For too long, residents of Public Housing have been left behind. Of the City's 95 billion dollar budget, only 3% goes to housing. The city must do more. It is not enough to keep the walls from falling or to keep the water running (something the city has failed time and time again). We must invest more to better these communities. As Mayor, I would not only give our public housing areas the resources they deserve, but also provide dedicated residents a path to ownership. I would give those who have invested for years and are dedicated to improving themselves, their families, and their communities a real chance at the American Dream, a place they can truly call home.
SMALL BUSINESS, MWBE & NOT FOR PROFITS
New York is built by those who believe in the American Dream. Our city is full of families that rely on their small businesses to provide for them. We must do everything we can to help them because any investment in them will benefit their communities. Likewise, we must remove burdensome restrictions that are meant to regulate corporations but instead stifle our small businesses and community organizations. We need to provide tax benefits to ease the financial cost of a necessary $15 minimum wage. I will streamline contracts and pay schedules, making terms and deadlines clear and make sure every contractor and worker is paid in full and on time.
HOMELESSNESS & MENTAL HEALTH
Homeless and Mental Health issues affect us all in one way or another. Over 60,000 homeless people sleep in the New York City municipal shelter system. Our city also has 239,000 seriously mentally ill residents of which 40% are untreated. We need a holistic and empathetic approach to resolving these issues. It’s not enough to diagnose a person as severely mentally ill, we need to provide a solution for management of their illness. It is not enough to provide someone with a place to stay, we must address all of the side effects of homelessness and work to ensure that we create a city that provides the opportunity for everyone to have a decent place to live as a basic right.
LABOR & CIVIL SERVICE REFORM
NYC is the business capital of the world, and its workers are its lifeblood. During my mayoral term, I pledge to defend workers rights and benefits. In this City, a $15 minimum wage is a right, not a privilege. I will strengthen the City's bond with unions while encouraging them to invest in their membership.
The gap between our best and worst performing schools is rising rapidly. Many of our school districts are woefully underfunded, and our teachers are forced to spend their own money to make sure our children have the supplies they need. This is unacceptable. When it comes to our children's futures, we must give it our all. As Mayor, education will be one of my top priorities. I will increase teacher salaries so they can survive in our expensive city. I will make sure every school district gets the investment they need and deserve. We must expand prep opportunities for all to give every child the best education we can offer. They deserve nothing less.
CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORM
Our criminal justice system has no justice. It is a collapsing mess, with judges swamped with cases for minor crimes or frivolous lawsuits while real criminals are stuck in the backlog. Innocent are swept under and wait months or even years awaiting trial because they cannot afford the outrageously high bail set. This cannot continue. We need to eliminate bail for lower and minor crimes while creating high bail requirements for more serious and higher crimes, to ensure no real criminal is let go onto the streets. I will work with criminal justice advocates, police and correction officers, and communities to develop actual trust and safety in this city. We need to move on from using our overworked and understaffed police as aggressive enforcers and instead have them be trusted members of our community.
Legalization of recreational marijuana in New York is imminent. New York City has the largest number of residents in the state, so our city stands out and needs to be prepared to be a model for social equity and exoneration. To accomplish this goal will require proper planning and execution. It’s common knowledge that minority communities have been disproportionately incarcerated for cannabis criminalization. We need to reinvest in affected communities, expunge criminal records for those convicted of marijuana-related crimes and lower the barriers for entry into the industry for these communities.