The NYC Fair Economy Fund would be the City’s first-ever publicly-funded training, employment, and organizing program dedicated to achieving justice for those New Yorkers who have been historically excluded from the economy and who have disproportionately suffered during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Building on the Census Complete Count Fund model Amit pioneered and starting with dedicating just .1 percent of the City’s budget - $85 million - in the first year and building from there, A NYC Fair Economy Fund would:
In addition, the Fund could possibly serve as a possible Portable Benefits Fund pilot, allowing gig and freelance workers access to the benefits that State-defined “employees” otherwise often receive, and through which workers can achieve greater degrees of economic stability.
Housing is a human right, and yet for too long, we've allowed developer greed instead of human need to dictate the housing that gets built in NYC. We must work directly with tenant organizers, housing activists, and those New Yorkers in greatest need to understand the full scope of the challenges, so that we can, together, begin to solve our housing crisis. We must do all that we can on the City level to work towards the goals of social housing, which can only be truly accomplished with significant congressional action. We must:
A brighter, more vibrant future awaits. Safe, reliable, public transit; accessible parks and open spaces; a coastline that is safe against the next climate emergency. There is so much we can do to ensure a cleaner, greener future. To begin, we must:
Since 2014 NYC has spent $1.3 billion to pay for police misconduct claims. That’s not a functional policing system and the result is discrimination and death for far too many black and brown New Yorkers. We can keep people safe and reinvest in education, and civic engagement so that we can work to dismantle systemic racism, fight poverty, and build power. To ensure the safety of our communities, we must:
In schools, DIVEST from our criminalization:
And INVEST in our care:
Fully fund and implement restorative practices at all schools by 2022.
Fully fund and increase school support staff, including guidance counselors, nurses, social workers, restorative justice coordinators, and academic and social support staff.
Establish a system-wide mental health continuum and increase funding for mental health supports for all students.
Ensure all students have access to 1) Culturally responsive education, 2) high-quality and comprehensive selection of sports, arts, and elective courses, and 3) college access supports including Student Success Centers.
So as to ensure that EBT/SNAP recipients are able to access as many opportunities as possible, we must:
Advocate in Congress to increase monthly SNAP benefit amounts so no New Yorker has to go hungry before their benefits replenish
Advocate for discounted rates for SNAP recipients at green markets of all types in NYC
Advocate for free entry at cultural institutions for all SNAP recipients
To address food scarcity we must:
App-based delivery services have become a major source of injustice and indignity for 80,000 Black, Brown, and immigrant workers - deliveristas - in New York City. Their everyday business has come to rely on unfair and dangerous labor practices, purposely confusing fee structures, and privacy-threatening data usage. Deliveristas, restaurant owners, and consumers across the city agree: the time has come for delivery apps to stop putting profits over people. Using laws like the Car Wash Licensing Law as models, the Delivery Justice Now! proposal would require food app delivery companies (UberEats, Doordash/Caviar, Postmates, Relay, GrubHub/Seamless, etc.) to obtain a license from DCWP in order to operate in New York City.
The Delivery Justice Now! proposal would require all app delivery companies to:
The DJN would also:
Reforming the Uniform Land Use Review Process
As it stands, the ULURP process means that almost all major development and zoning decisions are made on an ad hoc, case-by-case basis, which does not allow for decision-making based on the city’s housing needs as a whole. Further, the current process makes it such that developers and the mayoral administration get to pre-negotiate deals before the community has a say -- it's like they've finished the first course before communities have even looked at the menu. This has led to an environment where developers and profit, not people and need, are given outrageous leverage in our land use process, and the results are clear: a city that is more segregated and gentrified, with mass displacement and economic instability. Some specific key changes that must be included in ULURP reform include:
With a comprehensive plan, we would be able to focus on creating deeply and permanently affordable housing, and add schools, hospitals, and green space for working people.
The comprehensive plan must put people and their true needs at the heart so that it is clear what type of asset needs to be created to solve which problem for whom. Our land use process must be driven by solving actual challenges faced by the people of the city, not driven by the goal to simply build the next shiny new building for profit.
Our land use process must also redress the legacy of racist redlining by ending exclusionary zoning.
This includes: increasing deeply and permanently affordable density in areas that are well served by mass transit and not existing LMI and non-white neighborhoods; ending single family zoning; and legalizing accessory dwelling units and basement apartments.
Finally, when it comes to actually housing people in new units of affordable housing, we must make sure that we are not leaving it up to people to figure out the convoluted system for applying for that housing. We do that by co-governing-- investing in community resources that pay tenant organizers and housing advocates to work with BIPOC and immigrants.
The creation of art is the reflection of the best of humanity. Artists of all modalities must be treated fairly and equitably; art is passion but it is also work. Too often the works that transport audiences out of their troubles are also the first to crumble under economic strain and lose their funding. We must protect the artists who create the productions we center so highly in society yet simultaneously so egregiously undervalue.
The philosophical/intellectual basis of fighting for social justice is undoing harm and preventing harm and violence. These tenets permeate through all aspects of life, including, of course, to animals. Aspects of animal justice also intersect with addressing climate change and achieving climate justice for marginalized communities. We know by now that efforts to curb greenhouse gas emissions will not be met without drastic changes in human diets and curbing the consumption of meat. As a champion for animal rights, I will advocate for:
Create a dedicated Sub-committee for Students with Disabilities in the City Council
Sponsor legislation to codify an aspirational employment target for people with disabilities in all NYC governmental agencies.
Combat Sub Minimum Wage for people with Disabilities by ensuring employers abide by local minimum wage laws.
Modernize AAR reservations by creating a mobile application for users and expand AAR operations to enable same day reservations.
Expand ADA accessibility by installing elevators and escalators across all NYC Subways and repair any existing ones that no longer function.
Expand Access to Cultural Institutions by sponsoring legislation that requires no cost entry or deeply reduced prices for people with disabilities.