NYC Opportunity’s work in the Adams Administration

Happy New Year! This month marks the start of the second year of the Adams Administration. We want to take this opportunity to talk about some of the recent work we have done advancing the goals the administration has set out for itself and for New York City.

NYC Opportunity
NYC Opportunity
Published in
6 min readJan 24


The Mayor’s Office for Economic Opportunity ‘s (NYC Opportunity) work is focused on breaking down barriers that make it difficult for New Yorkers to access government services and benefits. Digital products like the next generation of Working NYC, described below, connect New Yorkers to two things the administration has put a priority on — well-paying jobs and work supports.

Our office is also deeply involved in the City’s equity work, which aims to increase racial and social equity across New York City. Two innovative additions to NYC Opportunity’s equity work, also described below, are Equity Mapping and Community of Equity Practice. Equity Mapping makes various kinds of inequity and programs designed to address them visible in geographic form. The Community of Equity Practice is a network designed to build capacity to advance equity within City government.

These are some of the services and benefits access and equity initiatives we have worked on in the last quarter of 2022, which we intend to continue to advance in the new year.

Here is what has been happening in some of our current initiatives:

Working NYC

NYC Opportunity originally launched Working NYC, a digital tool to help jobseekers find training, education, and other support, in the summer of 2020. In the fall of 2022, in continued partnership with the Mayor’s Office of Talent and Workforce Development and with additional support from the NYC Office of Technology and Innovation, we launched the next generation of Working NYC. Working NYC V2 expands the number of workforce programs, especially population-specific resources; includes hubs where residents can connect to employment opportunities; connects them to social services; and continues to grow and deepen our relationships with agency partners and providers. The design and user experience were also updated, leveraging the two years of feedback we have received from residents. We look forward to integrating additional feedback from people as they use the site and identify additional resources to include.

Working NYC V2 will be the foundation of the City’s vision for connecting jobseekers, employers, and those who support them. We have begun work on the next phase, a front door for employers to better tap City talent and participate in workforce development opportunities.

Mapping Equity

Our office launched Mapping Equity, an online tool that provides the public with a geographical picture of the quality of life in New York City, including where City services are offered and general information about the City’s population. It helps to inform how we and other parts of City government do our work, and where we place our focus in various areas at the neighborhood level. Mapping Equity contains three Base Maps (Equity Outcomes, City Service Metrics, City Service Locations), and an array of Featured Maps (Workforce Supports, Eviction Prevention, Voting Access, Fire Safety, Cooling Assistance During COVID, Young Adult Poverty and Detention, and Safe and Affordable Housing).

Mapping Equity is part of our EquityNYC project, whose mission is to build local government capacity to increase racial and social equity. EquityNYC provides City agencies with supports of various kinds to help achieve better outcomes for New Yorkers, including community, digital, and data tools, institutional expertise, and material resources. As part of this work, EquityNYC operates the EquityNYC Report, a centralized data hub that highlights current efforts to advance equity and provides information on the development of equitable policies and programs.

Community of Equity Practice

Source: Pexels

The City committed, through Executive Order 45, to provide guidance to City agencies and offices on analyzing key equity practices; identifying opportunities to produce greater equity; and assessing actions the City has taken and will take to reduce disparities and expand opportunity. EquityNYC builds capacity to increase racial and social equity by providing agencies and offices with resources, coordination, accountability, and community.

As part of this work, NYC Opportunity, in partnership with Equity and Results, a leading expert in data-driven system change through racial and social equity principles, operates Community of Equity Practice (CEP). CEP is a network of City government equity practitioners who come together regularly to improve their skills, generate new knowledge, and build connection to advance racial and social equity. It has four main goals: (1) creating a space of healing, renewal, and rejuvenation to promote equity; (2) developing training, tools, and resources to advance equity work; (3) cross-teaching and sharing best practices relating to equity work in City government; and (4) informing the development of equity strategies and measures citywide.

The CEP network includes 45 City agencies and offices, and over 85 City employees. It advances its equity work through monthly membership meetings; community-building activities; and written tools and resources. It also has working subcommittees on Training + Capacity Building, Community Building, and Data + Reporting.

Cannabis Industry

NYC Opportunity has laid the groundwork for partnering in the coming year with the Young Men’s Initiative to fund a national landscape study and analysis of equity, entrepreneurship, and workforce development in the cannabis industry. The study and analysis are designed to inform the City’s strategy of supporting the equitable development of the city’s legal cannabis industry. Recommendations from the study will also inform NYC Opportunity’s approach to cannabis workforce development.

Designed by Community Fellowship

NYC Opportunity’s Service Design Studio and Phipps Neighborhoods will announce in January the second cohort of Designed by Community Fellows. These paid fellowships support community leaders who serve as fellows in the Designed by Community Program, an initiative that fosters codesign projects with community-based leaders and community-based organization partners. Starting in January 2023, the fellows will design and develop hyper-localized digital access-related solutions for their community using service design methodology. Past fellows have worked on projects related to the COVID-19 crisis for and with New York City Housing Authority communities. The fellowship is part of NYC Opportunity’s focus on community-led engagements in the design and implementation of programs.

Credible Messengers

NYC Opportunity has worked on initiatives this year aimed at helping New Yorkers with criminal legal system involvement. In addition, working with the Urban Institute, we conducted a study that utilized participatory evaluation methods to examine multiple Credible Messenger programs in New York City. Credible messengers are mentors who share lived experiences with the clients they serve, often including prior contact with the legal system. The study highlights the promise of this programming and the need to center lived experience in service delivery and policy making. Based on this positive assessment, the study calls for increased support for the credible messenger field and for individuals working in it.

About the Mayor’s Office for Economic Opportunity

The Mayor’s Office for Economic Opportunity (NYC Opportunity) helps the City apply evidence and innovation to reduce poverty and increase equity. It improves the systems of government by advancing the use of research, data and design in program and policy development, service delivery, and budget decisions. Its work includes rigorously assessing the impact of anti-poverty strategies, partnering with agencies to develop new programs and digital products, facilitating the sharing of data across City agencies, and analyzing local poverty and social conditions.

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