Truth, Inspiration, Hope.

Outward Migration Top of Mind at NYC’s Ethnic and Community Media Roundtable Discussion

Published: March 24, 2023
First Deputy Mayor, Sheena Wright, holds an Ethnic and Community Roundtable discussion at City Hall in New York City on March 22, 2023. (Image: Martin Feng/Vision Times)

On March 22, New York City’s First Deputy Mayor, Sheena Wright, and the Mayor’s Office of Ethnic and Community Media’s (MOECM) Executive Director José Bayona held an in-person roundtable discussion with local ethnic media organizations to speak about the Adams administration’s efforts to support residents across New York City.

According to the NYC government website, “The MOECM promotes City services and programs through partnerships with a diverse array of Ethnic and Community Media outlets and Community Based Organizations/Nonprofits that serve people across the five boroughs.”

Established in 2021, the MOECM is the first mayoral office of its kind in the United States and requires each mayoral agency to seek to direct at least 50 percent of its overall spending on advertising to Ethnic and Community Media (ECM) outlets. 

The event, which was accessible by invitation only, included a question and answer period where participants had the opportunity to raise issues impacting their communities. 

Top of mind for some was the outward migration currently being experienced in the state.

In recent years, hundreds of thousands of people have decided to move out of the state. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, over the course of the pandemic some 350,000 New Yorkers decided to leave and, according to the same data, over 76-thousand people migrated out of the state in the year prior to the pandemic. 

“I can count on one hand the number of people, the number of my friends, that are still here,” commented one participant who asked what the administration is doing about it, and described the issue as “very layered, deep” and “endemic,” after admitting that she and her family have decided to leave as well. The participant added that the issue is not only impacting low income communities but is affecting “a huge segment of the middle class.”

Wright responded that she agreed the issue was complex and that “it is very troubling,” adding that, “I think the other thing that we are also looking at is that the population isn’t growing. We are not having more births in the black community to offset the out migration, which is another challenge.”


The First Deputy Mayor explained that not all community members are suffering, explaining that “a lot of black families … bought their homes back in the 1990s and they appreciated in value and now they are multi-millionaires as well and they are going to make a return on their investment.” 

She explained that the Adams administration is “very data driven” and that by examining this data they are revealing “disparities within the disparities,” and that the administration has identified “specific things that are, we think, driving and impacting the black community.”

“The Asian community is actually the fastest growing number of people in poverty … and there are also disparities within those disparities because the Bangladeshi community has its different outcomes then the Chinese community,” Wright explained, adding that, “We want everybody to have what they need  in order to thrive in this city and we are seeing that there are some populations that are leaving and that are decreasing because of some specific challenges as well as some communities that are actually growing and have specific challenges.”

Wright explained that part of addressing the matter was the establishment of the Mayor’s Office of Equity (MOE). 

According to an NYC government website, “Launched in 2022, the Mayor’s Office of Equity will help foster a fairer, more equitable city through policy, practices, and programs across all City agencies and systems. As the City’s first, centralized equity office, MOE is an integral component of Mayor Adam’s vision to build a stronger and healthier city that delivers for all New Yorkers.”

She said that the data-driven Mayor’s Office is “very specifically trying to understand the needs and really making sure that every agency has that data,” while admitting work still needs to be done. “So, more to come,” Wright said.