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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 everyday 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 is 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 include:
1. A citywide survey that will quantify 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. 

You can read more about who was involved in launching this project here.

How was this 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 have 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.

What is this survey about? 

The goal of this survey is to amplify the voices of New Yorkers on issues that impact them most directly. Our goal is to hear from New Yorkers typically excluded from government decision-making: Black and brown, low-income, immigrant, youth, NYCHA and disabled communities.

We are asking for your input across 10 issue areas: health & well-being, arts & culture, housing & neighborhoods, economy & workforce, racial equity, climate & infrastructure, education & youth development, public safety, gender justice, and civic engagement.

How will the responses be used?

The data will be presented to Mayor Eric Adams’ administration, who will be able to refer to it when drafting policies that affect the future of New York City. 

The data will also be made available publicly, so that we, as a city, can see what the top priorities are in each of our neighborhoods.  

Once the data is made publicly available, we will also host community discussions (that you can be a part of!) to share out the findings from the survey and collaborate on what is best for the future of our city,

How long will the survey take? 

However long you want it to take. If you want to respond to only a few questions relating to the topics you care about, you can do that. If you are skipping questions, please leave those questions blank and click through to the end of the survey, until you reach the last page, so that your responses can be submitted. 

The entire survey takes approximately 20 minutes to complete.

Are all of the questions required? Do we have to fill out the whole survey? 

No. The first two questions are required to ensure that our responses represent New Yorkers who are 18 years old and over. After that, you can take the survey as you like — if there is a question or section you don’t want to respond to, please leave it blank.

Please remember, if you are leaving questions or sections blank, to click through to the end of the survey, until you reach the last page, so that your response can be submitted. 

Can I take the survey in other languages?

Yes, in addition to English, the survey has been translated into the 10 citywide languages specified in Local Law 30. You can access the survey in Spanish, Arabic, Bengali, Korean, Polish, Russian, Chinese, Haitian Creole, French, and Urdu

Can I fill the survey out with my family or household?

This is an individual survey, so while collaboration is certainly permitted, we ask that you fill out a separate response for each individual family or household member. We want this survey to be representative of the perspectives of all New Yorkers, and we recognize that policy priorities and opinions may differ within households. 

Is there a paper version of this survey? 

No — this is an electronic survey only. We have deployed on-the-ground canvassers across priority neighborhoods to help people fill this survey out online and to make it as accessible to as many people as possible. We have made sure that our platform meets accessibility requirements. 

We ask that you do the same — if there is a member of your family who wants to fill out this survey but struggles with electronics, please help them out (you can read the questions out loud & help them answer on a phone, computer, iPad, etc.). 

Is the survey anonymous? Why are you asking for my zip code? 

The survey is completely anonymous. We do not ask for any personally identifying information (e.g., name, email, address). We collect more general information, such as zip code, so that we can make sure we are representing all neighborhoods. 

Why are you asking for information about my race/ethnicity and gender?

We want to make sure this survey represents all New Yorkers, so that we can be as inclusive as possible. We need some information about you to be able to do that — but these questions are not required. Feel free to leave them blank if you prefer not to answer. *

*NYC Residency and Age are required.  

Why are you asking about my income? 

Income provides us with crucial knowledge on who we are hearing from and who we are not hearing from. We want to ensure that we do not leave any group behind — especially economically disadvantaged groups. 

Can non-residents of New York City take this survey?

No, this survey is restricted to those residing in the 5 boroughs of New York City only. 

Non-residents will be able to participate in the community conversations phase of the work that kicks off in February 2022.

Why do I have to be over 18 to take this survey? 

We have worked in partnership with the New York City Department of Education to create a ‘NYC Youth Speaks’ survey that will engage our young people on their ideas to make New York City an even better place. 

Take the NYC Youth Speaks survey now! 

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