Stringer’s Child Care Proposal Should Not Require a New Tax

Resource Type: News, Statements

“Comptroller Stringer’s proposal to help working families cope with rising costs of living in the city is a good idea, but he could have been more creative about how to fund it. The Comptroller’s audits of city agencies have found more than enough potential savings to provide a child care benefit without imposing yet another new tax on New York’s business community, ” said Kathryn Wylde, President and CEO of the Partnership for New York City.

Job-Training Partnership Aims to Boost Diversity in City’s Tech Industry

Resource Type: Fund News, News, Partnership Fund

By Ryan Deffenbaugh, Crain’s 

A collaboration hopes to introduce a new generation of technology leaders from diverse backgrounds to an industry where the workforce is disproportionately white and male.

The Future FinTech Leaders program is a partnership between the FinTech Innovation Lab New York and Pursuit, a Queens-based program that provides a free four-year training program in software development. The pilot program will pair four Pursuit graduates with financial technology firms—ranging from startup NPM to global investment firm BlackRock—for a paid three-month on-the-job training program, which includes participating in programming offered by FinTech Innovation Lab. Read more.

Testimony on Freight & Delivery Parking Fine Programs

Resource Type: News, Testimony

Today, the Partnership for New York City submitted testimony to the New York City Council on the Commercial Abatement and Stipulated Parking Fine Programs.

New York City Council Committees on Finance and Transportation

Int. 1141-2018, prohibiting any city agency from agreeing to reduce fines for parking violations in exchange for a waiver of the right to contest parking violations

Thank you Chairs Dromm and Rodriguez and members of the committees for the opportunity to testify on legislation that would prohibit the city from operating the Commercial Abatement Program and the Stipulated Fine Program. The Partnership for New York City represents the city’s business leaders and largest private sector employers and we work to enhance the economy of the five boroughs of New York City.

Abolishing the Commercial Abatement and Stipulated Parking Fine Programs will not improve New York City’s traffic and parking problems. Our buildings and streets are not designed to accommodate the volume and types of commercial freight activity that a modern economy requires. E-commerce is bringing more trucks to neighborhoods where the lack of loading and commercial parking zones is particularly acute. Changes in usage of our streets and sidewalks such as bike lanes, bus lanes and clear curbs have reduced parking and standing spaces. It has become almost impossible for commercial drivers to find legal parking or standing spaces.

The Commercial Abatement and Stipulated Parking Fine Programs were an attempt to provide a fair and predictable way to deal with the inability of the city to accommodate freight and service deliveries. By requiring participating companies to waive their right to contest violations, these programs also helped reduce the burden on the city’s administrative courts. Without these programs, delivery and service companies will contest many tickets, resulting in dismissals or reductions in fines, particularly in cases involving “expeditious delivery.”

The city must figure out how to legally accommodate commercial deliveries and service vehicles rather than punishing companies for the essential conduct of business. Some actions could be taken immediately, such as freeing up more curb space by reducing parking placards and enforcement of illegal placard parking, expanding loading zones and commercial parking spaces, providing incentives for off-hours deliveries and encouraging alternative delivery mechanisms (e.g., bicycles).

We propose that the Council establish a freight and service delivery task force to examine other measures that could be taken to actually address what will be a growing problem for the city and industry. For example, the conversion of parking lot space to last mile delivery hubs may be possible as congestion pricing, driverless cars and improved transit options reduce demand for off-street parking. Removing private cars from loading dock areas, encouraging night deliveries, and restricting employees who work in central business districts from receiving personal deliveries at work are a few ideas that could be explored.

We are all paying for the punitive fines that emanate from failure to deal with this issue in a constructive way. Elimination of the Commercial Abatement and Stipulated Parking Fine Programs would accomplish nothing but a return to a more cumbersome and expensive system. The Partnership would be happy to work with you on coming up with real solutions to the delivery challenges facing the city.

New York City Council Testimony on the Northeast Supply Enhancement Project

Resource Type: News, Press Releases, Testimony

Today, the Partnership for New York City submitted testimony to the New York City Council in support of the Northeast Supply Enhancement Project:

On behalf of the Partnership for New York City, this testimony is to highlight the need for the Northeast Supply Enhancement Project (“NESE”). The Partnership represents business leaders and major employers working to promote economic growth and job creation in New York.

New York needs world-class infrastructure, including abundant and reliable sources of energy, to maintain its position as the global center for finance, business and culture. Transco’s existing pipeline has reliably served the New York City area for more than 60 years and currently provides half of the gas consumed in the city.

The NESE project is an expansion of the existing Transco pipeline infrastructure. It is expected to provide an additional 400 million cubic feet of natural gas per day to National Grid customers in New York City and on Long Island—areas that are experiencing significant economic and population growth.

Increasing the availability of cleaner, more reliable energy is crucial to meet current and future economic development and housing needs. The NESE project will establish a critical new link to additional supplies, making access to natural gas more reliable via the safest method for transporting energy.

Thanks to increased natural gas usage and the displacement of heating fuel oils, New York City is currently experiencing its cleanest air in more than 50 years. This project alone will provide for the displacement of more than 900,000 barrels of oil per year, reduce carbon dioxide emissions by more than 200,000 tons per year, which is the equivalent of removing 500,000 cars from the road a year. This project will also help reduce other local emissions by more than 300 tons per year, including smog, acid rain and particulates that have negative health and environmental effects.

The NESE project is even more urgent because of the scheduled phase out of Indian Point nuclear power production and the shortage of gas that has led to a moratorium on new developments in Westchester County and, shortly, in New York City and Long Island. New York state is making good progress in its transition to increased reliance on renewable energy, but an expanded supply of natural gas is essential to supporting this transition during the next few decades. Uncertainty over the energy supply will discourage investment in jobs and housing that the city desperately needs. The NESE must move forward immediately.

Ex-DFS Chief Vullo Named ‘Regulator-in-Residence’

Resource Type: Fund News, News

By Aaron Elstein, Crain’s 

Plenty of companies have an attorney or publicist on retainer. A few have an in-house doctor or therapist. And now FinTech Innovation Lab New York has a regulator-in-residence.

The lab, founded by consulting giant Accenture and the Partnership Fund for New York City, said Maria Vullo, former superintendent for the state Department of Financial Services, will advise startups on how to deal with regulators as they mature and start interacting with banks and insurers. Read more.

The Partnership Responds to NYC Council Street Vendor Legislation

Resource Type: News, Press Releases, Testimony

Today, the Partnership for New York City submitted testimony in response to the New York City Council’s proposed street vendor legislation. Without further study, the Partnership opposes an increase in the number of licensed vendors.

Thank you Chair Espinal and members of the committee for the opportunity to submit testimony on legislation concerning street vendors. The Partnership for New York City represents the city’s business leaders and largest private sector employers working to enhance the economy of the five boroughs of New York City and maintain the city’s position as the pre-eminent global center of commerce, innovation and economic opportunity.

The Partnership recognizes that street vending can be a first step on the entrepreneurial ladder for aspiring immigrants, veterans, and other New Yorkers. Vending also provides a needed service in locations that do not have alternative, affordable meal options. Without further study, however, we oppose an increase in the number of licensed vendors and creation of yet another city agency that is unlikely to have the resources to effectively supervise vending activity or enforce the laws and licensing requirements.

Street vendors, both legal and otherwise, contribute to the pedestrian and vehicular traffic congestion that clog our streets and sidewalks. They also interfere with brick and mortar businesses, both by blocking access, emitting smoke and odors, and competing with small business owners who are paying rent and real estate taxes.

We agree that the status quo on vending is unacceptable, but legislative remedies are premature. The city has not collected complete data on the licensed and unlicensed vendors who are currently operating on its streets and sidewalks, including which people on the permit waiting list work on rented carts, the current location of vendors, and the times of day they operate. The Council should support a study to collect this information before enacting new legislation.

Increasing the number of new cart permits (Int. 1116-A) as well as allowing them to vend further from the curb (Int. 287) will exacerbate current conditions of congestion. Pedestrians, tourists, bike and scooter riders, construction and delivery activities, newsstands, street furniture and sidewalk cafes all compete for limited sidewalk space.

The Council has recognized and sought to assist small businesses in neighborhood retail corridors that are being forced to close or relocate as a result of rising rents, taxes and utilities costs and competition from online retailers. Doubling the number of vendors is contradictory to the efforts to provide relief to these local businesses.

The proposed legislation would also do little to address the existing black market for permits or to ensure improvements in enforcement. Although Int. 1116-A requires the creation of an Office of Street Vendor Enforcement, it is unlikely such an office will be able to deal effectively with the increased numbers of vendors and such matters as maintaining clear paths for pedestrians, making sure vendors are in legal locations, and regulation of the black market in permits.

Finally, reform of the vending system should include on-going evaluation of the impact of reform and a mechanism to increase enforcement and roll back permit allowances in response to findings.

Street vending is an urban tradition, but as the city becomes more densely populated and consumer habits change, there is a need to carefully examine whether and how the street vending ecosystem needs to be adjusted to respond to new conditions. Advocates for more street vendors are only looking at one dimension of a more complex set of issues that need to be examined before legislating a one-sided solution. Street vendor reforms should include plans to decrease or manage congestion in the most crowded areas, mitigate harm to brick and mortar businesses, reduce illegal vending and ensure effective enforcement. None of these are adequately addressed in the bills under consideration.

This Year’s Crop Of FinTech Innovation Lab Startups Focused On AI, Insurtech, Compliance

Resource Type: News, Partnership Fund

By Donna Fuscaldo, Forbes

Financial services companies are using technology to solve an array of problems, some of which aren’t being built in-house.  That’s prompting them to seek partnerships with fintech startups as they embrace everything from artificial intelligence to cryptography.

Helping New York’s financial services companies meet that end has been the mission of the FinTech Innovation Lab New York for nearly a decade. An alliance between consulting firm Accenture and the Partnership Fund for New York City, the non-profit program is designed to help tech startups speed up product and business development by connecting them with financial services and venture capital executives. Read more.

 

Independent Analysis of MTA’s Next Estimated Capital Plan Reveals $60 Billion Contribution to New Jobs and Business Activity in New York State; $15 Billion Outside of New York City

Resource Type: News, Press Releases

MTA Spending Plan Expected to Support 57,400 Total Jobs over 5 years, Including 12,600 Outside New York City

Nearly 6,000 Jobs Expected on Long Island, 5,100 in Hudson Valley Region; Nearly 1,000 in Capital Region; 170 in the North Country; 100 in Western New York; more than 70 in Central New York, Finger Lakes and Southern Tier; and 60 in Mohawk Valley

NEW YORK, March 25, 2019—A new analysis of the jobs and economic activity created by the next MTA Five Year Capital Plan, conducted by EY, was commissioned and released today by the Partnership for New York City. It describes how the MTA capital investment strategy for 2020-2024 is expected to generate statewide economic benefits. Overall, the MTA’s estimated $44 billion in capital expenditures—which includes $3 billion for MTA Bridges and Tunnel—is projected to generate more than $60 billion in statewide economic output over the five years of the capital investment strategy. That figure would support an estimated 57,400 jobs during the same period, with nearly one in four of those jobs created outside of New York City. The average direct labor income per worker would just exceed $100,000. The MTA also expects the plan to make critical strides in service of its goal of providing 30 percent of contracts to vendors who qualify as certified Minority, Women, and Disadvantaged Business Enterprise firms.

The capital investment strategy is expected to include major purchases of key equipment from manufacturers in New York, including new buses, rail and subway cars, new signaling equipment and additional tracks. It relies on the expertise and services of New York-based construction and engineering firms. Collectively, this activity supports both direct and indirect jobs and business revenues throughout the state. The Capital Investment Strategy for 2020-2024 outlined in this report uses an estimate that reflects the lower end of the MTA’s potential capital investment. The agency allocations were assumed to be approximately proportional to the agency allocations in the current MTA Capital Program.

Read More

New York State Senate Testimony on Mayoral Control

Resource Type: News, Testimony

On March 15, the Partnership for New York City submitted the following testimony to the New York State Senate Standing Committee on Education:

Thank you, Chair Liu and members of the committee, for the opportunity to testify on New York City school governance, commonly known as “Mayoral Control”.

The Partnership for New York City represents the city’s business leaders and largest private sector employers. We work together with government, labor and the nonprofit sector to maintain the city’s position as the preeminent global center of commerce, innovation, and economic opportunity.

The business community strongly supports a multi-year extension of Mayoral Control of the New York City public school system. We do not think that the legislature should dilute the authority or accountability of the mayor for appointing the Chancellor of the system, approving its budget, negotiating labor contracts and for the overall performance of students and staff. The current system allows for input of parents and others into educational policies, but decisions are up to the mayor and his or her appointees. Modifying the governance law to confer additional power on parents or any other groups will make it significantly more difficult to hold the mayor accountable.

The governance system that was put in place by state legislative action in 2002 has resulted in demonstrable improvements in educational outcomes in the city. Graduation rates are up and disparities due to income and race are being reduced. Since 2002, when Mayoral Control was first put into place, the public high school graduation rate has increased from 50.8 percent to 72.7 percent overall, and from 38.8 percent to 67.1 percent for black and Hispanic students.  Dropout rates are at historic lows. More students than ever are taking and passing Advanced Placement exams and English test scores are up in every district.

These improvements would not have been possible without the clarity of a system in which the mayor has the clear authority over leadership, labor contracts, management, and budget.

We urge the legislature in the upcoming budget to pass a multi-year extension of the current law and not risk reversion to a dysfunctional governance system.

Albany Urged to Lift Charter School Cap

Resource Type: News, Press Releases

Today, the Partnership for New York City released a letter to Governor Cuomo and leaders of the state legislature urging them to increase the allowable number of charter schools in the city. Charter schools are some of the highest performing schools and provide important public education options for lower and middle income families.

Dear Governor Cuomo, Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins and Speaker Heastie:

On behalf of the business leaders of New York City, I am writing to urge your support for an increase in the allowable number of charter schools that can be established in New York City.

Public charter schools have enriched educational options in communities that desperately needed them. Charters have not detracted from the resources available to district schools, but have inspired greater support for public education on the part of the business community and philanthropists. Competition has turned out to benefit everyone, especially the students attending both charter and district schools.

Recently, the state-imposed cap on how many public charters are permitted to operate in New York City was reached. Already, six charter schools that would have otherwise been cleared to open have been blocked. This is a disservice to the students and families, particularly lower income households, who would benefit from expanded educational opportunities.

There are 53,000 city students on waiting lists for public charter schools. Of the city’s 50 highest-performing schools, 37 are public charters.

Members of the Partnership for New York City together employ 1.5 million New Yorkers. We consider it to be a top priority to equip more students with the high-level skills required to succeed in a rapidly-changing economy. Today, more than two out of three black and Hispanic students statewide lack the math skills that would put them on track for college. Lifting the charter cap is a clear way to ensure that more students are prepared for the jobs of the future.

We trust that you will take action to allow charter schools to continue to bring new energy and ideas to the city’s public education system and its communities by lifting the cap on city charters.

Sincerely,

Kathryn Wylde

President and CEO

Partnership for New York City