N.Y.U. plan critical to city’s nonprofit sector

The not-for-profit sector is a major part of what makes New York City great. We are both the head, and the heart, of New York. We are a free health clinic for an uninsured working mom, an afterschool program helping a teen make it to college, an arts collaborative nurturing our nation’s most diverse culture, a service to homebound seniors to enable them to live independently, and a research institution advancing the frontiers of science. We are the path from poverty to self-sufficiency, from ignorance to knowledge, from the dull to the creative.

We are also a major part of what fuels the New York City economy. We are the city’s largest employer, providing jobs for tens of thousands of our own residents, and serving as a mecca of opportunity for thousands more from across our nation and around the world.

Not-for-profits couldn’t do what we do — and New York City wouldn’t be the great and thriving city that it is — without our city’s institutions of higher learning. They provide us with the talented and trained workforce that makes our success possible. And our not-for-profit institutions are the real-life learning environment upon which these students depend. From the schools of medicine and nursing, social work and education, to music and art, public health and public administration, the relationship is not a coincidence; it is interdependent. For our city and its economy to continue to grow, the relationship must continue to thrive.

So we write as concerned employers, citizens and neighbors. We write as those who care deeply — personally and professionally — for the quality of life of our city, and its ability to be the place of compassion and creativity we see every day.

And we write to express our support for the N.Y.U. 2031 Plan. We call upon the borough president, City Planning Commission, City Council, the mayor and all mayoral candidates to celebrate N.Y.U. and support its plan for growth — growth our not-for-profits need to survive and our city needs to thrive. And if it has flaws, well, as Bill Clinton once said, “Mend it, don’t end it.”

This Talking Point was written by the following members of the local community:

Bhattacharya is founder, president and chief executive officer, Harlem Children Society

Makar is executive director, Fight for Sight

Maurer is executive director, Visiting Neighbors

Rosenblatt is executive director, BRC

Garza is executive director, Henry Street Settlement

Zisser is chief executive officer, University Settlement Society of New York

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