Childcare, Rental Assistance and Other Advice for NYC’s Next Mayor

Richard Buery, new CEO of the Robin Hood Foundation and a former deputy mayor who…

Richard Buery, new CEO of the Robin Hood Foundation and a former deputy mayor who oversaw implementation of the de Blasio administration’s signature Pre-K for All initiative, offer’s advice for Mayor-elect Eric Adams.

Larry Racioppo

Richard Buery, right, with former City Limits executive editor Jarrett Murphy. Buery was an honoree at City Limits’ anniversary gala in 2018.

When Mayor-elect Eric Adams takes office in just over a month, he’ll preside over a city struggling to overcome deepening inequities laid bare by the COVID pandemic and set to worsen as current eviction protections come to an end.

Tens of thousands of children live in city homeless shelters, the unemployment rate tops the national average and food insecurity continues to affect nearly 2 million New Yorkers. As Adams prepares to address these problems, he will no doubt seek guidance from leaders with experience implementing strategies to mitigate poverty and uplift low-income New Yorkers.

Among those who fit that description: Richard Buery, the new CEO of the Robin Hood Foundation, a former deputy under Mayor Bill de Blasio and a recent inductee into City Limits’ Hall of Fame. In his role as deputy mayor for strategic policy initiatives, Buery oversaw the implementation of de Blasio’s signature Pre-K for All initiative, which gave families a right to early childhood education. In his current role, he leads one of New York City’s largest foundations, which funds organizations addressing poverty.

Buery joined City Watch on WBAI 99.5 FM on Sunday to discuss his recommendations for the next mayor, including how to make childcare easier for all families to afford— through a credit or, more directly, a universal system of home-based care and other services. Such a commitment would relieve a burden that falls disproportionately on women of color, limiting the earning power of families and forcing parents and guardians to make difficult work decisions.

“New York City is at a critical inflection point as we return from what we hope was the worst of the pandemic and that has affected families in so many ways,” Buery said Sunday. “And the challenge for us as a city is how do we have a recovery that benefits all New Yorkers.”

“High quality childcare is a critical tool to help New Yorkers get back to work,” he added, citing a statistic that every dollar invested in childcare returns $7 or more to families. Strong childcare also improves academic and social outcomes for children, he said.

During the interview, Buery elaborated on some of the other proposals he outlined in an op-ed for the Daily News Sunday, including bolstering the city’s right to counsel law to cover more low-income renters facing eviction and expanding access to rental assistance programs.

Listen to Buery’s conversation with City Watch host and City Limits reporter David Brand below:

City Watch: Childcare, Rental Assistance and Other Advice for NYC’s Next Mayor