In this moment when we are relying on our communities, neighbors and local government like never before, I wanted to take the opportunity to talk with you. And to listen to you.

So today I am launching #DowntownTogether. It’s an opportunity to connect on the ways in which our downtown community will recover from this pandemic… together. I want to start a conversation about the things that I care about. And hear ideas and suggestions from you.

Here are a few things you can expect to hear from me:

  • We need to support our small businesses–who in turn employ people, and help keep our streets bustling and safe.
  • We need to preserve and expand open space and parks downtown. Now more than ever, being outdoors is crucial for health, and especially vital for children and seniors.
  • We must reopen schools and restore in-person learning to all students. Children must be in school. Remote learning should remain an option for any family who chooses it, but every child has a right to an education in a classroom with peers and a teacher. We must demand full school reopening. 
  • And finally, there needs to be an end to over-development of our community and instead the creation of more affordable housing with real community input into the process. No looming towers and no building that does not address transportation, parks and school needs that come with additional housing units. 

In Battery Park City or Chinatown, the Lower East Side or Tribeca, or any of the many unique neighborhoods that make our part of Manhattan so special–we need bold leadership now more than ever. 

Our neighborhoods have bounced back from 9/11, and from Hurricane Sandy, and we will get through this pandemic and come out even stronger.

Stay tuned to hear more about my vision for downtown — and tell me yours — using the hashtag #downtowntogether

-Maud Maron