Streams

What Can Obama Do for New York City?

The Center for An Urban Future's 51 Things an Obama Administration Can Do For New York City

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

50+1: FULL LIST OF RECOMMENDATIONS

CRIME/PUBLIC SAFETY

1. Allocate anti-terror funds based on risk, not pork.
2. Pass the C.O.P.S. Improvement Act.
3. Pass legislation to get guns off the street and close the gun show
loophole.
4. Protect U.S. cities by aggressively preventing the spread of WMDs.

TRANSPORTATION INFRASTRUCTURE

5. Dramatically increase the share of federal transportation spending
that goes to mass transit.
6. Reform Washington’s anti-urban funding formula for infrastructure
projects.
7. Fund Amtrak at a level that enables vast improvement to inter-city
rail service.
8. Accelerate plans to develop and implement a more advanced air
traffic control system that would reduce flight delays.
9. Include more ferry projects in future federal transportation infrastructure
packages.
10. Expand dredging of New York City’s waterways.

ECONOMIC AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT

11. Double support for federal microenterprise programs, such as the
CDFI Fund and the SBA’s Microloan program
12. Encourage more small business lending by reducing or eliminating
fees recently imposed on SBA lenders.
13. Reinvest in scientific research and innovation.
14. Develop a set of policies to increase broadband usage.
15. Help small and mid-sized manufacturers compete through the
Manufacturing Extension Partnership program.
16. Strengthen the Community Reinvestment Act.

HOUSING

17. Restore funding for public housing.
18. Meet federal commitments to the project-based Section 8 program.
19. Do more to provide supportive housing for the mentally ill.
20. Support federal “right of purchase” legislation to help preserve
affordable housing.
21. Enact new regulations to prevent “predatory equity” in multi-family
buildings.

IMMIGRATION

22. Take immediate steps to ensure that the 2010 Census does not
undercount New York and other cities.
23. Allow the H-1B visa cap to respond to market demand.
24. Expand funding for ESOL instruction.
25. Eliminate barriers for high-achieving undocumented immigrants to
attend college by passing the DREAM Act.

EDUCATION

26. Improve access to higher education.
27. Support early childhood education.
28. Mend, don’t end, the No Child Left Behind Act.
29. Revise how graduation rates are calculated to remove incentives
that currently reward “push-outs.”
30. Support career and technical education.

WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT

31. Increase the federal investment in the Workforce Investment Act (WIA).
32. Require coordination of programs under the WIA umbrella
33. Decouple WIA’s funding formula from the unemployment rate.
34. Include funding for a standalone Summer Jobs program for youth.
35. Set national goals of prevention and recuperation for disconnected
youth, and appoint a policy coordinator to work across Cabinet agency
lines in meeting the targets.

REDUCING POVERTY AND ASSET BUILDING

36. Expand the Federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC).
37. Initiate new efforts to help low-income Americans build assets.
38. Adjust food stamps rules to expand eligibility and participation.
39. Greatly increase the federal commitment to child care.

ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENT

40. Create a large-scale, nationwide initiative to retrofit buildings.
41. Undertake infrastructure investments that would reduce sewage
overflows.
42. Rebuild the nation’s outmoded electricity delivery system.
43. Address global warming by enacting a carbon tax or a “cap and
trade” system.

HEALTH

44. Make universal health insurance a reality.
45. Increase the Federal Matching Assistance Percentage for Medicaid.
46. Create a national public health strategy to combat obesity.
47. Provide financial incentives to doctors who adopt comprehensive
electronic health records (EHR).

ARTS

48. Streamline the visa process to make it easier for musicians, artists
and other creative professionals to enter the country.
49. Support and expand arts education in schools.

CONSUMER PROTECTION

50. Enact more stringent consumer protections on banks and credit
card issuers.
51. Grant states and localities more discretion to protect consumers
through regulations.

Note: These recommendations are not listed in order of importance.

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