As we hope to bring New Yorkers and visitors back to our districts, the city needs a comprehensive plan to bring safety and cleanliness back to our subways and our streets.
Accordingly, the Times Square Alliance has partnered with East Midtown Partnership, Fifth Avenue Association, Garment District Alliance, Grand Central Partnership, Hudson Yards Hell's Kitchen Alliance, and Madison Avenue BID to create the Midtown BID Coalition. As a coalition, we offer our City and State governments support and partnership to address the seriousness of our public safety and quality of life challenges in our neighborhoods.
The Midtown BID Coalition’s advocacy goal is safety and justice for all New Yorkers by ensuring that the tools for law enforcement AND programs that address the root causes of crime, including mental illness and addiction, are supported and fully funded.
The Midtown BID Coalition's five-point plan is a balanced solution to the public space challenges we face in our city:
- Increase Supportive Housing: Allocate State resources to develop an effective assessment process and increased housing capacity so that individuals in crisis can be quickly provided with appropriate supportive settings.
- Adequately Fund City & State Services for the Mentally Ill: Increase state funding for psychiatric beds in accordance with fair share principles and community engagement, and for proactive outreach services with the ability to place those in need in an institutional setting. Develop a new model for drug dependency treatment which includes a mandatory placement component for individuals endangering themselves and others that is not solely reliant upon providing free methadone, needles, and injection sites.
- Discharge Planning for the Incarcerated: Work with the State parole system to develop and fully fund an informed re-entry plan for those being released from incarceration and foster care beyond just dropping them into the homeless shelter system.
- Judicial Discretion: Provide judges with more flexible guidelines that reflect standards of social justice and practical impact when dealing with repeat offenders and individuals who have an established record of being a threat to the community. Revisit discovery rules to adequately protect victims and witnesses.
- Support the Return of Tourism: Increase State funding for tourism promotions to market New York City as a post-pandemic travel destination. Connect New York City and New York State educational institutions like CUNY and SUNY with industry partners to create a tourism jobs pipeline.
Governor Hochul's recently released Public Safety Plan incorporates many of our points. It is important that the New York State Legislate hear from those who care deeply about creating a safer Midtown. If you support including this plan in the upcoming New York State budget, please contact New York Assembly Speaker Carl E. Heastie and New York Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins.