Inside the Clash Between Powerful Business Leaders and N.Y.C.’s Mayor

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With conditions decaying in New York City neighborhoods and business districts, a powerful corporate executive traveled to Gracie Mansion in July to meet with Mayor Bill de Blasio. He briefed the mayor on a plan — prepared by 14 consulting firms — for how City Hall could work with business leaders to overcome the pandemic downturn.Mr. de Blasio appeared supportive. The executive, Steven R. Swartz, head of the Hearst media conglomerate, left feeling hopeful, as he later told others from the Partnership for New York City, a top business group.But weeks then went by, and the corporate leaders began feeling that Mr. de Blasio was ignoring their concerns.On Thursday, they struck back in the form of an open letter that publicly upbraided the mayor for neglecting “public safety, cleanliness and other quality-of-life issues,” which they said had led to “widespread anxiety” among New Yorkers.The letter was signed by 163 chief executives and leaders, a striking array from some of the biggest companies in New York City, including Goldman Sachs, JetBlue, Mastercard, Morgan Stanley, Pfizer and Warby Parker, as well as from top law firms and real estate developers. They called on the mayor to take “immediate action to restore essential …

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