The prolonged pandemic has exacerbated New York City’s housing crisis to emergency levels. The evidence is seen in increased rent and mortgage delinquencies, evictions and foreclosures, and unpaid utility bills. The City must provide relief to renters, homeowners and mom-and-pop landlords who have experienced income loss during the pandemic. When the state’s COVID-19 Emergency Eviction and Foreclosure Prevention Act ends, large numbers of New Yorkers will face immediate homelessness. Many seniors rely on their rental properties for income and have not collected payments since March2020. Susan proposes the City to adopt a policy to freeze property taxes and waive late payment penalties. She will hold state elected officials accountable and ensure the Rent Relief Extension Program will benefit tenants of struggling mom-and-pop landlords ahead of real estate or hedge fund developers.
Affordable housing is a chronic issue in New York City. We must invest in long-term solutions rather than band-aids or partial measures that fail to mitigate the situation. The80/20 Program often yields “affordable units” that are out of reach for New Yorkers who truly need them. Susan strongly believes the City and State must come together to identify government-owned parcels and work with developers to build 100% affordable housing units.
Small businesses are the backbone and fabric of our community. The pandemic has forced them into an unprecedented economic disruption. Abandoned storefronts line the streets of District 1, conveying blight and danger and discouraging shoppers from adjacent shops that remain open. Susan will work with small businesses to help them recover and push forward City programs that offer them financial reprieve. Susan proposes to use sales tax revenues to establish a cash grant that can be reinvested into small businesses. She will streamline permit applications and reduce fees. She will propose a policy of issuing warnings for minor non-health and safety infractions in lieu of fines. Susan will create a database to track small businesses and promote a year-round shop local/shop small program.
Through the first 18 days of 2021, NYC has seen increases in shootings and murders. So far, 59 New Yorkers have been shot and 18 have been murdered. Gun violence continues to ravage our city. January alone saw a 23% jump compared to the same point in 2020. With crime rising, communities feeling threatened and alienated, and the police department feels under attack, we need more community policing and public engagement to ensure the safety of New Yorkers, while protecting their civil rights. Susan will work with stakeholders to redefine policing and reinvest in it to make it a success. If done right, it will restore confidence in the police’s roles in society. She will demand greater transparency and accountability, and will invest in recruitment and salaries to build diversity in the upper ranks of the NYPD.
Education is the foundation of a thriving society. The pandemic has brought the inequities in our education system into the spotlight. Susan will fight to ensure all of our children have access to quality education regardless of where they live. She will bring stakeholders to the table to address the technology and resource gaps in our community.
As sea levels rise, parts of Lower Manhattan will continue to flood, putting critical infrastructure at risk, including the subway and ferry networks, our sewer system and many historic, cultural and community assets. Susan will gather input from the community and recommendations from environmental science experts to develop a comprehensive resiliency plan to protect our community for future generations.
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