Mayor Bill de Blasio, U.S. Senator Chris Murphy to Speak at RPA Assembly

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and U.S. Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut will address the Regional Plan Association’s annual Assembly on Friday, April 25, at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York.

The daylong conference will examine longstanding and emerging challenges facing the New York-New Jersey-Connecticut region, including soaring costs of living, persistent poverty and uneven access to opportunity, inadequate infrastructure and inflexible government institutions. RPA will present new research developed for the Fourth Regional Plan that pinpoints both the region’s advantages and the threats to its long-term success.

In addition to Mayor de Blasio and Senator Murphy, speakers at the daylong event will include Polly Trottenberg, Commissioner, New York City Department of Transportation; former Port Authority Executive Director Christopher Ward; New Jersey Assemblyman John Wisniewski;  Xavier de Souza Briggs, Vice President of Economic Opportunity & Assets, Ford Foundation; Joseph Boardman, President & CEO, Amtrak; Dawn Zimmer, Mayor of Hoboken; Peggy Shepard, Executive Director, WE ACT for Environmental Justice; and many more.

The Assembly will feature timely discussions on needed reforms to public agencies such as the Port Authority; how to create enough affordable housing in a high-cost region; the need to make New York City streets safer, more livable and more accommodating to all modes of transportation; and the challenge of paying for growing infrastructure needs at a time of declining gas-tax revenue and shrinking federal support.

Another session will look at how we can learn from disasters such as Hurricane Sandy to make our vulnerable coastal region more resilient to climate change. The discussion will feature the release of a report published by the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, co-written by Rob Pirani and Laura Tolkoff of RPA, on what changes are needed in federal policy to improve climate resiliency.

The event also will include an opportunity for participants to share their own ideas on how to address some of the region’s most pressing problems.

“We are honored to have Mayor de Blasio, Senator Murphy and so many other distinguished speakers join us as we debate and discuss how best to ensure a fair, prosperous and sustainable future for our region,” said Robert D. Yaro, president of Regional Plan Association. “The development of the Fourth Regional Plan is rooted in the belief that while the metropolitan region has made great strides in the last two decades, many challenges threaten to derail our success. It is vital that we learn from our most innovative thinkers as we develop a comprehensive, long-range vision for the region.”

RPA’s Assembly is the premier public affairs forum for civic and business leaders in tri-state region.