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The heads of over 160 major corporations, from Macy’s to MasterCard are pleading with Mayor Bill de Blasio to finally crack down on crime and address quality of life concerns so New Yorkers can return to work after the coronavirus shutdown the city.
“There is 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 powerful business leaders wrote to de Blasio Thursday.
“We need to send a strong, consistent message that our employees, customers, clients and visitors will be coming back to a safe and healthy work environment. 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,” they wrote.
“We urge you to take immediate action to restore essential services as a necessary precursor for solving the city’s longer term, complex, economic challenges,” the letter added.
Those services support quality of life in the city from law enforcement to sanitation and homeless management– all of which took major multimillion dollar hits in the budget passed in June including $1 billion from the NYPD and $100 million from the Dept. of Sanitation.
Shootings have skyrocketed in the last few months with a 50 percent increase over Labor Day weekend alone compared to last year while arrests for gunplay are down by about 13 percent.
Garbage is overflowing on city streets as budget cuts reduced the number of weekly pickups and homeless encampments have proliferated around the five boroughs.
Fewer than 10 percent of the city’s office workers returned to their desks by last month.
“We look forward to your response and to partnering with you and others who share a commitment to a vibrant recovery and a great future for our city,” the business leaders concluded.
The effort was organized by the Partnership for New York City, a business group whose members employ over 1.5 million New Yorkers.
Beyond the heads of Macy’s and MasterCard, the signatories include Stephen A. Schwarzman, CEO of the investment giant Blackstone; James S. Tisch, president of the hotel conglomerate Loews Corporation; and John Zimmer, co-founder of the ride-sharing app Lyft.
Reps for the mayor did not immediately return requests for comment.