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Smithie For Mayor NYC 2021 – ReBuildNewYorkCity.com

New Yorkers, COVID-19 threw New York City into a virtually remote age faster than a stone sinking in the Hudson. Now, moving New York City forward to not only secure family budgets, but to shape the future of teaching, the future of jobs, the continuity of small businesses and the future of how we police the city, I see as duly necessary and just.  

Our teachers are our best moral reporters. Pandemic to them means a shift from a teaching culture that is struggling with over-crowded classrooms, to a culture that’s been made to adopt and adapt to learning by virtual means.  They are now faced with problems of equity, student performance, internet, computer access and post COVID issues of child abuse, assault, online bullying, drunkenness, dysfunctional families and homeless students.  

As Mayor, it is my responsibility to help them during this transformation period. And if possible provide new guides and new standards so our school system and these committed professionals could squared up to the new. And since we really want to reduce crime on our streets, reform the NYPD as well as reform our criminal justice system, I promise to be that Mayor that not only bring civic studies back into our classrooms, but moves the city forward from where we are today.

Lets not forget, keeping pace with new technology, new buildings, green materials, and the state of our current road network system is not the only problem the next Mayor have in common with our fire department, landlords and developers alike.  

There is also the issue of tackling the ever rising cost of keeping our private and public sectors sustainable, attainable and affordable for all New Yorkers.  Failure for the next Mayor to tackle this will not only wipe out the middle class from the city, it will keep driving the cost of living in the city way beyond the reach of working families.  

Well, I hate to see lifetime gains wiped off the back of our retirees. I hate to see the future of the next generation of new Yorkers made less certain. And since my goal is to help secure family budgets, you bet I’ll waste no time tackling an issue of this magnitude! 

To avoid raising taxes on landlords, renters and business owners, I will float a public bond as a way to raise capital for the construction of community “rail car” transportation system. This will be made to service areas where the subway and the buses left off in Brooklyn, Queens, Bronx and all areas to the north of Central Park.  A public funded debt security with predictable income for all will not only provide adequate transportation for working families in the areas listed, it will improve living standards and public commitment to other citywide communal projects.

As for energy conservation, the environment, water management, public space management, quality of food supply and waste disposal, part of my sustainable plan is to work with borough Presidents, work with local community boards, and if possible set up a bicameral assembly to address these needs – all in the light of changes brought about by adaptive technology, the pandemic and the call to reform the NYPD. 

Building new affordable homes, protecting rents, providing universal healthcare, universal health insurance system that comes with ma and pa holidays to match is a much needed thing to do for a metropolis like ours. COVID, I must say, provides an opportunity to rebuild for the common good of all. And with my proposed bicameral assembly working hand in hand – at grassroots level with community boards, I will embark on a localized but thorough post-COVID urban regeneration program like never before. I will rebuild New York city into a city that is secure, adaptive, livable, affordable, promising and sustainable for the common good of all.

As for our Police department – the same NYPD, that a large group of people would so much like to see defunded today, well, a little but of history here for those who knew next to nothing about the history of New York city.  One key historical fact that many have forgotten is that, there was a time in the history of this city when the Police department shared the same amount of reverence with Abraham Lincoln in most African American minds.  And that was because of their selfless deed, sacrifice and commitment to saving humanity as a service oriented organization back then.        

They were not only instrumental to the survival and the existence of black Americans, small businesses and their communities before, during and after the Civil war, they were – invariably speaking, the key to our continued presence in New York city of today.  They made sure our footprint was never removed nor permanently erased from the history of this city at a time when Copperheads were out and about with the intent on doing just that. 

As Mayor, I’ll do my best to return the department back to the days when the Police department was a service, not a force.  I will reform the department, but not defund them. 

I need your help New Yorkers. I need your backing all the way.

My name is Abbey Samuel Laurel-Smith. I am campaigning as SmithieForMayor NYC 2021. I promise to be the Mayor that moves New York City out of recession and out of chaos brought upon us by this pandemic.  As said in my leaflet, “I will be with you through tough times, and I will act on family budgets” so we all can do more than feed our families. 

Thank you.

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Art, rent, affordable housing and 3D printer.

The arts alone, I’ve been told, brought in close to $5 billion or more to New York city last year — during the pandemic.

Now, what kind of arts? Could it be fine arts made by artists, 99.9 percent of whom couldn’t afford to stay in the city, talk less of making enough for a day’s meal? Or are we talking about performed arts by artistes in music studios, in media houses, on YouTube and in front of TV studio the cameras?

I think I’ll settle for the last, and will not throw in the catwalk and broadway since social distancing made it impossible to host a fashion show or to go see a broadway show. I’ll leave out poetry and literary works. We all know you either have to be a President or be known to have worked for one to get a publisher look your way.

Now let’s put all these professional class of groups together under the term “cultural arts”. Let’s assume they all performed online and at traditional venues, and there was no pandemic. Then ask, could they have possibly bring in the same amount or more?

My answer is no. They were able to bring in this much because physical performing space was moved online. And when you work online as an artist or artiste, things like offices, admins., support and other fixed assets are far removed from being secondary. The only primary overhead you have to consider is equipments, food and rent.

This is a proof that if we are able to fix rent in New York city, we might not only enliven the cultural arts, we’ll do more than boost the artistic instinct or artists, poets and writers in our midst. We’ll also end up with a revamped system whereby New Yorkers of all races and incomes have spare resources to start collecting art works again.

Last time something like this happened was in the 1950’s to early and mid 70’s, after which everyone in New York city started working just to pay rent, and to barely keep up with constantly ballooning rent rates every year. Rent and survival takes up all income, thus leaving nothing to spare to enjoy patronizing the fine arts, literature and cultural arts.

Even worse, majority of schools in the New York city have removed these studies from the curriculum, and I don’t think they are ever coming back.

But to keep the artists and the artistes we have in the city today functioning, performing and practicing their profession to the fullest, we have to fix rent for them, for all New Yorkers and make housing affordable for all again.

And this I plan to do by rearanging space rather than get bogged down with zoning laws of 1916 through the 50’s into the 70’s.

If elected Mayor, city of New York, I will redefine our heritage laws and introduce industrial grade 3D printers to developers (old and new) as I need to get them to start printing affordable multipurpose dwellings all over the city.

Advantage of 3D assisted structures is in the fact that:

  • they are faster, cheaper to build and requires a quarter of the workforce needed for traditional building method.
  • they are secure, better built and a far safer environment for workers of all trades.
  • reduce costs, overheads, equipment rental fees, manpower and union costs for developers.
  • affordable to buy in the sense that it brings newly printed property values down by a quarter. For example we will now have a situation whereby a newly printed three bedroom or four bedroom apt in Midtown, near Central Park or in UES will now be up for less than $200k.
  • use this to grant more licenses to new developers in all counties and boost the rate of specialists transitioning to self employment in the building trade.

Will NYC property market bubble burst with this? Certainly no. I am only offering options to a new generation of New Yorkers and a lot of people at the low income grade. Traditional buildings and traditional real estate market will still exist for those very few who can afford them.

One thing guaranteed though, if people have enough left after paying rent, they will certainly have more than enough at hand to enjoy the arts, start patronizing cultural arts and start collecting art and literary works. They will have enough at hand to plan for retirement and map out a promising future for their kids.

Fixing rent and affordable housing is one of my future ready plan for New York city. I will create a safe, livable, sustainable and affordable city for all. And the arts, with technology and affordable dwellings designed to suit a work/live profile, will bring more into the city than they’ve just did during the pandemic. That is why I set up ReBuildNewYorkCity.

Good thing is, this could be done and perfectly executed in all boroughs without a grant from the federal government or a loan from the state in Albany.

Please feel free to help share this message to artists, artistes and New Yorkers alike.

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Elon Musk: A few things to note about creating jobs in New York City.

Manhattan, New York City. April 11, 2021

Dear Elon Musk,

My first car was a Triumph. A British made car. I remembered it so well because it used to break down a lot. You fix one thing today, then pops up another apart, requiring either a full replacement with the same, a fine tuning or a removal — which then allows you to sort out an ingenious way of coming up with a generic replacement that would do the same, but most of the time better than what came from factory.

Good thing about this is, within a very short time, not only did I garner a lot of knowledge about this type of vehicles, it’s variants, their behaviors, and their penchant to break down for one reason or the other when put through different seasons, in comparison to other vehicles — British, German, Italian, American and British, it also enrich me with a lot of new social contacts.

Some in these list of contacts were professional mechanics with garages, spare parts dealers, electricians, heaters and air conditioning installers, car body shop and detailing specialists. But what surprised me the most was that a huge number of people on this list of contacts were mostly part timers and hobbyists. These hobbyists are people who have gone through the experience of having a similar car as their first or second vehicle, and are willing to share experiences to fix things, or help and point in the right direction — if and whenever I come up with something that requires a specialist job.

Compare to now, where we have social media, then, there was no social media platform or search engine other than yellow pages — where you can go to get an almost similar experience. These people as at that time, were my social contacts. And the vehicle was my means of getting to know these people, their number, their address, what interests them, what they can offer and what they can not.

Point I’m trying to draw from this experience is, British vehicles as at that time might have had a reputation for not being reliable and breaking down more often, but there is a reason behind adopting such a doctrine. And that reason is the need to allow people to interact socially about this product, share experiences, and gain new skills that could be socially useful for the person, his neighbor and others — wherever he/she ended up.

If my vehicle had been German or Japanese, I would have had a perfect car that runs flawlessly, doesn’t break down at every sharp bend, and would not have been able to meet the people I met, patronize the garages — the professional mechanics, the body shop walkers, the car electricians, talk less of building those social contacts. In short, I would have known next to nothing about vehicles and wouldn’t have had a clue about what to do to avoid something as simple as the cause of overheating.

Today, we have Tesla — an artificial intel powered electric car that runs perfectly. Unlike Triumph, it doesn’t break down at any given opportunity. But like Triumph — if it breaks down or you run into something, it cannot fix itself, and neither can you, your next door neighbor.

And since all garages, tire repair shops and car body shops have all closed down because a company like Tesla has a monopoly on everything to do with their brand, you have no option than to go back to Tesla every single time a pigeon poops on your Tesla.

Now, not only has that social interaction I gained from owning a Triumph gone, so also are the specialist jobs in local mechanic and car detailing garages as well as the type of technical knowledge about vehicles and fixing different aspects of vehicles parts gone from our local economy for ever.

Sad thing is, we as tax payers are still being asked to foot the bill for keeping these new type of AI driven companies afloat.

I like Tesla and I love their series of electric vehicles. But as a New York city mayoral candidate, I want a city that will not focus on service and banking alone. No. It is my wish to bring back technical education into our schools, bring them up to par with AI and core learning variants, and bring those car and tire repair shop jobs back to the city.

Therefore, if Tesla is to continue running in our city, I’d love some compromise for small businesses and specialist vehicle repair shops and garages in and around the city of New York from Tesla. I’d love New York city mechanics and car body shop workers to be able to repair — from ground up, sell parts, program and dispose off, any of Tesla’s electric vehicle series.

I’d create a law to back this up, and a regulation to restrict the garages, so Tesla is not only protected from it’s IP, but also covered from any type of property abuse and internal AI infringement.

Thank you Elon Musk.

Sincerely yours,

Abbey Laurel-Smith (SmithieForMayor NYC 2021)

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My worries about the state of public school education in New York city.

The pandemic has touched everything we used to know, and turned it inside out. Problem is many are not ready to wake up to this fact until we start opening back up again.

There are many things to pick up on, but for the sake of this write up, i’ll pick on two most resilient structures that in my opinion could be very very slow to adapt to a change, simply because these two structures are well known to have developed a very advanced and well balanced business model that has served it for more than two hundred years.

They are the education and healthcare sectors in the city of New York. The core of their business model is simply “service.” One provides a need to teach and educate people, whilst the other tends to our need for care. But due to the pandemic, these two structures have not only revealed the level of inequality in our education system, it has also shown that this inequality, if not addressed for what it is, could easily lead to bigotry, hatred, loathing and being emotionally blind to the other in our society more than anything else.

Physical space was moved online, so teachers could teach remotely, and students could study from the comfort of their homes. But access to much digital equipments turned out to be a big problem. And when that was addressed, distractions, old habits and bad parenting kicked in, and New York city teachers, as moral reporters couldn’t do a thing.

Now the pandemic is almost over, we are opening back up again, so we have a situation where like hospitals, schools and universities don’t have to worry about what to do with overheads through fixed assets (buildings, halls, accommodation and playgrounds) or the high operating cost of services and admin support they have always have with them for the past few centuries any more, but how best to evaluate child/student development and address the effect of inequality as they go about it.

With this in mind, I believe with a teacher’s aid and timely intervention, a child’s level of development could be swayed, enlivened, made prosper and given the chance of a better live, than a child’s development being left to be determined by income, community, surrounding influences and bad parenting.

I therefore propose a review of the city’s education system, revamp the manner of teaching, boost the number of teachers, bring civic studies back into New York city schools and put more money into pre-K education and public schools.

Charter schools will live and survive, but pandemic has shown us that pandering to achievements by tests alone removes the social touch, social adaptability and the emotional intelligence required to act on the spot — if the situation at hand doesn’t fit one that has been learned, read about and mamorized in a book.

I’d create a system that will encourage our public school teachers to broaden achievement to embrace hidden skills and hidden talents in slow to bloom students. Stoop low to lift the bottom up is key to the city’s survival if we are to continue as a service driven economy.

Reality of the effect of pandemic now is kids in other boroughs outside Manhattan are academically speaking, about six months behind those in Manhattan. Meaning 20 kids out of 100 (black, brown or white) in Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island will be luck to go to graduate school in the next couple of years, if this is not looked into right now. As for finishing high school, the rate in the Black and Latino community, in my estimate, has just dropped to 4.

The rising rate of attacks on Asians in New York city is an example of what could happen if old thinking, bigotry, deranged reasoning and lack of tolerance for the other are being fed into the young minds at home by parents’ and by family members’ if there are no public schools and if they are the only one involved in a child’s life.

Public schools are there to prepare our kids for life after school. If as children, they all learn together, play together and eat the same school meals together, then, certainly “we the people” could effectively live together.

As Mayor, i’ll use the pandemic and it’s effect on education to rewrite New York city’s school curriculum and method of induction. Pump more money into the public school system and reward teacher’s more than now.

Digital access or the lack of it should not be allowed to divide us more than it is as at now.

Once this is taken care off then the next set of things to address in the city’s education and school system will be how to use the shift from a teaching culture that is struggling with over-crowded classrooms, to a culture that has adopted learning by virtual means as a way to source out post COVID issues of child abuse, assault, online bullying, drunkenness, and the effect of dysfunctional families on homeless students.

New guides and new standards is what is needed for our school system. Pandemic is providing us with an opportunity to rebuild, refocus and repurpose, let’s not scuttle it.

If elected Mayor, I promise one thing: Post pandemic education in New York city will be different. So will be Teachers. So will be classrooms. So will be lessons to be taught. And so will be the city’s public school system.

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