Without strong and vibrant urban communities, we won’t achieve our goal of providing opportunities for all New Yorkers. Andrew Cuomo's Urban Agenda recognizes our need to address chronic problems of underserved communities and people.

Learn more about Andrew's Urban Agenda Proposals:

Expand Affordable Housing and Community Development

Take innovative steps to expand affordable housing policies and community development initiatives
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New York has historically been a leader among the states in its support for affordable housing. As Governor, Andrew Cuomo will ensure that New York maintains this leadership position.  We must work with our representatives in Congress to revitalize the federal Low Income Housing Tax Credit Program, and innovatively use the State’s own programs like the Mortgage Insurance Fund, to preserve and build on the affordable homes we do have. To assist communities reeling from the impact of foreclosures, Andrew Cuomo will take full advantage programs such as the federal government’s First Look program under which banks must provide State and local governments the first opportunity to purchase foreclosed properties. As with economic development, there is no one-size-fits-all formula that can be applied to meet the diverse community development needs of different regions and municipalities.  Community development planning should follow a structured blueprint process that begins with a comprehensive inventory of the State’s economic, infrastructure and community assets on a regional basis and should maintain an emphasis on environmental justice.

Combating Poverty

Recognize the need for a coordinated set of policies to reduce poverty across New York State, even during these times of fiscal constraint
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We need to lower the cost of everyday essentials, expand access to federal benefits and childcare options, streamline funding for anti-poverty efforts, including through the use of master contracts, focus on the needs of older adults who are poor, and engage community and religious institutions in neighborhood-by-neighborhood poverty reduction.

Focus on Education and Literacy as the Building Blocks for a Strong Workforce

Prepare New Yorkers for success in the workforce and in society
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Our commitment to provide training for good jobs begins with an unyielding commitment to education and literacy.  We must expand access to adult literacy programming to maximize opportunities for employment and advancement. The State must also create a special focus on our most at-risk youth, particularly those in underserved communities, in order to reduce drop-out rates, encourage the pursuit of post-secondary education and training, provide work-readiness skills and training and develop critical mentoring programs. A Cuomo Administration will focus its investments in proven models and will seek to fortify the public-private partnerships that are critical to program delivery and success.  In addition, we will expand learning opportunities through after school programs and community schools.

Develop a 21st Century Workforce

Integrate workforce development and economic development functions, to align the needs of high-growth employers with our job-seeking residents, according to regional business demand
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Especially in these difficult financial times, what most people need more than anything else is a good job. Our young people, in particular, need mentoring and work readiness programs, along with the expanded learning opportunities of after school programs.  All of our workforce development programs should be integrated with our economic development efforts, so we are training people for jobs that actually exist.  New York must adopt this “demand-driven” approach and establish an active and continuous stream of communication between and among stakeholders in private industry, education, the State’s Regional Economic Councils and the governmental agencies. One of the most promising new industries is Clean Energy, because it offers jobs for a wide range of education and skills.  We will create an expanded Green Jobs Corps with job training and outreach efforts that are focused on low-income and minority communities.

Access to Health Care

Expand access to health care, one of the greatest needs of people in underserved communities
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We must take a comprehensive approach to expanding access to care, including enrolling the many low-income New Yorkers who are eligible for coverage but are not now enrolled, expanding the number of providers of primary care and ensuring that essential “safety net” institutions are preserved in underserved communities.  Expanding access to primary care is essential both because it improves health outcomes and because it is the most cost-effective form of care in most cases.

Criminal Justice: A Commitment to Safe Communities

Keep our communities safe
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Gun violence remains one our most serious problems.  To combat it, we must take concrete steps to drive gun violence out of New York, including investigating and prosecuting federal firearms licensees who sell guns to criminals, establishing a partnership of governors to fight illegal gun trafficking, increasing penalties for gun transfers to minors and enacting commonsense gun safety laws, such as requiring the microstamping of guns. The other side of the coin of justice system reform is an overhaul of the State’s approach to the reentry of formerly incarcerated adults and a fundamental reshaping of our juvenile justice system. As part of that commitment, we must overhaul the State’s approach to the reentry of formerly incarcerated adults and fundamentally reshape our dysfunctional juvenile justice system.

Giving MWBEs and Small Businesses a Fair Chance to Compete

Strengthen our commitment to Minority and Women-Back Enterprises (“MWBEs”) and Small Businesses
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A Cuomo Administration will reframe existing programs and create innovative policies to maximize resources available to the State’s small and MWBE businesses. This will include assistance with navigating the State contracts process and facilitating access to procurement opportunities and business development services.