On Tuesday, May 24, New York City Mayor, Eric Adams and Gov. Kathy Hochul announced that two civic leaders will head a new commission to economically navigate the Big Apple and the state through a post-COVID reality.
The commission, dubbed the “New’ New York blue-ribbon panel” is tasked with providing recommendations on policies to assist New York’s five boroughs in recovering from the economic slowdown driven by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The panel will be headed by Robin Hood CEO Richard Buery and Dan Doctoroff, who served as an economic development official under former Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
According to a joint press release by the two, the commission will “focus on how and where people work as well as the mix and use of space in key employment centers, with a goal of minimizing vacancy, catalyzing vibrancy, and bolstering the tax base.”
In a prepared statement on the matter Adams said, “While our city continues to add jobs at a faster rate than the rest of the country, we have more work to do to ensure all New Yorkers can access family sustaining careers.”
Adams said that the panel will be responsible for identifying “actionable strategies to build a more equitable economy, reimagine our central business districts, and prepare our city to lead in the industries of the future.”
In a news release on the matter, Hochul appeared to cite Biden’s social spending plan saying, “It is critical that we find new, innovative solutions to move New York’s economy forward as we continue to build back better than ever from the COVID pandemic,” adding that, “The ‘New’ New York panel is laying the groundwork today to usher in a brighter tomorrow, and their expertise will help support bold initiatives in every corner of the state.”
Buery, whose anti-poverty foundation recently raised $126 million to fight poverty in New York said, “New York City has always found new ways to reinvent itself, and the post-COVID era will be no different, because New York’s dynamism, ambition, and entrepreneurial spirit cannot be matched.”
“The central question for the future is not if New York will rebound but how and who will get to participate,” he said, adding that, “Creating vibrant centers for commerce throughout the city underscores our commitment to inclusiveness and equity while positioning New York City as an engine of opportunity for all New Yorkers and our economy, a global example of how to foster universal prosperity.”
Doctoroff, compared the new panel and it’s mission to the effort by the city to rebuild following the 9/11 terrorist attacks saying, “After 9/11, we rethought and replanned central business districts across the city — in Hudson Yards, Lower Manhattan, Downtown Brooklyn, Long Island City, Harlem, Flushing, and Jamaica. Never would I have thought that we would need to do it again, just two decades later.”
The panel’s creation comes just two months after Mayor Adams pledged to create a “blue-ribbon commission” to navigate the city through a post-COVID rebound.