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Frequently Asked Questions

What is NYC Speaks?

NYC Speaks is a project designed by New Yorkers, for New Yorkers. It is a partnership between civic organizations, City government, philanthropy, and residents that’s bringing together tens of thousands of New Yorkers from all walks of life to inform the priorities and policies of the new mayor, his administration, and the future of New York City. 

NYC Speaks was designed to translate the ideas of communities and advocates into meaningful policy. We believe a new form of government is possible when leaders engage people and empower residents. The primary components of this process included:
1. A citywide survey that quantified New Yorkers’ priorities 
2. Community events to discuss the survey data and co-create solutions
3. City staff engagement to tap the expertise of the people that actually make the city run to elevate ideas for improving City government
4. Building a community-driven “Action Plan” – a tangible course of government action based on the output of all the insight, feedback, and collaboration. A blueprint to build a stronger, more thriving city. 

How was the survey designed?

This survey was designed for New Yorkers, by New Yorkers. The survey was developed in deep partnership with our 80+ member Civic Policy Council, and was further informed by the expertise of our philanthropic partners and review of the new administration’s stated priorities. The survey includes 27 high-impact policy questions across 10 topic areas.

To create this survey, we collaborated with restaurant owners, artists, religious leaders, entertainers, activists, attorneys, teachers, basketball coaches, guidance counselors, hospital workers, and more. You can read more about who was involved in designing this project here.

Who responded to the survey?

More than 62,000 New Yorkers across all five boroughs responded to the survey. Thanks to the hard work of the 150 on-the-ground canvassers that helped get out the word in partnership with 18 community based organizations, the survey received responses from all 200+ residential zip codes in NYC. To see more data on who responded to the survey and view survey responses by zip code please visit the data page.

Who participated and led community conversations?

50 community-based organizations partnered with NYC Speaks to host over 220 conversations with more than 4,800 NYC residents. These organizations received micro-grants to support their efforts. In addition, 37 Youth Speaks Ambassadors convened 44 conversations with 385 High School students in New York City public schools.

How was the Action Plan developed?

We analyzed 1) community-generated data uplifted through the survey and Community Conversations, 2) administration plans and priorities, and 3) philanthropic focus areas. From these inputs, we identified policy priorities and convened people inside and outside of government to craft implementable policy actions that are directly responsive to community priorities.

What comes next?

The Action Plan will be used to understand the policy issues and actions that New Yorkers are prioritizing (the findings from our extensive research process). Furthermore, Deputy Mayor Wright and her office are committed to coordinating internal and external partnerships to deliver on the initial set of actions laid out in the Action Plan. This is where we’ll be focusing first; it is not the end state and these actions alone won’t get us all the way toward the ‘north star’ for what we hope our city may someday achieve. The initial commitments accompanying each north star represent actions that the City and its partners will undertake in the near-term to work towards each of these end goals, with more engagement, more commitments, and more actions being incorporated over time as the City embarks upon subsequent strategic planning efforts. 

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