Modernizing the city: Mayoral candidates want an app for that

New York Elections

NEW YORK CITY — The issue of modernizing the way the city interacts with the public has become a front and center issues on the mayoral campaign trail, as the leading candidates lay out their plan to help the city recover.

“This is a real-time city where benefits and resources must also be in real time,” Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams said.

Adams, who is running for mayor, said if he wins the election, he wants to provide a range of city social services for low-income families, including tax credits, childcare, housing, food and healthcare through a single app or online portal.

“It’s 311 on steroids,” Adams said.

The pitch is a familiar one.

Two months ago, former Sanitation Commissioner Katheryn Garcia rolled out a similar idea to allow small businesses to get up and running. She’s running for mayor, too. Her proposal was immediately embraced by another mayoral candidate Andrew Yang, who even appeared at a rollout event with Garcia.

More: A list of everyone running for New York City mayor in 2021

“There have been a few times on the campaign trail I have said those words and people have copied them,” Garcia said.

As for Adams’ plan, Garcia noted there is already a 311 app. Users in the Apple app store give it a tepid 3.4 star rating.

The city already has quite a few apps, though the reviews for all of them aren’t stellar.

Garcia said in general, the city needs to lean into technology more.

“Everything from booking an airline ticket to calling a cab can be done on your smart phone,” Garcia said. “The city should be just as easy to use.”

More: A list of everyone running for New York City mayor in 2021

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