NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Now that city leaders believe the worst of the coronavirus crisis is over for now, they are setting their sights on slowly reopening the economy.
Mayor Bill de Blasio has announced the creation of task forces to help influence his decisions, CBS2’s Aundrea Cline-Thomas reported Monday.
With health care indicators beginning to trend in the right direction, de Blasio created the Fair Recovery Task Force to help outline what re-opening the economy will look like.
Advisory councils will focus on different sectors, including small businesses, public health, and the arts.
The groups are set to convene within days and provide recommendations to the administration on June 1.
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Will the city delay opening until those task forces come back with recommendations in June?
“No. The reopening will move as quick as is safe and healthy,” de Blasio said. “You do some relaxing of a particular rule and you watch the impact of it. Is it working? Is it enforceable? So that’s all going to play out starting in May.”
“You need to, one, make sure that you’ve got real genuine experts in the area who can add value. Two, that those experts have the time to devote to working on this now and quickly so that they can move at the same speed that everything else has to move,” CBS2 urban affairs expert Mark Peters said.
Peters said getting buy-in from stakeholders is key, but he also questioned the mayor’s track record for oversight.
“This mayor has not shown a willingness to be involved in task forces in the past,” Peters said.
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With 20 months left in his term, the mayor hopes to address inequalities head on, a promise he first made during his campaign.
“Are you now using these task forces and committees to make up what you haven’t been able to accomplish during your tenure?” Cline-Thomas asked.
De Blasio touted some successes, but said this poses another opportunity.
“In those 20 months we’re going to take some very big steps in that direction and leave the city a bigger roadmap of where we go from here,” de Blasio said.
Mayoral hopefuls like former Obama Housing Secretary Shaun Donovan are watching closely what they could inherit.
“I know what we do in the next days and weeks is going to fundamentally change and alter what the next mayor takes over,” Donovan said. “If we get careless in the next few weeks and the next month what we’re going to see is all of that heroism, all of that pain and suffering, would’ve been wasted.”
The economy will reopen. It’s just too soon to say when.
And the normal so many are hoping to return to will probably be much different.