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City Politics

Top Candidates for Mayor of New York

Of the many candidates running, We’ve selected the following eight as true contenders for the nomination. All of their websites give detailed information on the candidate’s vision and plan for their administration. The information below is a partial and small look at some of the plans they would institute were they to win. The good news is you get to pick five.

Dianne Morales

Morales is executive director and CEO of the social-services nonprofit Phipps Neighborhoods
She was a founding board member of Jumpstart, a 25-year-old national nonprofit that prepares preschoolers for kindergarten.
Advocate for basic income relief for every household, especially our excluded workers who were left out on the Federal & State level
Advance a small-business recovery strategy, including grant support for entrepreneurs impacted by COVID-19
Execute an Ed Equity Executive Order: an executive order to desegregate schools, free CUNY and increase culturally responsive schools, curriculum and educators.
Defund and decrease NYPD’s power by removing them from schools and traffic enforcement and ensuring the next budget sees them defunded by at least $3B.
Protect our immigrant neighbors by ensuring NYPD no longer works with ICE and increasing funding for legal assistance and know-your-rights trainings.
Citywide rent moratorium, including business leases for small businesses, and ensuring our small businesses receive assistance to stay open.
Immediate housing to end homelessness beginning with vacancies throughout the City, including hotels, city leased properties and abandoned spaces.
Implement a COVID-19 Equity & Data Response Unit to review, assess and address the ongoing vaccine disparities throughout the city, especially in regard to race, gender and sexual orientation.
Ensure language justice, especially in COVID-19 outreach materials, and creating a translation corps to increase the City’s ability to provide accurate and understandable translations.
Provide mental health and grief support services, in coordination with culturally responsive health wellness professionals.
Launch NYC5000, a culturally relevant health navigator’s strategy to connect uninsured, housing insecured, and other vulnerable populations to COVID-19 education, testing and vaccines.
Create a municipal green jobs agenda: By finally investing in lowering carbon emissions in NYC, we can invest in thousands of jobs while also working to combat climate change.
Time and time again, New Yorkers show up for each other — even when their electeds fail to show up for them. When our nation, state and city were at their lowest, it was our working-class community that bailed us out. Not banks, but bodegas. Not billionaires, but bus drivers. Not Tesla, but teachers. We need city leadership that values all of its constituents — from the expecting mother to the senior janitor. We invest in our city because it is supposed to enhance our quality of life — not diminish it.
Dianne Morales’ policy platform is built on the belief that politics should work for all the people and that we are stronger and better positioned to grow when every New Yorker is prioritized, oppressive systems are eliminated, and barriers are removed. The people who help keep New York City afloat, in and out of a pandemic, are the same ones struggling because our system was designed for them to struggle.
Anything that is designed to keep us back can be undone and redesigned. We need the will and the right leader.

Ray McGuire

McGuire is a former Vice-chair of Citigroup where he was one of the highest-ranking and longest-serving Black executives on Wall Street.
The McGuire Catch-Up Plan for NYC Schools is a holistic response to the current lack of strategy for remediating the pandemic’s impact on students learning following a year of primarily learning remotely in New York City, which has exacerbated pre-existing educational inequities among Black and Hispanic students. 
Under the Catch-Up Plan for NYC Schools, The Department of Education would open public schools for full in-person summer sessions and offer extended school hours and weekend instruction during the 2021-2022 school year. Instruction will focus on core competencies, but will also provide additional programming to enrich summer school days and incentivize enrollment, such as sports and theater. All public school students will automatically be enrolled while allowing parents to opt-out of the program. 
Get 50,000 New Yorkers back to work with the Comeback Job Accelerator.
The Comeback Job Accelerator will bring back 50,000 jobs by covering 50 percent of a worker’s salary for one year at small businesses that were hardest hit by the pandemic. Small businesses could apply for the subsidy for multiple employees, but the program would likely be capped at 50 percent of a business’s January 2020 headcount. Workers could be full or part time.
 Ray would work with small business leaders to tailor the scope of the program to businesses with the greatest need but would target the program to businesses that lost more than 40 percent of total revenue compared to 2019 levels. Ray would also ensure the money goes first to communities hardest hit by unemployment as a result of the pandemic.

Invest in social and emotional supports as well as mental health resources for students and families.
As of February 2021, nearly 30,000 New Yorkers have died as a result of COVID-19, including parents, grandparents, siblings, and other loved ones for many students. Thousands more experienced and survived terrible illness and many are still dealing with long-term symptoms. Illness, quarantine, job losses, and the financial strain of lockdowns have stressed many New York City families to the breaking point.
Trauma impedes students’ ability to focus and learn, and makes managing  classrooms difficult for teachers. A recent national study found that one-third of high schoolers reported feeling unhappy or depressed in recent months. The CDC has reported an increase in ER visits from young people related to mental health crises, including attempted suicide. Younger students have missed out on critical opportunities to develop social skills, including the ability to work with others or cope with stress.
The NYCDOE’s school counseling plan for this year includes trauma-informed care, a bridge to school plan, multi-tiered systems of support, explicit socio-emotional instruction, and targeted mental health supports. It says all the right things, but will require funding and resources to provide the needed level of services citywide.
It will be essential to hire additional guidance counselors to ensure student-to-counselor ratios are highest where the need is highest, not where the most money tends to flow, and that all schools have a 1 to 150 student-to-counselor ratio or better. Many counselors will also need updated training to respond to the specific impacts of the pandemic. Students who need even greater support would be referred to a network of psychologists and other child therapists, which will likely need to be expanded to additional providers in order to accommodate the increase in need.

Scott Stringer

Stringer is the current comptroller for New York City. A former State Assembly member and Manhattan borough president..
Provide high-quality, affordable early childhood education for all infants and toddlers
Dramatically increase child care assistance to working families with children under 3 and expand eligibility requirements to serve families making up to $100,000 per year.
Triple the number of infants and toddlers in City-backed care and sharply reduce child care costs for as many as 70,000 working families.
Invest $500 million over five years to address child care deserts by building and repairing child care facilities across the city.
Support Early Childhood educators by meaningfully investing in training, professional development, scholarships, and increased compensation for the workforce.
Invest in great classroom instruction through teacher mentorship and professional development
Make history by putting two teachers in every classroom from K-through-5, doubling the ratio of teachers to students to provide enriched and personalized instruction to all our children.
Launch the largest teacher residency program in the country to prepare teachers for the profession and reduce turnover.
Recruit 1,000 aspiring teachers each year to work in the classroom alongside an accomplished mentor teacher, with an emphasis on recruiting young teachers of color.
Provide stipends for resident teachers to cover living expenses during the year of residency — allowing them to focus on their training without debt or a second job.
Leverage and collaborate with the City’s excellent teacher preparation programs, including those at CUNY and SUNY.
Integrate our schools and confront inequities across the system
Support and fund districtwide plans to increase diversity, building on the success of efforts in District 15 in Brooklyn and District 3 in Manhattan.
Make the DOE’s recent decision to end geographic screens at the high school level permanent, and scale back or eliminate academic screens at the middle school level.
Stop the use of the SHSAT standardized test to determine admissions to the City’s specialized high schools and base eligibility instead on State math and reading scores, while exploring the potential of apportioning a percentage of seats to top performers in individual districts and/or schools.
Prepare New Yorkers for the jobs of tomorrow
Make CUNY community colleges free for all and revamp workforce development programs to build back a more equitable and inclusive economy.
Organize paid internships for all CUNY graduating seniors to help them bridge the gap between college and career.
Help renters stay in their homes and small landlords stay solvent
Expand Voucher Usability, increase the City’s enforcement of housing violations, and educate residents on the availability of the voucher system.
Expand the right to counsel by increasing funding for legal services and ensuring a universal right to counsel.
Convert vacant hotels and commercial spaces into shelters, supportive housing, and  affordable housing.
Assist small landlords and non-profit organizations with a new program to provide financial assistance in exchange for restrictive declarations preventing tenant eviction.
Reverse the damage of the Trump Administration and fight for real federal relief for tenants and homeowners.
Invest in NYCHA and New Social Housing
Build a new generation of social housing on the more than 2,900 vacant lots already owned by the City currently unused and undeveloped.
Preserve existing affordable housing, create a transparent list of existing rent restricted buildings, end the Lien Sale, get tough with bad landlords,  and preserve existing limited equity coops.
Reform NYCHA and invest billions to make badly-needed repairs.
Establish good permanent jobs and wage and benefit floor standards for construction and building service workers in affordable housing.

Shaun Donovan

Donovan was secretary of Housing and Urban Development and director of the Office of Management and Budget under President Obama and was the administration’s point man for Hurricane Sandy recovery efforts. In New York, he was commissioner of the Department of Housing Preservation and Development under Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s administration.

A Million Strong: Repairing, Rebuilding, and Reimagining New York City public schools for ALL our Kids
The dual pandemics of COVID-19 and ongoing systemic racism exposed deep-rooted injustices in New York City’s education systems. They have also highlighted the strength and resilience of families, students, and educators to innovate and persevere through unprecedented times. As we work to recover from COVID-19, we must rebuild and reimagine our educational system, tackling long-standing inequities to create real pathways to economic opportunity for all public-school students; valuing New York City’s diversity by creating integrated and inclusive opportunities for all students; and carefully rebuilding trust and partnering with families and educators to reimagine together.

All Hands-on Deck: Providing Safe, Affordable, and Equitable Housing for Every New Yorker
Today, an average of 60,000 people stay in shelters each night, 28% of New York’s renters are severely rent burdened (as are 72% of those earning less than $15,000), our public housing is crumbling, and because our supply of housing is not keeping up with demand, New Yorkers are choosing to leave the city to find better and more affordable housing options elsewhere. It is time to move beyond a single-minded focus on big unit production goals. We cannot accept an expensive emergency shelter system that temporarily boards tens of thousands, public housing buildings that are deteriorating, or outdated and arcane land use regulations that prevent us from providing families with affordable housing across the city. 

A More Sustainable, Equitable,
and Just New York
Climate change is a global issue, but cities are on the frontline of its impacts—and the response. The Donovan administration will have a laser-focus on achieving net-zero emissions by mid-century and protecting New Yorkers from climate threats like flooding, severe storms, and heatwaves. This shift to a green economy is an unprecedented opportunity to support longer-term growth and jobs for all New Yorkers—prioritizing the communities left behind


A Revitalized Transportation Network that Makes the City Work for Everyone
Transportation is the central nervous system of the City, connecting people to housing, jobs, education, healthcare, and recreation. It can rectify inequities and help the City recover from the impacts of COVID-19, as more transportation options help communities of color, the disabled community, and low-income neighborhoods. We need a 21st century transportation system that improves transit service for everyone, prioritizes mobility expansion in underserved areas, makes the streets safe for everyone who uses them, combats climate change, and reverses the legacy of racism within the city’s current transportation network.

A Jobs Plan that Rebuilds the Economy For All New Yorkers, and a ‘15 Minute Neighborhoods’ Plan for a Brighter, More Equitable Future
Shaun Donovan will work relentlessly to get New Yorkers back to work, committing to creating 500,000 jobs for New Yorkers by the end of his first term. The Donovan administration will prioritize building an equitable economy where all New Yorkers have the opportunity to build the skills they need to secure good jobs, grow professionally, and make a good living. 

Eric Adams

The Brooklyn borough president, served 22-years the NYPD, rising to rank of captain. He co-founded 100 Blacks in Law Enforcement Who Care and is a former State Senator.
New York City’s government is not just in crisis — it often is the crisis. COVID-19 has exposed the City’s mismanagement in stark detail. And it is Black and Brown communities who suffer the most from its dysfunction.

A more efficient city
Today, the City governs from crisis to crisis — always dealing with the immediate problem and never the cause. Structural changes and smart management are necessary to create efficiency and reduce inequality.

I will do that by:
Closing the budget gap without affecting public services
Instituting real-time governing
Finding the waste

A more effective city
City agencies each keep their own records and data, with very little productive interaction — and New Yorkers who need help fall through the cracks. Using technology, we can focus on making government more effective by tailoring New Yorkers’ interaction with the City down to the person.


My plan includes:
Building one digital platform for New Yorkers to access all City services.
Bringing the City to the community by delivering services in storefronts and in-person in lower-income neighborhoods
Creating a Recovery Score to track our progress with analytics.

A more equal city
Finally, the City must do a far better job of maximizing its resources and using its regulatory powers to help deal with structural economic and social issues. That includes prioritizing spending on programs, services, and contractors that reduce inequality. It also means revisiting regulations that discourage growth, particularly of our Black and Brown owned small businesses.

My plan includes:
Prioritizing minority- and women-owned businesses for City contracts
Eliminating the fees for starting a small business
Instituting a warning system for violations that do not pose immediate danger.
Maximizing the use of City assets — particularly office buildings for affordable housing
COVID-19 tore through New York City when it first hit the United States, leaving unimaginable death and suffering in its wake. And the fight is far from over.

Although we have made great strides in understanding, treating, and tracking the virus, our planning is flawed and inconsistent — and it is costing us lives. At the same time, COVID-19 hit us as hard as it did because our public health system was — and still is — woefully inadequate, especially for communities of color.

Like a patient with a weak immune system, the underlying condition that has allowed COVID-19 to kill so many Black and Brown New Yorkers is inequality. We cannot hope to control the coronavirus without also curing that disease.


People of color in our city have far-higher rates of chronic illness and the comorbidities that make people vulnerable to COVID-19 and other viruses. Black New Yorkers’ life expectancy is a full four years lower than the citywide average. That is the result of poor healthcare, lack of healthy food options, and unhealthy living conditions.

I was one of those people of color living with a chronic illness that could have been prevented. I was diagnosed with diabetes and lost sight in my eye. My doctor told me I was facing blindness and amputations. So, I switched to eating only healthy foods and began practicing mindfulness. Within weeks, I was feeling better. Within months, I had sent my diabetes into remission.

Maya Wiley

Wiley is a Senior vice-president of social justice and professor of urban policy at the New School, and a former counsel for Mayor Bill de Blasio and a onetime civil-rights attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union and the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, a former chair of the Civilian Complaint Review Board.

Every child deserves high expectations and an excellent education that meets their needs. 
We have been debating for decades how to create public schools that are excellent, equitable, and serve all of our kids in innovative, diverse learning environments. This pandemic has laid bare some of the inadequacies of our system. But we have an opportunity to transform our schools. And to think big about how to serve the unique needs of each child.
We must transform rather than tinker by and invest in innovation and equity that excites residents about public schools. 

Housing & Homelessness
One of the greatest expenses our residents face is housing. From homeless and extremely low-income New Yorkers to the middle class increasingly feeling squeezed out of the city, affordable housing that meets the needs of all our residents seems unattainable. This is a crisis that drives gentrification– displacing Black, Latino and Asian New Yorkers and undermines our creative economy: the artists, musicians, actors, and writers who make our lives richer and our economy more vibrant.

Jobs & Economy
Our revenue crisis reflects, in part, a jobs crisis. Which, in turn, has created a housing crisis and extraordinary challenges for our small businesses. This moment requires coming together to make tough decisions. But bold governance means finding ways to create more revenue, figuring out where to focus our existing resources, and determining ways to tighten the belt. But we cannot sacrifice the basic city services that make New York City a great place to live and work; we must protect the quality of life that allows us to attract economic development and supports our small businesses.
We have to get serious about making investments in building new infrastructure that creates jobs, makes the city more resilient and contributes to climate justice. Indeed, this moment requires bold investment, not austerity. Major capital projects in areas like transit will quickly create good jobs to put New Yorkers back to work while transforming the city for a new era. To safeguard our climate, we must create the infrastructure to reduce emissions—charting the path towards a sustainable future and, with it, thousands of good, green jobs. And we must encourage community ownership in renewable energy creation—generating wealth for low-income communities and communities of color.


Criminal Justice & Policing
Across the country we see policing work as it was intended –to contain and control those that society fears. As a result, trust in police and the government that employs them has eroded.
We have real concerns around public safety. Shootings are up and too many young people are losing their lives in neighborhoods like Brownsville and the South Bronx. Some communities are fearful of homeless residents who may suffer from serious mental health or substance use issues. Too often we make poverty a crime or criminalize people when what they need is a mental health professional, a social worker, a mediator, or a job. In fact, the majority of calls the NYPD receives are for problems, not for crimes–problems that can be solved by people who don’t have a gun or a badge. We have an opportunity to reengineer how we respond to the crisis and non-crisis needs of our residents.

Andrew Yang

Yang is an entrepreneur and former presidential candidate in the 2020 Democratic primary

Cash Relief & COVID Recovery
“Our way of life has been devastated by the pandemic. Accelerating our city’s recovery is critical. New York City has to be the fastest city to come back safely.”
A Safe and Fair City
We need a New York Police Department (NYPD) that is focused on protecting New Yorkers. A high-functioning police force that serves racial justice goals is the aim. That requires top-down and bottom-up reform. We need accountability at every level – accountability when the NYPD fails to solve crimes, and accountability when officers engage in misconduct and violate New Yorkers’ civil rights. New York City taxpayers now pay hundreds of millions of dollars a year in civil settlements – funds that can be far better spent on our schools, parks, mass transit, and affordable housing.

Create a Deputy Mayor for Public and Community Safety with a direct line to the Mayor.
Currently there are multiple City agencies with oversight of the criminal justice system and community safety across the continuum of violence prevention to reentry – the NYPD, the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice (MOCJ), the New York City Commission on Human Rights (CCHR), the Department of Probation (DOP), the Department of Correction (DOC), and countless agencies with law enforcement embedded in them – from Homeless Services to the Department of Education. As a result, we lack a citywide strategy for violence prevention, violence interruption and responding to violence after it has occurred. A Yang administration will ensure that New York City has one coordinated response to keeping New Yorkers safe.

An Affordable City
To truly address the poverty and economic insecurity facing countless New Yorkers, we must begin by addressing the City’s staggering housing and affordability crisis. In a city where over 400,000 tenants call public housing home, and 44% living in market-rate apartments are rent burdened, we need to take bold steps that drastically grow the city’s affordable housing supply while also reinvesting in NYCHA.
As the owner and operator of roughly 175,000 public-housing units, the City of New York is both the largest and, in many ways, its most neglectful landlord in the five boroughs. Following decades of disinvestment, New York’s over 300 public housing developments are in an unacceptable state of disrepair, with over $30 billion needed to address their issues.

A Human Centered Economy
The Yang administration will directly tackle poverty with the largest basic income program in our history. It will open a People’s Bank of NYC so our public funds can be reinvested directly in our people and our communities. The administration will make it easier for small businesses to be compliant with regulations, and work with them to build their customer base. It will work with entrepreneurs to create a new start-up culture in NYC that will ensure the next big tech companies are homegrown. And it will keep its focus on human metrics – working to reduce poverty and homelessness, increase economic security, and build a human-centered economy that puts people above profits.


Forward-Thinking Education
Andrew is the proud parent of a New York City public school student, and he knows the incredible job that our public-school teachers do every day. New York City has been a national leader in education since the establishment of the New York City Board of Education in 1842. Our schools count as alumni Nobel Prize recipients, Supreme Court Justices, Oscar winners, and leaders in every professional field from almost any imaginable background.

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