Maya Wiley is running for mayor to make New York City a better, easier place for people to make a living and raise a family. As the mother of two daughters, Maya’s vision for New York is devoted to improving the lives of mothers across the city, from building a strong, equitable economic recovery to improving maternal healthcare and investing in our city’s schools. After 109 fathers and sons as mayor of New York City, it is past time for a mother to lead.
Maya Wiley’s plans for New York City center mothers at every turn, placing their needs at the center of the conversation as an essential piece to building a city that is safe, prosperous and equitable for all:
Ensuring a Strong, Equitable Economic Recovery for All: The economic crisis in our city has impacted us all, but no single group was hit harder by the fallout than women. Women across the city dropped out of our workforce at an alarming rate this past year, with many faced with the impossible choice of career or family. In order to fully recover economically, women must be centered in our economic efforts. Maya’s plan to rebuild our economy, New Deal New York, will restore women to the workplace and reopen women-owned small businesses by:
- Investing $10 billion into our city’s economy through capital construction projects, targeting economic growth and employment directly at communities most impacted by the pandemic and ensuing economic fallout; and
- Ensuring new jobs go to the New Yorkers who need them most, including women and people of color, who have seen the sharpest decline in employment in our city during the pandemic; and
- Investing strongly in our care economy—a quickly growing sector of our economy overwhelmingly staffed by women, especially women of color—generating over 30,000 new jobs and placing care work at the heart of our city’s economic recovery.
Creating a Universal Care Economy: New York City is home to nearly 1.3 million caregivers, 15% of the City’s population. Many of these caregivers are women, especially women of color, who provide 30 hours a week or more of care to their families and loved ones, in addition to their regular jobs. Maya’s Universal Community Care Plan recognizes that care work is work by:
- Putting $5,000 into the hands of the 100,000 neediest families to use on caregiving expenses, providing essential support to mother across the city and lifting thousands of children out of poverty; and
- Creating Community Care Centers in all five boroughs, providing equitable and ready access to childcare, elder care, health care and community programs to assist families to over 1 million New Yorkers and creating thousands of good-paying jobs; and
- Granting more enforcement authority to the Paid Care Division of the NYC Department of Consumer Affairs to protect city care workers from wage theft and other abuses as well as advocating better pay, protections and benefits.
Prioritizing Maternal Health: Being pregnant while Black in America shouldn’t be deadly. New Yorkers, especially those of color, are facing a maternal health emergency. Reviews of maternal deaths have shown that at least 60% of the deaths are preventable. Maya’s Preventing Maternal Mortality Plan makes maternal health a Mayoral priority by:
- Directing $4.35 million to create birthing centers in every city-owned H+H hospital, targeting communities of color that have had the highest instances of maternal mortality; and
- Expanding integrated midwifery services within the H+H hospital system and creating a council of midwives and doulas to help inform and craft maternal health policies; and
- Fighting to expand paid time-to-care programs at the state and city level, ensuring every mother has the opportunity to take the time they need to heal from childbirth and establish essential bonds with their children.
Establishing a Women’s Agenda: This past year, women left the workforce in droves and were often forced to choose between going to the office and caring for their families. In December, employers cut 140,000 jobs with women accounting for all losses. Because of their overrepresentation in caregiving fields, Black and Latino women were disproportionately impacted. Maya’s Women’s Agenda will fight for the needs of women throughout our city by:
- Creating a Universal Community Care model for New York City that prioritizes mothers in need of support and resources as well as the tens of thousands of women across New York who make their living by caring for others; and
- Establishing maternal health as a mayoral priority, directing funding to all city-run hospitals to build birthing centers and expand maternal health services.
- Investing $7 million in locally-rooted, MWBE-owned small businesses, focusing on increased ownership opportunities for women to take on both the racial and gender wealth gap in our city.
Creating Safe Communities and Transforming Policing: No one understands the need for safe streets and competent, respectful policing better than mothers. We are seeing a rise in gun violence and violent crime in our city and we must take bold action. Everyone deserves to walk our streets in peace and every mother deserves to know that their children are safe when they leave the house. Maya’s plan to Transform Policing and Public Safety will improve public safety and address systemic issues within our city’s policing by:
- Addressing the root causes of crime, focusing our efforts and investments on improving opportunities for all New Yorkers by addressing poverty, unemployment, homelessness, lack of access to education, to mental health care and affordable housing; and
- Divesting $1 billion from the NYPD budget and using those funds to invest in communities impacted by violence and crime, seeking alternative methods of policing through community engagement.
- Embedding community in the core of the NYPD, empowering community organizations to address crime, building trust between the NYPD and the communities they are meant to serve and developing a sense of shared responsibility in public safety.
Ending the Surge in Gun Violence: As a mother herself, Maya Wiley understands the fear that far too many New York City mothers feel when their children leave the house. Will they be safe on the streets? Will they be safe in their classroom? The epidemic of gun violence in our city rivals that of COVID as an urgent and tragic health crisis. Maya’s Plan to End Gun Violence will center the voices of NYC mothers and seek innovative, community-based solutions by:
- Empowering and supporting communities who have been directly impacted to point to innovative and targeted solutions to gun violence that reflect their local conditions and experiences; and
- Recognizing that gun violence is linked to a lack of educational and employment opportunities and increase access to these opportunities; and
- Launching and expanding evidence-based therapeutic supportive programs to reduce gun violence; and
- Creating and expanding priority placements for youth and young adults at risk in communities experiencing high rates of gun violence in existing workforce development and education programs.
Plan to End Evictions: We are in an affordability crisis in our city and that burden has fallen especially hard on women. Historically, women—and especially Black women—have been evicted at much higher rates. 80% of homeless mothers have experienced domestic violence as adults. The homelessness crisis is tied to the epidemic of domestic violence, and we must provide tailored support to survivors. Maya’s Plan To End Evictions will put a stop to evictions and seek permanent housing solutions by:
- Fighting for a true eviction moratorium for the duration of the crisis, putting an end to the uncertainty and fear that so many New Yorkers have lived with throughout the pandemic; and
- Transforming rent relief, focusing on both tenants and small landlords. Women— especially women of color—make up a significant portion of small landlords across the city. We will pursue ambitious tax and rent relief programs to ease the burden on small and nonprofit landlords; and
- Committing to putting families back in homes, creating a rapid rehousing program and pressing for state action on application fees, security deposit relief and property tax forgiveness.
Community-First Climate Action Plan: Mothers across our city and across the world recognize that climate change is an existential threat and have a vested interest in ensuring their children have a safe and thriving planet on which to live and thrive. Mothers in marginalized communities across New York City also have a vested interest in ensuring their children have clean air to breathe, clean water to drink and neighborhoods free of pollution and streets safe from coastal flooding and other environmental challenges. Maya’s Community-First Climate Action Plan will fight for environmental justice by:
- Investing in climate infrastructure development and resiliency planning processes that improve quality of life; and
- Developing equitable adaptation measures for both social and built infrastructure, with a focus on environmental justice communities, which experience disproportionate exposure to environmental hazards and increased vulnerability to those hazards and are primarily low-income and communities of color; and
- Pursuing ambitious mitigation targets in our building, transportation, and waste sectors, including by matching or surpassing the State mandate for 100% carbon-free electricity by 2040; and
- Partnering with environmental justice communities, organizations, and other community-based organizations, such as mutual aid groups, throughout our work.
Just, Vibrant School System: Every mother deserves to know that their children are going to schools that are well-funded, well-equipped and ready and willing to provide the support, resources and culturally responsive education every child deserves. This past year has been difficult for parents, students and teachers and we cannot afford to lose a generation of NYC children. Maya’s plan to create a Just, Vibrant School System will reinvigorate public education by:
- Elevating parent and student voices, giving them an active voice in decision-making while working to establish trust between parents and the Department of Education, especially within communities of color; and
- Creating a Commision on School Governance that includes parent, student and community representatives so that everyone has a seat at the table on issues of performance, accountability, and reform; and
- Allocating $250 million to hire 2,500 new teachers in an effort to rebuild our city’s schools in the wake of the pandemic, reduce class sizes, and ensure that every NYC student gets the care, attention and support they need; and
- Reforming our school safety policies, moving away from punitive measures and focusing instead on creating safe, supportive environments for students to learn, so that every parent can rest assured knowing that their children are safe in school and in an environment that prioritizes their education and growth.
New York City’s mothers have been holding our city together for generations, and this past year was no exception. Every mother in this city deserves to know that their children are walking on safe streets, going to good schools, breathing clean air and have access to every resource this city has to offer. Every mother also deserves to know that their contributions to our city—both at home and in the workplace—are being recognized and their needs are being met. Maya Wiley is a proud mom and she will bring her experiences as a mother to City Hall.