January 4, 2017
By NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer
New York, NY – Every New Yorker deserves a fair and fighting chance to make it in our City. This past year, we’ve no doubt worked to make that a reality. It’s our goal to make government perform better for New Yorkers, and in 2016, we’ve helped moved the ball forward.
We released a comprehensive plan to help New Yorkers save for retirement, identified ways to cut the red tape foisted on our small businesses, boosted diversity in corporate boardrooms, and issued 73 audits and special reports to strengthen the performance of City government.
We have a homeless crisis that’s spiraling out of control – and we’ve provided real solutions to help solve it. We identified more than 1,100 vacant, City-owned lots that could be used to build the next generation of affordable housing. According to our analysis, through a land bank, these empty properties could create 57,000 permanently affordable apartments.
We also focused on children, particularly our most vulnerable. We exposed horrific conditions in homeless shelters for families with kids, inadequate child abuse investigations at the Administration for Children’s Services, missing water lead tests at daycare centers, dangerous, unregulated child care centers for homeless families, and deteriorating conditions at NYCHA developments.
We’re going to keep pressing forward for change in the coming months and years.
During 2016, my office also doubled down on its enforcement of the prevailing wage, recovering more than $10 million from companies that cheated workers out of the dollars they deserved. In one unforgettable story, a chance encounter in a cab ride led to four immigrant New Yorkers receiving $200,000 that they had been owed for decades.
And my office continued to fight for Minority- and Women-Owned Businesses, issuing a report that found just 4.8 percent of the City’s $15.3 billion procurement budget went to these businesses – a smaller portion than in recent years. We found that companies owned by women and minorities still aren’t getting a fair shot – and that needs to change. If we want to ensure local wealth creation, we must give every small business a chance to compete for a slice of the pie.
There’s much more work to be done next year. In November, my office released an analysis that outlined how Donald Trump’s presidency could threaten billions of dollars in Federal funding that our City receives annually. From programs that keep thousands of New Yorkers in affordable apartments to funding for the NYPD’s counter-terrorism unit, we could see dramatic cuts from the new White House.
We’re no doubt going to continue to remain vigilant. We must make New York a fairer place.