Citywide Issues

Where Raimondo Stands on the Issues – Citywide

Ease the Burden on New Yorkers.

New York City has become unaffordable for regular New Yorkers – we need to ensure New York remains a home for regular working-class and middle-class people, and more than a haven for the wealthy. We need to ease the tax burden on the middle-class and the working-class of New York City.

  • Tax cuts for middle class and working class New Yorkers; we cannot expect those barely getting by to foot the bill for the services for New York City.
  • Rent relief & mortgage relief by advocating for rent relief for renters experiencing issues due to COVID-19 .
  • Universal broadband access; financial hardship should not be a barrier for our children or for those seeking opportunity in an increasingly connected world.
  • Advocating for a “general strike”; we as a city have to send a clear message to Washington D.C. that we need bold reforms and changes to address the growing crises that affect not only the city, but the country.
  • Supporting mutual aid development; mutual aids help out some of the most at-risk communities wherever they arise. We should support the efforts of those who wish to help their fellow New Yorkers.

Empower Parents and Students in School Choice.

Quality education remains the best way to lift people out of poverty. Parents should be empowered with a voice in the schools their children attend.

  • Ensuring CUNY is fully funded and fully protected our public colleges and universities are a historical necessity in New York City and help to propel social mobility – we have to protect them at all costs.
  • Building a CUNY annex on the Rockaway Peninsula to support residents and decease commute times while investing in our district bringing jobs and opportunity home.
  • Create pipelines to trade schools and invest early In students who show an interest in those fields starting sophomore year of High School, opportunities should be made available to begin transition into the field of study a student shows particular interest in. We need laborers, we need plumbers, we need carpenters – students who wish to pursue these careers ought to be given the chance to do so.
  • Bringing back home economics classes as well as woodworking and metallurgy to forge a pipeline to trade schools and employment.
  • Bringing personal finances and life skills into education to prepare our youth for the realties of the “real world” we so often speak to children about.
  • Civic engagement and voter education for the youth we will only continue to have a democratic republic so long as the next generation is informed and engaged.
  • Greater autonomy to Community Boards to asses infrastructure, staffing, and educational needs of the schools within each district.
  • Supporting voucher programs for private schools a parent ought to be able to make the informed decision as to whether or not to send their child to private or pubic school. We should be supporting them in their decision.
  • Support more diverse and engaging after-school programs our children need enrichment and we ought to provide a varied slate of choices to children and their parents.
  • Providing ESL (English as Second Language) to help immigrants better assimilate and integrate.

Make Rent More Affordable.

There is a housing crisis in New York because we do not have enough affordable housing. The answer is increasing the supply of affordable housing.

  • Thorough zoning changes that encourage construction policies which help preserve existing housing stock.
  • Starting the conversation to convert closed hotels to affordable housing
  • Assisting those behind in rent remain in units they currently occupy.
  • Housing plan that limits shelters and instead advocates for permanent housing. Measures could include repurposing of condemned housing, and looking closely at foreign owned investment properties which sit idle while homelessness exceeds that of levels seen during the Depression.
  • Advocating to address New York City’s affordability problem.
  • Support the BASE Pledge to legalize basements in New York City which could open up revenue streams for smaller landlords, and provide housing for both at-risk communities and those most in need of housing.

Keep Our Subways Safe.

Commuters will not use a subway system that is dirty, unsafe or unreliable. The MTA must be more accountable to the New York City commuters who use it.

  • We need to invest artificial intelligence and emergent technology to keep trains moving on time.
  • Repair sub-standard subway stations, improve lighting and focusing on needed repairs and not vanity projects.
  • Opening an investigative commission on the MTA, and starting a conversation on pulling back control of the MTA into the hands of residents who use it everyday.

Affordable and Accessible Healthcare.

New York has some of the finest medical facilities and research institutions in the world. Too few have access to it. Access to health care must be increased.

  • Increasing the number of neighborhood clinics, more preventive care, mobile health care units, and
  • Encouraging medical professionals to volunteer their time in underserved neighborhoods and investing in underserved communities.

Safer Streets. Safer Neighborhoods, Parks and Playgrounds.

Nothing will depopulate our city quicker than violence in our streets, parks and playgrounds. People with the means to leave will leave. With them will go the tax revenue needed to pay the city’s bills. I want better police protection, not less. Parks and playgrounds where it is safe for kids to play. Streets where all can walk absent fear of getting mugged.

New Yorkers understand the need for reform, for change. But with that comes the recognition of some realities. We need our police officers, and we need to maintain law and order. We recognize this while also highlighting plainly that our police department is in need of change for the betterment of the lives of all New Yorkers. We need community policing, and we need to hold officers accountable where necessary.

  • Fostering better relations between the NYPD and communities through community policing initiatives.
  • Advocating for the allowance of greater discretion by judges in regards to bail reform and repeat offenders who may pose a risk to the community.
  • Stricter background checks and mental evaluations for those seeking to be a part of NYPD.
  • Advocating for the enforcement the use of body cameras by all officers during their shifts. Body cameras should remain on while on patrol to build greater trust between officers and the community.
  • Re-instituting the plainclothes unit of the NYPD.
  • Residency requirement for new NYPD recruits.
  • Taking a serious look at the implications of qualified immunity and its impact on accountability.
  • Simplified methods for the removal of officers whose conduct is antithesis to the commitment to Protect and Serve.
  • Supporting continued efforts aimed at criminal justice reform in a responsible and action-oriented way taking into account advocates, the NYPD, and the communities both groups aim to serve.
  • Greater investments in education resources for those incarcerated to help those who need their GED’s or High School Diplomas as well as creating pipelines to employment in the trades field.
  • Support City Council Candidate Elizabeth Adams plan to fight placard abuse and corruption.

Help Our Small Businesses.

COVID-19 has already exacerbated an already chilly business environment. Many small businesses across New York City are closing because of the crisis we now face. More than 1 million residents are out of work, but this problem did not start with COVID-19. We have to establish a clear distinction between admonishing big business and corporations and inadvertently harming our small businesses – the lifeblood of our city. We have to empower small business and, in turn, New Yorkers.

  • Tax credits for businesses who hire locally and give economic opportunities to New Yorkers.
  • Small business property tax abatements for landlords who agree to reduce small business rent, and in dire situations, tax freezes.
  • Improve small business access to capital through grants, low-interest loans, and improved banking access to foster business growth.
  • Pass the Small Business Jobs Survival Act (SBJSA), “a bill that would give all commercial tenants the right to renew with rights to an arbitration process that will protect all businesses from rent gouging and being forced to pay their landlords property taxes.”
  • Cutting small business fines to lessen the burden and hardships thrust on the backs of small business owners and employees.
  • Relief and employment for the city’s entertainment industry workers by pushing for a plan to put New York City’s actors, stagehands, and production folks back to work in NYC.
  • Support large development projects responsibly with the needs of community in mind.
  • Greater development focus in underserved areas of New York City with the residents and needs of communities at the forefront of policy decision.
  • Encourage the development of merchant associations to allow the residents, and small business owners of New York to tackle the issues they face daily without the sometimes counterproductive hand of the city getting involved.
  • To bring back tourism We need to open New York City back to full capacity while keeping the mask mandate in place for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic, and deal firstly with the issues discussed and tackled here in order for our City to get back to a better business as usual. We ought to put forth a media campaign targeting the whole country, and other nations – looking for a reprieve and a return to normalcy they may find in New York City.

Modernize the Bureaucracy/Cut City Council Salaries.

Our city is not functioning. The bureaucracy is too often in the way, operating under a 20th century model that ill serves a 21st century New York.

  • Advocating for changes in zoning laws and provide for affordable permanent housing to address the city’s harrowing homelessness crisis.
  • Modernize the administrative infrastructure of New York City to make it more efficient and responsive to the needs of New Yorkers.
  • Reduce council-member salaries by $58,500 and return them to 2006 levels for the duration of the city’s financial crisis. New Yorkers are facing unprecedented circumstances; the Council has an obligation to sacrifice for the good of the people of New York City.
  • Advocating for improved coordination between city agencies, state, and federal authorities to increase the city’s overall administrative efficiency.
  • Advocating for the invoking of the state’s Financial Control Board to help coordinate and aid in recovery efforts.
  • Pay increase for Teachers, FDNY, and EMT workers.
  • Advocate for the removal of the Cross Bay Bridge toll the only inter-borough toll in the City.
  • Advocate for the Mayor and the Council to review all tools at its disposal to respond aggressively to the multi-faceted crises we face.
  • Review of the entirety of the budget of the City of New York to find areas where we can cut wasteful spending. All New Yorkers are forced to budget and to live within our means, it’s time the city operates under the same philosophy.

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