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BIG APPLE OF OPPORTUNITY

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​Under De Blasio, the government workforce has grown by 36,510 people; the highest in the history of NYC.

Just paying the salary of all six-figure earners in the city government requires 100% of the income tax paid by

NYC residents.

City Government:

We need to fund a size of government that its residents can afford and treats the people of New York City as customers, not adversaries, or reservoirs from which an endless supply of value and resources can be extracted. Government will be accountable to the people. Further, we need to institute accountability across the board, which includes collaborating with City employees to improve their performance, laying out rewards for good and consequences for poor outcomes and imposing measures on bad actors, especially for dereliction of duty.

  • Reduce the regulatory burden

  • Reduce spending, redundancies and inefficiencies

  • Set standards for performance and increase accountability

  • Establish a system that tracks serious job neglect or actions, issues a hierarchy of warnings and provides for termination and possible other civil or criminal judicial consequences based on the severity of harm

  • Institute collaborative accountability by expanding CORE facility inspections conducted by the SCOUT team to NYCHA developments, homeless shelters and other facilities currently not inspected by CORE

 

Our city leads the country in per-pupil spending among the nation’s 100 largest school districts—$26,588 per pupil during FY2018, compared to just $12,612 nationwide.

Yet 71 DoE schools have English Language Arts proficiency rates below 20%, and 100 have math proficiency rates below 16%, putting them among the 250 lowest-scoring schools in the state.

Schools:

 

New York City has nearly one million students (pre-Covid closer to 1.1 million). The fundamental tenet of education is that every kid deserves a shot. This means immediately addressing the root causes that prevent such opportunities. Education levels the playing field and is the starting point for opportunity. In NYC, equal opportunity in education is broken and the policy response to COVID-19 exacerbated that.  I will fix this disparity – the remedy is not lowering standards for specialized high schools – it is better educating our schoolchildren from Pre-K forward so that we restore the diversity of the pipeline of children who are able to meet higher standards. We need to set up every single student for success in whatever direction their aspirations and dreams take them. Our sole focus needs to be improving educational outcomes for children.

  • Raise standards of excellence – for our teachers, principals, superintendents, administrators and students. And we will hold our principals accountable as well as rewarding them for student performance
  • Remove layers of bureaucracy in school administration and spend that money on teacher preparation programs, guidance counselor training, and upgraded curriculum

  • Reform the K-5 curriculum by upgrading to higher quality materials, particularly in math, which have been proven to have an extremely high ROI

  • Give schools more flexibility in choosing textbooks, allowing principals and teachers to use alternative textbooks that have proven effective

  • Expand access to rigorous, advanced curricula – particularly in the early grades of Pre-K to 8th grade in order to set up students for success in high school and later in life

  • Support no indoctrination before education

  • Expand school choice for families as described in the following points: 

  • Empower principals and superintendents so that they may adapt to their community’s particular needs by creating intra-district “mini-schools” with specialized, focused curriculum from which families may choose

  • Support Charter Schools by expanding their presence in low-income minority neighborhoods where the results for schoolchildren are clear.  Among other things we will remove government-imposed obstacles like refusal to allow usage of vacant city buildings, curriculum oversight and refusal to permit competition between Charters and public schools 

 

 
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NYCHA:

 

NYC was the first city in the US to provide public housing for its most vulnerable. NYC led the way in taking care of its vulnerable and somewhere along the way we lost sight of that and began treating its most vulnerable as pariahs. Among the 9,000 children and families residing in NYCHA housing, NYCHA residents deserve the same level of services as any other City tenant. NYCHA has been listed among the 20 worst landlords of New York City. The approximately 171,000 families residing in NYCHA housing deserve to live in conditions that reflect their human dignity.

  • Expand CORE facility inspections conducted by the Mayor’s Office SCOUT team to NYCHA developments 
  • Establish a system that tracks serious job neglect or actions, that issues a hierarchy of warnings and provides for termination and possible other civil or criminal judicial consequences based on the severity of the harm

  • Call upon the Department of Investigation to look at any agency operation, procurement, or contracted out services with grossly poor outcomes in comparison to respective funds allocated with a range of punitive damages, including the stripping of pensions for dereliction of duty, and criminal referrals for violations of the law

 

 

​We spend more on homelessness than on the Fire Department, Libraries and Parks combined.  Under DeBlasio, spending on homelessness has doubled to $3.2 billion - $55,000 per homeless person annually.

Homelessness:

 

There is a need to recognize that homelessness is infrequently just a matter of people not having a home who are “down on their luck.” Two-thirds to three-fourths of the homeless population have issues related to mental illness or chemical addiction (MICA). Of the remainder who have experienced an economic setback, the problems can range from prison release to a rent increase that became disproportionately too high compared to their income or lost their job altogether. In fact, research has shown that homelessness increases when rent exceeds median net income by 22%. Much of this homeless demographic needs new housing, employment services, and perhaps additional job training. However, both groups should receive whatever services that will help lift them towards self-sufficiency. The way we have been treating New Yorkers experiencing homelessness is not compassionate. Mayor de Blasio said he would make homelessness a priority, yet we now spend $55,000 per homeless person, double the budget since he assumed office in 2014 and the problems and conditions for homeless New Yorkers seem to have gotten worse. 

  • Apply Kendra’s Law and create discrete, targeted residential sites for the mentally ill with well-staffed professional psychiatric services
  • Limit the room capacity of homeless residential sites and other safe havens to avoid overcrowding

  • Develop performance measures for assessing the effectiveness of nonprofits contracted to help the homeless

  • Distinguish MICA cases from cases of economic set-back and treat each accordingly with appropriate strategies and solutions, including separate homeless facilities designated for each group, and considering the appropriateness of the neighborhood

  • Partner with appropriate and reputable private sector or nonprofit treatment centers and include performance measures and tracking mechanisms to properly evaluate whether to extend or terminate a contract

 

 

Transportation and Infrastructure:

 

When New Yorkers walk, drive cars or ride bicycles to get around the City they should be able to do so with minimal safety concerns and knowing that they can get to their destination in a reasonable time. We will set forth a vision for a City that functions effectively and efficiently for its residents, first and foremost and, secondarily, for its external providers of revenue streams such as tourists and commuters. This vision will contemplate changes in commuting patterns and a focus on transforming NYC’s existing neighborhoods into mini-cities, which have been created in Paris, but have risen organically in less rigidly zoned cities. Transportation and infrastructure upgrades and improvements in themselves would create job opportunities as they achieve greater transportation access and mobility needed for others to pursue their own opportunities for a better quality of life. To achieve this, capital markets must be willing to lend money to NYC for infrastructure projects, which will depend upon a) believing that these improvements will create incremental or new revenue streams that will keep NYC on a fiscally sustainable path and b) believing that the City will prioritize debt service.

  • Assess all changes to streets, crosswalks and intersections to include the impact on every way New Yorkers get around as well as the need for emergency services to respond timely and system engineer to reduce traffic congestion
  • Develop an aggressive schedule for fixing potholes and sidewalk trip hazards

  • Adjust intersections, traffic lights, on-off ramps, etc. where pedestrian crossings have been found to be dangerous.

  • End the aggressive use of speed and red-light cameras

 

 
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