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Thursday, March 31, 2022

Philippines Calls for the Immediate Conclusion of Agreement on Marine Biodiversity in the High Seas

Assistant Secretary Maria Angela A. Ponce urged UN member states to complete the final text of the agreement within the year given the dire state of the high seas.

 - The Philippines stressed the urgent need for a global regime to conserve and sustainably use marine biological diversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction during the fourth Intergovernmental Conference on an international legally binding instrument under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction (BBNJ). The conference was held on 7-18 March 2022, in the United Nations Headquarters, New York.

According to the Ambassador Enrique A. Manalo, Permanent Representative of the Philippines to the United Nations in New York and head of the Philippine Delegation, the continued exploitation of resources in the areas beyond national jurisdiction (ABNJ) threatens the whole marine ecosystem. He said that the international legally binding agreement on the BBNJ being negotiated under the United Nations auspices could bring marine areas beyond national jurisdiction under common management and monitoring. The instrument is expected to address marine environmental degradation and climate change-related impacts on marine biodiversity.

Ambassador Enrique A. Manalo leads the Philippine delegation at the fourth Intergovernmental Conference on an international legally binding instrument on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction.

In her statement at the conference, Foreign Affairs Assistant Secretary for Maritime and Ocean Affairs Office (MOAO) Maria Angela A. Ponce joined many delegations in supporting the immediate conclusion of the agreement as part of the global action to address pressures on the world’s oceans. Addressing the president of the Conference, Ambassador Rena Lee, Assistant Secretary Ponce expressed support “for the way forward” the president provided, particularly on the convening of IGC5 in August 2022 and looked forward to the conclusion of the agreement.

“The urgency of protecting our high seas and its resources is rising. 2022 is after all a special year, for it is the 40th Anniversary of UNCLOS, the foundation upon which this agreement is anchored. We hope that in the spirit of that, we will be able, in August, to reach convergence on all points and come to a final text,” Assistant Secretary Ponce said.

The Philippine delegation to the fourth session of the Intergovernmental Conference on an international legally binding instrument under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea on the marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction is composed of officials from the DFA, DENR, and DA.

In the course of the negotiations, the Philippines underlined the principle of the common heritage of mankind to guide the new legal regime for BBNJ and stressed the importance of giving due regard to the rights and jurisdiction of adjacent coastal States. The Philippines highlighted the special recognition that must be accorded to archipelagic States. The unique geography of the Philippines as an archipelagic State makes the country entirely dependent on the sea, and the country’s ecosystem is affected by changes in the larger ocean ecology. Thus, preferential treatment, such as access to capacity building and transfer of marine technology, must be taken into consideration by the instrument.

The Philippine delegation was composed of representatives from the Department of Foreign of Foreign Affairs (DFA), the Department of Agriculture (DA) – Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), DA – Philippine Council for Agriculture and Fisheries (PCAF), Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), DENR – Biodiversity Management Bureau (BMB), and DENR – Environment Management Bureau (EMB).


US Filipinos Call for Clean & Credible Philippine Elections; Jillian Robredo & Frankie Pangilinan Spoke at Rally in New York City

Jillian Robredo addressing the crowd at Bryant Park (Photo by Marion Aguas)

New York City—A diverse coalition of over ten organizations galvanized an estimated 700 people in a Walk for Democracy earlier Sunday morning, March 27 in broad opposition to the Marcos-Duterte tandem. Organizers said the activity was “a show of our resolute unity to send a strong message that we demand a clean and honest election in the Philippines this coming May 2022.” 

Endorsing organizations included 1Sambayan USA - Northeast, Bagong Alyansang Makabayan USA - Northeast, Filipino Migrants for Leni Kiko, Global Filipinos for Leni, Malaya Movement NJ Chapter, Malaya Movement NY Chapter, Solid Leni Kiko Global, Team Leni Robredo Pinoys NYC, United Filipinos for Leni North America, and Young Global Filipinos for Leni.

Estimated 700 Filipinos march along 42nd street towards the Philippine Consulate (Photo by Marion Aguas)

The crowd, consisting largely of supporters of candidates Leni Robredo and Kiko Pangilinan, convened at 10AM in Bryant Park in Midtown Manhattan before marching to the Philippine Consulate General at 11AM. Frankie Pangilinan, daughter of vice-presidential candidate Sen. Kiko Pangilinan, spoke to the crowd, saying, “Nandirito po tayong lahat (We are all here) because we would like to better the social, economic, and political conditions back in our homeland, the Philippines…In the dark era of disinformation, fake news, and manufactured truths, we would like to call on the Commission on Elections of the Philippines…to have honest, clean, orderly, peaceful, and credible elections that we as a people can trust. This is a democracy and we will defend it…But freedom and democracy is not…hindi po yan minamana (these are not inherited). Pinaglalabanan po yan. (They must be fought for.) It’s a continuous fight, walang katapusan po ang laban. (The fight never ends.)”

Jillian Robredo, youngest daughter of presidential candidate and current Vice President Leni Robredo, also addressed the crowd. “Alam ko pong mahirap maging malayo sa Pilipinas kapag ang daming nangyayari. Pero nakakabilib po na sa inyong lahat na nandito kayo ngayon, standing up for democracy kahit napakalayo natin. Pinapakita natin kahit 8,000 miles away tayo sa Pilipinas na may pakialam pa rin tayo sa anong nagyayari sa atin, sa ating bayan.” (I know it’s hard to be far from the Philippines when so much is happening [there]. But I believe in you all who are here today standing up for democracy even if we are far away. We are demonstrating that even though we are 8,000 miles away from the Philippines, we still care about what’s happening back home, in our nation.)

Filipinos line up outside the Philippine Consulate of New York (Photo by Marion Aguas)

In front of the Philippine Consulate on 5th Avenue, the various groups fervently expressed objection to traditional dirty politics and chanted “tama na sobra na! (Enough is enough!)” to the corrupt political dynasties that dominate Philippine politics, especially the Marcos-Duterte faction. Loida Nicolas Lewis of Global Filipinos for Leni Kiko and other speakers urged participants to contact their relatives in the Philippines to encourage them to vote for progressive partylists and senatorial candidates over the next 35 days of the campaign period. 

Citing the red-tagging tactics used by current Pres. Duterte against the political opposition and human rights defenders, Adrian Bonifacio of BAYAN USA called on Filipinos across the globe to unite against growing fascism in the Philippines. “Ang ating pagkakaisa ang kinatatakutan nila Marcos at Duterte dahil alam na alam nila kung gaano ito kalakas. Kaya naglunsad ang gobyerno ng all out offensive, para takutin tayo, para paghiwalayin tayo. (Our unity is what Marcos and Duterte are afraid of because they know well how strong it is. That is why the government launched an all out offensive [to attack us], to scare us, to divide us.)”

Frankie Pangilanan addresses the crowd (Photo by Marion Aguas)

The credibility of the upcoming elections was called into question after the recent appointment of Marcos’ lawyer to the Commission on Elections. Harassment and sabotage of Leni-Kiko, as well as other candidates' campaign activities has raised the alarm among civil society groups.

In response to these issues, march participants clamored for increased transparency and better governance. “Milyon ang nagugutom sa Pilipinas dahil sa korapsyon. Ipaglaban po natin si VP Leni, si Kiko para po maging epektibo ang kanilang gobyerno…Ito pong laban na ito ay laban ng mabuti at masama. Doon po tayo sa mabuti lamang, sa katotohanan at sa malinis na gobyerno. (Millions are starving in the Philippines because of corruption. We must fight for Vice President Leni and Kiko so their government can be effective. This is a battle of good and evil. We are for the good, the truth, and clean governance),” said Nida Gonzales-Chan of United Filipinos of North America.

Attendees encouraged their fellow Filipinos to amplify the demand for genuine, pro-people change and progress by supporting the growing opposition. “The future of our country is in our hands,” said Matt Rosales of 1Sambayan USA – Northeast. 

Participants of the coalition intend to continue their momentum and grow the people’s opposition movement by holding another event, the Angat Buhay Walk of Hope, on April 3 in Jersey City, NJ.


PH Envoy Receives Philippine Historical Collection

Ambassador Jose Manuel Romualdez (left) receives a donation of historical photos and document from Rear Admiral Daniel W. McKinnon, Jr., SC (ret.) (right)

Some of the historical photos of the Philippines and a preserved copy of General Douglas McArthur’s proclamation to the people of the Philippines.


Sunday, March 27, 2022

Video: New York Walk for Democracy; Leni-Kiko Rally for President and VP of the Philippines

Streamed live on Mar 27, 2022 Live Coverage of New York Walk for Democracy and Rally for Fair & Credible Elections in the Philippines with Jillian Robredo, Frankie Pangilinan, Ms Loida Nicolas Lewis, Noel Pangilinan and more. 3/27/22.

Video by Lambert Parong

Kababayan TV Livestream Kababayan Media has joined the ‘Livestream’ bandwagon. We continue with our social media test broadcast. Take a sneak peak or watch for as long as you can. Let us know where you are watching from and please share your thoughts about our livestream test. Mabuhay and Salamat Kababayan.

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Thursday, March 24, 2022

Opinion: In Some Ways, VP Leni Has Already Won Even Before The Election | By Manuel L. Caballero

Photo courtesy of VP Leni Robredo FB page




A political operative in Washington DC once warned that a politician who prepares for election 2 years in advance wants only political power for personal interest. That could be Marcos Jr. , isn't it?

VP Leni decided she will join the presidential aspirants in the Philippines in October 2021, 6 months before the May 9, 2022 elections.

In fact, during my two of three interviews with VP Leni here in the US in 2018 and 2019, I asked her if she had plans to run for president in the 2022 elections. In both, her answers were the same, she was not thinking of the next elections because the country had so many problems.

From day one (last October) since she offered herself to be a candidate for president, this vice president has already "won" a number of things. 

The first was when the Filipino people simultaneously and spontaneously made pink the official symbol and color of the Robredo candidacy.

Also, the Filipinos, on their own initiative, turned around lugaw from an insult vs. VP Leni to a useful and helpful staple for Filipinos. My friend Eduardo Dela Cruz  will bear me out of my assertion. Edu is now the regarded "Lugaw ni Leni King of New Jersey." In fact, he has been practicing his pro-Leni stance while visiting Manila by attending Leni rallies in Pasig and Tarlac where he distributed water and bread for free to attendees.

From the start when she offered herself to run for president, VP Leni told Filipinos she would fight on the bases of "love and hope" (pagmamahal at pag-asa). Since then, she campaigned based on these two social philosophies which have been obviously embraced by her supporters and hopefully, even non-supporters. During Sunday's 130+K PasigLaban rally, participants from all walks of life were saying in their social media posts and my personal conversations with some I know that they were amazed that attendees behaved and treated each other like one big family sharing with each other something to drink or eat. This behavior, I'd say, is inspired by their leader, VP Leni, who tells her supporters she leads by example.

Lastly, it is obvious that VP Leni has won the hearts and minds of the Filipinos as evidenced by the mammoth volunteer crowds that attend her team's rallies in Mindanao, Visayas and Luzon. The last three in Pasig, Tarlac and Nueva Ecija are proofs to my claim.

So, barring any demonic acts by some people, it appears that VP Leni-Kiko and Tropang Angat will come out as real winners in the May 9 elections. 



Why is it apparent that the Marcos Jr. candidacy has spiraled downwards?

It is our observation, aside from starting his campaign on the wrong foot, he engineered, with the help of his non-Filipino enablers and strategists, the manufacturing of lies, especially on PH history and economy during Martial law years under his father. Evidently thinking they could deceive, the Filipinos pushed back and rejected vigorously their false claims that Marcos and company  believed as true.

Like Putin who is losing Russia"s War in Ukraine, Marcos Jr. seems to have underrated the Filipinos and overrated his political strategists.


Happy Birthday to a special Filipina in California on March 24th.

Philippines and U.S. Sign Memorandum of Understanding to Boost Cooperation on Nuclear Energy

Philippine Ambassador Jose Manuel Romualdez (right) with Undersecretary Erguiza (center) and Under Secretary Jenkins (left) exchanged signed copies of the agreement.

 – The Philippines and the United States signed on March 10, 2022 a Memorandum of Understanding on Strategic Civil Nuclear Cooperation (NCMOU) which will further deepen the cooperation between the two countries in developing the Philippines’ nuclear energy program.

The NCMOU was signed by Energy Undersecretary Gerardo D. Erguiza, Jr. and Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Bonnie Jenkins at the Department of State. 

Energy Undersecretary Gerardo D. Erguiza, Jr. (center), accompanied by Philippine Ambassador Jose Manuel Romualdez (right), and Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Bonnie Jenkins (left) sign the Memorandum of Understanding on Strategic Civil Nuclear Cooperation (NCMOU) for the Philippines and the United States, respectively.

In his remarks, Philippine Ambassador Jose Manuel G. Romualdez, who witnessed the signing, said: “To ensure a resilient, inclusive, and green economic growth for the Philippines, we need to intensify our work in securing reliable and sustainable energy sources, including nuclear energy. Through our cooperation, we hope to ensure the peaceful use of nuclear energy and fulfill our decarbonization goals.”

For his part, Energy Undersecretary Erguiza said the Department of Energy will intensify its collaboration with the United States to improve the knowledge and understanding by furthering the capacities on nuclear infrastructure, through various technical assistance.

Philippine Ambassador Jose Manuel Romualdez (right most) and Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Bonnie Jenkins (left most) deliver their remarks at the signing ceremony of the Memorandum of Understanding on Strategic Civil Nuclear Cooperation (NCMOU) held at the Department of State.

Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Bonnie Jenkins welcomed President Rodrigo Duterte’s recent signing of Executive Order 164 “ Adopting A National Position For A Nuclear Energy Program, and For Other Purposes”, noting the inclusion of nuclear power in the Philippines’ energy mix and the country’s exploration on the viability of reopening the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant. “This is great news for those of us working together to deepen collaboration between the US companies and Philippine partners in making sure that nuclear energy contributes to Philippine growth. We are delighted to partner with the Philippines to advance our shared non-proliferation energy and related climate vision,” she added.


Friday, March 18, 2022

In Photos: BBM-Sarah UniTeam Rally in New York with Senator Francis Tolentino

Senator Francis Tolentino joined the UniTeam Campaign Rally in New York for former senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and Davao city mayor Sarah Duterte-Carpio running for president and vice president of the Philippines in the coming May 9, 2022 elections. Supporters and volunteers led by BBM-Sarah UniTeam East Coast USA organized the rally held in Woodside, Queens also referred to as 'Little Manila'. Sunday March 13, 2022.

Photos by RJ Ensalada © 2022

Photos by RJ Ensalada © 2022

Thursday, March 17, 2022

Filipino Victim of Anti-Asian Hate in Stable Condition; Asian-American Community Condemns Brutal Attack

Consul General Elmer G. Cato joined leaders of the Asian-American Community and local elected officials in a press conference outside the Yonkers City Hall on 15 March 2022 where they condemned the recent anti-Asian hate attack on a 67-year old Filipina. (Photo by Jose Magaso)

– The 67-year-old Filipino woman who was seriously injured after she was brutally assaulted in an anti-Asian hate incident in New York is in stable condition and could be discharged from the hospital anytime, the Philippine Consulate General in New York said on Tuesday.

Consul General Elmer G. Cato said the Consulate was informed of this development by the family of the victim, a dual citizen from the Ilocos Region, who sustained serious injuries to the head and face after she was savagely attacked inside her apartment building in Yonkers, on Friday.

“We have reached out to the family of our kababayan and assured them that we will assist in whatever way we could,” the Consul General said.

On Tuesday, Consul General Cato joined leaders of the Asian-American Community and local elected officials in a press conference outside the Yonkers City Hall where they expressed their outrage over the incident and called on authorities to do more to stem the rise in anti-Asian hate crimes.

Those present included leaders of the Asian-American Federation, the Asian-American Democratic Committee, and local officials led by Congressman Jamaal Bowman and Yonkers Mayor Michael Spano.

“We know authorities are doing their best to make the streets safe again but we also understand they could not be everywhere,” Consul General Cato said. “But we do hope that authorities exert more efforts to remove violent and dangerous people off the streets and make everyone—not just Filipinos or other members of the Asian-American Community—feel safe again.”

According to him, most of the incidents were perpetrated against the elderly and vulnerable by homeless individuals with criminal records or mental health problems.

The Consulate has recorded 26 cases involving violent attacks and other incidents against Filipinos since last year when a surge in anti-Asian hate crimes and other incidents was noted.

“We are convinced there are more but these are unreported,” Consul General Cato said.

Consul General Cato said the incident on Friday was the third in two days involving members of the Filipino-American Community. A day before two elderly Filipino women were injured after they were shoved by unidentified individuals in two separate incidents in Queens.

“The incident in Yonkers is the second in our community where elderly victims were followed and assaulted inside their apartment buildings,” Consul General Cato said, referring to last year’s vicious attack in Sunnyside, Queens, that left a 72-year-old Filipino woman, seriously injured. 


Video: Justice for Asian Women #BreakTheSilence Rally in Times Square, New York

Streamed live on Mar 16, 2022 Live: Justice for Asian Women #BreakTheSilence Rally in Times Square, New York. Organized by Stand with Asian Americans. March 16, 2022.

Video by Lambert Parong for Kababayan Media Support Independent Community Media. Like or Follow and Share our Facebook Page. Subscribe to our YouTube channel, Kababayan TV and Balitang Kutsero New York. Mabuhay and Maraming Salamat Kababayan.

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Wednesday, March 16, 2022

Opinion: What's Making VP Leni Soar? | By Manuel Caballero

Photo courtesy of VP Leni Robredo FB Page




This week's opinion column is a critical analysis of why, in my observation, presidential candidate Leni Robredo is soaring in the May 9 PH election campaign over the other candidates.


It may be recalled that when VP Leni offered herself (not announced) to be a candidate for the highest political office in the PH, her political opponents were telling the world that she was not a winnable candidate for president.


But, once her decision was out, Pink Revolution erupted spontaneously throughout the country.  (I think I was the first one to use the phrase Pink Revolution. I used it for the first time in this column).

Mrs. Robredo was not fully aware of what was happening around the country where pink was becoming a movement. In fact, VP Leni, if you recall, was wearing blue blouse when she made her offer to run on that October day. My question, then, was whether the nationwide excitement of the Pink Revolution could be sustained? The four months that followed are now history.

It was not only sustained. It became bigger and more intense by the day. And more believers and followers emerged.

Her rallies in the last two months are being attended by tens of thousands.


Google released a recent trends survey. In all regions but one of the PH, VP Leni got the largest number of interests from searchers.

Bloomberg, in a recent survey of PH business firms placed VP Leni on a distant first place among all presidential candidates believed to be able to manage and handle PH economic recovery.

Listening to VP Leni's campaign speeches could be one big reason why Filipinos have rallied to her side. She tells the people, in Pilipino, how she intends to govern. That she will lead by example. She can identify with the people and vice versa.

As a fellow opinion columnist said in part in his column in Rappler, "This is the quiet power of  It is simply the Vice President being at her best: someone who “sees” those who were left behind. And they flock to see her because she came “from” them, lived a life “serving” them, and will always be “with” them. This is hope you cannot fake. This is empathy you cannot manufacture."

Friday, March 11, 2022

U.S. Civil Rights Leader Welcomes Community Outreach Efforts by PH Consulate in NY

Reverend Alfred Charles Sharpton (rightmost) expressses his interest to bring communities together during the courtesy call of Consul General Elmer G. Cato (third from left) at the National Action Network Office in Times Square on Wednesday, 23 February 2022. Also in the photo are Michael A. Hardy, General Counsel of the National Action Network (leftmost) and Vice Consul Tanya Faye O. Ramiro (Photo by National Action Network staff)

– American civil rights leader Reverend Al Sharpton has applauded the efforts of the Philippine Consulate General in New York to reach out to other communities to address the surge in hate crimes. 

The American civil rights activist, who is also one of the leaders of the African-American Community in the United States, welcomed the Consulate’s initiative to encourage dialogue among those affected by racism and bias during a courtesy call by Consul General Elmer G. Cato.

“We can only combat hate if all communities stand united against hate,” Consul General Elmer G. Cato told Reverend Sharpton during their meeting at the National Action Network (NAN) office in New York City on Wednesday, 23 February 2022.

Consul Genera Cato requested the meeting in the wake of the continuing violence against not only the members of the Asian -American Community but other ethnicity and groups as well.

Statistics from the New York City Police Department (NYPD) Hate Crimes Dashboard show a total of 524 hate incidents were perpetrated against New Yorkers due to race, sexuality, religion, and other biases in the past year. The NYPD has also reported 1,100 percent increase in overall reported cases of hate crimes.

Reverend Alfred Charles Sharpton (left) and Consul General Elmer G. Cato (right) shake hands after the latter's courtesy visit at the National Action Network corporate office in New York on 23 February 2022. Consul General Cato and Reverend Sharpton agree to work together to foster dialogue among various community leaders to address hate crimes and other incidents. (Photo by Jasmin Rodriguez)

“We need to start breaking down the walls that prevent us from knowing and understanding each other” Consul General Cato said.

During the meeting, Consul General informed Reverend Sharpton that the Consulate is seeking to expand and strengthen its engagement and partnerships by networking with various communities in the city and by initiating dialogues with local government officials and business and community leaders.

Reverend Sharpton saith that Consul General Cato’s courtesy call “should be used as an opening for a dialogue.” He also agreed with the proposal. 

The meeting concluded with the Reverend inviting the Consul General in April to the Convention of the National Action Network, a not-for-profit civil rights organization he founded 31 years ago, and talks of having a solidarity march in the city.


BBM-Sarah Supporters Meet and Greet in New York this Sunday March 13, PH Senator Francis Tolentino to Attend


New York -  The UniTeam BBM-Sara East Coast, USA gladly welcomes Philippine Senator Francis Tolentino who will be speaking during the  second event since the official campaign period for Presidential candidate Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., and Vice Presidential Candidate Sara Duterte-Carpio on Sunday. March 13, 2022 from 3pm till 6pm. This will be held at the Rainbow Christian Pre-School Gym at 72-10 43rd Ave, in Woodside, Queens, New York.

With the leadership and efforts of the core group of the Uniteam BBM-Sara East Coast, this activity is being organized from their own initiative and utilizing their own resources. 

It is anticipated that BBM-Sarah supporters and volunteers from neighboring states like New Jersey, Connecticut, Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania are expected to join their fellow supporters in New York  and will also showcase specialty foods from the different regions of the Philippines where they came from.


Mayor Adams to "Rebuild, Renew, Reinvent," Unveils Blueprint for NYC's Economic Recovery

NEW YORK – New York City Mayor Eric Adams released “Rebuild, Renew, Reinvent: A Blueprint for New York City’s Economic Recovery,” which outlines the mayor’s vision for the city’s economic recovery and the future of the city’s economy — all built on equity and inclusivity. The COVID-19 global pandemic devastated the city’s economy, but New York City is now on the cusp of an economic resurgence, and the mayor’s plan seizes on a once-in-a-generation opportunity to reinvigorate the city’s economy in the short and long terms. The blueprint specifically aims to accelerate the return to pre-pandemic employment levels, while simultaneously laying the foundation for the city’s economic future — addressing historic injustices and reimagining outdated ways of doing business.

“New York City’s recovery cannot and will not be about going back to the way things were — we are going to rebuild, renew, and reinvent our city and our economy for today, tomorrow, and generations to come,” said Mayor Adams. “This is more than a to-do list: It is a complete reset with more than 70 concrete actions we will take to tear down the barriers to progress and build up a strong, resilient city with opportunity for everyone. I want all New Yorkers to know that your city is looking out for you and planning for your future, so New York can be a city we are all proud to call home.”

"Our state’s economy has been battered over these last two years, but there is no doubt New York's best days lie ahead,” said New York State Governor Kathy Hochul. “We will seize this moment to do what New Yorkers always have done: To stay strong and work together to find new, innovative paths to growth that build upon our strengths. My administration has begun this work by advancing new investments that include a renewed commitment to workforce development, the largest state-sponsored tourism package in the country, and a historic $500 million commitment to expanding the offshore wind industry in New York State. This work sets a strong foundation, but we can and will do much more. Mayor Adams and I are committed to working together and with the private sector to plan for a future that uplifts us all. The New New York Panel is a demonstration of our unwavering resolve. Let’s get to work.”

“Our mission is to provide opportunity to every New Yorker,” said Deputy Mayor for Economic and Workforce Development Maria Torres-Springer. “We have weathered considerable struggle and loss over the last two years. But there has never been a more urgent time for New York to serve as a model for equitable recovery, and the investments and initiatives in this blueprint will accelerate our city’s return, help us return to pre-pandemic employment levels more quickly, and build our city back more inclusively than ever.”

“Arts, entertainment, and nightlife are the heart and soul of New York City. They are the pulse that sustains the most passionate, innovative creators of our time, drawing people from around the world,” said Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment Commissioner Anne del Castillo. “Strengthening these cultural and creative sectors is at the forefront of Mayor Adams’ economic recovery plan, because New York City’s future depends on them.”

The plan to accelerate the city’s recovery and build a more resilient economy rests on five key pillars:

  1. Restarting our city’s economic engines and reactivating the public realm;
  2. Supporting small businesses, entrepreneurship, and a more equitable economy;
  3. Driving inclusive sector growth and building a future-focused economy;
  4. Connecting New Yorkers to quality jobs and in-demand skills; and
  5. Planning and building for inclusive growth now and in the future.

While this moment in the city’s post-COVID economic recovery holds great potential, significant challenges continue to face parts of the city. More than 26,000 businesses have closed, while many offices remain shuttered; unemployment among Black New Yorkers remains more than three times the national average at 15 percent; and tourism remains far below pre-pandemic levels, depriving the city of much-needed economic activity.

Tackling these challenges will require a comprehensive, collaborative effort bringing together the business community, labor unions, neighborhood advocates, faith leaders, educators, and New Yorkers across the five boroughs. Mayor Adams’ blueprint represents the first stage of that effort.

Among the strategies outlined in the blueprint are more than 70 concrete actions that will help realize the mayor’s goal of rebuilding, renewing, and reimagining the city’s economy. The administration will:

  • Invest in Hunts Point infrastructure, community priorities, and the redevelopment of the Hunts Point Produce Market, a vital resource in New York City’s food supply system that supplies 25 percent of the city’s fresh produce;
  • Assemble a “New New York” blue-ribbon panel, convened by Mayor Adams and New York Governor Kathy Hochul, to re-envision business districts, invest in the workforce, and stimulate economic growth by engaging some of the most visionary leaders in business, labor, academia, nonprofit, and philanthropy;
  • Launch the NYC Strategy for Equity and Economic Development (SEED) Fund, a new equitable capital planning framework to invest city resources into neighborhood needs in ways that address historic disinvestment, immediate public health and safety issues, and growing climate risks, while creating jobs and spurring economic growth;
  • Provide small businesses much-needed relief — cutting opening times in half, suspending the city’s 25 percent surcharge on liquor licenses, streamlining inspections, reforming licensing requirements, providing back-office support and free tax preparation, improving language access, and helping small businesses expand their digital footprints;
  • Launch the Small Business Opportunity Fund to meet the financing needs of historically underserved local businesses and entrepreneurs, addressing critical gaps in access to capital;
  • Strengthening our commercial corridors across the five boroughs by investing in small Business Improvement Districts, merchant associations, and public realm improvements;
  • Reform and expand the city’s Minority- and Women-Owned Business Enterprises (M/WBE) program to increase the number and size of city contracts going to M/WBE firms, help these firms grow, and support M/WBEs that have not sufficiently benefited from this program;
  • Tackle public safety and quality-of-life concerns in commercial corridors and launch a Public Realm Working Group to execute a holistic strategy of coordinated initiatives and programs in our public spaces;
  • Expand the city’s tourism marketing campaign to show the world that New York City is open, vibrant, and ready to welcome visitors again;
  • Double down on growing the life sciences industry, with a focus on expanding into new sub-industries and building the talent pipeline of local New Yorkers;
  • Jumpstart the local, green economy and affirm New York as a global leader in just solutions to the climate crisis with the creation of a new, state-of-the-art education and research institution on Governors Island, which will work to identify equitable urban climate solutions and drive growth of accessible green jobs;
  • Build an equitable cannabis industry from the ground up, by offering financial support and technical assistance to help entrepreneurs launch their businesses and launching a broad-based community engagement effort to make New Yorkers aware of opportunities to participate in the industry;
  • Protect and strengthen New York City’s creative economy with the creation of a new, one-of-a-kind cultural district on Governors Island and a “Culture at Risk” response team to protect New York City’s creative businesses and neighborhood institutions;
  • Establish New York City as a hub for digital game development by launching a game development curriculum at The City University of New York to train New Yorkers for opportunities in this field and fostering growth of independent and established gaming communities;
  • Leverage zoning and land use tools to foster innovation and support emerging industries, expand access to high-quality, low-cost housing options in neighborhoods across the city, and facilitate green projects;
  • Protect workers’ rights by raising and enforcing labor standards for app-based delivery workers and adding new city resources focused on protecting the rights of home care aides, nannies, house cleaners, and other domestic and care workers; and
  • Expand financial empowerment services, bringing financial counseling to Workforce1 Centers and launching a mobile unit to offer free tax preparation, financial counseling, benefits enrollment, job training supports, tenant protection services, and other critical resources in neighborhoods across the city.

The economic recovery blueprint arrives as the city enters a new phase in its COVID-19 response, beginning with Mayor Adams’ decision last week to suspend Key to NYC and remove mask mandates for K-12 public school students. The blueprint also follows the release of Mayor Adams’ Subway Safety Plan last month and his Blueprint to End Gun Violence in January.