Mayoral hopeful Scott Stringer is proposing to jolt the town’s restoration with a $50 million plan that will give transit and small enterprise vouchers to all vaccinated New Yorkers.
Dubbed “VaxPacks,” this system may embody redeemable vouchers for a two-trip MetroCard; $20 to make use of at native New York Metropolis eating places and different small companies; and admission to film theaters, museums or different cultural venues.
“By providing free VaxPacks to vaccinated New Yorkers, we’re injecting a lot wanted stimulus into our native economic system,” Stringer mentioned in a press launch previewed by Gothamist. “It’s time to assume creatively and outside-the-box to ship a secure and profitable reopening with an equitable restoration.”
Stringer mentioned that VaxPacks might be distributed after a person’s ultimate vaccine dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at city-run vaccination websites. If elected mayor, he would name for the vouchers to be reimbursed solely at locally-owned eating places and small companies.
Because the climate warms and the variety of vaccinated residents grows, a number of of the main mayoral candidates have launched concepts or plans to revitalize arts and tradition in New York Metropolis. Final month, Andrew Yang proposed having a free week of subway rides starting on the Friday earlier than Memorial Day weekend. (The MTA later shot down the thought.)
In contrast to Yang’s plan, Stringer has mentioned that the town would reimburse the MTA for the transit vouchers used below the VaxPacks program.
Immediately, @andrewyang proposed free subway fares for Memorial Day week, as a method to enhance the economic system. He did not attain out to the MTA beforehand, based on the MTA, whose response was not significantly optimistic. pic.twitter.com/hsQTYodnxj
— Dana Rubinstein (@danarubinstein) March 9, 2021
Shaun Donovan final week launched a prolonged listing of proposals to assist the humanities sector, together with an initiative to permit empty business areas and open areas for use by visible and performing artists. In the meantime, Kathryn Garcia has proposed having public areas function “pop up dinners, theater performances, installations and business markets.”
Starting final Friday, performing arts teams in New York state have been permitted to carry reveals with audiences at 33 p.c capability, with a most of 100 folks indoors or 200 folks outside. However smaller audiences make large-scale productions, like these on Broadway, economically infeasible. Governor Andrew Cuomo has mentioned that the state would produce 1,000 free occasions by Labor Day to assist resuscitate the humanities and tradition group. And Mayor Invoice de Blasio final month introduced that the town would start particular vaccination websites for Broadway staff in hopes of getting theaters reopen within the fall.
Below a separate financial restoration plan, Stringer has additionally mentioned he would revitalize Broadway by having the town buy 250,000 theater tickets and distribute them to frontline staff in addition to college students and households.
Stringer’s VaxPacks concept is one among many who mayoral contenders have been pitching as they attempt to woo voters. Nevertheless it’s unclear whether or not such proposals can be needed or possible when the subsequent mayor takes workplace in 2022.