150 of New York’s biggest businesses send letter to Mayor de Blasio urging him to take action to reopen the city

De Blasio with shield
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio holds a face shield as he speaks to the media during a visit to the Brooklyn Navy Yard where local industrial firms have begun manufacturing Personal Protective Equipment
  • The letter, which includes companies like Warby Parker, Lyft, and Mastercard are calling on Mayor de Blasio to take action to reopen the city, stating that there is widespread anxiety over public safety, cleanliness and other quality of life issues."
  • The letter also included an action plan that was first released in July.
  • New York City will soon allow restaurants to reopen their indoor dining rooms at the end of the month— at 25% capacity and with other restrictions.
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On Thursday, 150 New York businesses wrote a joint letter to Mayor Bill de Blasio asking him to take action to help rebuild the city, warning that "people will be slow to return unless their concerns about security and the livability of our communities are addressed quickly and with respect and fairness for our city's diverse populations."

The letter details that residents, regardless of whether they are currently living in the city or not, are experiencing "widespread anxiety over public safety, cleanliness and other quality of life issues that are contributing to deteriorating conditions in commercial districts and neighborhoods across the five boroughs." The companies included "A Call for Action and Collaboration," which outlines the the impact of coronavirus in the city, and what the government can do to help. 

Signed by some of the biggest businesses in the city, including Goldman Sachs, Mastercard, JetBlue, Vornado Realty and Trust, and Lyft, urged de Blasio to send a "strong, consistent message that our employees, customers, clients and visitors will be coming back to a safe and healthy work environment."

In response to the letter, Bill Neidhardt, spokesman for the mayor, said in a statement provided to The New York Times, "We're grateful for the business community's input, and we'll continue partnering with them to rebuild a fairer, better city ... Let's be clear: We want to restore these services and save jobs, and the most direct way to do that is with long-term borrowing and a federal stimulus. We ask these leaders to join in this fight because the stakes couldn't be higher."

The city is quickly approaching a new reopening milestone. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced on Wednesday that restaurants can reopen their indoor dining rooms at 25% capacity with other restrictions starting September 30. The news comes 300 New York restaurants sued both him and Mayor de Blasio seeking $2 billion in damages saying the ongoing indoor dining ban was "violating their constitutional rights."

In March, New York City became an epicenter for the pandemic, reporting more than 700 deaths some days.

While Gov. Cuomo became a very public face for the pandemic, de Blasio has largely flown under the radar and placed responsibility on residents to help break up large gatherings during the height of the pandemic.

You can read the full letter to de Blasio and the action plan here. 

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