NYC Speaks released the results of the largest public issues-oriented survey in New York City history allowing New Yorkers across all income levels and races to answer questions about how to improve life in NYC.
With over 62,000 logged responses, effectively yielding to 3 million data points across NYC’s five boroughs, New Yorkers were able to answer questions in a 27 question survey regarding topics like public safety, housing, transit, mental health, broadband accessibility, workforce policy, childcare and climate change.
NYC Speaks, a six-month citywide civic engagement and transformative government initiative was started as a way to inform the priorities and policies of Mayor Eric Adams and his administration.
Speaking alongside city hall officials and community organizers during the rally at Hunters Point South Park on April 5, NYC Speaks Co-Executive Director Dr. Shango Blake announced the findings of the survey.
“After extensive community outreach across the five boroughs, we surpassed our goal of 50,000 responses to conduct the largest public policy survey in New York City history. In addition, we are proud to announce that 18,400 youth between the ages of 14 and 17 responded to this survey,” said Dr. Blake. “We’re proud to release this data today but this is just the first step in the process. We look forward to launching the Community Conversations to engage the community on our findings and build a stronger, more thriving city.”
Rigorous outreach by NYC Speaks and its coalition of government and civic partners led to a diverse and accurate representative selection of New Yorkers who participated in the survey.
The survey was available in 11 languages across every borough and ZIP code throughout the city.
27% of respondents were Black, 14% were Asian and 29% were Hispanic, in line with the respective percentages of the population overall. In addition, 33% of respondents were white. Every age group above 18 and every income bracket responded to the adult survey.
Respondents seemed most concerned with the issues of housing availability but also with mental health care, with 37% of New Yorkers prioritize providing mental health professionals and social workers in every school.
“New Yorkers know best what is happening in their communities, and how our city can best show up for them to secure healthy and prosperous neighborhoods,”said Comptroller Brad Lander. “NYC Speaks is an ambitious effort to bring New Yorkers from all walks of life into that conversation, and I’m eager to dig in on the data about what they have to say about how to make our neighborhoods safer, secure more affordable housing and build a robust economy where everyone can thrive.”
The survey was open for four weeks starting from the weekend Martin Luther King Jr. Day through Feb 11 and was developed in partnership with over 80 Civic Policy Council Members with agency outreach led by Deputy Mayor Sheena Wright’s team.
Key findings in the survey included housing, safety, transportation, public infrastructure, mental health / healthcare, education, food access, environment, economic mobility / job access, racial justice and civic engagement.
“The NYC Speaks initiative demonstrates the power of a public-private partnership and my office was proud to lead the agency outreach,” said Wright. “Never has our city seen such a large set of data from New Yorkers before.”
You can find the full findings of the survey at nycspeaks.org/data.