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:
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:
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:
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:
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:
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:
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:
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.