Resources for New Yorkers (Photo: Ed Reed / Mayor’s Office)
On Thursday, three equity-focused organizations released a report containing a wide range of anti-poverty policy recommendations for New York’s next mayor. Robin Hood, The Century Foundation and Next100 teamed up on the project, presenting “From Crisis to Opportunity: A Political Agenda for a Fair NYC,” with 150 pages of detailed plans to “get all New Yorkers back on their feet. post pandemic ”and“ creating a more just, equitable and just New York City.
Robin Hood is specifically dedicated to tackling poverty in New York City, while the Century Foundation is an independent think tank, aiming to make bold and progressive policies, which created Next100, another think tank, aimed at diversifying. politics and look to the future. generation of leaders.
Introduced by the organizations about five months before the next mayor takes office on January 1, the program covers education, childcare, housing, social services, the economy and the police. It takes a general look at the inequalities plaguing the city both before the COVID-19 pandemic and as the city tries to emerge from it, and offers “a roadmap to finally build the city that New York aspires to.” be, ”as Emma Vadehra, executive director of Next100, described the political agenda in a press release.
The report begins with an overview of the problem, using statistics that show that half of all New Yorkers have experienced poverty at some point between 2015 and 2018. For black and Latino residents, stay above the line poverty has proven particularly difficult as the figures showed 40% and 30% of these New Yorkers, respectively, are plunged back into poverty within a year of leaving. The pandemic has only made conditions worse – one in four New Yorkers could not pay their rent during the pandemic, the report said, and about 40% faced food insecurity.
The agenda says the incoming city administration – likely led by Democratic primary winner Eric Adams given the city’s extremely blue electoral map – has the ability to do COVID-19 recovery not from to return to a previous status quo, but to rise above it for the goals of a more equitable city. The policy recommendations have been drafted with an emphasis on political theory and lived experience, with the report saying it pays particular attention to “the intersections and interconnection of forces that contribute to poverty and hardship” , such as the affordable housing crisis exacerbating school segregation, which in turn exacerbates the learning deficit.
The program begins with child care, suggesting increased investment in high quality and equitable child care and early learning options as well as quality child care jobs. These early learning opportunities also need to be meaningfully integrated, the report suggests, across socio-economic, racial and capacity divisions. The plan also hopes to help parents maintain their working lives and pursue their own education by increasing childcare assistance through a “slots and vouchers” program.
On education, the report promises “high quality, inclusive and equitable educational experiences for all students in New York City.” On the agenda are increased tutoring, acceleration academies and mental health resources to repair damage done during the pandemic, as well as a more culturally relevant and proficient curriculum for classrooms. This is in keeping with another promise to create socio-economic and racial diversity in learning environments by striving for enrollment equity and community-based integration. The education plan also takes a long-term view by offering a career and college preparation program that spans elementary through college in district schools and charter schools.
To address housing, the plans on the agenda draw on pre-existing New York City laws, such as the Unique Rent Arrears Program; expand the “right to legal assistance” program to 400% above the poverty line so that all New Yorkers get the legal help they need during housing disputes; and enhancing the city’s Family Homelessness and Eviction Prevention Supplement (FHEPS) voucher program by increasing funding and expanding eligibility criteria. Vouchers are a key part of the overall housing strategy, including the call for a housing navigator program to help New Yorkers with vouchers maximize their impact and protect them from sources of housing discrimination. income.
To help support the nonprofit human services sector which provides much of essential municipal services through government contracts, the program includes policy recommendations such as pay equity, prompt payment and comprehensive by the government of services provided and a transformation of the service procurement system. There is also a disaster preparedness suggestion that would involve nonprofit organizations in disaster planning so that services can be delivered fairly and quickly to communities in need.
Under the umbrella of the city’s economic recovery, organizations are highlighting attention to historical inequalities and the pandemic’s unbalanced effect on communities of color. The report proposes the use of public funds for a sustainable workforce development program that would respond to job displacement by working with training providers, educators and city employers. There is also a policy that suggests that public funds could be used for a wage subsidy program to incentivize hiring and help small businesses, especially those run by women and people of color and those run by women and people of color. previously excluded from federal aid.
As has been the theme of many political writers considering the Covid takeover, infrastructure plays an important role in the report’s economic stimulus package. The idea is to invest money in healthcare, broadband, public transport, schools, health and climate resilience for purposes such as job creation, and to ensure that these jobs are in the right places using targeted hiring practices.
The final economic recovery proposal revolves around wages and labor protections, suggesting a minimum wage for concert workers and a minimum wage of $ 15 for all restaurant workers as well as stronger protections against policies operating in the workplace.
The report complements its agenda with a series of proposals on public safety based on the idea that poverty and the criminal justice system are inextricably linked. The report argues for fiscal justice as a means to decriminalize poverty, ensuring that the appropriate amount of funds are allocated to “trauma-sensitive” services for historically over-policed communities. The report calls for an end to racial disparities in police checks and biased policing through sufficient oversight as well as the dismissal of officers from New York City schools. Finally, organizations are proposing greater use of interventions from community centers as a means of interrupting violence.
The agenda fully attempts to paint a picture of a progressive and rebuilt city. “The issues facing our city in a post-COVID environment are vast, but so are the opportunities the next mayor has to tackle the systemic inequalities that the pandemic has exacerbated,” said Vadehra.
Robin Hood, The Century Foundation and Next100 aren’t the only entities working to map the city’s political agenda, especially as a renewal of city governments and city council makeup is on the horizon. Just last week, the Center for an Urban Future released its own report, offering 250 ideas for the city’s recovery and future, among others.