Policy & Initiatives

The Manhattan Borough President’s Office works on many initiatives – some big and some seemingly small, and yet all important in maintaining and improving our quality of life here in Manhattan. Check back often and see the progress we are making. We’re always updating our site to give you the latest information.

Composting
In February 2012, I had the privilege to work with the Department of Education and parents from eight District 3 public schools to pilot what has grown to become the NYC Organics Collection Program. By collecting food scraps from leftover lunches and replacing Styfofoam trays with biodegradable materials, we were able to reduce the volume of cafeteria garbage by 85%. That’s 450 pounds of food waste diverted from landfills per day. As a result of this program’s success, GrowNYC and the Department of Sanitation began collecting food scraps for composting at NYC farmers markets and residential buildings. Keep Reading…

Fresh Food for Seniors
As a member of City Council, I helped launch the “West Side Senior Supported Agriculture” program in 2012, partnering with GrowNYC, the Department for the Aging, and more than a dozen senior centers to deliver fresh and delicious fruit and vegetables grown right here in our area – at just $8 a bag! As Borough President, I’ve joined with my successor, Helen Rosenthal and expanded the program, renamed “Fresh Food for Seniors,” to include Councilmember Corey Johnson‘s district which includes Clinton, Chelsea, and the West Village.Keep Reading…

Local Sourcing
New York City residents are fortunate to have access to locally sourced produce and dairy products from New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. Our home state, however, is making a substantial push to encourage government agencies at all levels to buy local—a move that will provide New Yorkers healthier food options and city agencies greater cost savings.I firmly believe that knowing where your food comes from and how it is grown is an important part of healthy living.Keep Reading…

Paid Sick Leave
The 2014 passage of New York City’s Earned Sick Time Act—known widely as the Paid Sick Leave Law—is a major victory for city workers, stemming from legislation I introduced and championed as a member of the City Council. Because of this law, the city’s 3.4 million private-sector workers now have the fundamental right to a paid day off when they or a family member falls ill. This includes 1.2 million workers who had no access to paid sick time prior to the original law’s passage. Keep Reading…

Storefronters Campaign: Protecting Manhattan’s Small Businesses
It’s never been easy for a small business to make it in Manhattan, but the current real estate market is making it doubly and triply hard for even the most amazing entrepreneurs to stay afloat. The Manhattan Borough President’s Storefronter Campaign aims to help owners of Manhattan’s street-level retail stores and restaurants—what we call “storefronters”—survive and thrive. Whether you’re an established owner or a potential entrepreneur, we want to help you avoid pitfalls and make the connections that can help your business take off. Keep Reading…

Summer Meals for Kids
The New York City Department of Education serves over 700,000 free meals to children every day during the school year. These meals, which include breakfast and lunch, are vital to families struggling to keep their children fed and healthy. But what happens when school lets out for the summer? Many eligible families don’t know about the federally funded Summer Meals Program offered across the city. This crucial resource provides free, nutritious breakfasts and lunches to children 18 and younger at convenient sites across the city – with the added benefit of seven-day services and four mobile food trucks. Keep Reading…

Traffic Congestion
Traffic congestion in Manhattan is nothing new. The gridlock that paralyzes our roadways and creates safety issues is, to some degree, a result of our borough’s design: the shortage of north-south avenues has been a factor in motor vehicle congestion for more than 60 years. What is different now, in 2015, is that we have the capacity and commitment to tackle the slew of problems contributing to congestion, which has grown more acute in recent years. Keep Reading…

Urban Agriculture
Manhattan is home to an array of urban plots, hydroponic farms, greenhouses, and more than 170 community gardens. This urban agriculture yields tremendous benefits for our neighborhoods, our economy, and the environment: it teaches valuable skills and sustainably produces fresh, healthy, locally-grown food. Keep Reading…