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2015 was a great year for the NYC CivicTech community. Here’s an email recapping all the milestones achieved by the City.

Looking forward to an even bigger year of NYC Tech + Innovation in 2016!

Dear Friend of NYC Tech,

Before we kick off 2016 in earnest, I wanted to share a brief recap of 2015, a banner year for New York City not just in tech but across a whole host of topics. Take a look. The record is clear. Mayor Bill de Blasio is making NYC a stronger and more just place for all New Yorkers - and that ultimately means a smarter, more sustainable, and more equitable tech ecosystem for us all.

When Mayor de Blasio created the role of Chief Technology Officer, he set out to make New York City the most tech-friendly and innovative city in the world. Here are just a few of the administration’s 2015 technology

  • Launched the Computer Science for All initiative, an $81 million public-private partnership which will deliver computer science education to every student in New York City public schools over the next 10 years - making New York City the largest school district in the country to provide universal access to these critical 21st century skills.

  • New York City named the number one city in the world for [technology,innovation and entrepreneurship]
    (http://our.cityofnewyork.us/page/m/135bb4a6/2700795b/21f67624/1c745244/905991271/VEsF/) by CITIE, a project of Nesta, Accenture, and the Future Cities Catapult.

  • New York City named one of the ten smart cities to watch.

  • The first LinkNYC structures were installed which will provide free high-speed wi-fi at 7,500 locations throughout all five boroughs.

  • The NYC Tech Talent Pipeline earned recognition from the White House for working together with 150 employers, local academic institutions, training providers, and community organizations to develop and deliver policies, partnerships, and 10 new and expanded industry-informed programs designed to deliver quality jobs for New Yorkers and quality talent for New York’s businesses.

  • Held the first-ever Call for Innovations on Broadband, an open solicitation of ideas and proposals to deliver low-cost, high-speed internet to underserved New Yorkers.

  • Launched the beta version of neighborhoods.nyc, a private-public partnership that puts hyper-local data in the hands of community residents and enables local nonprofits to build neighborhood hubs for civic engagement, organizing and economic development.

  • NYC featured as part of the White House’s announcements on smart cities in October 2015, and in December 2015 it was announced that the City of New York was selected as one of ten cities to participate in the Envision America coalition of smart city leadership.

  • The first-ever NYC Pavilion - representing the City of New York and 14 NYC-based companies - assembled for the Smart City Expo and World Congress in Barcelona in November 2015, reaching an audience of 15,000 attendees from more than 100 countries and 500 cities.

  • An overview of the citywide technology strategy was completed in October 2015, weaving together key drivers, principles and initiatives tied to the Mayor’s tech agenda.

  • .NYC became the world’s largest city top-level domain.

  • Release of City Records Online and the Government Records Portal in 2015 marked progress in using tech for a more transparent and open government.

We saw great progress in Mayor de Blasio’s New York City to benefit all New Yorkers:

  • New York City is once again the safest large city in America. Crime is down for the second year under the Mayor’s watch, and we experienced the city’s safest summer in 20 years. At the same time, the NYPD continues to dramatically reduce stop-and-frisk and we launched critical reform efforts to improve the bail system, reduce criminal case delays and cut the jail population.

  • This year the Mayor took the bold step of committing to build 15,000 units of supportive housing. New strategies have moved more than 22,000 people from shelters to permanent housing and the Mayor has used prevention programs to help more than 91,000 New Yorkers. The Mayor’s HOME-STAT initiative, launched this year, is the most comprehensive homeless outreach program in the nation.

  • The Mayor has now preserved or created more than 30,000 units of affordable housing - more than at any time in the last 25 years. And 2015 saw unprecedented investments in NYCHA and the City’s first-ever rent freeze for rent-regulated apartments.

  • New York City created more than 89,000 private-sector jobs in 2015, and our unemployment rate stands at 4.8% - the lowest it has been in since 2007. The budget was balanced, financial reserves were boosted, and for the first time ever, non-union City employees have a paid parental leave policy.

  • More than 68,500 families secured pre-K seats this fall - up from 19,000 before the Mayor took over. Every elementary and high school student will now get a computer science education, there will be more AP courses, and this year the Mayor laid out an aggressive plan to get kids reading on-level by 2nd grade.

  • The Mayor’s Vision Zero traffic safety initiative helped drive down traffic fatalities another 12%

  • to their lowest level since 1910, and he worked in bipartisan fashion to help secure $500 million in additional funding for New York’s transportation infrastructure. The Mayor announced significant investments in coastal protection for Lower Manhattan, in expanded Staten Island Ferry and Citi Bike service, and in redesigns of 50 major streets and intersections. DOT fixed more than 447,000 potholes and resurfaced more miles of road than at any point since 1991.

  • Significant progress was made on emission reduction, energy saving, and solar initiatives.

  • The Mayor helped secure permanent funding for our 9/11 heroes and improved access to care for 100,000 residents in underserved neighborhoods. The Mayor and First Lady’s ThriveNYC initiative earned local and national acclaim as an unrivaled municipal roadmap to improving mental health care.

  • IDNYC, the country’s most ambitious municipal identification program, shattered enrollment expectations and helped get tens of thousands of New Yorkers out from the shadows and on a path toward financial security.

Last, but certainly not least, thank you for all you are doing for our City. I look forward to partnering with you this year and accomplishing great things, together.

Minerva Tantoco
Chief Technology Officer
New York City