About Toward a 21st Century City for All

The 2013 mayoral election is a critical opportunity for NYC to ensure that equality, opportunity, and inclusion are central features in how our city is governed. To this end, we have convened a process to develop an inclusive policy vision for the city and to form a diverse network of stakeholders to help make it real.

The project has engaged leaders from diverse communities to air their views about these issues, discuss their differences, and move towards a shared policy framework for governing the city toward more broadly shared prosperity. We commissioned a series of working papers, beginning with core principles, and then moving on to key issues. These papers were discussed and critiqued by community, non-profit, business and government leaders through a series of a dozen public sessions between September 2012 and April 2013, and will be published as a book in June 2013. 

These papers seek to provide durable, idea-based guidelines for the next administration's efforts to address the city's most pressing problems.

Key themes in the papers include promoting economic growth in a way that better shares benefits with low-income, working-, and middle-class New Yorkers; using policy to lift quality-of-life for all and reduce the level of misery in the city; and, broadening civic and political participation so that city government responds to all its constituents. These papers seek to illuminate paths to a better city for all and provide fruitful ground for the debate leading up to the elections.

A Vision for a 21st Century City for All

The Mayoral election of November 2013 presents New Yorkers with a critical turning point and an important opportunity. For the first time since 2001 – and only the second time since 1977 – it is an open seat, with no incumbent will be running for reelection. As a result, it opens the political space for defining the future of governance in New York City wider than at any time in the previous decade. This has drawn many candidates into the fray on both the Democratic and Republican sides, as well as a nominee from the Independence Party. Given the size of his legacy, the election will naturally be framed partly around what Mayor Michael Bloomberg and his administration have achieved in the last twelve years – but it will prompt us to ask how we should move beyond that legaciy as well as what we should maintain and extend from it. It will also, we hope, permit the citizens of New York City to resurface issues, concerns, and interests that have not received due attention — especially the issues of equity and inclusion.

Read the full vision paper

Support For The Project

We are deeply grateful for financial support from the Brooklyn Community Foundation, the Charles H. Revson Foundation, the J. M. Kaplan Fund, the New York Foundation, the Open Society Foundations, the Robert Sterling Clark Foundation, and the Scherman Foundation. The opinions expressed in this work are solely those of the authors and do not represent those of the funders, The Graduate Center, or the City University of New York.

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