New York’s inequality issues are as big as the city’s next mayor will run
(Bloomberg) – In their campaigns for mayor of New York, top candidates Eric Adams, Kathryn Garcia and Maya Wiley pledged to reduce crime and repair social and economic inequalities that a pandemic-fueled economy has exacerbated for much. of the past year.
That’s a tall order in a city where unemployment is almost double the national average and where blacks and Latinos are twice as likely to live in poverty as white New Yorkers.
The city’s roster of candidates is the most diverse field of all time, with unofficial results predicting a likely winner who is black, female, or both.
About half of the population, or 4.1 million women, live in New York City and while it remains to be seen whether New Yorkers will see their first female mayor, having a female head of the city is more than symbolic. . When women in Congress, Republican and Democrats, are involved in policymaking they tend to sponsor more invoices than their male colleagues on education, health care, violence against women and abortion (for and against).
Adams, a former police captain and president of the Brooklyn borough, led the race on election day after the first round of the votes for the Democratic New York mayor’s primary. Behind him were former bureaucrats Wiley and Garcia, who could still become the Democratic nominee after subsequent ballots count, a final result that could take weeks.
Here’s a look at some of the dominant issues he’ll face:
When the death of George Floyd last year sparked a nationwide protest against racial injustice and police brutality, New York – one of the most diverse cities in the country – was home to some of the biggest protests. The murder of Floyd by a white cop in Minneapolis struck many New Yorkers near his home who saw Eric Garner die in 2014 after a white NYPD cop used a strangulation to restrain him.
While overall crime has declined in recent years, shootings have increased 64% in the Big Apple so far this year compared to the same period of 2020. The increase in shootings, hate crimes and quality of life issues have made public safety the top spot. question in the city’s mayoral campaign, as candidates debated how best to deal with the issue.
There are marked differences in the criminal proposals of the two best candidates, Adams and Wiley. Adams, who was beaten up by police as a teenager, became a police officer and founder of 100 Blacks in Law Enforcement Who Care, a group created to improve relationships between cops and the communities they oversee. Adams called for the revival of a plainclothes anti-gun unit that was shut down over complaints of misconduct and more officers on the streets and at transit stations.
Wiley, meanwhile, was one of the only female candidates to say she would cut the NYPD budget by $ 1 billion to fund alternatives to policing, such as social services, which she said was falling apart. address the root causes of crime.
His less ideological rival, Garcia, the city’s former sanitation commissioner currently in third place, does not want to take money from the police. Instead, she pledged to increase the number of police and transit officers, while focusing on greater accountability for the NYPD and issues such as unstable housing and insecurity. food that she says is leading people to turn to crime.
The next mayor is expected to bring the city back to pre-pandemic employment levels while tackling economic equality. While job growth picked up in most sectors when it reopened, New York City’s unemployment rate in May was 10.9%, almost double the national average of 5.8%. The city is not expected to peak in employment before the pandemic until 2024, longer than the United States as a whole, according to the city’s independent budget office. provide.
Adams offered cash assistance to working-class New Yorkers, subsidized or free child care, and prioritizing minority-owned businesses and women for municipal contracts. Wiley’s “New Deal New York” plans to inject $ 10 billion into the city’s economy with infrastructure projects that create 100,000 jobs. She also wants to fund annual allowances for domestic helpers, such as stay-at-home parents. Garcia’s plans include helping small business owners and partnering with businesses and colleges to create jobs and internships.
Homelessness and affordable housing
When the extension of a state moratorium on evictions ends August 31, a peak in homelessness could follow, particularly in black and Latino neighborhoods.
There were more than 50,000 people in New York City homeless shelters in April, up from a multi-month peak of over 63,000 in 2019, but still more than double the figure in April 2001, according to the Coalition for the Homeless, a nonprofit organization. advocacy group. The vast majority of people living in shelter beds, over 80 percent, are Hispanic or black, according to the city’s homelessness services department. There were also more than 2,000 homeless people living in New York City in January 2021, according to the city’s most recent point estimate.
The next mayor will inherit the financial headache from the New York City Housing Authority, which has said it needs 40 billion dollars to renovate social housing buildings plagued by mold, lead paint and vermin.
Adams wants to increase rent subsidies, fill empty social housing, create more affordable housing and change the rules to allow private office buildings and hotels to be converted into housing. Wiley would enact and enforce a moratorium on evictions, seek state funding for rental vouchers, and create a homeless tracking system. Garcia, who temporarily ran NYCHA when she worked for de Blasio, wants to build 10,000 units of supportive housing for people who are or at risk of homelessness. She also wants to increase rental assistance programs and simplify the process of securing permanent housing for New Yorkers from a shelter or the streets.
Whoever takes office in the middle of the next school year will run New York City Public Schools, which are expected bring all students back for in-person learning. Add to that the challenge of tackling the lingering post-pandemic impact on America’s largest public school system, including mental health issues, unequal participation and a digital divide that persists after a prolonged period of disrupted learning.
The incoming mayor will also face increasing pressure to desegregate schools. The city has one of the the most segregated school systems due to its widespread reliance on admission tests. Bill de Blasio on break using screening for college admissions for a year during the pandemic, leaving it to the next mayor to make permanent changes.
The top three candidates have pledged to desegregate the schools. Adams said he was one of the first high school students to be bused around the city from southern Jamaica to Bayside to reduce segregation and inequality. He proposed expanding school options, more summer instruction, and allocating additional funds to struggling districts. But Adams has also made it clear that he will not prioritize public school students and, during his campaign, has attracted multi-million dollar donations from billionaire hedge funds who are big supporters of charter schools. .
Wiley wants to reallocate money from the NYPD budget that is used to park police officers in schools and donate it to student mental health services. She pledged to redistribute money from school tests to arts programs and to simplify the school admission process to make it less discriminatory. Garcia wants to transfer money from administrative “bloat” to classrooms, accelerate the city’s universal literacy goal, and open new high schools in every borough, with a focus on southern Brooklyn , central Queens and the southern Bronx.
Business leaders say returning to city offices – a key driver of local economies – will be difficult without a lasting solution to the child care issues facing New Yorkers. While de Blasio’s iconic achievement as mayor made preschool a universal benefit, Garcia offered free child care for children under 3 from low-income families. Wiley’s platform includes a universal community care plan, which would allow 100,000 families to receive $ 5,000 a year to care for children and the elderly. Adams proposed extending the city’s earned income tax credit and child care vouchers for parents, and installing a child care czar to oversee the problem.