“How can anyone be surprised? We competed successfully, made a deal and spent the last three months trashing our new partner. The reception Amazon received sent a terrible message to the job creators of the city and the world.”
“The business community welcomes Governor Cuomo’s willingness to take on the challenge of fixing and adequately funding our mass transit system. Traffic congestion costs the region over $20 billion per year and contributes to pollution and global warming. Revenues from congestion pricing are needed to fund modernization of the subway, bus and commuter rail system and to ensure that New York remains a thriving global city,” said Kathryn Wylde, President & CEO of the Partnership for New York City.
Today, the Partnership for New York City submitted testimony to the New York City Council Committee on Transportation regarding electric bicycles and scooters.
Thank you Chair Rodriguez and members of the committee for the opportunity to submit testimony on electric bicycles and scooters. 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 enhance the economy of the five boroughs of New York City.
Excess traffic congestion is a serious problem in the city, clogging our streets and highways and resulting in more than $20 billion a year in economic losses and increased expenses. The Partnership supports efforts to reduce congestion, including the proposed congestion pricing district in Manhattan and improved public transportation options. We have also been early supporters of bike share and the creation of bike lanes to encourage a safe alternative for getting around the city.
We are very concerned, however, with the move to legalize electric bicycles and e-scooters in the city. Reports from our members who operate businesses in other cities that have been early movers in legalizing or not enforcing laws against these newly popular options for getting around the city are that they are dangerous and disruptive in a dense urban environment.
We conclude that New York City should not move forward with legalization without in depth analysis of the possible consequences and investment in infrastructure that will ensure the safety of riders and pedestrians. Space on city streets and sidewalks is at a premium. Certainly in the Manhattan Central Business District, no additional alternative equipment should be permitted until we see the impact of congestion pricing, which will be 2021 at the earliest. Current conditions simply cannot safely accommodate e-bikes and scooters.
Deterioration of our city’s mass transit system has stimulated interest in alternative ways to get around, but these alternatives bring with them new challenges. We should all be focused on fixing the bus and subway system, rather than the distractions of accommodating new modes of transport. We urge the City Council to slow down the process and work with the city Department of Transportation on a comprehensive plan to address concerns about these vehicles and ensure the safety of all of our citizen.
Kathryn Wylde, President & CEO of the Partnership for New York City
“Today’s ruling from the Appellate Division of the New York State Supreme Court that effectively bans title insurance companies from passing along lavish expenses to consumers is a victory for New York residents and businesses,” said Kathryn Wylde, President and CEO of the Partnership for New York City. “The State Department of Financial Services, particularly outgoing commissioner Maria Vullo, has been diligent in protecting consumers against the excesses of the politically influential title insurance industry, for which she deserves a lot of credit.”
“The business community shares Governor Cuomo’s frustration with the MTA. Its governance is structurally flawed with layers of bureaucracy and built-in political intervention that make good management impossible, no matter how talented its executive staff and labor force,” said Kathryn Wylde, President and CEO of the Partnership for New York City. “We support the Governor’s call for MTA reform to achieve a more efficient and higher performing transit system. We also support congestion pricing in the Manhattan central business district with tolls dedicated to regional transit. Excess traffic congestion costs the region over $20 billion a year, so the combination of reduced traffic and better transit are a winning formula for New York.”
Today, the Partnership for New York City issued a memorandum in support of the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act (GENDA), introduced by Assembly Member Gottfried and Senator Hoylman. Gender variant individuals face discrimination ranging from housing to health care, as well as harassment and violence in many aspects of their lives. They deserve the same protections in New York that many employers and other states, including California, Connecticut, Iowa, Nevada and New Jersey, already provide. Safeguarding basic human and civil rights for gender variant individuals is critical to maintaining New York’s competitiveness as a global economic and cultural hub—one that thrives as a result of its diverse citizens and workforce.
To read the full memorandum, click here.
“Mayor de Blasio’s proposal to force businesses in the city to give two weeks of paid vacation to every employee is another example of municipal overreach into the city’s private sector economy,” said Kathryn Wylde, President and CEO of the Partnership for New York City. “Most New York City employers are doing whatever they can to attract and keep good workers and do not need the government dictating their benefit policies. New York is already the highest cost city in the country, where entrepreneurs are struggling to survive. More than a third of the businesses that would be most threatened by this new mandate are owned by immigrants, a group that the Mayor champions. Many are struggling retailers, who are facing rising rents and online competition. This proposal sends a discouraging message to the entrepreneurs who are already contributing so much to our city’s tax rolls and employment opportunities and the City Council should reject it.”
This article appeared in the November issue of Institutional Investor.
There is seemingly no end to the phenomenon that is fintech. At $57.9 billion in the first half of 2018, global venture capital, private equity, and mergers and acquisitions investments in the financial technology sector exceeded the full-year 2017 total by more than $10 billion, according to KPMG.
Simply put, this spells opportunity for the financiers and other transaction facilitators in Institutional Investor’s fourth annual Fintech Finance 40 ranking.
Maria Gotsch, President and Chief Executive Officer, Partnership Fund for New York City (Previously ranked: 13)
There were no Silicon Valley–like support systems for financial technologies when New York’s FinTech Innovation Lab started up in 2010. The pioneering ecosystem of entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, and financial institutions sprang from a proposal by Robert Gach of consulting firm Accenture and Maria Gotsch, president and CEO of the Partnership Fund for New York City. The fund, founded in 1996 by KKR & Co.’s Henry Kravis and headed since 2000 by Gotsch, is the investment arm of the Partnership for New York City, which in an earlier incarnation was the chamber of commerce.
Investing to promote growth in the local economy, the $160 million Partnership Fund is only partially deployed in fintech. And Gotsch, 52, oversees other initiatives, including a health innovation accelerator and a high-tech seed financing vehicle. But as far as New York’s financial community is concerned, the FinTech Innovation Lab is her claim to fame. The lab’s 58 alumni start-ups have raised $790 million in capital, and Accenture has launched similar programs in London, Dublin, and Hong Kong.
Executives from 25 major financial firms — including, for the first time, eight insurance companies supporting the New York lab’s new insuretech track — selected 11 start-ups for the 12-week intensive program leading up to the June 2018 demo day, when the entrepreneurs presented their work to investors and others in the financial community. The start-ups included Habit (behavioral data aggregation) and Virtualitics (machine-learning-driven data analytics).
“Amazon is the first tech mega company headquarters to locate in New York City and, as such, it is a breakthrough event that will solidify the city ‘s future as a leader in the world’s fastest growing industry. The decision to locate in Queens is also an important statement about how our city economy is diversifying and expanding job opportunities across the five boroughs,” said Kathryn Wylde, President and CEO of the Partnership for New York City.
Today, the Partnership for New York City submitted the following testimony to the New York City Council Committee on Housing and Buildings on Int. 1004, which would establish a demonstration program to facilitate the creation and alteration of habitable apartments in basements and cellars of certain one- and two-family dwellings.
Thank you Chair Cornegy and members of the committee for the opportunity to testify on Int. 1004, a bill that would authorize a pilot program in East New York to facilitate the creation and alteration of habitable apartments in basements and cellars of certain one- and two-family dwellings. 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 enhance the economy of the five boroughs of New York City.
The Partnership played a historic role in affordable homeownership development in communities across the five boroughs during the 1980s and 1990s. We understand community concerns about overcrowding, safety and excess demand on neighborhood services that are frequent objections to the legalization of basement apartments. This pilot project is an excellent way to construct a program that addresses those concerns and allows the city to develop a prototype that can be scaled to create thousands of new housing units and provide extra income for large numbers of homeowners, especially seniors who are struggling to maintain their homes.
We urge the Council to pass Int. 1004. With a vacancy rate of only 3.63 percent, New York City suffers from a shortage of housing. This is especially true for affordable housing. In 2017, the vacancy rate for low-rent housing was just 1.15 percent and one-third of households had to pay 50 percent or more of their income for rent. Many New Yorkers pay too much for illegal, overcrowded housing units.
New York City desperately needs to add new housing to address these problems and legalizing basement apartments is a promising resource. One estimate suggests that tens of thousands of basement apartments could be legalized with simple changes to codes. This would provide additional housing supply while also reducing the dangers caused by illegal and substandard housing. Other cities, including San Francisco and Boston, facing the same housing shortage and affordability problems are using this strategy.
The demonstration program that would be authorized by Int. 1004 is a good start. The Partnership urges the city to enact this law, to evaluate and learn from the pilot program and to use the experience to push for permanent changes that would encourage further development of these units on existing properties that are currently underutilized.