JOBS & THE ECONOMY

I will prioritize fairly re-growing our local economy and building support for workers’ rights, small business prosperity, hiring Black people, community controlled land development, increasing technology infrastructure and digital literacy, progressive taxation, new business incubation, workforce development and Black entrepreneurship. I know the pain of Black New Yorkers who’ve been rejected by Midtown company after company despite their Baruch College business degrees. I was raised by United Auto Worker (UAW) union members and I’ve belonged to a union myself. I have family members who’ve resorted to the fast money of the streets. 

Our economic development policies for far too long have not been focused on upward economic mobility, rebuilding the middle class or the Black racial wealth gap. Too many people in power have been lethargic in responding to the pains of a structurally weakened middle-class. I pledge to do the following:
 

  • Expanding social safety net​

    • Build support to fund a universal childcare program for children under 3

    • Introduce legislation to strengthen paid sick, maternity and paternity leave

    • Partner with the advocacy community to produce a study on the potential impact of normalizing work from home rights for new parents

    • Introduce legislation to begin a Universal Basic Income pilot program for low-income earners
       

  • Supporting small businesses

    • Collaborate with the corporate social responsibility sector to expand digital skills training programs to more Black and Latinx small businesses

    • Introduce legislation to abate tax payment for small, Black and Latinx owned businesses in Harlem

    • Coordinate with the 125th Street Business Improvement District leaders to ensure that small and Black-owned businesses have the opportunity to operate in vacant commercial space

    • Build support to increase business formation resources for small business entrepreneurs

    • Call on the NYC Department of Finance to reduce and invalidate fines issued to small businesses

    • Seek the creation of a study group to issue recommendations for the elimination of potentially gatekeeping occupational licensing requirements

    • Prioritize strengthening coordination with private sector entities which have committed major capital for small business loans

    • Support legislation to keep our small businesses operating in the face of a rent crisis, where the small business jobs survival act is a good starting point

    • Support legislation to provide commercial rent tax relief for businesses that keep employees on payroll

  • Inclusive job creation and hiring

    • Call upon the Mayor to audit NYC Economic Development Corporation (EDC) strategies and reorient toward job-creation based opportunity zones

    • Partner with Black and Latinx corporate employee resource groups of major companies operating in this City to hold management teams accountable to fulfil their diversity hiring commitments 

    • Build support to strengthen re-entry programs
       

  • Community-driven land development

    • Prioritize fighting for community driven land development and will vote no on real estate rezoning development projects that are less than 50% affordable

  • Leaning into NYC core strengths

    • Call upon the EDC to expand the CyberNYC industry incubation program

  • Workforce development and closing the Digital Divide

    • Seek funding to increase the number of Business Solutions Centers and Workforce1 Career Centers sites within Harlem

    • Collaborate with community organizations to expand technology infrastructure in Harlem, increase digital literacy and expand broadband access 

    • Partner with existing initiatives to strengthen skill training programs at anchor institutions such as City College of New York (CCNY)

    • Coordinate will community stakeholders to conduct an audit of the Community Benefits Agreement (CBA) with Columbia University to ensure total compliance

    • Work to allocate significantly more funding to career and technical education, bootcamps and apprenticeship programs

    • Call for the strengthening of robust youth leadership and development initiatives

  • No to fiscal austerity

    • Call on state leaders to provide City with long-term borrowing authority to drive investments in economic recover

  • Progressive taxation

    • Support a rate increase on the top 1% of income earners in NYC

  • Democratizing business financing

    • Work with community bankers at credit bearing institutions to develop a plan to increase lending to small businesses

    • Collaborate with Black-led venture capital firms to strengthen business incubation in Harlem

    • Introduce legislation to expand grants available to Black and Latinx entrepreneurs

  • Debt relief

    • Support legislation to cancel rent and mortgages not paid during eviction moratorium

    • Support refinancing of taxi medallions

    • Introduce legislation to reign in predatory lending businesses

  • Racial wealth gap

    • Advocate for a targeted strategy to incubate Black-owned businesses and help existing ones thrive

    • Work with NYCHA residents to explore resident ownership goals

    • Introduce legislation to incentivize the formation of worker cooperatives 

    • Advocate for the expansion of the Black Entrepreneurs Initiative (BE NYC) that supports Black business owners

  • Business incubation

    • Partner with community based organizations to increase participation in entrepreneurship accelerator programs

    • Work with community based organizations such as the Harlem Arts Alliance to strengthen our arts ecosystem and other core areas of strength in Harlem

    • Introduce legislation to increase export grants so that we can say “Designed in Harlem” more

    • Work with the Department of Small Business Services to increase the amount of business accelerator programs in Harlem

  • Affordable housing

    • Fight to protect existing affordable housing and organize for the creation of more

  • Strengthening community

    • Ask commercial property owners with vacant spaces to explore using these in communal ways on a short-term basis