De Blasio calls for return to the office, restores trash pickups

Mayor responds to mounting pressure from real estate and other industries

New York /
Sep.September 16, 2020 09:00 AM
Following pressure from business leaders, Mayor Bill de Blasio calls for the return to the office (Getty)

Following pressure from business leaders, Mayor Bill de Blasio calls for the return to the office (Getty)

Under mounting pressure from real estate and other business leaders, Mayor Bill de Blasio finally encouraged workers to get back to their desks and restored trash pickups Tuesday.

While offices can reopen at 50 percent capacity, the vast majority of workers have stayed away — hampering the recovery of the city’s office, retail and residential markets. The city plans to bring thousands of its own employees back to their workplaces through a phased initiative, Politico reported.

“It’s time to start moving, more and more,” de Blasio said at a press briefing.

The mayor also announced a cleanliness initiative focused on streets and parks. It will bring 65 garbage trucks back into service — a 24 percent increase over current levels of public wastebasket collection. The trucks will go to neighborhoods hit hardest by Covid.

The moves follow a letter to the mayor by business leaders, including real estate executives, calling for “immediate action” to improve public safety, cleanliness and the city’s quality of life.

“People will be slow to return unless their concerns about security and the livability of our communities are addressed quickly and with respect and fairness for our city’s diverse populations,” the letter read.

Roughly translated, its message to de Blasio was: Do something about rising crime, overflowing corner wastebaskets and street homelessness.

The continuation of work-from-home has resulted in companies rethinking their office space, striking fear in the hearts of commercial landlords. One study found that nearly 70 percent of CEOs expect to downsize their offices. [Politico] — Sasha Jones

 

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