Quality Of Life

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Q: Where do you stand on affordable housing?

A: To address gentrification and our housing crisis more broadly, we're creating NYC Homes. We will be 1) offering new rent subsidy programs to people at risk of displacement due to rising rent costs, 2) upgrading our existing public housing complexes and 3) building brand new public housing "campuses," which will be funded and managed by NYC Enterprises. Everyone should be able to afford their own place in their own neighborhood. So, until we've achieved that goal, we've failed. 

Q: How do you plan to fix public transportation?

A: Fixing our transit infrastructure isn't just a quality of life issue; it's an economic development initiative. We will be funding our $25 billion-plus capital improvement plan through a private-public partnership and with investment from our NYC Enterprises.

In terms of how it will be spent, under our NYC Ways plan, we will be upgrading our mobility infrastructure with an end-to-end overhaul: redesigned subway and bus stations, modernized signals and data systems, new vehicles and transit options for underserved areas, additional service for seniors and people with disabilities, etc.

With our investment, we will work with the governor to assume control of our own transit system so that we can: 1) ensure we're providing the best quality of service at the lowest possible cost, and 2) implement a perpetual maintenance/upgrade plan.

Q: Do you intend on lowering the monthly costs of public transportation?

A: Our goal is to waive public transit fees for New York City residents (paid for by our NYC Enterprises). Under our NYC Ways plan, you can expect full rebates on your bus and subway rides when commuting to school or work.

Q: Where will the money come from to upgrade our transportation infrastructure?

A: Our new NYC Enterprises in collaboration with the private sector.

Q: What are your stances on cannabis legalization?

A: We will work with the governor to legalize marijuana within our first 100 days. Not only because it's the right thing to do, but because it's the smart thing to do.

Q: What are your plans for improving the shelter system and housing?

A: Our homelessness crisis is nothing short of a domestic refugee crisis. We're planning to implement the most ambitious homeless rehabilitation program in our city's history, NYC Life. Instead of building more shelters, we're going to replace the system entirely. We will instead build new NYC Life Centers, end-to-end rehabilitation centers with safe and humane interim housing, mental health services, comprehensive physical care and job re-training services. It's about getting people off the street and helping them get back on their feet. 


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Q: What will you do to ensure New Yorkers can find employment?

A: We need to prepare our children for future jobs and help young professionals find jobs. Our NYC Talent program will reorient our education system to empower educators, prepare our kids for future jobs and equip every resident, regardless of age, with vital skills for today's job marketplace.

Q: How will you fund your initiatives without raising taxes?

A: We're developing a new source of revenue for the city NYC Enterprises so that we can increase our budget and invest in new programs, services, development projects and capital improvements. We're going to grow government spending/investment without increasing taxes.

Q: What do you plan to do about the looming pension crisis for NYC's teachers, firefighters, police etc?

A: We must continue to support the people who have served our city for all these years, but not at the expense of taxpayers. Our NYC Enterprises will generate sufficient income to keep our budget secure and balanced while continuing to pay out our commitments.

Q: Do you plan to do anything to fix the high cost of living? {Rent, food, etc.}

A: Yes - our Economic Resilience Plan, NYC ERP, is entirely focused on cultivating a fairer form of capitalism so that everyone has sufficient income to afford to live a comfortable life.

Q: How do you feel about Uber competing with yellow cabs?

A: I'm all for innovation and experimentation. The ride-sharing model is a great one, but it shouldn't be exclusive to the private sector. We're developing NYC Rides, which will be a public option for point-to-point transit.

Q: What is NYC Enterprises?

A: NYC Enterprises will be a group of for-profit companies that are independently financed and managed, but owned by NYC.

They'll compete in the private sector alongside other for-profit companies, but unlike other companies, every single dollar in profit goes toward funding our schools, parks, transit, health programs, infrastructure, etc.

Companies will be in areas ranging from early-stage science research (NYC Research) to entertainment (NYC Studios) to e-commerce (VNYC) to brick-and-mortar commerce (NYC Retail) to transportation (NYC Rides) and more.


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Q: How will you ensure New Yorkers have access to affordable, sustainable produce?

A: As part of our proposed city-owned enterprises initiative, NYC Enterprises, we will create an end-to-end system to grow, distribute and sell affordable produce. Using hydroponic farming and other urban farming techniques, NYC Farms will yield sufficient produce to feed our underserved communities, and by 2030, our entire city. We will work with local neighborhood grocery stores to implement a weekly "produce basket" program (a mix of seasonal locally-grown fruits and vegetables) and we will offer financial assistance for households in need. 

Q: Will you implement initiatives to drive clean air?

A: The ride-sharing economy – spearheaded by private-sector services like Uber and Lyft – has already transformed how people move around NYC. Given the incredible financial opportunity accruing to the benefit of private company shareholders, we believe it’s only fair that we ask these companies to do their part in creating a more livable and sustainable NYC. To that end, we will immediately institute an electric-vehicle only policy for all transit services, including Lyft and Uber. We will also be proposing congestion pricing as a mechanism to cut down vehicular traffic more broadly. Our goal is to make NYC an EV-only city by 2030.

Q: What will you do to ensure NYCers have access to clean drinking water and waterways?

A: We will implement a series of reforms to immediately prevent further pollution of our waterways, to maintain our pipes and water distribution infrastructure, and to replenish the natural ecosystem displaced and eroded by generations of abuse. We will also be developing new technology-based solutions as part of our “Smart Cities” R&D program to more cost-effectively and efficiently clean our water. For instance, we are working with leading audio engineers and researchers to use ultrasonic waves as a mechanism to clean contaminated and brackish water.

Q: What role should NYC take in sustainability efforts?

A: Through innovation, smart policy, and investments in new infrastructure and technology, we will drive NYC toward carbon neutrality and energy independence. And in doing so, NYC will serve as a beacon of progress and a model for all other big cities – domestically and abroad – to follow.

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Q: Does NYC need to improve police-community relations?

A: I don't believe there are many deliberate bad actors within the NYPD, but there is no doubt that systemic and institutional racism exists within our government, institutions, businesses and culture. We need to rethink our entire system, strategy and approach to policing. We need end-to-end criminal justice reform, new training, tools, approaches, equipment and techniques. We also need new measures of transparency and accountability.

Our NYC Protect program re-focuses our efforts on keeping our neighborhoods safe and free because nobody should feel like they live in a police state. But we must also take care of our law enforcement team and treat them with the respect and gratitude they deserve. Top on the list for the NYPD: a budget increase so we can hire more community-elected cops, and pay raises funded by NYC Enterprises.

Q: How will you support NYC's immigrant communities?

A: In these times of bigotry and injustice, we need to provide a safe space for our immigrant communities to take haven and flourish. Anti-immigrant policy doesn't make people move away. It makes them live in the shadows. Immigration is inextricably linked to our city's heritage and is an ingredient that has driven decades of innovation and economic growth.

We will empower our immigrant communities by 1) defending and protecting their human rights, 2) investing in their education and assisting with their acclimation and 3) cultivating economic opportunities and facilitating upward mobility. 

Q: What is the League of Love?

A: The League of Love will be an intersectional Human Rights Council - a representative body for rights organizations and movements across the country and around the world. Like the United Nations, it will include a physical space in NYC to provide member organizations with offices and amenities, and a forum for open dialogue, collaboration and coordination. And with a direct line of communication to the Mayor's office, the League of Love will help us shape and implement our ambitious human rights agenda.

Q: How do you expect to solve classism without dismantling racism?

A: They go hand-in-hand. We're addressing both head-on: raise consciousness of the problem and break down the systemic and entrenched bias from within our institutions.

Q: How do we attempt to solve the issues of racism in our city?

A: I think it starts with the recognition that: 1) many people are born into a life of unmet needs (food, shelter, safety, love, freedom, etc.) and, through no fault of their own, end up on a bad path. 2) we must have greater compassion for those who are without adequate resources. We have a collective responsibility to address this crisis - because we are one society, and an economic crisis for some of us is an economic crisis for all of us.


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Q: How will you reform city government?

A: This begins with "compassionate governance." Our government will be re-designed from the ground up to work around YOU. No matter who you are or where you’re from, if you call NYC home, we will call you family. Our government will reflect the faces of our city, and we will establish programs that facilitate healthier interactions between our communities and institutions.

Q: How will you structure city government differently?

A: We will engage the private sector by adopting an open innovation model to facilitate greater collaboration.