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Is This The Real Life, Is This Just Fantasy?

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March 18, 2019

City Hall – On Monday, Council Member Vallone joined Council Member Ritchie Torres to Co-Chair a hearing of the Economic Development and Oversight and Investigations Committees focused on dissecting the Mayor’s New York Works Jobs Plan. Since the plan was announced two years ago, there have been concerns about whether the Administration would be tracking job creation and the lack of a defined outline for how low income New Yorkers would be able to obtain access to these jobs. James Patchett, President of the Economic Development Corporation (EDC) was present at the hearing to address these concerns. 

“We just had a hearing on the progress of a jobs plan that revealed that there is no conclusive data on the jobs created by that plan,” said Council Member Vallone. “How can we rely on projections and job pathways when there is no tracking to ensure that they actually materialize into real jobs for New Yorkers?”

During questioning by Council Members Vallone and Torres, it became clear that the Administration lacks a proper tracking methodology. Instead, estimates and projections have been provided in annual updates in lieu of reliable data on job creation. The numbers released are also artificially bolstered by the practice of counting jobs before they actually materialize. When the city takes an action aimed at creating jobs, such as funding a new initiative or development, estimates of the number of jobs that will be created are considered as actual jobs for data purposes. 

After further testimony, detailing where the three thousand jobs that this plan has created so far have come from, Council Member Vallone also called into question the how this plan is anything more than a repackaged aggregation of the work that EDC has already been doing. 

“It seems like the Mayor is simply taking existing work that EDC has done for our city, and rebranding it as a plan for middle class jobs,” said Council Member Vallone. “We need a clear plan that defines how the City is going to build on the great work that EDC has been doing for years. If this jobs plans had never been announced, these three thousand jobs would have been created anyway. Taking the status quo, putting a mask on it and calling it progress will never be enough for the City Council or our New Yorkers.”

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