Adams Administration Launches Citywide ‘NYC Speaks’ Survey Initiative

Eric Adams ‘NYC Speaks’
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NEW YORK (January 14, 2022)--NYC Speaks–the public engagement campaign designed to inform the priorities of newly elected Mayor Eric Adams and his administration– announced today the launch of the first phase of the initiative: a citywide survey that will seek input from New Yorkers about their communities, the issues they face and the future of the city.

The survey, which can be completed at nycspeaks.org, will be open to the public from today through January 28, 2022. The survey asks New Yorkers a variety of questions about topics that concern them such as Health & Well-being, Housing & Neighborhoods, Economy & Workforce, Racial Equity, Gender Justice, Climate & Infrastructure, Education & Youth Development, Public Safety, Arts & Culture, and Civic Engagement. In addition to English, the survey will be available online in the top 10 languages spoken by New Yorkers with limited English proficiency: Spanish, Chinese, Russian, Bengali, Haitian Creole, Korean, Arabic, Urdu, French, and Polish.

NYC Speaks is focusing on driving participation in communities that are too often left out of decision making processes and shaped by disparities. 18 organizations are acting as Community Data Partners, overseeing the work of more than 150 on-the-ground canvassers in the 33 priority neighborhoods identified by the City’s Taskforce on Racial Inclusion and Equity. All canvassing will be done with COVID safety protocols in place, including mandatory masking and social distancing. In addition, NYC Speaks is partnering with elected officials, nonprofits, and other civic organizations across the five boroughs to encourage participation in the survey.

The data from the citywide survey will paint a picture of the state of the city on pressing issues from COVID-19 prevention measures to supporting workers, businesses, and cultural organizations in the recovery. NYC Speaks will compile the data acquired through the survey into a report, which it will deliver to Mayor Adams and his administration in February. The report will also be made available to the public.

In addition to the launch of its survey today, NYC Speaks seeks to engage New Yorkers from every corner of the city through a sustained, months-long effort to gather ideas, concerns and other input through large-scale community discussions and a series of planning workshops designed to convert the ideas gathered throughout this process into tangible government actions. The data gathered by NYC Speaks will be used to collaborate with Mayor Adams’ administration to create a blueprint for the future of the city, complete with concrete priorities, policies and budget items, culminating with the adoption of the FY 2023 City budget in June 2022.

NYC Speaks is an independent initiative funded by the Goodnation Foundation, an IRC 501(c)(3) organization, and managed by HR&A Advisors, a mission-driven, employee-owned urban planning and economic development consulting firm based in NYC. NYC Speaks will partner with a robust network of civic and community-based organizations to co-lead this process. The initiative is also convening philanthropic institutions such as the Ford Foundation, Robin Hood Foundation, Galaxy Gives, Carnegie Corporation of New York, Trinity Church Wall Street Philanthropies, FWD.us, and the New York Women’s Foundation.

“I am proud to support the launch of the NYC Speaks citywide survey,” said Mayor Eric Adams. “NYC Speaks will give everyday New Yorkers from across the five boroughs an opportunity to provide input to my administration on the issues that face their neighborhoods and ways we can address them. I am especially hopeful that this survey will provide those New Yorkers who are too often excluded from the conversation with an opportunity to tell me directly what they think our priorities should be. I urge every New Yorker to complete this survey, have their voice heard, and help shape the future of this great city.”

“The NYC Speaks initiative represents a new way to examine the issues that face our city and how they interact with one another, and I am excited for its launch,” said Sheena Wright, Deputy Mayor for Strategic Initiatives, City of New York. “Our communities are unique, but what we share in common as New Yorkers is what makes this the greatest city in the world. The data gathered through this survey will help our administration learn from its residents and create solutions that work for communities, and I encourage all New Yorkers to take part in it.”

“The NYC Department of Education is excited to partner with NYC Speaks on ‘NYC Youth Speaks’, an integrated but unique component designed to directly engage our young people on their thoughts and ideas to make New York City an even better place,” said Schools Chancellor David C. Banks. “This component will launch in the coming weeks, and I encourage our students to add their voices to this survey, and to talk to their families about participating, as well.”

“Democracy is a team sport! We need all New Yorkers to weigh in on what’s most important to them and their neighbors. This survey is equity-forward – designed to reach communities that are too often excluded from decision-making, either through a failure of outreach or active neglect,” said Betsy MacLean, Senior Advisor, City of New York. “The best data requires the widest range of participation. With that in mind, the NYC Speaks initiative is partnering with community-based organizations – the places that New Yorkers go to and trust - to make participation easier.”

“This is the FUBU of research: for us, by us,” said Dr. Shango Blake, Co-Executive Director of NYC Speaks. EverydayNew Yorkers have been involved in designing these questions so we can learn how we can move our city forward. The data we acquire through this survey will help the Adams administration and its departments guide their policy and budget priorities and better serve the people of this great city. I hope all New Yorkers will not only take our survey but will encourage their friends, family, and neighbors to do so, as well.”

“The surest way for a community to have its voice heard is to participate in the civic process - and the most impactful way for government to act is to be data-driven, especially when that data is community-generated,” said Jose Serrano-McClain, Co-Executive Director of NYC Speaks and Partner at HR&A Advisors. “I encourage all New Yorkers to participate in this survey and be a part of the process as we work to inform the Adams administration, our City Council, Comptroller, and New York’s philanthropic and business community to identify opportunities for bold action to improve every corner of this city.”

“Labor has always been at the forefront of sweeping policy changes in New York City, and the NYC Speaks survey is an opportunity for our working men and women to be a part of these conversations with the incoming Mayor Adams administration,” said Shaun D. Francois I, President, District Council 37. “I encourage my members as well as all of my brothers and sisters in labor to take a few minutes out of their day and participate in this survey, so that we can ensure our voice is at the table and our priorities are given their full consideration.”

“CUNY students are the future leaders of New York City, and it is important that their concerns and priorities are heard loud and clear by our elected officials and policy makers,” said Cory Provost, Interim Chairperson and Vice Chair for Legislative Affairs, CUNY University Student Senate. “All CUNY students should take part in the NYC Speaks survey and take this opportunity to speak to Mayor Adams and his administration about the needs of this city, not only when it comes to higher education but to the wide variety of issues that face them, their families and their communities.”

“We are excited to partner with NYC Speaks as a Community Data Partner to encourage our neighbors in Chinatown to take part in this survey and bring the concerns of Chinatown and the Asian-American community to the forefront of the conversation,” said Karlin Chan, Founder, Chinatown Block Watch. “The Asian and Asian American are among the pillars of this city, and it is vital that we participate in civic initiatives that seek out our voice. I encourage our Asian and Asian American New Yorkers—and in fact all New Yorkers—to participate in the NYC Speaks survey.”

“So much of the work organizations like ours have done over the years would not have been possible without a vibrant, engaged, grassroots populace,” said Jonathan Westin, Executive Director, New York Communities for Change. “The NYC Speaks survey is an opportunity to engage New Yorkers on a granular level to discuss the issues that affect their block, and New York Communities for Change is excited to be a part of the canvassing team that will go out into our neighborhoods, knock on doors and bring some of our most marginalized New Yorkers directly into the policy making process.”

“The hip-hop community has been at the forefront of so many social and cultural movements, and we deserve a seat at the table to discuss the future of New York City,” said Joaquin Dean, CEO & Founder of Ruff Ryders, Inc. “The NYC Speaks survey is an opportunity for the voice of the hip-hop generation to weigh in on the issues that matter to us, and I am especially hopeful that young people—the future of our movement—will take the time to participate in this important initiative.”

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