Moving Ideas Forward: Clean Trucks, Counting Vacant Buildings, and More
Two policies highlighted by DMI's Marketplace of Ideas series moved closer to reality this month. Yesterday, Mayors Michael Bloomberg of New York and Corey Booker of Newark jointly called on Congress to permit the nation's ports to implement the Clean Truck Program developed in Los Angeles. The Clean Trucks program, which promises to improve both regional air quality and the quality of poorly-paid port trucking jobs, has been partially halted by a federal injunction. The policy was featured in DMI's 2008 Marketplace of Ideas event with Los Angeles official Sean Arian. Earlier this year, Andrea Batista Schlesinger joined Congressman Jerrold Nadler to advocate for Clean Trucks in New York.
Also in October, the New York City Council introduced legislation to conduct an annual count of vacant buildings in the city. As we emphasized during our 2007 event with Boston Mayor Thomas Menino, Boston's decade-long vacant building survey has been a cornerstone of the city's successful efforts to rehabilitate underused properties. The Council's new bill has the potential to do the same, and follows the identification of thousands of derelict lots and buildings in Manhattan alone that could be used to address the city's housing crisis.
Since 2002, DMI's Marketplace of Ideas series has showcased model progressive policies with a solid track record of success in other cities. For each event, we bring policymakers and advocates responsible for enacting the innovative policy to New York to discuss their work and its relevance to our city and state with a panel of prominent local political influencers. Transcripts and video from past events are available for free on our website. From the 2008 event on San Francisco's successful paid sick days law (a similar bill is now pending before the New York City Council) to the 2007 event on Minnesota's law to stop predatory mortgage lending (related legislation became law in New York State the following year), the Marketplace of Ideas offers powerful evidence that the best progressive policies that exist today are practical and effective and worth replicating.