Celebrating New Deal New York City: Spring 2017

The Living New Deal and the National Jobs for all Coalition are working together to celebrate the publication of a Map and Guide to New Deal New York City that will be available in Spring 2017. This Map and Guide will demonstrate how the nation’s deteriorated physical, cultural, and environmental resources were vastly improved by the government job creation programs that employed millions of jobless workers during the Great Depression.  The Launch of this project is an occasion to call attention to the persistent problem of unemployment and its debilitating effects on our people and communities. It is also an opportunity to counter pervasive negative attitudes toward government and to provide a shining example of how democratic government is capable of solving serious national problems. And it will feature a plan to combat unemployment and increase the City’s physical, cultural, environmental, and human service resources.

The Living New Deal, a research project based at the University of California, has already mapped over 10,000 New Deal sites across the United States.* By providing concrete evidence of what was done in the past, The Living New Deal intends to show Americans what could be done today to put unemployed people back to work improving their communities, their country, and the environment. Attached is a list of top New York City New Deal Sites identified by the Living New Deal.

The National Jobs for All Coalition (NJFAC) is an organization of academic social scientists, social workers, trade unionists, and other advocates of economic justice that pursues the goal of living-wage jobs for all who want work.** As part of the Launch, NJFAC is proposing a similar approach for New York City today. Based on its survey of unmet need and unemployment, particularly in inner-city areas, NJFAC will advocate a major initiative of government job creation programs to meet these needs and employ jobless workers in New York City. Such action at the state and local levels– particularly in the nation’s leading metropolis – could stimulate necessary action at the federal level.

The Launch will feature a number of events to Celebrate New Deal New York City—lectures, public meetings, symposia– at such places as the Museum of the City of New York and the Municipal Archives/Department of Records and Information Services of the City of New York. The Columbia University Seminars Program has made a grant to its Seminar on Full Employment, Social Welfare, and Equity for a conference to celebrate the Launch.  Resources permitting, planners would like to feature some innovative, electronic approaches such as Projection Mapping and QR (Quick Response) Codes or matrix barcodes that can be used by individuals with cell phones to get information about specific New Deal projects. Planners are at work on a monograph that will explore Eleanor Roosevelt’s contributions to New Deal work programs and her advocacy of full employment.

Professor Franklin D. Roosevelt III is serving as Honorary Chairperson of the Launch of the Map and Guide to New Deal New York City.