The New York Building Congress today announced Ralph J. Esposito has been appointed as the new Chair of the organization. Esposito is currently President of the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic region at Suffolk and previously worked at Lendlease for nearly 25 years. Throughout his tenure in the industry, Esposito has served as a key player in the construction of the September 11 Memorial and Museum at the World Trade Center and the expansion of the Columbia University Manhattanville Campus, among other iconic projects in New York City. He replaces Elizabeth Velez, President of the Velez Organization, who has served as Chair since January 2020. Photos from today’s event can be accessed here.
“I have been closely involved with the Building Congress for 24 years and have experienced first-hand its many accomplishments in the building industry, so it is a privilege to serve as the new Chair of this tremendous organization,” said Ralph J. Esposito, Chair of the New York Building Congress and President of the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic region at Suffolk. “To help address the numerous challenges facing our region, I will work diligently with the support of the Board of Directors, staff and members of the Building Congress, and all levels of government to institute our agenda to create a stronger, more united New York.”
“We are thrilled to have Ralph Esposito at the helm of our organization, as he will no doubt advance our policy priorities in the years to come,” said Carlo A. Scissura, President & CEO of the New York Building Congress. “As our 2022 Policy Agenda outlines, we will push all levels of government to invest in the next generation of New York for those who live here and all of those to come. I would also like to thank our outgoing Chair, Elizabeth Velez, for her exemplary leadership over the past two years.”
“It has been a great honor to serve as the Chair of the New York Building Congress, and I know that there is no one better suited to take over than Ralph Esposito,” said Elizabeth Velez, Former Chair of the New York Building Congress. “While the last two years were no doubt challenging for our industry, I am proud of the work we accomplished at the Building Congress to see New York through this historic moment. I offer my continued support to Ralph and Carlo as they advocate on behalf of the Building Industry.”
Alongside this announcement at the Annual Membership Meeting and Construction Industry Luncheon, the Building Congress released its 2022 Policy Agenda today, calling on all levels of government to increase funding to rebuild New York’s aging infrastructure, as well as streamline processes that make building safer and more efficient. The policy agenda details the Building Congress’s priorities and recommendations to bolster New York’s housing stock, workforce and economy.
The 2022 Policy Agenda highlights the New York Building Congress’s focused efforts to improve New York through the building industry. Priorities from the report include:
- Through federal funding, New York State and local agencies will receive over $20 billion to improve their physical infrastructure. This money should be dedicated to initiatives and entities such as the Gateway Program, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, the New York City Housing Authority and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.
- Utilizing the funds from the $311 billion New York State infrastructure plan, the Building Congress will focus on advancing the reconstruction of Penn Station, expanding the Long Island and Metro-North railroads, reimagining the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, advancing the proposed congestion pricing plan, reviewing and analyzing the proposed Interborough Express and implementing clean energy projects across the state.
Building a More Equitable and Resilient City
- New York has experienced extensive infrastructure damage through the effects of climate change. The Building Congress calls on the industry to focus on communities disproportionately affected by environmental injustice, communities of color and those affected by historical inequities in funding and resources.
- In 2022, the Building Congress will focus on Lower Manhattan and East Side Coastal Resiliency projects and the $4 billion Clean Water, Clean Air and Green Jobs Environmental Bond Act.
A Comprehensive Affordable Housing Plan
- With the 421a tax abatement and Brownfield Cleanup Program set to expire and the gap between population growth and housing units widening, the Building Congress is calling on New York State and City to address the growing issue of housing supply and affordability.
- The Building Congress will focus on policies and programs that target rezoning initiatives in growth-equipped neighborhoods, develop new housing for all income levels, convert underused commercial spaces to residential uses, increase home ownership opportunities and provide stable homes to those experiencing homelessness.