Why This Matters

New York City’s economy faces new challenges in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. Chief among them is how to mitigate the burdens of economic fallout while ensuring that recovery policies geared toward economic development, workforce training, and affordable housing contribute to a truly equitable recovery.

Without a deliberate roadmap for action, New York City risks recovery policies that do not center the communities which are both most in need of, and most deserve, a just recovery and equitable solutions: Black and Brown New Yorkers, immigrant communities, low-income neighborhoods, and others who have been largely shut out of the benefits of previous growth.

Previous recoveries have entrenched inequities in New York City and failed to help those who truly need it the most. The Inclusive Growth Initiative argues that only such an inclusive approach centered around the needs and ideas of people of color, immigrants, and New Yorkers who drive our workforce and sustain our communities will allow for equitable and sustainable growth.

All New Yorkers deserve access to good paying jobs, truly affordable housing and economic opportunity through real, transparent, and community-led development.

“Inclusive” must be more than a word. “Inclusive Growth” cannot just mean the same policies, from the same people, with some lip service toward racial equity and reducing income inequality. The people who need to benefit the most from growth are also the best people to shape its inclusiveness.

Public tax dollars intended for the public good are most effective when they are directly applied toward truly affordable housing, good jobs, schools, and infrastructure rather than given as an incentive to the private market.

Communities that are most deeply affected by large-scale development have most often been excluded from what happens in their neighborhoods, and how public dollars are spent. These communities are often lower-income New Yorkers and New Yorkers of color.

New York City needs:

  • A cohesive agenda for inclusive economic growth across our city that adds good jobs, retains and expands affordable housing and drives the economy in a way which reduces structural inequities.
  • Leadership that is committed to ensuring new voices are shaping tomorrow’s economic development strategies and that those new voices are equipped with a comprehensive understanding of the strengths and constraints of the current levers available to government.