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.

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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.


Kathryn Wylde

President and CEO

Partnership for New York City


New York State Senate Budget Response

Resource Type: News, Statements

“The new State Senate majority has issued a fiscally responsible set of budget recommendations that conform to the Governor’s 2 percent cap on growth in state spending. They have also endorsed congestion pricing, rather than imposing another personal income tax on high earners, as the preferred source of new revenues for mass transit. Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins and her members are to be congratulated for their thoughtful approach to the challenging issues the state faces this year,” said Kathryn Wylde, President & CEO of the Partnership for New York City.

Over 100 Business Leaders Push for Mayoral Control

Resource Type: News, Press Releases

Today, the Partnership for New York City issued a letter signed by over 100 business leaders urging Governor Cuomo and the state legislature to extend mayoral control over the city’s public schools. Since 2002, when the mayor was given responsibility for governance of the schools, there have been significant improvements in educational outcomes for the city’s students. Albany has refused to make the system permanent, despite the fact that it is clearly superior to alternatives that caused schools to deteriorate.

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

New York City’s business community strongly supports multi-year extension of mayoral control of the New York City public school system. A quality education is the key to unlocking economic opportunity for the city’s residents. Mayoral accountability for management of the system is essential to achieving that objective.

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. 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 you to pass a multi-year extension of the current law and not risk reversion to a dysfunctional governance system.


Lee S. Ainslie, III, Managing Partner, Maverick Capital

Ellen Alemany, Chairman & CEO, CIT Group Inc.

Robert Bakish, President & CEO, Viacom Inc.

Ajay Banga, President & CEO, Mastercard

Candace K. Beinecke, Senior Partner, Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP

William H. Berkman, Managing Partner, Associated Partners, LP

Kathy Bloomgarden, Chief Executive Officer, Ruder Finn, Inc.

Adam M. Blumenthal, Managing Partner, Blue Wolf Capital Management

Neil Blumenthal, Co-Founder & Co-CEO, Warby Parker

Albert Bourla, Chief Executive Officer, Pfizer Inc.

John Bruckner, President, NY, National Grid

Martin S. Burger, Chief Executive Officer, Silverstein Properties, Inc.

John Catsimatidis, Chairman & CEO, Red Apple Group, Inc.

Rodgin Cohen, Senior Chairman, Sullivan & Cromwell LLP

Creighton Condon, Senior Partner, Shearman & Sterling

Daniela Constantino, Partner, Mason Capital Management, LLC

Michael L. Corbat, Chief Executive Officer, Citigroup Inc.

Anthony J. de Nicola, President, Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe

Barry Diller, Chairman & Senior Executive, IAC and Chairman & Senior Executive, Expedia, Inc.

William R. Dougherty, Chairman, Executive Committee, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP

Lynne Doughtie, U.S. Chairman & CEO, KPMG LLP

Douglas Durst, Chairman, Durst Organization Inc.

Joel S. Ehrenkranz, Partner and Co-Founder, Ehrenkranz Partners L.P.

Joseph R. Ficalora, President & CEO, New York Community Bancorp, Inc.

Laurence D. Fink, Chairman & CEO, BlackRock, Inc.

John Fish, Chairman & CEO, Suffolk

Winston C. Fisher, Partner, Fisher Brothers

Alan H. Fishman, Chairman, Ladder Capital Finance LLC

William E. Ford, Chief Executive Officer, General Atlantic LLC

Paul Fribourg, Chairman & CEO, Continental Grain Company

Mark T. Gallogly, Co-Founder & Managing Principal, Centerbridge Partners

Jeff Gennette, Chairman & CEO, Macy’s, Inc.

Eric Gertler, Executive Chairman, U.S. News & World Report

Dave Gilboa, Co-Founder & Co-CEO, Warby Parker

MaryAnne Gilmartin, Chief Executive Officer, L&L MAG

Daniel Glaser, President & CEO, Marsh & McLennan Companies, Inc.

Barry M. Gosin, Chief Executive Officer, Newmark Knight Frank

Jonathan N. Grayer, Chairman & CEO, Weld North LLC

Logan Green, Co-Founder & CEO, Lyft

Kelly Grier, U.S Chairman & Americas Managing Partner, Ernst & Young LLP

Robin Hayes, Chief Executive Officer, JetBlue Airways Corporation

Brian T. Horey, President, Aurelian Management

Joseph Ianniello, President, CBS Corporation

Frederick J. Iseman, Chairman & CEO, CI Capital Partners LLC

Kenneth M. Jacobs, Chairman & CEO, Lazard Ltd

Brad S. Karp, Chair, Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP

Jeremy M. Kroll, Co-Founder & CEO, K2 Intelligence

William P. Lauder, Executive Chairman, The Estée Lauder Companies, Inc.

Joseph M. Leccese, Chairman of the Firm, Proskauer

Joey Levin, Chief Executive Officer, IAC

Martin Lipton, Senior Partner, Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz

Howard W. Lutnick, Chairman & CEO, Cantor Fitzgerald L.P.

Vikram Malhotra, Chairman of the Americas, McKinsey & Company, Inc.

Anthony E. Mann, President & CEO, E-J Electric Installation Co.

Donald B. Marron, Chairman, Lightyear Capital

Peter W. May, President & Founding Partner, Trian Partners

John McAvoy, Chairman, President & CEO, Con Edison, Inc.

Charles R. McCall, Chief Executive Officer, Astoria Energy II LLC &, Astoria Energy LLC

Heidi Messer, Co-Founder & Chairman, Collective[i]

Edward J. Minskoff, President, Edward J. Minskoff Equities, Inc.

Ken Moelis, Chairman and CEO, Moelis & Company

Greg Mondre, Managing Partner & Managing Director, Silver Lake

Deanna M. Mulligan, President & CEO, The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America

Kentaro Okuda, President & CEO, Nomura Holding America Inc.

Jon Oringer, Founder & CEO, Shutterstock, Inc.

Mark Pearson, Chairman & CEO, AXA Equitable Life

Charles E. Phillips, Jr., Chief Executive Officer, Infor

Scott Powell, Chief Executive Officer, Santander US

Deirdre Quinn, Co-Founder & CEO, Lafayette 148 New York

Steven L. Rattner, Chairman, Willett Advisors LLC

Scott H. Rechler, Chairman & CEO, RXR Realty LLC

Thomas J. Reid, Managing Partner, Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP

James D. Robinson, III, Co-Founder & General Partner, RRE Ventures

Michael I. Roth, Chairman & CEO, Interpublic Group

Steven Rubenstein, President, Rubenstein Communications, Inc.

William C. Rudin, Co-Chairman & CEO, Rudin Management Company, Inc.

Kevin P. Ryan, Chairman & Founder, Zola, Workframe, Nomad Health, MongoDB, Inc.

Timothy Ryan, U.S. Chairman & Senior Partner, PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLP

Faiza Saeed, Presiding Partner, Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP

Scott Salmirs, President & CEO, ABM Industries Inc.

Charles Scharf, Chairman & CEO, BNY Mellon

Michael Schmidtberger, Partner & Chair of the Executive Committee, Sidley Austin LLP

Alan D. Schnitzer, Chairman & CEO, The Travelers Companies, Inc.

Alan D. Schwartz, Executive Chairman, Guggenheim Partners, LLC

Stephen A. Schwarzman, Chairman, CEO & Co-Founder, Blackstone

Tarek Sherif, Chairman & CEO, Medidata Solutions, Inc.

Jonathan Silvan, Chief Executive Officer, Global Strategy Group, LLC

Larry A. Silverstein, Chairman, Silverstein Properties, Inc.

David M. Solomon, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, Goldman Sachs & Co.

Rob Speyer, President & CEO, Tishman Speyer

Stephen Squeri, Chairman & CEO, American Express Company

Arthur P. Steinmetz, Chairman & CEO, OppenheimerFunds, Inc.

Steven R. Swartz, President & CEO, Hearst

Mary Ann Tighe, Chief Executive Officer, NY Tri-State Region, CBRE, Inc.

Daniel R. Tishman, Vice Chairman, AECOM & Principal, Tishman Realty

Paul Todd, Chief Executive Officer, GLG

Bridget van Kralingen, Senior Vice President, Global Industries, Platforms & Blockchain, IBM Corporation

George H. Walker, Chairman & CEO, Neuberger Berman Group LLC

David R. Weinreb, Chief Executive Officer, The Howard Hughes Corporation

Charles Weinstein, Chief Executive Officer, EisnerAmper LLP

Robert Wolf, Chief Executive Officer, 32 Advisors, LLC

Kathryn S. Wylde, President & CEO, Partnership for New York City

Brett Yormark, Chief Executive Officer, BSE Global

Strauss Zelnick, Partner, ZMC

John Zimmer, Co-Founder & President, Lyft

Diverse Leaders Urge Amazon to Reconsider New York

Resource Type: News, Press Releases

Today, a diverse group of business, labor and civic leaders issued an open letter to Amazon Chief Executive Jeff Bezos in The New York Times, urging the company not to abandon plans to build a new headquarters in Long Island City, Queens. Signatories argued that the majority of New Yorkers are eager to see Amazon and other tech companies invest and create jobs in the state join Governor Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio in the commitment to support Amazon and the tech industry more generally as a valued contributor to the statewide economy. The letter was organized by the Partnership for New York City, a nonprofit organization whose members include major employers and business leaders.

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Response to Governor Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio’s 10-Point Plan to Transform and Fund the MTA

Resource Type: News, Statements

“The region ‘s future economic health requires a modern, well-functioning transportation system, including elimination of excess traffic congestion and reform of the MTA. Agreement between the governor and mayor is a breakthrough and we look to the legislature to approve this package so that this essential work can proceed,” said Kathryn Wylde, President and CEO of the Partnership for New York City.