One City/One Future was the product of four years of collaboration between the Pratt Center, the National Employment Law Project, and New York Jobs with Justice, and dozens of other groups in New York City seeking to make economic development programs and policies work to strengthen New York City’s neighborhoods and provide better opportunities for New Yorkers. The partnership included community-based organizations, labor unions, policy groups, environmentalists, community development corporations, and other advocates seeking to make economic growth work for all New Yorkers.
One City/One Future began in 2005 with a series of conversations among dozens of organizations grappling with the effects of growth and development in their neighborhoods. These conversations quickly revealed a set of common challenges facing communities across the city.
Over the next three years, organizations came together for a series of issue education sessions, community forums on subsidy accountability and on Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s PlaNYC 2030, shared research of development practice in other cities, and conversations about what was working (and what wasn’t) for neighborhoods and organizations around the city. A shared vision began to emerge for how New York City’s economic development policies can build more widely shared prosperity.
Stakeholders in One City/One Future stressed the need for a policy blueprint that could make this vision a reality. Six policy working groups then began to map out how the city could more effectively address jobs, housing, social infrastructure, economic security, workforce development, and the environment. More than 160 staff, board members, and volunteers from 100 organizations participated, developing 250 separate policy proposals — and then testing, refining, and prioritizing the recommendations. Over 200 people took part in a half-day discussion to align the blueprint with the realities they see in their own communities.
The One City/One Future Blueprint for Growth that Works for all New Yorkers offers 54 policy measures that New York City could take to ensure that the city’s future growth and development would result in affordable housing, good jobs, livable neighborhoods, and environmental sustainability. It looks at models from around the country, and examines how New York’s economic development policies, even during recent times of prosperity, have led to declining wages, unaffordable housing, and less livable neighborhoods.
The recommendations for policies followed three fundamental strategies:
- Raise the Standards: Government should set clear standards for economic activity in New York City, especially activity that benefits from public spending or actions. Meeting these standards -- whether they concern the quality of jobs created or the environmental sustainability of new buildings -- must be a prerequisite for anyone doing business with the city.
- Invest for Shared Growth: The city and state currently spend billions keeping New York's economy humming. These investments in housing, transportation, and employment need to be designed and managed with the explicit objective of improving opportunity and strengthening neighborhoods.
- Reform the Process: Planning and development must take place in an open and democratic environment, in which communities and the city work as partners, not adversaries, with the objective of building a prosperous city on the strength of livable neighborhoods.
The document was designed to build consensus around economic development policy priorities, serve as a resource for neighborhood and citywide advocacy campaigns, and put the urgent need for the reform of city and state economic policies on the agenda for New York City’s 2009 elections. It was intended for use by elected officials, civic leaders, advocacy groups, policy researchers, concerned citizens, and anyone else looking for a healthier approach to economic development — one that builds a more economically prosperous and environmentally sustainable city.
One City/One Future Endorsers
Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation
Bronx Initiative for Energy and the Environment
Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation
Center for New York City Neighborhoods
Center for Working Families
Church of St Paul & St Andrew
Community-Based Planning Task Force
Community Service Society
Cypress Hills Local DevelopmentCorporation
Domestic Workers United
Drum Major Institutue
Fifth Avenue Committee
Fiscal Policy Institute
Garment Industry Development Corporation
Good Jobs New York
Hotel & Motel Trades Council
Housing Here & Now
Insight Center for Community EconomicDevelopment
Judson Memorial Church
LaLuna Consulting Services
Mason Tenders District Council PAC
Metro NY Healthcare for All
Morningside Heights/West Harlem Recycling Coalition
Myrtle Avenue Brooklyn Partnership
Neighborhood Economic Development Advocacy Project
New Immigrant CommunityEmpowerment
New York City District Council of Carpenters
New York Immigration Coalition
New York Industrial Retention Network
New York Lawyers for the Public Interest
NYC Employment & Training Coalition
NYC Environmental Justice Coalition
Pratt Area Community Council
Queens Community House
Right to the City
CAAAV: Organizing Asian Communities
Community Voices Heard
Center for Social Inclusion
Families United for Racial and Economic Equality
Good Old Lower East Side
Jews for Racial & EconomicJustice
Make the Road New York
Mothers on the Move
NYC AIDS Housing Network
VOCAL NY Users Union
Picture the Homeless
Tenants & Neighbors
UNO of St. Nicholas CDC
Urban Justice Center
WE ACT for Environmental Justice
Restaurant Opportunities Center-NY
Retail, Wholesale, and DepartmentStore Union
Service Employees International Union, Local 32BJ
South Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation
St. Nicholas Neighborhood Preservation Corp.
United Food and Commercial Workers, Local 1500
Women’s Housing & EconomicDevelopment Corporation
Youth Ministries for Peace & Justice