POLITICO NY: De Blasio's jobs plan to be picked apart at Council hearing

De Blasio's jobs plan to be picked apart at Council hearing

By Sally Goldenberg and Laura Nahmias (March 8, 2017)

Mayor Bill de Blasio's job creation plan will be scrutinized at a City Council hearing Wednesday, with elected officials preparing to grill the administration on what has so far been a broad goal with scant details.

De Blasio pledged to create 100,000 private-sector jobs paying at least $50,000 over 10 years during his annual State of the City address last month. Councilman Dan Garodnick, who will chair the budget hearing on the plan, said he would press for more clarity on the mayor's initiative.

The mayor held a press conference after announcing the plan at a site in Sunset Park, Brooklyn that he intends to transform into a campus for fashion and film industries. When asked for a breakdown of the new jobs, he told the press at the time he would release a detailed report in the coming months.

"I heard it in the speech and it felt light on details. And I think the Council should pursue greater clarity here," Garodnick said in a phone interview Tuesday. "I want to give them a chance to explain what this plan is and how they're going to get there."

Cititg city economic data and what he's heard so far from the mayor's office, Garodnick wrote, "I do not yet see where the additional 100,000 permanent jobs will come from."

Garodnick sent a letter Tuesday to Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development Alicia Glen laying out questions he plans to ask city officials who attend Wednesday's hearing. He wants the agency to provide a detailed breakdown of the intended jobs, since the mayor's initial accounting only totaled 23,500 — 10,000 provided by the expansion of the Brooklyn Navy Yard; 9,000 from a new life sciences program; 3,000 from a "green jobs" training program; and another 1,500 at the new fashion and film hub in Sunset Park.

City Hall later said another 28,000 jobs would be created through the planned rezoning of East Midtown and 1,110 would come from the expanded Brooklyn Army Terminal. Garodnick said the rezoning has yet to be approved, though it appears it will be, and jobs spurred from it would not necessarily be created within 10 years.

Garodnick said he also wants to know where the jobs will be located, whether they would require college or high school degrees and how the city would ensure they pay at least $50,000, as promised. And he said construction jobs, which are temporary, should not be counted toward the mayor's total.

On top of the mayor's promises, the city's economy is already on pace to create the jobs de Blasio announced without government intervention, according to statistics from City Comptroller Scott Stringer.

De Blasio spokeswoman Melissa Grace responded to the Councilman's skepticism by discussing the mayor's accomplishments, without offering any specifics on his job plan.

"Mayor de Blasio has committed to creating 100,000 quality jobs over the next decade, focusing on industries like innovation, health care, and manufacturing. We will use every tool at our disposal to create those jobs - from activating City owned assets like the Made in NY campus, to using tax incentives to create new lab space for life science jobs," she said in an emailed statement.

"From delivering Pre-K for All, to breaking records building and protecting affordable housing, this administration delivers on its promises," she added.

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