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Turning the Tide: How Our Next Mayor Should Tackle Sandy Rebuilding

Turning the Tide: How Our Next Mayor Should Tackle Sandy Rebuilding

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At a time of rising poverty and inequality, the stakes for the future of New York City’s most vulnerable communities—and our next mayor—couldn’t be higher.

$1.7 billion in federal aid dollars have started flowing to New York City (with billions more on the way), and the Bloomberg administration has constructed a blueprint for rebuilding that will redefine the physical infrastructure of our city for a generation. Bloomberg’s blueprint promises to make the City of New York more resilient to future disasters. But “resiliency” must apply not only to physical infrastructure, but also to economic and social infrastructure that can strengthen struggling communities and ready them for future crises. And recovery measures should not replicate the circumstances that made so many New Yorkers so vulnerable in the first place.

Making New York stronger and more resilient for all, and especially for the most vulnerable, is the single most important challenge facing our next mayor. The post-Sandy rebuilding presents an unprecedented opportunity: capturing it will help resolve decades of growing inequality; missing it will cement those inequalities for decades more to come.

The report reflects the input of dozens of grassroots groups working on short-term and long-term rebuilding efforts in the communities hit hardest by Sandy. It lays out a four-point agenda to turn the tide away from inequality towards justice.

Turning the Tide: A Four-Point Agenda for a Just and Equitable Rebuilding in Post-Sandy NYC

1. Our Next Mayor Should Ensure that Sandy Recovery and Rebuilding Dollars Create Thousands of Good Local Jobs

2. Our Next Mayor Should Restore Lost Affordable Housing, and Create New Affordable Housing for Displaced Residents to Preserve Community Ties

3. Our Next Mayor Should Invest in Clean, Sustainable Energy Infrastructure that Values Communities and is Accountable to the Public

4. Our Next Mayor Should Include and Engage Communities in Sandy Recovery –and in Planning NYC’s Future


At issue is how every Sandy rebuilding dollar that comes into the City – totaling many billions – can prioritize equity, opportunity, and justice; and why major new policies and investments in good jobs, affordable housing, sustainable energy, and community engagement should ensure that all New Yorkers can live and work in strong, resilient communities that can withstand future storms and disasters.