July 25, 2021

Covid-19, attacks of September 11, 2001 … Kathryn Wylde, at the bedside of the New York crises

In the 1970s, Kathryn Wylde had sometimes been called a communist, when she advocated for housing against speculation and real estate scams in Brooklyn. She is now president of Partnership for New York City, the association that brings together the best of New York bosses and billionaires, from Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan, to legendary financiers Leon Black and Henry Kravis.

“I am still an activist”, nevertheless assures us Mme Wylde, 74, through the Zoom video calling app. “I’ve always liked things to be done. I see my job the same way, but instead of working without resources, in one neighborhood, I have access to people who have the means and can act throughout the city. “

Today, Partnership for New York City seeks to organize the rebirth of the city, shattered by the Covid-19. Discreetly, with a slogan: no new taxes, as calls for a tax on the rich multiply with the collapse of city and state finances – more than $ 70 billion (57 billion euros) of hole over three years.

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“There are other things to do besides imposing punitive taxes. We saw what happened in the 1970s, during the last economic and fiscal crisis of this magnitude. New York took twenty years to recover. We had lost 1 million inhabitants, note tax base and half of the largest companies. We don’t want to relive that ”, says Mme Wylde.

Urban speculations and scams

Flashback: The Life of Kathryn Wylde, Described in a Long Investigation by New York Magazine dated November 23, merges with the appalling crises that New York has gone through for half a century: the deindustrialization and urban dislocation of the 1960s, the bankruptcy of the city during the following decade, the Mafia and drugs in the 1980s, the attacks of September 11, 2001, the financial crisis of 2008 and finally the Covid-19 pandemic.

When she arrived in Brooklyn, Minnesota, in 1968, her adopted neighborhood, Sunset Park, was on the verge of impoverishment: industries had closed, the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge paved the way for emigration to what was then. the residential suburb of Staten Island. Kathryn Wylde is involved in an association that buys real estate and renovates it in order to sell it at low prices to modest households. Brooklyn is plagued by all kinds of speculation and urban scams, having had the honors of Hollywood, to the detriment of the poorest, who have their homes seized.

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