For too long, our city and our country have worked to benefit a small, wealthy majority at the expense of many; a reality that has worsened over the last 40-50 years. 

The sobering realities of the last year – from COVID-19 to the continued murders of Black Lives and Trans Lives – highlight the contours and consequences of these inequalities, while entrenching them further.

We’re fed up, so it’s time to step up!

Our policy platform is guided by the values of community justice and wellness. It sets a course for building a city and society that centers the lives and voices of the everyday people who make our city functional and vibrant. 

As we lay out below, achieving this requires that we undo the harmful policies, practices, and relationships that maintain systems of exclusion, inequality, and oppression – and that we build new ways forward. 

We humbly offer the following as a starting place for the reimagining that is needed. We will be meeting with civic and grassroots groups, community leaders and neighbors over the next year to deepen our understanding of what is needed and how to go about securing our collective future.

Housing insecurity and displacement are an epidemic in NYC. In recent decades, this crisis has been driven by a state-supported “affordable” housing industry that places the profit-needs of private investors and the real estate industry above the needs of everyday, ordinary people. The consequences include a growing number of residents overburdened by high housing costs or living in unsafe and/or unhealthy housing, gentrification and displacement, and historically high levels of homelessness. All of this has been amplified by the COVID-19 pandemic, where our city and state officials are standing by while more than a million tenants risk eviction. We are told that this is the only avenue available, but we refuse to believe that the only way to house some is through displacing others. This must stop. New directions must be found. Everyone deserves safe and healthy housing. Housing is a human right, and foundational to healthcare.

What can we do about it?

    • House the Homeless (Read more)
    • Fully Fund, Repair & Expand Public Housing (Read more)
    • “Affordable housing” for the People, Not the Developers (Read more)
    • Abolish the Tax Lien Sale (Read more)
Residents should be at the center of decisions about the future of their neighborhoods and their homes, to which their lives are tied. These decisions should be made through robust resident engagement, and with the best interests of residents in mind. This requires that we radically reconfigure the process through which land use decided, and establish grounding principles that center community needs.

What can we do about it?

  • Revamp Land Use Review Process (Read more)
  • Public Land for Public Use & Community Ownership (Read more)
  • Health & Wellness as Centerpoints (Read more)
  • Climate Change Preparation (Read more)
The city often claims to be providing opportunities for economic empowerment, but they are always tied in to development deals the will adversely affect existing community members, and the jobs are too often “bad” jobs - low-paying, part-time, and/or seasonal, and lacking benefits, unions, advancement opportunities, autonomy, and more. These labor relations also help maintain the hierarchy of inequality, by offering bad jobs to those who have already been locked out of educational and employment opportunities. We need real opportunities that empower those who have been locked out, and interrupt historical patterns of inequality that were sedimented by ongoing discrimination.

What can we do about it?

  • Save & Protect Small Businesses (Read more)
  • Work Towards Worker-owned (Read more - forthcoming)
Policing, the prevailing model for safety and security, is a failed institution. The NYPD is a proven endangerment to residents of this city; specifically the unhoused and Black and Brown residents. Most at risk as those of communities that have historically been locked out of formal education and employment opportunities, that have experienced high rates of poverty and food insecurity, and that relatedly have high rates of mental and physical health challenges. Engagement looks like harassment, but also sometimes lethal force. Thousands put their bodies on the line this summer in protest of police practices calling to defund the NYPD, and it became a serious consideration during budget negotiations. While nothing substantial came to fruition, it is clear that change is needed. Driving this home is a report by Human Rights Watch describing an account of police brutalizing those protesting police brutality in the Bronx in June, 2020. The $6 billion budget allocation to the NYPD is a misuse of public money that directly puts residents at risk. Money from the NYPD’s budget could be reallocated to fund alternatives systems that better address some of these issues. Stable housing, access to good, meaningful employment, healthy food and living and autonomy go a long way. Throughout this platform we highlight places where these funds could be diverted towards these ends: public housing, supporting community-ownership and worker-owned businesses, and more. Additional measures must also be taken to make sure all residents are safe and secure.

What can we do about it?

  • Alternative Models of Community Safety and Security (Read more)
  • End Permanent Exclusion in Public Housing (Read more)
  • Freeze ICE Out (Read more - forthcoming)
  • Elected Civilian Review Board (Read more - forthcoming)
Transportation that is built, modernized, and maintained in our city must be publicly-owned, accessible, and dirt-cheap-working-towards-free. This is a resource upon which all everyday New Yorkers depend. It is how we get to work on time, to the doctor’s, to visit friends and more. It must be reliable and affordable, and under public control.

What can we do about it?

  • Publicly Owned for the People (Read more - forthcoming)
  • Accessible Design for All (Read more - forthcoming)

Racial & Class Justice

Racial and class justice undergirds the points outlined above. For too long, Black, and Brown and working-class communities have borne the brunt of bad policy. These households are overrepresented among those experiencing homelessness, housing insecurity and displacement, unequal educational opportunities and difficulty securing meaningful, stable, well-paying employment, the mental and physical threats of hyper-policing, and more. The same communities that are being locked up today, have been locked out long-standing from any benefits of our formal economy. These realities have (had) lasting consequences for health and well-being, and quality of life, intergenerationally. 

As a city, we need to come together to arrest and address these harms. 

This platform seeks to build on those who have begun the work of charting this path.

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