32BJ - REBNY Mayoral Candidate Platform by azipaybarah


									                         TOPICAL AREAS TO BE COVERED IN
                         JOINT SEIU 32BJ/REBNY MEETINGS

Fiscal Policy
Structural Deficit

According to a recent report by the New York City Independent Budget Office, the next Mayor will inherit
a structural deficit of $811 million. On top of that, unsettled union contracts may add nearly $5.4 billion to
the City’s deficit through June 2013. Upon your election, how will you handle the structural deficit? What
taxes would you raise? What fees would you impose? What spending would you cut? What programs
would you terminate?

Property Taxes

The property tax is the single most important tax that the City collects. It accounts for approximately 43%
of the total tax revenue generated by the City. It is becoming increasingly clear that New York City’s
method of assessing property is not transparent, equitable or mindful of the City’s long-term interests.

Similarly valued properties pay a different proportion of taxes to value, depending primarily upon their
location within the city and when some buildings were constructed. The City’s tax policies serve as a
disincentive to maintaining affordable housing in those sections of the City where it is most difficult to
otherwise create affordable housing due to the high cost of land and construction. The Department of
Finance does not acknowledge capital investments made to properties to replace items that have
exceeded their useful lives as building expenses. Finally, the Department of Finance, in general, has
treated income-producing properties as though they were more valuable after the 2008 recession than
they were before. As Mayor, what would you do to make the property tax assessment system more
transparent, equitable and supportive of the City’s long-term interests?

Affordable Housing
It is expected that New York City will add nearly 1 million more people by 2030. However, housing
production in New York City is off. For example, the number of housing units completed throughout the
five boroughs was down 42% from 2011 to 2010 and 47% from 2011 to 2007. What will you do to
address the City’s nearly insatiable housing needs, particularly for low and middle-income New Yorkers?

Job Creation
The City currently has a record high number of jobs. At the same time, its record high job growth is being
tarnished by its stubbornly high 9.7% unemployment rate. What will you do to facilitate job creation as
the City’s population continues to grow?

Personal income growth is expected to grow by 3.8 percent—dramatically lower than the 6.4 percent
average growth in personal income New Yorkers have experienced over the past two years. With
relatively flat wage gain projections exacerbating the growing income disparity in the City, how will you
spur the creation of new jobs that pay wages and benefits in excess of the minimum wage? Can you
identify incentive programs that should be revised and how they should be revised? Are there new
incentive programs that should be created to stimulate job creation?

There has been much public debate in recent years regarding the role of government mandating the
payment of prevailing or living wages by private sector employers. How would you handle such wage
policy issues as Mayor?

Land Use
Zoning Policy

The Bloomberg administration has rezoned nearly one-sixth of New York City during its tenure, in many
respects establishing a road map for the City’s growth for decades to come. Are there additional areas of
the City that warrant rezoning? What will be your approach to zoning?

Midtown East

Last summer, the Bloomberg administration introduced its plan to rezone over 70 blocks in Midtown East
as a long-term effort to ensure this area remains a pre-eminent business district. This rezoning will spur
many good jobs for New Yorkers—both construction and permanent—while ensuring that this business
district remains competitive in today’s global economy and raising funds to improve transit and pedestrian
areas in the neighborhood. What is your position on the proposed rezoning? Would you like to see any
modifications to the plan, and if so, what would they be?

Reform of the City’s Landmarks Process

New York City’s Landmark Law has enhanced the City by preserving and protecting its most noteworthy
historic buildings and neighborhoods over the last 47 years. However, particularly over the last several
years, there has been an increased focus on designating historic districts that has flagged several
worrisome issues about the manner in which landmarking is conducted in New York City. Specifically,
there is a lack of information and transparency for property owners, a lack of consistent standards applied
and insufficient weight given to other policy interests like job and housing creation and sustainability.
How would you approach the manner in which landmarking is conducted in New York City? What
reforms would you seek?

Our country and our city have been a desired destinations for immigrants since their inception. In light of
that fact, and the estimated $200 billion price tag associated with deportation, what is your stance on a
legitimate path to citizenship for the twelve million undocumented immigrants currently in the US?

Mayor Bloomberg, a vocal champion for comprehensive immigration reform, has worked extensively to
help New York City’s immigrant population. He has done everything from expanding the benefits and
services offered by the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs, to making 311 available in 170 different
languages. If elected Mayor, what initiatives would you seek to implement to foster the City’s immigrant

Many members of low income communities, including immigrants, youth and the elderly, face barriers to
accessing government-issued identification documents. In many cases, they also face barriers to
accessing banks and financial institutions. Cities such as New Haven, Connecticut, San Francisco and
Oakland, California, have developed successful program in which the city provides secure municipal
identification cards that can also be used as stored value cards and to access municipal services, such as
parking and swimming pools. Would you be willing to develop a municipal identification card for New

In recent years, additional pressure has been placed on cities to move away from policies that promote
cooperation and good police-community relations and toward requiring local police to assist in
immigration enforcement. Do you support limiting the circumstances in which the City will honor detainer
requests from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in order to ensure that City resources are not
wasted and police-community relations are not impaired?

Infrastructure Investment
If structured appropriately, investment in public infrastructure is a sensible proposition for public pension
funds. Infrastructure investments can provide a stable and reliable return on investments. The pension
funds’ ability to earn such returns over the long-term is a good match for the long-term benefits, financial
and otherwise, that infrastructure investments yield. Infrastructure investments also provide pension
funds with new opportunities to diversify their portfolios.

New York needs to invest in infrastructure, given many of its roads and bridges are deteriorating, its mass
transit system is outdated, and its airports and seaports are in desperate need of upgrades and
expansion. In addition, our existing energy infrastructure, especially our electric grid, is wasteful and does
not take full advantage of existing technologies that create energy efficiencies and savings for rate

What steps as Mayor would you take to encourage the investment of pension funds in repairing and
modernizing the facilities upon which our continuing prosperity depend and which will lead to the creation
of new jobs in many sectors, including service jobs?

Building Resiliency

In the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, a critical issue is what steps City government can take to help
make buildings more resilient for severe weather events moving forward. If elected Mayor, how will you
approach coordinating this effort amongst the various City agencies? How will you reconcile certain
initiatives that have competing and conflicting policy objectives (e.g., fire safety, terrorism, sustainability,
and building resiliency)?


Creating a green, sustainable City is critical to New York’s economic and environmental future. With
nearly 80% of New York City’s carbon emissions coming from its buildings, building service workers are
on the front lines of energy conservation. Building maintenance workers have responsibilities ranging
from small repairs and routine maintenance to the operation of a building’s mechanical systems. With
adequate training, they can learn to save energy and costs at their buildings and contribute to the long-
term sustainability of the city. Do you support City investment in training to improve energy efficient
building maintenance?


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