Maya's Plan to Support Black Women

There have been 109 male mayors of New York City and 108 of them have been white men. Black women have always been leaders in their communities, now it’s time for us to lead our city, not because of how it looks, but what it means for all of us. Maya Wiley is a civil rights advocate who has dedicated her career to fighting for racial justice and equity, and a trailblazer who will do right by Black women and families across this city. If we want to see real change in New York, we need to elect someone who spent her life helping other people. That’s exactly who Maya Wiley is.

 

In one of the most diverse cities in the country, it’s important for young people, especially little girls, to grow up knowing that they can lead. But Maya’s candidacy means more than representational change: being a Black woman would also make her a better mayor. Black women get stuff done because they know how to walk in the shoes of others and bring empathy, courage, and clarity to their work.

 

Maya Wiley will bring that lived experience with her to City Hall and advocate for the issues Black women face in this city—not only because she shares them, but because these issues are vital to the health, wealth, and progress of New York:

 

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 all 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.
  • 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.

 

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. In New York City, Black women are eight times more likely to die and three times more likely to almost die than white women, and studies 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, specifically targeting communities of color that have had the highest instances of maternal mortality.
  • 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.

Supporting MWBEs:  Approximately 85% of minority women-owned business enterprises in New York City may not survive the next six months. Maya’s Save our Small Business Platform provides support to MWBEs by:

 

  • 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.
  • Appointing 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 minority women-owned businesses.

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. In 2017, women of color made up 88% of the City’s paid care workforce, and 77% of its unpaid kinship caregivers. 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.
  • Creating Community Care Centers in all five boroughs, providing accessible childcare, elder care, health care and community programs to over 1 million New Yorkers.

Advocating for housing justice: Historically, women, and especially Black women, have been evicted at much higher rates than their male and white counterparts. 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 support to survivors. Maya will End Evictions and Ensure a Just and Livable NYC by:

 

  • Investing 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.
  • Ushering 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.
  • Guaranteeing 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 expanding the City’s Rental Assistance program so it becomes an effective tool to ensure affordability long-term.
  • Dramatically expanding and preserving the supply of affordable housing in the city by building 100% permanently affordable housing on public land and using public funding as a tool to promote equity, not private benefit.
  • Investing $2 billion to repair and reinvest in NYCHA as our city’s most reliable source of affordable housing for all.

 

Addressing gun violence: Domestic and gender-based violence has spiked during the pandemic. Maya will address this violence and identify resources and interventions for survivors. Women should be able to walk our streets in peace and no mother should have to worry if their child is going to make it home safely. Maya’s Gun Violence Prevention Plan:

 

  • Establishes an $18 million participatory justice fund that will empower community organizations and violence interrupters to curb gun violence in impacted areas.
  • Addresses the link between gun violence and lack of opportunity, particularly for women. Women have dropped out of the labor force at a much higher rate than their male counterparts. Maya will guarantee meaningful employment opportunities, particularly for those at highest risk to be involved in gun violence.

Putting the “Public” Back in Public Safety: There is no leading New York City out of the crisis we’re in without transforming policing and ensuring it protects our communities, especially communities of color, who have been targeted, mistreated, and disrespected by the police for far too long. Every mother—especially Black mothers—was called to action the moment we heard George Floyd calling out for his mother with what turned out to be his last breaths. We have been called, and we must respond. Maya’s Policing and Public Safety Plan:

  • Invests in our communities—especially communities of color—by cutting at least $1 billion from the NYPD budget to fund investments in alternatives to policing;
  • Shifts the focus of policing to address the root causes of crime, including protecting domestic violence survivors while ensuring that those who come in contact with the criminal justice system have access to the support services they need.
  • Embeds community in the core of public safety by expanding community-based violence interruption models and strengthening  community engagement with the police, to build trust and develop a sense of shared responsibility between the NYPD and the communities they serve.

 

Creating a Just, Vibrant School System: Access to quality education is absolutely essential to setting up our children for success, yet far too many Black children 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 and hinders their educational and economic mobility. 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.

 

Centering women in economic recovery: Women, chief among them Black women, have faced astonishing losses in the workforce over this past year. In December of 2020, when employers cut 140,000 jobs with women accounting for all losses, a Bureau of Labor Statistics survey showed that Black and Latina women lost jobs, while white women made gains. Maya will return women of color to the workplace and center them as essential to our economic future. Her economic recovery plan, New Deal New York:

 

  • Invests billions of dollars into our city’s economy, supports MWBE small businesses, strengthens worker protections, and creates 100,000 new jobs, especially in the care sector, which is overwhelmingly staffed by women of color.
  • Ensures new jobs go to the New Yorkers who need them most, especially women and people of color, by developing policies and practices that promote local hiring of residents in communities with high unemployment and poverty rates.
  • Prioritizes procurement for all projects from local MWBE businesses, putting women-owned small businesses at the heart of our city’s economic recovery.

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, working to diversity our arts institutions and expanding our Open Culture and Open Streets programs to provide more opportunities for artists living and working in underserved communities to perform and get paid for that work.

 

Maya will be a champion for Black women in City Hall and that’s why she has the support of Emily’s List, Amplify Her, Higher Heights PAC, 1199 SEIU—our healthcare heroes, the New York Working Families Party, Assemblymember Latoya Joyner, Congresswoman Yvette Clarke and more. Maya Wiley will ensure a strong, equitable recovery for all New Yorkers as the first woman, and first Black woman, to be elected Mayor.