About the Reimagine NY Commission

Action Plan

Action Plan for a Reimagined NY

Created by former Governor Andrew Cuomo and chaired by Eric Schmidt, Co-Founder of Schmidt Futures and former CEO of Google, New York State's 16-member blue-ribbon Commission developed recommendations that will leverage technology to build back a better and more resilient New York with greater opportunity for all. This Commission included educators, innovators, labor organizers, business leaders, and artists from across the state. To ensure the Commission’s outcomes reflected the diversity of the communities across New York State, the team held over 40 listening sessions, conducted hundreds of interviews, and organized three surveys to engage thousands of New Yorkers.

The Reimagine New York Commission’s final report recommends initiatives already underway to build back a better and more resilient New York. The final recommendations of the Commission span its three focus areas: connectivity, telehealth and work. The report, “Action Plan for a Reimagined New York,” highlights key initiatives that are already underway through innovative public-private partnerships as well as major legislation that then-Governor Cuomo included in his 2021 Executive Budget, including the first-in-the-nation guarantee of affordable internet for low-income families and legislation to expand and improve access to telehealth.

Read the Action Plan

Full Report

One-Page Summary

Full Report (plain text .pdf)

Background Research

As the Commission began its work, Commissioners and staff undertook background research across its three working areas: connectivity, telehealth, and work. This research ensures that the Commission's work is grounded in the best available information, including input from stakeholders from across New York.


Background research on connectivity, telehealth and work issues in New York provides additional context for the Commission’s recommendations and priorities.


The COVID-19 crisis has brought to light both the necessity of affordable, high-speed internet connection and the connectivity disparities that exist in New York State and across the United States.

The Commission has therefore focused its work on enabling connectivity for all New Yorkers by learning about what barriers exist to internet access and proposing solutions to overcome those barriers in a way that advances equity and prepares New York for the next wave of technological innovation.

Learn more about the Commission’s background research on the state of connectivity, current market dynamics, and emerging deployment models that can help to ensure all New Yorkers have access to affordable, at-home broadband and the digital skills needed to take full advantage of that access:

Download the Report

Full Report


The Commission aims to enable wider use of telehealth to build a more accessible, equitable, effective, and efficient healthcare system for New Yorkers.

Prior to COVID-19, telehealth played only a small role in patient care. Telehealth usage has surged since February 2020, driven by both an increase in patient and provider demand, as well as temporary policy actions taken by the federal government, New York State, and health plans to expand when, where, and how telehealth may be used. New Yorkers have benefited and stand to continue benefiting from this expansion of telehealth: evidence suggests telehealth can expand access to care, improve patient outcomes, increase patient satisfaction, and reduce healthcare costs.

Learn more about the Commission’s background research on telehealth usage in New York, telehealth’s effectiveness, and recent telehealth policy changes:

Download the Report

Full Report


The COVID-19 crisis has profoundly impacted New York State’s economy, with the workforce experiencing extreme shocks as monthly unemployment rates bounced from the lowest in decades to highs not seen since the Great Depression. A vast number of small businesses face ongoing financial challenges and funding gaps, leaving them more vulnerable than before the crisis. Finally, arts organizations and workers are being confronted with acute economic hardship as large portions of the arts and culture industry have shut down.

The Commission has therefore focused its work on empowering New York’s workforce through 1) retraining and public-private partnerships to succeed in an increasingly digital economy; 2) identifying and accelerating tech-enabled approaches to better serve New York’s small businesses and entrepreneurs; and 3) reinvigorating arts and cultural institutions.

Learn more about the Commission’s findings on key areas for reimagining work and the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on small businesses, workforce development, and arts and culture:

Download the Report

Full Report

News & Updates

June 3, 2021Mellon Announces $125 Million "Creatives Rebuild New York" Initiative to Reactivate the State's Creative Economy and Provide Artists with the Critical Support They Need 

March 31, 2021: Then-Governor Cuomo Accepts Recommendations of the Blue-Ribbon Reimagine New York Commission

March 19, 2021: Then-Governor Cuomo Announces Launch of ConnectED NY Fund to Provide No-Cost Internet Access for 50,000 Students in Economically Disadvantaged School Districts

January 12, 2021: Then-Governor Cuomo Announces Proposal to Enact a First-In-The-Nation Guarantee of Affordable Internet for Low-Income Families as Part of the 2021 State of the State

January 12, 2021: Then-Governor Cuomo Announces Proposal to Create a Pathways Pledge for New York State Employers as Part of 2021 State of the State

January 10, 2021: Then-Governor Cuomo Announces Proposal to Expand Access to Telehealth for All as Part of 2021 State of the State

August 3, 2020: Eric Schmidt: Build back a better New York as state begins to reopen

May 24, 2020: Amid Ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic, then-Governor Cuomo Announces Reimagine NYS Blue Ribbon Commission Members

May 6, 2020: Amid Ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic, then-Governor Cuomo Announces Schmidt Futures Will Help Integrate NYS Practices and Systems with Best Advanced Technology Tools to Build Back Better


Commissioner Biographies

Eric Schmidt

Commission Chair, Co-Founder of Schmidt Futures and former CEO of Google

Toyin Ajayi
Chief Health Officer & Co-founder, Cityblock Health

Elizabeth Alexander
President, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

Plinio Ayala
President/CEO, Per Scholas

Steven Koonin
University Professor, New York University

Maurie McInnis
President, SUNY Stony Brook

Sid Mukherjee
Physician/Author, Assistant Professor at Columbia

Richard Parsons
Senior Advisor, Providence Equity Advisors

Charles Phillips
Chair/Former CEO, Infor

Martha Pollack
President, Cornell University

Dennis Rivera
Former Chair, SEIU healthcare

Ginni Rometty
Executive Chair, IBM

Jane Rosenthal
Co-founder/CEO/Executive Chair, Tribeca Film Festival

Satish K. Tripathi
President, SUNY Buffalo

Hamdi Ulukaya
Founder/Chairman/CEO, Chobani

Darren Walker
President, Ford Foundation

About Schmidt Futures

Schmidt Futures is a philanthropic initiative, co-founded by Eric and Wendy Schmidt, that finds exceptional people and helps them do more for others together. 

As a venture facility for public benefit, Schmidt Futures aims to create public value from private philanthropy through risk transfer, often investing in people without a track record or with experimental ideas. 

In its working method, Schmidt Futures brings talent together into networks to solve the hardest problems; challenges and competes ideas to drive higher returns for society; builds partnerships across sectors; and equips promising ideas to scale through the thoughtful use of modern tools from science and technology.

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