Maya's Plan for Workers

The pandemic has battered our city, our city’s economy, and our workforce. Far too many people have lost their jobs, their small businesses, and their livelihoods over the past year. If we are truly committed to a just, equitable recovery as we look forward as a city, then workers must be at the heart of not only our economic plans, but every facet of our city’s recovery.

Throughout this pandemic, our city’s workers have kept our city running. From our healthcare heroes to grocery clerks to sanitation workers and beyond, New York would simply not have survived without the hard, dedicated work you have provided us. Moving forward, we must find ways to jumpstart our city’s economy, get folks back to work, strengthen our labor unions, enact climate plans that improve our infrastructure and  provide people jobs and make sure that every single New Yorker receives the pay, protections and dignity they deserve in the workplace.

Rebuild a stronger, more equitable economy for all workers: In order for our economy to recover, we must center the needs of our city’s workforce and do everything we can to get people back to work and ensure that every workplace is an environment where everyone can work with dignity. Unemployment is at an all-time high and we must make a major investment in our economy and our workers right now. Maya’s New Deal New York plan will jumpstart our city’s economy by:

  • Investing $10 billion in a Works Progress Administration-style infrastructure, stimulus and jobs program, providing a shot in the arm of our City’s economy–putting residents back to work and investing in the future of our communities; and
  • Creating up to 100,000 new jobs for New Yorkers. 30,000 will be new jobs through projects that will employ artists, construction, technology, and engineer workers, along with approximately 70,000 indirect jobs for childcare workers, librarians, home healthcare workers, and manufacturers; and
  • Supporting and centering our city’s unions in our economic recovery efforts, targeting job creation for union jobs and providing support and solidarity to labor unions in all negotiations with employers and with the city.

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. The care economy is the largest untapped sector for economic growth in the city and it’s time to invest in it. Care work is real work and care workers deserve the pay, protection and respect that work demands. Maya’s Universal Community Care Plan will invest in our care economy and create jobs by:

  • Creating Community Care Centers in all five boroughs that offer childcare, elder care, health care and community programs to assist families to over 1 million New Yorkers and providing thousands of good-paying jobs to communities with high unemployment across the city; and
  • Providing $5,000 annually to 100,000 high-need families, supporting at-home care workers and caregivers and recognizing that their work deserves to be paid work; and
  • Empowering and allocating more resources to the Paid Care Division of the NYC Department of Consumer Affairs to protect care workers against wage theft and advocating at the state and federal levels for increased protections and benefits for the thousands of New Yorkers who make their living providing care to others.

Saving Small Businesses:  Small businesses are the lifeblood of New York City. They employ nearly three million New Yorkers – nearly half of the city’s workforce. Any economic recovery we hope for must place small businesses at the very core. By supporting our small businesses, we are supporting our city’s workforce and that is why investing in local businesses and improving regulations and easing burdens on business development is essential. Maya’s Save our Small Business Platform supports small businesses by:

  • Putting in place a comprehensive regulatory holiday to provide $100 Million in City-level regulatory relief to individual small businesses in the first year of the administration; and
  • 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; and
  • Launching a new $30 million Small Business Emergency Grant Program, targeting resources strategically to achieve equity goals and jumpstart hiring.

Reviving tourism, arts and culture: No group of workers in New York City has been hit harder by the pandemic than arts workers. Museums, theaters, galleries and other arts spaces closed for over a year and only now are beginning to sputter back to life. Thousands of NYC-based artists fled the city due to lack of employment and our vitally important arts scene—the very thing that makes New York City what it is—has suffered greatly. In order to reopen our city and ensure economic recovery, we need a dramatic reinvestment in tourism, arts and culture. Maya’s Plan to Revive Tourism, Arts and Culture will:

  • Invest $100 million dollars in a Creative Economy Recovery Program to put arts and culture workers back to work and help cultural institutions to recover; and
  • Launch a grand re-opening festival this summer to reopen the city, reemploy thousands of artists, creators and arts workers, and once again draw the tourists and visitors upon which our economy relies; and
  • Launch the Council on Arts Revival with Equity (CARE), ensuring that the revitalization of arts and culture in our city truly serves every artist and creator, rooting out the abuse and marginalization of the past and building a stronger, more equitable arts sector for New York’s future.

Building a community-based climate plan: Climate change is the existential threat of our time, and New York City is on the frontlines. We must use this challenge as an opportunity to provide good jobs and invest in climate infrastructure that will preserve the longevity of our city, and our city’s workforce. Our climate efforts must be rooted in community and focused on environmental justice, ensuring our efforts truly serve all New Yorkers. Maya’s Community-First Climate Action Plan will:

  • Push for large-scale infrastructural justice and job creation to tackle both COVID-19 and climate change, creating hundreds of thousands of jobs through New Deal New York, partnering with environmental and climate justice groups, and focusing on community health and resilience; and
  • Launch a city-wide Green Future Force, in partnership with existing workforce development and training programs, to put young people to work on sustainability projects; and
  • Redesign green economic development so that it not only generates green jobs and high-quality career pathways, but also creates wealth and community ownership for individuals, families and communities. To change everything, we need everyone—and that includes every worker.

Strengthening our schools by hiring more staff: Due to the pandemic, our children have urgent social, emotional and academic needs in our schools; needs that require that we change the ways schools support our children, including through increasing our staff. Every New York City worker deserves to know that when they head to work, their children are in a safe and supportive learning environment. Maya’s Plan for Creating a Just, Vibrant School System will:

  • Allocate a minimum of $250 million dollars to hire 2500 new teachers to shrink class sizes and help our students meet the academic and social emotional challenges of the past year through tailored individualized learning; and
  • Redistribute money spent on testing contracts to fund and streamline the hiring of certified arts teachers/specialists; and
  • Ensure that every school will have a mental health team that includes, at a minimum, a guidance counselor, a social worker and a psychologist at ratios recommended by the National Association of School Psychologists.

Centering women in our economic recovery: Women have faced astonishing losses in the workforce over this past year. Far too many women have been faced with the impossible choice of choosing their career or their families. In addition, women-owned businesses have shuttered across the city, furthering job losses and wiping away historic gains in our economy. Maya will return women to the workplace and center them as essential to our economic future. Her Women’s Agenda will:

  • Invest billions of dollars into our city’s economy, target relief and support for MWBE-owned small businesses, strengthen worker protections and create thousands of good, new jobs in our city’s care economy, which is overwhelmingly staffed by women.
  • Ensure 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.
  • Invest $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; and
  • Appoint a Chief Small Business Officer to overhaul how the city works with small businesses, focusing specifically on reviewing all current practices and regulations that are biased against or otherwise adversely affect women-owned businesses.

Maya Wiley knows that New York City is what it is because of the work, the sacrifice and the commitment of its workforce. As we set ourselves onto the long, difficult road to recovery, our city’s workers must remain at the forefront of those efforts. Every New York worker—no matter the industry, the location, the task or the challenge—deserves fair pay, good benefits, strong protections and dignity in the workplace.

As Mayor, Maya Wiley will be a tireless advocate for the workers of New York City, prioritizing a strong and equitable economic recovery that benefits us all. That is why she has the support of labor unions like 1199 SEIU and the Freelancers Union, as well the New York Working Families Party, Congresswomen Nydia Velsquez and Yvette Clark and so many others.