Maya's Plan to Support Black Men

Black New Yorkers—especially Black men—have borne the brunt of our city’s inequitable systems and systemic injustice for far too long. After 108 white male mayors, it is time for Black New Yorkers to have a mayor in City Hall who understands their experiences and challenges and will put them front and center. Maya Wiley has devoted her life and career to the causes of racial and social justice through her work for the NAACP Legal and Education Defense Fund and the ACLU, as counsel to the Mayor and through her work fighting for digital and social equity for all New Yorkers.

 

The COVID pandemic has blunty exposed—for all to see—how this city actively works against its Black residents. From policing, to housing, to gun violence and education, Black men have found themselves on the bottom rung for far too long and it is time to enact real change. Maya’s agenda centers Black men in the conversation, focusing on their needs and greeting their challenges with the bold transformational solutions we need. 

 

Not only is this the right thing to do morally, but it is the necessary thing to do economically. Maya Wiley understands there can be no real recovery from this pandemic for our city unless that recovery includes and uplifts ALL New Yorkers. Advocating the needs of Black men is essential to that effort.

 

Supporting Minority-Owned 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. Yet since the beginning of the pandemic, there has been an estimated ~41.5 percent decline in the number of small businesses open compared to January 2020, and the majority of those shuttered small businesses were minority-owned businesses. In order to ensure a strong, equitable recovery for ALL business owners, Maya’s plan to Save our Small Businesses:

 

  • Tackles the racial wealth gap by building wealth in communities of color through a $7 million investment in locally-rooted and employee-centered small business ownership.
  • Lowers the cost of doing business by providing meaningful relief on taxes, fines, fees and regulations. Maya will provide $100 Million in City-level regulatory relief to individual small businesses and launch a new $30 million Small Business Emergency Grant Program that will target resources to strategically achieve equity goals.
  • Expands the City’s commitment to MWBEs, especially Black- and Latino-owned businesses that are underrepresented in New York City. She will meet established procurement goals for underrepresented MWBE’s and ensure small and minority-owned businesses benefit from public investments.

 

Addressing Gun Violence: In 2020, the Police Department recorded 1,531 shootings in 2020 — almost double the 777 recorded in 2019 — and 468 people were killed, the most since 2011. Shootings have continued their sharp rise this year, jumping to 416 through the end of April, a tragic, 83 percent increase from the same point last year. Gun violence impacts all New Yorkers, but it falls hardest on Black men. We are in danger of losing a generation of young Black men to violence and lack of opportunity. Maya’s Gun Violence Prevention Plan:

 

  • Empowers and supports communities who have been directly impacted by gun violence to point to innovative and targeted solutions that reflect their local conditions and experiences.
  • Creates an $18 million participatory justice process in communities struggling to stem gun violence, allocating funds to communities identified by their rates of gun violence and supporting existing and new programs that have proven track records.
  • Creates and expands priority placements for youth and young adults at risk in communities experiencing high rates of gun violence in existing workforce development and education programs.
  • Reduces the NYPD budget by $1 billion and invests those funds directly into the communities most impacted by gun violence.

 

Ending our Evictions Crisis and Advocating for Housing Justice: New York City is in the midst of an affordability crisis, which has led to an eviction crisis, as well as a homelessness crisis. According to an analysis from the ACLU, Black renters are evicted at almost twice the rate of renters who are white. To break this cycle and ensure affordable housing for all New Yorkers, Maya’s Plan to End Evictions and Ensure a Just and Livable NYC:

 

  • Ends the cruelty of street homelessness and radically decreases family and single adult homelessness.
  • Invests federal stimulus money in a direct rent relief program that will support tenants and small landlords, many of whom are immigrants and people of color.
  • Ushers in a new era of housing affordability by ensuring that the City only invests public money or land where there is a clear public benefit.
  • Guarantees affordable rent for all individuals and families making 50% or less of  the  Area  Median  Income  (AMI), ensuring they do not pay more than 30% of their income on rent.
  • Aggressively expands the City’s Rental Assistance program so it becomes an effective tool to ensure affordability long-term.
  • Dramatically expands and preserves the supply of affordable housing in the city by building 100% permanently affordable housing on public land and uses public funding as a tool to promote equity, not private benefit.
  • Invests $2 billion to repair and reinvest in NYCHA as our city’s most reliable source of affordable housing for all.

 

Ensuring a Just, Strong and Equitable Economic Recovery: While the COVID pandemic and ensuing economic fallout has affected all New Yorkers, it has fallen especially hard on communities of color, particularly Black men. A city-funded study found that nearly 67% of Black New Yorkers reported loss of income since the start of the pandemic last March, higher almost than any other group, with Latinos at 68%. In order for our city to have an equitable recovery that leaves no one behind, Maya’s economic plan, New Deal New York:

 

  • Creates a new, centrally-managed $10 billion capital spending program, a 5-year program for public works projects, that will fund much-needed development, infrastructure repairs, and enhancements, specifically targeting investments for communities of color.
  • Expedites and targets these investments to ensure that recovery happens quickly and equitably, putting people to work with sufficient oversight and attention to the most marginalized and hardest hit communities.
  • Prioritizes procurement for all projects from local minority-owned businesses to support meeting aggressive goals, including industrial and manufacturing businesses, two industries whose workforces are 81% people of color.

 

Reforming Policing and Putting the “Public” in Public Safety: There is no leading New York City out of the crisis we’re in without cleaning up policing and ensuring it protects our communities. No group in New York City understands the challenges and inequities inherent in our policing system better than Black men. From stop-and-frisk, to over-policing, to the abuse and injustice we saw this summer during the protests that roiled our city in the wake of the murder of George Floyd, it is clear we need new solutions and real change. Maya’s Plan to Transform Policing and Public Safety:

 

  • Invests in our communities by cutting at least $1 billion from the NYPD budget to fund investments in alternatives to policing.
  • Creates real oversight and addresses police violence at its root and before it happens by appointing a civilian Police Commissioner who has demonstrated a sincere commitment to transforming the institution of policing.
  • Rewrites the rules of policing and reimagines the job so police officers focus on problems they can help solve, removing the NYPD from homelessness issues, mental health crisis management, traffic enforcement, and school safety.
  • Creates meaningful accountability and consequences for all police misconduct by empowering the Civilian Complaint Review Board with an expanded budget, ending NYPD final authority on disciplinary actions, and eliminating city funding of defense for indefensible police misconduct.

 

Creating a Just, Vibrant School System: Access to quality education is absolutely essential to setting up our children for success, yet far too many young Black men in our city face underfunded schools and little support for their growth and development, leaving them at-risk of falling into patterns of violence and crime. It is time for every single New Yorker—regardless of zip code or economic status—to have a well-funded, fully-staffed school to go to every morning. Maya’s plan for Creating a Just, Vibrant School System:

 

  • Helps students heal from the trauma of the pandemic and other crises by decreasing class size, delivering intensive academic interventions and supports, and ensuring that all NYC schools adopt a fully culturally responsive approach to all aspects of curriculum, pedagogy, and assessment.
  • Provides universal broadband access and increases access to technology for all students.
  • Permanently removes the NYPD from School Safety and ends the school-to-prison pipeline.
  • Removes barriers that separate students and label them from an early age by creating inclusive classrooms, integrating our schools and investing in the gifts of all children.

 

Reopening and Reinvesting in Our City’s Arts and Cultural Institutions: The pandemic has battered our vibrant and essential tourism, arts and cultural sectors harder than any other industry, leaving thousands of artists, creators and arts workers without work for over a year. Black artists and artists of color—who have historically been marginalized and neglected by our city’s mostly white institutions for years—have been impacted the most. To reopen and recover our city, we must support artists of color and rebuild a stronger, more equitable New York City arts sector for all. Maya’s plan to Revive Tourism, Arts and Culture:

 

  • Invests $100 million dollars in a Creative Economy Recovery Program to put arts and culture workers back to work and help cultural institutions to recover.
  • Launches the Council on Arts Revival with Equity (CARE), a council of of arts and culture workers, advocates, and community leaders, who will provide ongoing advice, council, and recommendations on how to ensure that the CIty’s recovery is inclusive of the needs of those working in the creative economy and that relief is being granted in a way designed to promote and foster equity in creative industries.
  • Makes New York City a better place for artists and others in the cultural and tourism industries to live and work by protecting performing artists, diversifying our arts institutions, and expanding our Open Culture and Open Streets programs.

 

Our city has been led by 109 men in our history, 108 of which have been white. It is time for Black New Yorkers to have a leader in City Hall who understands their challenges because she has lived them her whole life and stands ready to take them on. Throughout our city’s history, Black residents have struggled against over-policing and underemployment, fought against systemic racism and institutionalized inequity, and, despite those challenges, have risen above time and time again. Maya Wiley shares that struggle and knows that labor. She is the only candidate with a comprehensive plan to uplift Black New Yorkers and build a strong, just, and equitable recovery for all.