Maya's Plan to Support the AAPI Community

This pandemic has been difficult for all New Yorkers, but AAPI New Yorkers have shouldered the heaviest burden. In addition to the same health, economic and cultural challenges we have all faced, AAPI communities have been targeted by an alarming rise in hate crimes and racially-motivated violence. The ignorance and hatred at the root of these attacks is disgusting, and we must do much more to not only protect but uplift AAPI communities in New York City. In addition, so many AAPI businesses have struggled during the pandemic—from restaurants to markets and beyond—because of that very same ignorance and hate.

Maya Wiley has devoted her life and career to fighting for racial and social justice, particularly for communities who have been marginalized, underserved or targeted by hatred, ignorance and violence. She is running for mayor to build a stronger, more equitable city for ALL New Yorkers, especially AAPI New Yorkers. It is time for the violence to stop and it’s time for true recovery and leadership to begin. New York City owes so much of its economic success and cultural vibrancy to AAPI communities. Maya recognizes and celebrates these contributions and stands ready to rebuild our city so that all can live in dignity.

Putting an end to AAPI Hate and Curbing Gun Violence: Stop AAPI Hate, an initiative that tracks violence and harassment against Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders, recorded more than 3,000 reported incidents since the start of the pandemic. At least 260 were in New York City. Hate can have no home in our city. We are the most diverse, vibrant city in the world and every single New Yorker deserves to be able to walk our streets in peace and safety. In addition, we have seen an alarming rise in gun violence along with the surge in anti-Asian violence. It’s time to put an end to the violence on our streets. Maya’s plans to Stop Asian Hate and Curb Gun Violence will:

  • Bolster the New York City Commission on Human Rights’ education and enforcement capacity by moving the Mayor’s Office of Hate Crimes – which has consistently underperformed – into CCHR to ensure that it has the legal weight of the City behind it.
  • The CCHR Office of Hate Crimes will work with community leaders, the DOE and others to establish citywide educational curricula against anti-Asian racism and hate crimes.
  • Create an $18 million participatory justice process in communities struggling to stem gun violence to develop community-based solutions and address gun violence as the public health crisis it truly is by addressing its root causes: poverty, unemployment, mental health, homelessness and lack of opportunity for impacted communities.

Improve and Invest in Social Services for AAPI and Immigrant New Yorkers: In the most diverse city in the world, we are still far behind when it comes to proper language and translation services, so that non-native English speakers have meaningful access to vital City resources and information. Asian Americans have the highest rate of limited english proficiency, at 35%. AAPI communities represent more than 56 ethnic groups and 100 languages in our city and the diversity of these cultures, languages, and health needs are not being reflected in our governance. This is more than just an issue of inconvenience or confusion, this is about civil rights and the equitable distribution of resources. In addition, Maya knows we must improve access to legal services for all immigrant New Yorkers. Maya’s plan to improve social services will:

  • Dramatically increase funding for language services, so that every immigrant community has access to the City’s services, and Maya will work with the Mayor’s Office of Immigration Affairs (MOIA) to coordinate those services.
  • Address the entirely inadequate language services currently available across city agencies, partnering with New York City-based translators rather than big firms to provide culturally relevant translating services AND ensure the City’s contracts are staying in the community.
  • Amend and expand Local Law 30 to include online resources and websites, so foreign language speakers have better access to important services, like COVID vaccination appointments, safety reopening guidelines for small business owners, and information on rent relief programs for our most vulnerable residents.
  • Increase Action NYC’s budget to provide more funding to community-based nonprofits that offer legal services to immigrants, ending the logjam and providing immigrant New Yorkers the support and representation they deserve.

Ensure a Just, Vibrant and Inclusive School System for Every Student: Every student, regardless of zip code, economic status or first language, deserves to go to a great school that supports and prioritizes their needs. Right now, multi-language learners and English-language learners are not getting the resources and services they are entitled to, and as a result they are falling through the cracks, with some of the highest dropout rates of any group in New York City. AAPI students deserve the support and resources necessary to succeed. Maya’s plan to Create a Just, Vibrant School System will:

  • Improve and expand opportunities for immigrant and MLL children and ensure AAPI parents can  fully participate in their children’s education through better language services.
  • Expand dual language and transitional bilingual programs in communities with high populations of multilingual learners, create additional programs for MLL high school students through night school and remote learning and provide specialized support to Students with Interrupted Formal Education.
  • Invest $250 million to hire 2,500 new teachers, reducing class sizes and ensuring attentive, individualized care and support for every student.
  • Fully invest in the NYC DOE’s definition of Culturally Responsive-Sustaining Education, ensuring that all schools use curriculum, pedagogy, assessments and policies that reflect and respect the histories, cultures, religions, languages, identities and experiences of all students.
  • Address the inequities within the SHSAT and specialized high schools as part of our larger integration efforts to ensure equitable learning for ALL students in our public schools.

Rebuilding a Stronger, More Equitable Economy for All New Yorkers: The economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic has fallen on all New Yorkers, but the impact on AAPI workers and small businesses has been severe. Even before the pandemic, an analysis of 2010 census data found that the city’s majority-Asian neighborhoods are more economically depressed than those of most other racial distributions. In order for our city to recover, we must center AAPI workers and businesses. Maya’s economic plan, New Deal New York, will:

  • Invest $10 billion in capital spending projects to provide a shot in the arm of our City’s economy–putting residents back to work and investing in the future of our communities.
  • New Deal New York will create 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.
  • Expedite and target these investments to ensure that recovery happens quickly and equitably, streamlining workforce development spending to ensure these new jobs go to the New Yorkers who need them most.
  • Build workforce training sites in impacted neighborhoods and partner with neighborhood-based organizations to run training programs.

Supporting AAPI Small Businesses: The pandemic has been difficult for small businesses across our city, but AAPI-owned businesses in particular have struggled the most, the victims of ignorance and hatred. Business at AAPI-owned small businesses dipped by as much as 80% throughout the pandemic and many AAPI-owned businesses were forced to close their doors for good. In order to fully recover our economy, we cannot leave anyone behind. AAPI businesses are essential to the economic vibrancy of so many neighborhoods and communities, within Chinatown and across the entire city. In order to create jobs and help families rebuild economically, we must support AAPI-owned businesses. Maya’s Plan to Save our Small Businesses will:

  • Tackle 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.
  • Lower 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.
  • Expand 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.

Ending Evictions and Ensuring Housing Justice: The pandemic exposed what New Yorkers have known to be true for a long time: we are in an affordability crisis in our city. Far too many New Yorkers—including AAPI New Yorkers—are struggling to pay their rent and nearly 400,000 families are on the verge of eviction right now. According to recent studies, over half of AAPI New Yorkers are paying 30% or more of their monthly income on rent. Maya’s Plan to End Evictions and Keep Families in Their Homes:

  • Fights for a real eviction moratorium until the pandemic and the ensuing economic crisis are well and truly past us.
  • Creates an ambitious Citywide rent and tax relief program for small landlords and nonprofit landlords, investing the $251 million in federal stimulus money directly into a rent relief program to keep people in their homes.
  • Invests $2 billion to repair and reinvest in NYCHA as our city’s most reliable source of affordable housing for all.

The pandemic has been a long and difficult time for so many AAPI New Yorkers. We must ensure that our city is a home and a haven for ALL to live in dignity, walk our streets in peace and earn a living for themselves and their families. Maya Wiley recognizes and honors everything that AAPI communities have given to our city. Now, it’s time for our city to give back. As mayor, Maya Wiley will put an end to the AAPI hatred on our streets, restore and recover our economy so that everyone can work in dignity, and rebuild our city as a stronger, more inclusive place for every resident to live.