRISES IN THEIR LIVES, WHICH WILL AFFECT THEIR ABILITY TO COME TO SCHOOL READY AND ABLE TO LEARN, THE CHALLENGE THAT'S FACED NEW YORK CITY SCHOOLTEACHERS THIS YEAR AND ALL TEACHERS THIS YEAR WILL BE, I THINK, UNPRECEDENTED IN TERMS OF THE CHALLENGES FACING OUR YOUNG PEOPLE.

ONE OF THE THINGS -- THERE IS NO SILVER BULLET HERE, BUT ONE OF THE THINGS THAT ALLOWS YOU TO PROVIDE GREATER DIFFERENTIATION IS TO HAVE MORE TRAINED ADULTS IN THE CLASSROOM.

SO MY IDEA IS TO HAVE A MASSIVE INCREASE IN HIRING OF THE NEW YORK CITY TEACHING FORCE.

AND I THINK THAT KIND OF HIRING CAN DO A FEW THINGS.

ONE IS WHEN CONNECTED TO INCREDIBLE PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT AND SUPPORT, IT CAN ALLOW -- IT IS A NECESSARY CONDITION OF GREATER DIFFERENTIATION AND SUPPORT FOR THE NEEDS OF INDIVIDUAL LEARNERS DURING THIS CHALLENGING YEAR THAT WE HAVE AHEAD OF US, NUMBER ONE.

NUMBER TWO, IT ALLOWS US TO FOCUS, CONTINUE TO FOCUS ON DIVERSIFYING THE TEACHING FORCE.

ONE OF THE THINGS THAT WE KNOW, RESEARCH HAS SHOWN, ESPECIALLY OVER THE LAST FEW YEARS, THE INCREDIBLE IMPACT OF HAVING A TEACHER OF COLOR OR MULTIPLE TEACHERS OF COLOR CAN HAVE ON STUDENTS.

BUT WE ALSO KNOW THE TEACHING FORCE IN NEW YORK, LIKE AROUND THE COUNTRY, IS CHALLENGED IN TERMS OF HAVING DIVERSITY AMONG TEACHERS.

SO IT IS AN OPPORTUNITY TO REALLY FOCUS ON RECRUITING BLACK AND LATINO TEACHERS.

YOU TALKED ABOUT PARTNERING WITH KUNI, ONE OF THE GREATEST INSTITUTIONS IN THE HISTORY OF THIS COUNTRY AND ONE THAT PLAYS AN IMPORTANT ROLE IN TRAINING OUR UPCOMING SKEECHING FORCE.

IT IS AN UPCOMING OPPORTUNITY THERE.

OF COURSE, IT IS A SURPRISE THAT SO MANY IDEAS IN THIS REPORT WERE ABOUT CREATING JOBS, INVESTING IN JOBS, TEACHING JOBS OR GREAT JOBS.

AND TO THE EXTENT THAT WE CAN CREATE MORE OPPORTUNITIES FOR WORKERS TO ENTER THE TEACHING FORCE, THERE IS A GREAT OPPORTUNITY THERE.

SO FOR ME THAT WAS MY IDEA, IN PART BECAUSE I THINK IT TIES A LOT OF THE NEEDS AROUND WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT AND AROUND EDUCATION.

BY THE WAY, I SHOULD SAY YOU ARE THE DEPUTY MAYOR UNDER THE CURRENT MAYOR AND HAVE A LOT TO DO WITH HIS ONE THING THAT HE DID THERE, THAT EVERYBODY AGREES IS A SUCCESS IS THE PRE-K.

AND YOU ARE NOW WORKING WITH A NETWORK OF CHARTER SCHOOLS, RIGHT?

BUT LET ME ASK THE OBVIOUS QUESTION, RICHARD.

AND I AM SORRY TO HAVE THE OBVIOUS QUESTION.

BUT YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT THOUSANDS OF TEACHERS.

IT'S GOING TO COST A LOT OF MONEY.

WELL, ONE OF THE OPPORTUNITIES -- WELL, I THINK TWO ANSWERS THERE, MAYBE THREE ANSWERS.

ONE IS IT DIDN'T MAKE SENSE TO THINK ABOUT INVESTING IN RECOVERY WITHOUT AN INVESTMENT, RIGHT?

SO I THINK ONE THING THAT ALL OF THESE IDEAS HAVE IN COMMON IS THAT MANY OF THEM DO REQUIRE AN INVESTMENT OF RESOURCES, AND I THINK IN THE CITY, WE HAVE TO COME TO TERMS WITH INVESTMENT RECOVERY.

WE CAN'T EXPECT THAT WE'RE GOING TO DO THAT IN A BUDGET NEUTRAL WAY.

SO I THINK THE ANSWER TO THAT QUESTION ARE OBVIOUS.

WE CAN THINK ABOUT INCREASING REVENUE STREAMS.

WE HAVE AN INFUSION OF RESOURCES COMING IN TO THE CITY AS A RESULT OF THE FEDERAL INVESTMENT IN RECOVERY, WHICH IS GOING TO LEAD TO MASSIVE RESOURCES FOR NEW YORK CITY.

AND, SO, NOT NECESSARILY THE IDEA YOU DO IN ONE DAY, BUT JUST IN THE WAY THAT YOU MENTIONED PRE-K.

IN PRE-K WE WERE ABLE TO ESSENTIALLY ADD A GRADE TO NEW YORK CITY SCHOOL SYSTEM IN A YEAR.

AND THAT CAME AT A COST.

YOU HAVE SEEN IT'S COME AT A COST, BUT IT IS SOMETHING THAT MOST NEW YORKERS, ONE OF THE GREAT THINGS OF BEING PART OF PRE-K, I HAVE LOTS OF PARENTS OF FOUR AND FIVE-YEAR-OLDS THAT LOVE ME AND APPRECIATE ME.

BUT YOU ASK PEOPLE AROUND THE CITY, THAT'S AN INVESTMENT THAT MAKES SENSE.

IT MAKES SENSE IN TERMS OF INCREASING EDUCATIONAL OUTCOMES.

IT MAKES SENSE IN TERMS OF WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT AND MAKING IT POSSIBLE FOR MORE AND MORE FAMILIES TO ENTER THE WORKFORCE.

SO WE HAVE LOTS OF MONEY IN THE COUNTRY, A LOT OF MONEY IN THE STATE AND THE CITY.

IT IS ABOUT DEVOTING BOTH RESOURCES TO THE PLACES WHERE THEY CAN DO THE MOST GOOD.

LET ME BRING RICH IN HERE.

YOU ACTUALLY CAME UP WITH TWO IDEAS.

TALK ABOUT THOSE.

WELL, THE FIRST IDEA I CAME UP WITH WAS THE IMPORTANCE OF CREATING A WORKFORCE TRAINING PROGRAM FOR WOMEN THAT'S FOCUSSED ON THE CARE ECONOMY.

SO THIS PAST YEAR WAS BRUTAL FOR MOMS, ESPECIALLY FOR MOMS OF COLOR.

I THINK IN MANY WAYS MY PERSONAL EXPERIENCE KIND OF REFLECTS WHAT HAPPENED TO THOSE MOMS.

YOU KNOW, I STARTED COVID-19, YOU KNOW, RUNNING ONE OF THE LARGEST WOMEN AND GIRLS ORGANIZATIONS IN THE COUNTRY.

I HAD JUST HAD A NEWBORN BABY.

I HAD A FIVE-YEAR-OLD THAT WAS IN SCHOOL AND I WAS GOING TO, YOU KNOW, TAKE MATERNITY LEAVE FOR THE VERY FIRST TIME AND JUST STEP BACK AND ENJOY IT.

AND THEN COVID-19 HIT.

AND WHEN WE KNOW GLOBAL PANDEMICS HIT, THE FIRST ORGANIZATIONS TO BE AFFECTED ARE WOMEN AND GIRLS ORGANIZATIONS.

SO I HAD TO GO BACK TO WORK AS THE CEO OF GIRLS WHO CODE.

I HAD TO TAKE CARE OF MY BABY.

IT WAS EIGHT WEEKS OLD.

AND I HAD TO HOME SCHOOL MY FIVE-YEAR-OLD.

AND EVERY NIGHT I WAS BARELY MAKING IT.

I GOT COVID-19.

MY LIVER FAILED.

I HAD ACNE ON MY FACE.

AND WHEN I LOOKED ON MY ZOOM SCREEN, EVERY MOM LOOKED EXACTLY HOW I FELT.

WHEN WE TALKED TO ONE ANOTHER, WE SAID, IT'S OKAY.

WE'LL JUST WAIT WHEN SEPTEMBER COMES AND THE SCHOOLS OPEN, EVERYTHING WILL BE OKAY.

TWO WEEKS BEFORE SCHOOL WAS SUPPOSED TO OPEN, I GOT A NOTE FROM MY PUBLIC SCHOOL SAYING, GUESS WHAT?

WE HAVE COME UP WITH THIS WONDERFUL MODEL CALLED HYBRID LEARNING WHERE YOU HAVE TO LOG IN YOUR SON, ALL THE WHILE MAINTAINING YOUR FULL-TIME JOB.

SO WHEN WOMEN FACED THIS, THEY EXITED THE WORKFORCE.

2.3 MILLION WOMEN EXITED THE WORKFORCE.

WE WERE THE MAJORITY.

51 IS % OF THE LABOR FORCE WAS FEMALE.

NOW IT IS BACK TO WHERE IT WAS IN 1983.

AGAIN, THE LARGEST EXODUS OF WOMEN LEAVING.

WHAT'S HAPPENING IN OUR COUNTRY IS A REFLECTION OF WHAT HAPPENED IN NEW YORK CITY.

WHEN I TALK TO MOMS AND SAY, WHAT DO YOU NEED TO GO BACK?

WHAT I HEARD IS, ONE, I NEED CASH, WHICH HAS COME IN THE FORM OF A CHILD CARE TAX CREDIT.

PAID LEAVE.

AFFORDABLE CHILD CARE.

BEFORE SO MANY WOMEN HAD TO LEAVE THE WORKFORCE BECAUSE OF AUTOMATION.

THEY FOUND THEMSELVES IN JOBS IN RETAIL AND HEALTH CARE, JOBS THAT SIMPLY WHETHER OR NOT COMING BACK.

AND WHEN, YOU KNOW, 70% OF LOW-INCOME FAMILIES ARE LED BY A SINGLE WOMAN OF COLOR, WHEN SHE LOSES HER JOB, THE ENTIRE FAMILY SUFFERS.

WHEN WE TALK ABOUT AFFORDABLE CHILD CARE AND WE PASSED THE CHILD CARE TAX CREDIT, WE STILL ARE NOT HAVING A CONVERSATION ABOUT WHAT TO DO FOR ALL OF THESE WOMEN, ALL OF THESE BREADWINNERS THAT ARE NOT ABLE TO GO BACK INTO THE WORKFORCE BECAUSE THEY DON'T HAVE THOSE SKILLS.

SO WE NEED TO HAVE A WORKFORCE TRAINING STRATEGY THAT PAIRS THEM WITH THE JOBS OF THE FUTURE.

QUITE FRANKLY, THE JOBS OF THE FUTURE ARE GOING TO BE IN CARE, IN ELDER CARE.

YOU KNOW, IN CHILD CARE.

AND, SO, I THINK WE HAVE AN ENORMOUS OPPORTUNITY FOR THE NEXT MAYOR TO REALLY LEAD ON THIS INITIATIVE.

SO DID YOU COMBINE THE TWO IDEAS IN THAT OR IS THERE A SEPARATE SECOND IDEA I THINK THAT YOU HAD?

I KIND OF COMBINED BOTH OF THE IDEAS.

YEAH.

I THOUGHT SO.

YOU KNOW, YOU SPECIFICALLY SAY THAT WOMEN NEED TO BE TRAINED IN JOBS THAT ARE PANDEMIC PROOF.

GIVE US AN EXAMPLE OF THAT KIND OF JOB.

WELL, I THINK A JOB THAT IS PANDEMIC PROOF IS CHILD CARE AND ELDER CARE.

YOU WILL NEVER HAVE ROBOTS TAKING CARE OF YOUR KIDS.

I THINK THOSE WILL BE INDUSTRIES THAT WILL LAST FOR A WHILE, AND I THINK YOU ARE SEEING A LOT OF LIKE NATIONAL INVESTMENT IN THESE INDUSTRIES.

A LOT OF THE IDEAS THAT WERE IN THE CENTERS REPORT REFLECTED THIS IDEA OF REALLY INVESTING AND BUILDING A WORKFORCE IN ELDER CARE, IN CHILD CARE BECAUSE THOSE JOBS ARE ALSO GOOD PAYING JOBS.

AND THAT'S THE OTHER THING.

YOU KNOW, FOR US TO VALUE CARE WORK, YOU KNOW, WHETHER IT'S DONE IN THE HOME OR WHETHER IT'S DONE BY SOMEONE ELSE, YOU KNOW, THOSE JOBS HAVE TO BE PAID, YOU KNOW, A LIVING WAGE.

AND RIGHT NOW WE DON'T.

AND, SO, WHEN WE INVEST IN THOSE, WE VALUE THAT WORK, WE VALUE CARE WORK, WHICH I THINK LIFTS WOMEN UP.

THE SECOND WAY THAT WE REALLY SAW THAT THIS AFFECTED, YOU KNOW, MY STUDENTS IS I SAW SO MANY OF MY GIRLS WHO CODE STUDENTS NOT LOGGING ON TO SCHOOL, NOT DECIDING TO GO TO COLLEGE BECAUSE THEIR MOMS HAD TO GO TO WORK.

AND, SO, THEY WERE LEFT AT HOME TAKING CARE OF THEIR SIBLINGS.

SO WE ALSO NEED TO THINK OF THIS AS A TWO GENERATIONAL CYCLE OF GETTING OUT OF POVERTY AND MARCHING INTO THE MIDDLE CLASS.

IF WE ARE NOT SUPPORTING THE MOMS, THERE IS NO WAY THEIR DAUGHTERS ARE ACTUALLY GOING TO ACHIEVE THE AMERICAN DREAM BECAUSE THEY ARE LEFT, YOU KNOW, DOING THE WORK THAT, QUITE FRANKLY, OUR COUNTRY, OUR GOVERNMENT, OUR CITY SHOULD BE DOING.

SO, JONATHAN, YOU KNOW, I HAVE TO SAY, I WAS SO TAKEN BY SO MANY OF THE IDEAS IN THIS REPORT.

THEY WERE REALLY OUTSTANDING.

THOUGHT PROVOKING AT THE VERY LEAST, BUT THERE IS ALMOST 250 OF THEM.

YOU MUST HAVE SOME FAVORITES.

YOU MUST HAVE SOME THAT STAND OUT.

WHAT ARE THEY?

YEAH.

FIRST OF ALL, I WANT TO SAY THAT IDEAS FROM RICHARD WERE AMONG MY FAVORITES.

YOU KNOW, I WOULD LIKE TO SAY THAT, YOU KNOW, WE ACTUALLY HAD 250 IDEAS, BUT WE CREATED LIKE 10 THEMES OR PRIORITY AREAS.

AND ONE OF THEM WAS TO MAKE SKILLS BUILDING THE CENTERPIECE OF AN EQUITABLE RECOVERY.

AND ANOTHER WAS TO PRIORITIZE THE HARD HIT WORKERS AND COMMUNITIES.

AND I THINK THAT THEY WERE SAYING REALLY FALL UNDER THOSE.

WE HAD A NUMBER OF IDEAS FOR SUPPORTING DIRECT CARE WORKFORCE, INCLUDING TO MAKE SURE THAT WE KNOW HOW TO DO THINGS TO RAISE THE PAY AND INCOME SUPPORTS FOR THOSE WORKERS.

ONE OF MY FAVORITE IDEAS, THOUGH, IS RAROUND HELPING OUR SMALL, STRUGGLING BUSINESSES IN THE CITY BECAUSE THAT WILL BE KEY TO RECOVERY AND AN EQUITABLE RECOVERY.

WE HAD THE GREAT IDEA FROM THE PRESIDENT OF A COLLEGE SAYING THAT WE OUGHT TO PAIR KUNI STUDENTS, PARTICULARLY BUSINESS STUDENTS, WITH SOME OF THESE SMALL BUSINESSES, MANY OF WHOM WERE REALLY BEHIND WHEN IT COMES TO EMBRACING E COMMERCE AND OTHER TECHNOLOGY TOOLS.

AND MANY OF THEM WHO ACTUALLY WERE ALSO VERY FINANCIALLY VULNERABLE EVEN HEADING INTO THE PANDEMIC.

WE KNOW THESE SMALL BUSINESSES CAN BENEFIT FROM MORE TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE.

A LOT OF THESE YOUNGER STUDENTS ARE NOT JUST BUSINESS STUDENTS, BUT THEY'RE MUCH MORE TECH SAVVY.

THEY KNOW INSTAGRAM.

THEY KNOW SOCIAL MEDIA MUCH MORE THAN A LOT OF THE OLDER BUSINESS OWNERS IN NEW YORK CITY.

SO PUTTING THEM TOGETHER WOULD BE SUCH A GREAT IDEA.

A COMPLETELY DIFFERENT DIRECTION.

YOU KNOW, SOME OF THE IDEAS, A LOT OF THEM WERE REALLY MORE LONGER TERM TO CREATE A BETTER, FAIRER AND MORE EQUITABLE CITY.

WE TALKED TO AN EPIDEMIOLOGIST AT COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY WHO SAID THAT WE OUGHT TO TAKE SOME OF THE LEARNINGS FROM THE PANDEMIC TO MAKE DEEPER PROGRESS AROUND RESPIRATORY ILLNESS IN NEW YORK.

WHICH IS SOMETHING THAT NOT ONLY WILL MAKE THE CITY HEALTHIER, BUT WILL REALLY DISPROPORTIONATELY HELP FOLKS IN COMMUNITIES OF COLOR ACROSS NEW YORK CITY.

I CAN GO ON AND THERE IS A LOT OF IDEAS THAT ARE MY FAVORITES, BUT THOSE ARE A COUPLE.

FOR TIME'S SAKE, COULD YOU GIVE ME ONE IDEA FROM ALL THOSE IDEAS THAT PARTICULARLY STRUCK YOU?

YEAH.

I MEAN, I LOVED ONE OF THE IDEAS AROUND BUILDING INFRASTRUCTURE TO SUPPORT ENTREPRENEURSHIP IN LOW-INCOME COMMUNITIES.

I SEE THIS AGAIN WITH ALL OUR STUDENTS WHO ARE GOING TO SOLVE COVID, CANCER AND CLIMATE.

IF YOU GIVE THEM AN OPPORTUNITY TO BUILD A BUSINESS, TO BUILD AN EVEN TRA PRA SURESHIP, TO BECOME AN EVEN TRA PRA SURE SO THEY CANNOT ONLY BE A ROLE MODEL IN THEIR COMMUNITY BUT HELP SOLVE REALLY COMPLEX PROBLEMS, I THINK THAT WOULD BE INCREDIBLE.

FAR TOO OFTEN IN OUR SOCIETY, YOU KNOW, THOSE OPPORTUNITIES ARE ONLY FOR THE MOST PRIVILEGED.

YOU KNOW, THEY'RE NOT FOR BLACK AND BROWN STUDENTS.

AND, SO, REALLY BUILDING AN ECOSYSTEM, YOU KNOW, THAT SUPPORTS ENTREPRENEURSHIP, THAT EXCELSENTREPRENEURSHIP, WE HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY TO DO THAT.

I WAS REALLY EXCITED ABOUT THAT IDEA.

RICHARD, AN IDEA THAT YOU LIKED?

SIMILAR.

I LIKED ONE IDEA BECAUSE IT WAS FROM A FORMER COLLEAGUE, ALICIA GLEN WHO TALKED ABOUT HAVING CITY MASTER LEASES THAT CAN THEN BE USED AGAIN TO CREATE OPPORTUNITY FOR SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS.

BUT, AGAIN, WHAT I LOVE ABOUT SOME OF THE MOST -- THESE ARE AMAZING IDEAS, BUT THE ONE THAT I THINK ALWAYS -- I FOUND THE MOST INTRIGUING WERE THE ONES THAT THEY WEREN'T JUST DOING ONE THING.

THEY'RE THINKING ACROSS SECTORS AND ACROSS CHALLENGES BECAUSE THAT'S A PROBLEM THAT TOUCHES EVERYTHING FROM SMALL BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT TO THE RETAIL INDUSTRY TO THE CITYSCAPE, WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE AND WHAT IT DOES FOR THE ECONOMIC RECOVERY WHEN YOU HAVE STORE FRONTS THAT ARE NOT OPEN AND WHAT THAT DOES TO NEIGHBORHOODS.

BUT GENERALLY, ALL THE IDEA THEY WERE THINKING CREATIVELY ABOUT HOW DO WE, ONE, CREATE SUPPORTS FOR LOW-INCOME WORKERS AND FOR CRITICAL WORKERS.

BUT BEYOND THAT, HOW DO WE CREATE LONGER TERM OPPORTUNITIES FOR WEALTH BUILDING AND SUSTAINABILITY AND ALL THE THINGS THAT COME INTO THAT.

LET ME STAY WITH YOU, RICHARD, BECAUSE THE ONE THING THAT STRUCK ME IS THAT SO MANY OF THESE IDEAS LIKE HELPING SMALL BUSINESSES, LIKE HELPING ARTISTS, YOU KNOW, LIKE OPENING UP SOME SPACE IN THE CITY, LIKE REBUILDING, YOU NAME IT, SOME OF THOSE THINGS COULD HAVE WORKED BEFORE COVID.

BUT THEY WERE NEVER TRIED.

AND MY QUESTION IS WERE THEY NOT TRIED -- IS IT -- IS IT A SILVER LINING OF THIS TERRIBLE COVID PANDEMIC THAT WE'RE NOW ABLE TO SEE THINGS THAT WE DIDN'T SEE BEFORE OR -- OR TAKE A LOOK AT THINGS THAT WE TOO EASILY DISMISSED BEFORE.

WELL, YOU KNOW, IT IS HARD FOR ME TO EVER SAY, USE THE PHRASE A SILVER LINING TO THIS KIND OF CRISIS.

RIGHT.

BUT I APPRECIATE THE SENTIMENT.

I THINK ANY TIME LIKE THIS, WE NEED TO LOOK AT AN OPPORTUNITY TO MOVE FORWARD.

THAT'S TRUE WHEN WE THINK ABOUT OUR ENGAGEMENT AROUND CRIMINAL JUSTICE AND RACE.

IT'S TRUE WHEN WE THINK ABOUT WHAT WE HAVE LEARNED COMING OUT OF THE PANDEMIC.

YOU KNOW, THE TRUTH IS THIS CITY -- I'M SURE WE ALL AGREE.

THIS CITY IS SUCH AN EXTRAORDINARY PLACE.

AND THE QUESTION FOR ME IS NEVER REALLY -- I DON'T EVER HAVE ANY QUESTIONS ABOUT WLORND THE CITY IS COMING BACK.

I MEAN, THE CITY HAD A LONG TRACK RECORD OF COMING BACK FROM THE CRISES.

A LONG TRACK RECORD OF INNOVATING AND INNOVATING IN THE PHYSICAL LANDSCAPE, INNOVATING IN THE ECONOMY.

THOSE THINGS WILL ALWAYS BE TRUE.

I THINK THE OPPORTUNITY WE FACE RIGHT NOW AND THE CHALLENGE OF THAT, SO MANY OF THOSE RECOVERIES HAVE COME FORWARD IN WAYS THAT DIDN'T BENEFIT ALL OF US EQUALLY.

AND THE CHALLENGE NOW IS ARE WE GOING TO HAVE A COUNTRY THAT BENEFITS SOME OR A RECOVERY THAT BENEFITS ALL.

WHAT I LOVE ABOUT THIS PROJECT, WHAT I LOVE ABOUT THIS IDEA IS IT IS NOT SO MUCH ANY OF THE IDEAS BECAUSE YOU SAY A LOT OF THESE ARE GOOD IDEAS, A LOT ARE NOT SPECIFIC TO THE PANDEMIC, AND THE CITY IS FULL OF IDEAS.

WHAT I LOVE ABOUT THIS PROJECT IS THE INTENTIONALITY OF BRINGING DIFFERENT PEOPLE TOGETHER.

DIFFERENT KINDS OF PEOPLE, RIGHT?

SO BUSINESS LEADERS, LABOR LEADERS AND OTHERS.

BECAUSE ULTIMATELY, OUR ABILITY TO COME THROUGH THE PANDEMIC IS GOING TO BE A QUESTION OF -- IT'S NOT ABOUT WHETHER WE HAVE BIG IDEAS ABOUT WHETHER WE ARE LISTENING TO A MULTITUDE OF IDEAS, WHETHER OR NOT WE ARE BRINGING PEOPLE TOGETHER THAT ARE NORMALLY NOT IN THE SAME ROOMS TOGETHER THAT DON'T TRUST EACH OTHER NORMALLY.

AND I THINK THE MORE WE CAN CREATE SPACES LIKE THIS, THE BETTER OFF WE WILL BE.

RIGHT?

NOT JUST IDEAS, BUT HAVING PEOPLE WILLING TO LISTEN.

JONATHAN, REALLY QUICKLY BECAUSE WE'RE RUNNING OUT OF TIME, BUT WERE YOU SURPRISED THAT THE CONTRIBUTORS DIDN'T ADDRESS SOME ISSUE THAT PERHAPS YOU THOUGHT THEY WOULD BE ADDRESSING?

NO.

I MEAN, WE COVERED SO MUCH GROUND IN THESE IDEAS, AND WE TRIED, AS RICHARD SAID, TO REACH OUT TO SO MANY DIFFERENT VOICES FROM DIFFERENT ASPECTS, I THINK THAT WE INTENTIONALLY TRIED TO MAKE THE IDEAS AS BROAD AS THEY WERE CONNECTED TO THE ECONOMY AND ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY.

SO I THINK THAT WE WEREN'T TRYING TO HIT EVERY ISSUE UNDER THE SUN IN NEW YORK.

THERE WERE PROBABLY FEWER IDEAS RELATED TO HOW DO WE PAY FOR IT, LIKE YOU WERE SAYING EARLIER.

BUT LIKE I WILL GIVE YOU ONE QUICK IDEA IN THAT WE HAD A FORMER HEAD OF THE STATE'S ECONOMIC AGENCY SUGGEST AN IDEA AROUND PUTTING A NEW TAX ON FINANCIAL TRANSACTIONS TO PAY FOR A MAJOR GREEN INFRASTRUCTURE CAMPAIGN IN NEW YORK CITY.

SO THERE WERE EVEN SOME OF THOSE.

SO WHAT ARE -- SO WHAT ARE YOU DOING WITH THE REPORT IN THE SHORT RUN?

AND WHAT DO YOU HOPE REALISTICALLY THAT IT CAN ACCOMPLISH IN THE LONG RUN?

WE'RE TRYING TO GET IT IN FRONT OF NOT JUST THE FOLKS IN THE CURRENT ADMINISTRATION, BUT THE NEWLY ELECTED FOLKS FROM THE PRIMARIES IN NEW YORK.

WE KNOW WE HAVE AN ENTIRELY NEW GOVERNMENT THAT WILL BE TAKING OFFICE IN 2022.

WE THINK THAT THE ELECTED OFFICIALS ARE GOING TO BE HUNGRY FOR IDEAS, THINGS THAT THEY CAN IMPLEMENT BECAUSE AS MUCH AS I AGREE WITH RICHARD THAT THE CITY IS BOUNCING BACK AND THAT IT WILL BE RESILIENT IN THIS CRISIS, THERE ARE A LOT OF CHALLENGES.

AND I THINK THAT SOME OF THE CHALLENGES ARE GOING TO PERSIST.

I DON'T SEE THIS BEING AS A SNAP BACK RECOVERY.

AND I THINK WE WILL NEED TO BE IMPLEMENTING A BUNCH OF IDEAS AND ESPECIALLY TO MAKE SURE THAT THE RECOVERY IS MORE EQUITABLE THAN ONES WE HAVE SEEN IN PREVIOUS RECESSIONS.

SO WE ARE GOING TO BE HAVING A BIG EVENT IN SEPTEMBER TO KEEP THE IDEAS GOING, TO BRING PEOPLE TOGETHER, INCLUDING SOME GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS.

BUT I THINK THE POINT IS JUST THE MORE WE CAN GET THESE IDEAS IN FRONT OF KEY LEADERS IN THE CITY, THEN I THINK IT WILL HAVE AN IMPACT.

WELL, YOU KNOW, RICHARD, SINCE I HAVE YOU BOTH HERE, I WANT TO TAKE THE OPPORTUNITY TO ASK EACH OF YOU A QUESTION ABOUT YOUR RESPECTIVE ORGANIZATIONS.

FIRST OF ALL, HAS THE PANDEMIC SHIFTED THE MISSION OF GIRLS WHO CODE IN ANY SIGNIFICANT WAY AS YOU MOVE FORWARD?

YEAH.

I MEAN, BUILDING ON WHAT RICHARD SAID, WE ALWAYS START BUILDING WITH OUR MOST VULNERABLE.

IF WE WANT TO TEACH EVERY GIRL TO CODE, WE GO TO REFUGEE CAMPS.

WHAT HAPPENED THIS YEAR IS WITH THE PANDEMIC, OUR SUMMER PROGRAMS WERE IN TECHNOLOGY COMPANIES THAT WERE CLOSED.

OUR CLUBS WERE SCHOOLS NO LONGER OPENED.

OUR PROGRAMS WERE IN COLLEGES NO LONGER OPENED.

SO WE HAD TO QUICKLY PIVOT TO BUILD VIRTUAL PROGRAMS.

AND SINCE HALF THE GIRLS WE TEACH ARE UNDER THE POVERTY LINE, WE REALIZED THAT WE CAN ACTUALLY REACH FOR GIRLS.

AND WE DESIGNED THEM FOR A YOUNG BLACK GIRL WHO IS ALSO AN ESSENTIAL WORKER AND WHO WAS TAKING CARE OF HER SIBLINGS.

SO WE DESIGNED A HYBRID PROGRAM THAT ALLOWED HER TO BE ABLE TO CODE.

AND WE SENT EVERYBODY HOT SPOTS SO THAT YOU DIDN'T HAVE TO BE GETTING WIFI IN BURGER KING PARKING LOTS.

SO WE DESIGNED IT FOR OUR MOST VULNERABLE KIDS.

INSTEAD OF TEACHING 1,500 GIRLS OVER THE SUMMER, WE TAUGHT 8,000.

SO WE HAVE BASICALLY INNOVATED AROUND EQUITY.

AND, YOU KNOW, I ENCOURAGE EVERYBODY TO DO THAT IN TERMS OF MOVING FORWARD.

WHO ARE YOU SERVING?

WHO IS YOUR OBLIGATION TO AT THIS MOMENT?

AND I THINK OUR OBLIGATION IS TO OUR MOST POOREST, OUR MOST NEEDY, OUR MOST VULNERABLE STUDENTS RIGHT NOW.

WE'VE GOT A MINUTE LEFT.

AND YOU ARE ABOUT TO BECOME THE HEAD OF THE CITY'S BIGGEST ANTI-POVERTY ORGANIZATION.

I WONDER IF YOU COULD TELL US BECAUSE I KNOW YOU KNOW THE ORGANIZATION, WHAT THE BIGGEST CHALLENGES WERE THAT THE ROBINHOOD FOUNDATION HAD TO DEAL WITH DURING THE PANDEMIC AND WHAT CHALLENGES YOU HAVE TO DO DEAL WITH IF THE ECONOMIC RECOVERY ISN'T WHAT WE HOPED IT TO BE.

I DIDN'T START YET, BUT I DO HAVE SOME FAMILIARITY WITH THE ORGANIZATION.

I THINK THE MOST IMMEDIATE WORK THAT THEY DID WAS TO ATTEND TO THE EMERGENT NEEDS OF THE NEW YORKERS WHO LOST JOBS, LOST OPPORTUNITIES DURING THE PANDEMIC AND LAUNCHED SIGNIFICANT RELIEF FUND THAT RAISED AND DISTRIBUTED IN SHORT ORDER TENS OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS THROUGHOUT THE CITY TO MEET THE IMMEDIATE NEED.

AND IN ABOUT 15, 20 SECONDS, THE CHALLENGES THAT YOU FORESEE?

WELL, THE CHALLENGES ARE WHAT ALL OF US HAVE JUST DESCRIBED.

A RESILIENT RECOVERY, ONE THAT CREATES PATHWAYS OUT OF POVERTY.

NOT JUST IMMEDIATELY, BUT OVER THE LONG TERM IS THE FUNDAMENTAL CHALLENGE.

ALL RIGHT.

WE HAVE TO END THERE.

THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH FOR JOINING US TODAY.

> 'METROFOCUS' IS MADE POSSIBLE BY -- SUE AND EDGAR WACHENHEIM III.

SYLVIA A. AND SIMON B. POYTA PROGRAMING ENDOWMENT TO FIGHT ANTI-SEMITISM.

THE PETER G. PETERSON AND JOAN GANZ COONEY FUND.

BERNARD AND DENISE SCHWARTZ.

BARBARA HOPE ZUCKERBERG.

THE AMBROSE MONELL FOUNDATION.

AND BY -- JANET PRINDLE SEIDLER.

JODY AND JOHN ARNHOLD.

CHERYL AND PHILIP MILSTEIN FAMILY.

JUDY AND JOSH WESTON.

DR. ROBERT C. AND TINA SOHN FOUNDATION.

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