Good afternoon Ladies, Gentlemen, fellow New Yorkers, and thank you for joining up with me on this platform.
For this debate and for this particular side of my campaign for Mayor, city of New York 2021, I will use 1 section 16 of the New York city charter as my guide. I would love to bring up other sections of the city’s charter, but I’d rather not overwhelm those that are not familiar with this document by keeping to just one.
The social, economic and environmental health of New York city has been badly mauled by this pandemic. And rather than wait for the funds from the state or grant from the federal government, I will be proposing a set of strategies for reversing the damage done to the city by the pandemic, or let’s say measures i’ll take if I were the Mayor of New York city.
Now, these proposals of mine were developed out of what I witnessed in different jurisdictions all over the city. Naturally this then make New York city in general my primary focus, and the boroughs, my second. Because the undeniable fact is that New Yorkers – based on where they are, all experienced the Pandemic differently.
I have been looking at how unemployment as a result of the pandemic shutdown has brought about a new class of poverty, affected families, disrupt child welfare. And if not taking seriously could end up affecting city’s expense budgets, or say, it’s obligation to city workers and capital projects.
Another thing is, this pandemic actually showed off how inadequate our housing and shelters are. It enabled vagrancy, exacerbate harassment, brought out physical and mental health issues like we’ve never seen before. Sad thing is treatment is nowhere to be found as everywhere is shut down. Even worse is how it unleashed a horrifying uncertainty on small businesses, and the hospitality business environment in general.
Now, what I am proposing here are not just healing measures, they are ways and means that could be put into play without raising property or sales tax. They are short term measures that I would be happy to see adopted permanently by the city. My believe is they are the easiest set of things I would do – if elected Mayor, to get these jurisdictions back on track.
Let’s focus on the image of Midtown New York city during this shutdown as an example. It was empty, deserted and looks ghostly because it was full of absentee landlords, and those who buy properties for investment purpose only. And as for the few that lives in that area, there was an urgent need for essential services to support them. This is unlike living in the mostly residential communities of West Village area, East Village, Upper East side, Harlem, Inwood, Washington Heights and the Bronx.
To decongest these residential areas and get more people to live in non residential areas like Midtown, and the Financial district, I propose:
- rearranging space by granting 3D license to new developers so public and affordable dwellings (skyscrapers) could be printed to boost the numbers of resident locals in that middle part of new York city, and by applying bedroom space tax to absentee landlords who bought properties for investment purposes only.
- provide relocation credits to companies, multi-national corporations, banks and media houses in that area to move and establish satellite footprints in other boroughs outside Manhattan.
- grant a full Saturday of free parking space through this spring and summer, so shoppers – from all boroughs, and visitors from abroad and from outside the state, could shop in Manhattan, as well as in a few commercial areas all over the city and the boroughs.
- relax rules and regulations that are in the way of getting people to set up small businesses, set up bank accounts, rent a space and meet city’s required standards.
- grant police powers and powers to arrest to our NYSDP (New York Sanitation Police Department) so they could arrest people for fly tipping, littering, dog fouling, and inconsiderate use of sidewalk.
- make street washing an everyday thing in certain areas of the city.
But before any of these could be implemented, it is imperative to aggressively get as many people vaccinated as much as possible, grant those who have a kind of ID, make vaccination mandatory for all in order to get back to work, to school and engage in one on one transactions.
The only asset left for the city to use for a come back after this pandemic is public space. How it is managed and administered to – for be benefit of all New Yorkers, without public footprint recking the city’s environmental health is another thing I haven’t discus here, But that, I’ll touch up on at other debates.