New York City is facing the worst economic crisis in at least a generation. More than half of City households have experienced a lost job or lost wages during the pandemic. 1 in 5 New Yorkers have had serious trouble affording food since the pandemic started and an estimated 1.2 to 1.3 million residents are unemployed.
People of color have suffered the most during this uncertain time. Black and Latinx households have had much higher rates of food and housing insecurity and Asian households and women have experienced record job loss. Nearly a third of households with incomes below $50,000 were food and housing insecure. And businesses owned by people of color have had the hardest time accessing aid and have been the most likely to close during the pandemic.
Maya Wiley believes a smart recovery is an equitable recovery that relies on investment in a sustainable economy, not on austerity measures that tell hungry people to simply tighten their belts. As mayor, she will ensure that our economic recovery leaves no one behind, that every New Yorker is enabled and empowered to reenter the workforce, and that underserved communities—especially those of color—are placed at the center of those efforts.
To accomplish this, a Wiley administration will:
- Establish a Works Progress Administration-style infrastructure, stimulus, and jobs program that invests $10 billion in providing a shot in the arm of our City’s economy–putting residents back to work and investing in the future of our communities.
- Create up to 100,000 new jobs for New Yorkers, including 30,000 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.
- Fund social infrastructure priorities to build a climate-resilient city, invest in NYCHA, modernize physical and digital infrastructure, and fund arts and culture.
- Target and expedite job creation by implementing policies that promote local hiring, especially in communities of color.
To establish a Works Progress Administration-style infrastructure, stimulus, and jobs program, we will:
- Create 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.
- Appoint a New Deal Czar, who reports directly to the Mayor, to oversee the plan, coordinate agency spending, and ensure efficiency, transparency, and accountability.
- Expedite and target these investments to ensure that recovery happens quickly and equitably, targeting underserved communities throughout the city to boost employment and improve infrastructure in these neglected areas.
To create up to 100,000 new jobs for New Yorkers, we will:
- Streamline workforce development spending to ensure these new jobs go to the New Yorkers who need them most.
- Prioritize procurement for all projects from local MWBE businesses to support meeting aggressive goals, including industrial and manufacturing businesses.
- Strengthen protections for workers– prioritizing healthcare and hazard pay in the wake of COVID and ensuring protections for gig workers and workers in the cash economy.
- Empower the New Deal Czar to ensure centralized sources of funding to commit to robust workforce training. These financing commitments include leveraging existing workforce training dollars spread across different agencies.
To fund social infrastructure priorities through physical infrastructure, we will:
- Build a climate resilient New York City by investing $3 billion in new spending and accelerated spending on climate and infrastructure projects.
- Fund development that addresses climate change, including projects like Renewable Rikers, developing solar and wind power generation, implementing energy grid infrastructure, and improving coastal resiliency and water infrastructure.
- Transform NYCHA by investing $2 billion in new and accelerated spending to repair and improve NYCHA housing, improve climate resiliency for all public housing, and invest in job-ready skills and career pathways to promote local hiring.
- Modernize physical and digital infrastructure by investing $2 billion in new and accelerated spending that will update the City’s sewage and transportation structures as well as develop the City’s digital infrastructure spending. Leverage that spending to help MWBE and local businesses, and tackle the pervasive digital divide through more low cost options and access.
- Put the City’s artists and performers back to work by providing performance and studio spaces, and through other capital expenditures that support arts and culture in the City.
To target and expedite job creation, we will:
- Develop and implement policies and practices that promote local hiring of residents in communities with high unemployment and poverty rates and support pre-apprentice and apprentice programs that diversify the workforce.
- Commit existing sources of operational funding for bridge programs that lead to employment in NDNY projects.
- Partner with CUNY, in particular the Grove School of Engineering, to create a job pipeline for new graduates.
- Build workforce training sites in impacted neighborhoods and partner with neighborhood-based organizations to run training programs.