As the nation's most populous city since 1790, New York City is home to about 8.4 million people, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2013 estimate. Throughout its history, the city has been a leading entry point for immigrants, helping create an incredibly diverse city. Demographically, the city is 33 percent white (of which one third is Jewish), 29 percent Latino, 25 percent African American, and 13 percent Asian. The city is home to the largest Latino and African American communities in the country and the largest Jewish population of any city in the world.
New York is home to the United Nations, is often viewed as the financial capital of the world, and is among the most linguistically diverse cities on the globe, with an estimated 800 languages spoken. It is also a leader in community wealth building.
Founded in 1967, Bedford-Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation is often considered the first community development corporation in the nation. It has helped attract more than $500 million in investment to Central Brooklyn and placed over 20,000 youth and adults in jobs. Also considered an early program related investment success story, the organization was a recipient of a $3.4 million loan from the Ford Foundation to support the construction of Restoration Plaza, a commercial center completed in 1972 that receives an estimated 1.5 million visits each year.
Representing another national first, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey was the first bi-state agency in the nation. The Port Authority has been responsible for developing: the George Washington Bridge; the Outerbridge Crossing; the Goethals and the Bayonne bridges; the Lincoln Tunnel; upgrading and managing the Newark, LaGuardia, and John F. Kenney International airports; and construction of the World Trade Center. Although created by the city to help develop vital transportation links necessary to its growth, the Port Authority is completely financially self-supporting. It receives no tax revenue, and at the end of fiscal year 2013, the Port Authority had $4.4 billion in gross operating revenues.
Today, the city continues to invest in community wealth building strategies. For example, in June 2014, the New York City Council created a $1.2 million fund to support the expansion of worker cooperatives throughout the City, representing the largest investment a U.S. municipal government has ever made in worker cooperative development. The fund will provide financial and technical assistance to help launch new cooperatives and foster the continued growth of 20 existing employee-owned cooperatives.
An overview of these and other community wealth building efforts follow: