Safety & Justice for All New Yorkers
Join The Fight
The Midtown BID Coalition is a partnership of seven Manhattan BIDs, including the East Midtown Partnership, Fifth Avenue Association, Garment District Alliance, Grand Central Partnership, Hudson Yards Hell's Kitchen Alliance, Madison Avenue BID and the Times Square Alliance, advocating to enhance public safety, providing effective services and support for the unhoused and seriously mentally ill, and finding solutions for our housing challenges.
According to a February poll released by Siena College, 92% of New Yorkers say they view crime as a serious problem in the state, and 2/3 believe it is a problem in their communities. New Yorkers, including us, believe it should be the top priority of our elected officials.
We need a comprehensive approach to achieve a greater level of public safety in our state. We urge the New York State Senate and Assembly to support alternatives to incarceration, and discharge and re-entry plans for those being released from incarceration and foster care (beyond just dropping them into the homeless shelter system.) But, along with those programs, additional tools are needed to address chronic repeat offenders. Supporting the Governor’s efforts to allow judges some leeway regarding bail and remand (currently they are constrained by the “least restrictive standard”) will greatly help resolve the recidivism problem. We would also urge the New York State Senate and Assembly to revisit the burdensome discovery laws. Victims fail to receive justice when charges against offenders are unnecessarily dismissed. Each of these elements is essential to restore confidence in our justice system. We urge you to support these programs and initiatives in this budget session.
We also urge the New York State Senate and Assembly to support Governor Hochul’s plan to overhaul New York State’s continuum of mental health care. This plan increases the inpatient psychiatric treatment capacity, boosts insurance coverage for mental health care, and dramatically expands outpatient services and Crisis Stabilization Centers. This plan also creates much needed transitional and supportive housing to serve New Yorkers with mental illness and makes hospitals accountable for the admission and discharge of mentally ill patients.
The pandemic has given us an opportunity to increase our housing stock by converting office space to housing. The fact is that these conversions are not economically viable without incentives. We urge the New York State Senate and Assembly to support the governor’s budget provisions that would facilitate the conversion of office space into housing, implement the J-51 tax incentives to preserve our housing stock, and provide tax incentives for construction of new affordable units. Raising the residential Floor Area Ratio (FAR) cap is also vital for converting office buildings into housing, because many Midtown and Times Square buildings greatly exceed the existing residential limit of 12 FAR. Without the ability to have residential FAR above 12, these buildings would be unable to convert without significant structural work that would render the conversion infeasible.
The ongoing asylum seeker crisis has strained local resources. New York City is currently spending more per day to house asylum seekers than it does on the New York City Department of Sanitation and the Department of Parks combined. New York State must provide funding beyond what has been proposed in the initial budget, and support efforts to secure additional federal funding.
The Midtown BID Coalition stands with Governor Kathy Hochul and key provisions in her FY24 Budget- we support her vision for a safe city, one where we provide services to those in crisis.
Midtown BIDs Band Together to Advocate for Crime Prevention, April 20, 2022
A new group to help Times Square emerge from COVID-19 pandemic
City & State New York, June 3, 2022
Good Day New York, WNYW-NY (FOX), April 19, 2022, featuring Midtown BID Coalition
Midtown merchants plead with Hochul to clamp down on skyrocketing NYC crime
New York Post, April 6, 2022
Radio Night Live featuring Midtown BID Coalition Founding Member, Times Square Alliance President Tom Harris
AM 970, April 8, 2022
NYPD deploys business improvement team to clean up Midtown streets
New York Post, April 8, 2022
Cats at Night featuring Midtown BID Coalition Founding Member, Times Square Alliance President Tom Harris
WABC-AM, March 31, 2022
Politico, March 25, 2022