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Bill de Blasio, New York City Mayor-Elect

First and foremost, when given the choice to grow or to sit idle, we need to grow and we have to be aggressive about it. There are factors beyond our control — economic conditions, bureaucratic interference from afar — that can kill good projects. The things I value as a progressive — good jobs and affordable housing — cannot happen if projects stall or never materialize. If we aren’t doing everything possible as a City government to spur on development, even if valid compromises are included, we risk nothing getting built at all, and that is the worst possible outcome.

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Rocco Landesman, recently retired National Endowment for the Arts Chair

It probably won’t be surprising that outside of Washington, some of the most rewarding places I visited during my term were places that are very engaged in the arts, that have a great arts infrastructure and commitment to the arts. Providence, Rhode Island, would probably be at the top of the list.

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