The Unheard Third Vote 2013

Where do the candidates stand?

Explore this voter guide to see how the candidates for mayor compare on issues of concern to low-income New Yorkers — and to the city as a whole. Browse by topic using the tabs below, or click on the numbers to see additional questions. Learn More

Share:

Click a topic to see this candidate’s answers.

Print

Helping Workers

+

1. What are your big ideas for growing the local economy in a way that creates good-paying jobs that offer upward mobility for low-wage workers and expands the middle class?

I am running for mayor because I care about the future of all New Yorkers, including those who have been squeezed out of our city by the policies of the last 20 years and anyone else who feels unrepresented. Upward socio-economic mobility for low-wage workers begins and ends with job training and education. We must also focus on teaching the skills necessary to take jobs in the sectors with the most growth potential, such as those in healthcare and technology.  We must provide education opportunities for our low wage workers to gain skill in computer programming, managing data systems, repairing heavy machinery, etc.

Small businesses are important job creators. My administration will create initiatives to help people start small businesses, providing our residents with training and exposing them to the many governmental services that are already available to aid New Yorkers in starting small businesses.

Further, we will change the present discourse and seek to work with labor unions to create opportunities for our workers. Labor unions are a gateway to working families. They provide workers with an opportunity to make a living wage and have helpful benefits. There is no reason City Hall should be undermining our unions. Under my administration, we will protect worker rights and focus on creating jobs that promote upward mobility.

We are currently waiting on a response to this question.

+ View Answer

2. Post- Sandy, the need for a 21st century power and transportation infrastructure as well as housing and schools that can withstand extreme weather events is clear. How would you invest in upgrading infrastructure in a way that stimulates local hiring? What is your position on a public works program that would create jobs for youth and the unemployed?

Superstorm Sandy was a game changer. We have to be 100 percent committed to creating emergency plans that work, putting infrastructure in place to withstand storms of Sandy's magnitude and protecting New Yorkers from future threats like global warming.

As mayor, I will create a deputy mayor for infrastructure and construction to coordinate the funding and development of the projects that will make sure New York is better prepared for a storm like Sandy. My Deputy Mayor and I will work with labor to find and train New York City residents, ensuring that those working to prepare our city for these types of disasters receive fair wages and benefits. Further, we will be committed to using the city's talented and dedicated workforce to build our new infrastructure--public works play an important role in stimulating the economy. After all, people who live in New York City have a vested interest in fixing our infrastructure.

We are currently waiting on a response to this question.

+ View Answer

3. The City Council overrode a mayoral veto to pass paid sick time. Would you favor expanding this law to provide paid sick days to employees in manufacturing and working for smaller businesses?

I supported the Paid Sick Leave Act and as Mayor I will work vigorously toward enforcing it. Providing our residents an opportunity to take a paid sick day reflects our collective values of compassion and fairness as a city.

We are currently waiting on a response to this question.

+ View Answer

4. The New York State minimum wage will be raised in steps to reach $9.00 in 2016. Is that an adequate wage for workers in New York City? Should tipped workers get the same minimum wage as other employees?

As Comptroller, I worked hard to enforce the minimum wage, and as Mayor I will make its enforcement a top priority so that more New Yorkers have access to a higher paying job. Lastly, it should be indexed with inflation so that we will stop having to debate this issue every few years.

We are currently waiting on a response to this question.

+ View Answer

5. The efforts to make New York City a leader in high tech industries, including bringing Cornell’s new campus to the city, enjoy wide support. What other sectors could capitalize on the city’s comparative advantages while expanding middle-skilled jobs? How would you spur growth in these sectors?

Cornell's new campus presents a tremendous opportunity for New York City to become a leader in technology, and I will create opportunities for all New Yorkers to reap the benefits of this great new presence. But Cornell's campus is not the only gateway to job creation in New York City.  The healthcare and hospitality industry has created thousands of middle-class jobs and I will make sure that we can grow these important industries.

Additionally, we should be capitalizing on locally made products. There is tremendous potential to market "Made in NY" products. For many years, our garment industry was a gateway into the middle-class; we should focus on bringing that opportunity back to members of the middle-class, and "Made in NY" products are a great way to start.

We are currently waiting on a response to this question.

+ View Answer

6. Do you have a plan for reducing hiring discrimination for the unemployed, and those with credit problems or criminal conviction histories?

Hiring discrimination hurts the entire city. We should focus on making sure as many people as possible are working in our city. The Great Recession harmed many of our residents--hardworking people suddenly found themselves without jobs and some saw their credit destroyed. I will implement policies that will make sure all New Yorkers, including those who were left unemployed by the recession and those with criminal convictions, once again have the chance to be employed. By providing those with criminal convictions with the opportunity to work, we will help to combat recidivism, reducing crime and saving taxpayers money in the process.

We are currently waiting on a response to this question.

+ View Answer

7. Mayor Bloomberg created the Center for Economic Opportunity (CEO) to incubate and test initiatives for reducing poverty, which it tracks using a more comprehensive measure than the official poverty rate. With a growing number of New Yorkers—now more than one in five—living in poverty, what would you do to tackle this problem?

The Center for Economic Opportunity has produced substantial studies. That said, the Bloomberg administration has not moved quickly enough to address poverty as a citywide issue. I have outlined an aggressive platform to combat poverty, which includes: 1) Prioritizing Section 8 vouchers for homeless families 2) Expanding tax credits to increase food options and supermarkets in neighborhoods experiencing food insecurity 3) Launching a new "Partnering with Parents" program to provide reduced educational costs to low-income single parents attending CUNY schools 4) Promoting greater job creation and retention by appointing a chief jobs officer, whose job it would be to increase the city's ability to link people with responsible employers and provide vulnerable New Yorkers, especially those who were formerly-incarcerated, with the kind of skills that will make them successful employees.

We are currently waiting on a response to this question.

+ View Answer

Public Safety

+

1. How would you ensure that our city grows safer each year?

Public safety will continue to be a priority in my administration. We will refuse to go back to the days when crime rates were much higher in our city and will make New York the safest big city in America. In order to accomplish this goal, I will return New York to its days of community policing by hiring 2,000 new police officers to our force who come from our community and understand its needs, making sure that our city's youth are engaged in their education and staying away from crime through the High Point policing model, and helping our residents who have criminal records find jobs to reduce recidivism levels.

Public Safety Plan Outline
http://billthompsonformayor.com/news-item/bill-thompsons-speech-outlining-plans-enhanced-public-safety-john-jay-college-criminal

We are currently waiting on a response to this question.

+ View Answer

2. What is your position on the stop and frisk policing tactics used in the Bloomberg years?

Stop and Frisk has been abused by the Bloomberg administration. The Bloomberg administration has used stop-and-frisk to target innocent young black and Latino youth. It is wrong, it is offensive, and it is over the moment I am sworn in as mayor. I will fix Stop and Frisk so that it is not attached to a quota. Additionally, I will focus on a constitutional and effective stop, question and frisk approach that will reduce crime more efficiently. We want a city that is safe for all New Yorkers, but I will not tolerate racial injustice or discrimination.

We are currently waiting on a response to this question.

+ View Answer

Education

+

1. What is your top educational priority? What would you do to dramatically improve educational outcomes, particularly for low-income children?

Education is the key to ending poverty, reducing crime, and creating a city that is fair to all New Yorkers. I want to focus on moving away from the current system of just teaching our children to prepare for tests. I want our children to learn the critical thinking skills that will prepare them to succeed in the modern world. In order to improve the education system for our low-income students and all other students in our educational system, we must acknowledge that our current model is outdated. Our children need a longer school day and longer school year to learn the tools necessary to succeed as adults. We must eliminate the achievement gap, and if that means implementing a Saturday school for our students who have fallen behind, I will take that measure.

We are currently waiting on a response to this question.

+ View Answer

2. Some educators argue that the best way to help poor children is to expand school choice and competition; others favor increasing resources for schools in the neighborhoods where they live. What is your position?

I am in favor of both increasing the resources for schools and expanded school choice. Providing our students with more classroom time, reducing classroom size, and teaching critical thinking skills will be instrumental in decreasing the achievement gap. We also need to provide parents a voice in the education process. For the past 12 years, our parent's voices have been muted. I will make sure that the voices of parents are heard.

We are currently waiting on a response to this question.

+ View Answer

3. What would you do to substantially boost high school graduation rates and ensure that more graduates are career and college ready?

To better prepare our students for college and employment, my administration will change the current curriculum to focus on critical thinking instead of test scores, ensuring that our students have skills that will prepare them to succeed both in college and at the workplace. We will also focus on teaching subject matters that are relevant to for tomorrow's jobs, such as computer programming. To increase graduation rates, we will engage our at-risk students by providing them with the necessary resources to get them back on track. Because not every resident of New York City will choose to go to college, we will include increased career and technical education programs in our high-schools for students who wish to go directly into the job market.

We are currently waiting on a response to this question.

+ View Answer

4. How would you expand opportunities for black and Latino students to attend the city’s top selective public high schools and CUNY four-year colleges?

The most effective way we can expand education opportunities for black and Latino students later in life, is to begin as early as possible.

Teaching the critical thinking skills that are needed to achieve success at our most selective public schools and senior CUNY colleges will begin from the first day of school. That's why we will implement universal pre-K and provide our black and Latino students with more classroom instruction and smaller classrooms. We will also implement an outreach program that will provide communities with ample information on the city's resources, such as tutoring programs.

We will also provide more access to free preparatory programs for the exams that enable students to attend the most selective high schools and colleges, like the SAT and ACT. I want our CUNY colleges to be more engaged in the community. I want to focus on encouraging our CUNY students to help mentor our most vulnerable students and showing them that it is possible to succeed at our colleges.

We are currently waiting on a response to this question.

+ View Answer

5. What is your position on investing more in education programs for people incarcerated in our jails and prisons?

Investment in education programs for men and women who are incarcerated is critical to reducing recidivism in our communities. We need to improve our work to reclaim the possibility of a productive future for young men and women who, despite our effort, break the law and end up inside the criminal justice system. It is better for society overall and can reduce economic costs to the city if we can combine drug treatment and strong probation to help get low-level offenders back on track. That can reduce recidivism, reduce costs, and help stop the cycle of incarceration that turns young, non-violent offenders into hardened criminals.

We are currently waiting on a response to this question.

+ View Answer

6. In New York City, 180,000 young people, ages 16 to 24 are neither in school nor working. What would you do to provide these “disconnected youth” with a second chance at getting high school equivalency diplomas and jobs?

It is disgraceful that we have 180,000 disconnected youth in our city. We have to do everything in our power to reduce that number, putting all of the safeguards possible to prevent youth from ever becoming disconnected into place, implementing programs for youth who want to finish high school or obtain their G.E.D., and focusing aggressively on job-training programs to help these young people find jobs. The job-training programs will be centered on jobs, like those in high-tech and trade that will help us rebuild our crumbling infrastructure. A small investment in these young people's education will save our taxpayers money that could otherwise be going to social-service and incarceration.

We are currently waiting on a response to this question.

+ View Answer

Affordable Housing

+

1. What can be done to increase the supply of housing affordable to workers in the bottom third of wage-earners?

The lack of affordable housing in the city is a crisis of epic proportions. I will make the city affordable to all people. Here's how I'll do it: First, I've called for the creation and preservation of 120,000 units of housing over the next 8 years to focus on affordability for our working families. I will preserve NYCHA housing and revamp it to be more efficient; Second, I will change our Rental Regulation Board to include real New Yorkers who will work hard to keep rent affordable; Third, we will change the State's renting laws to give New York City control over its own rent; Finally, we will look at new initiatives that can be implemented to build new affordable housing, that would build on land our city, state, and federal governments already own to keep costs low so we can build more affordable housing.

Affordable Housing Plan
http://billthompsonformayor.com/news-item/thompson-unveils-plan-create-and-preserve-120000-affordable-housing-units-new-york-citys

We are currently waiting on a response to this question.

+ View Answer

2. What is your position on setting aside a share of public housing admissions and Section 8 vouchers for the homeless? What else can the city do to reduce our historically high numbers of homeless families?

The present policy is not working. I am in full support of setting aside Section 8 vouchers and public housing admissions for the homeless. As Mayor, I will initiate policies that will help people avoid homelessness, create more affordable housing, and create better paying jobs for all New Yorkers.

We are currently waiting on a response to this question.

+ View Answer

3. One hundred million in federal dollars needed for public housing repairs is now diverted annually from NYCHA’s budget to other city agencies. What is your position on continuing this arrangement? What steps would you take to improve public housing?

We will end the more than $100 million charge paid by NYCHA for police and sanitation: No other neighborhood in the city pays for police protection. Neither should NYCHA residents. This arrangement stops on Day 1 of my administration. The present policy is an embarrassment to our city. When I'm mayor, all federal money for repairs will go to repairs. To improve public housing, we will make sure people with experience in housing run NYCHA, and we will include community voice on the major decisions that affect public housing.

Full NYCHA Plan can be found here:
http://billthompsonformayor.com/news-item/thompson-unveils-new-plan-end-disgraceful-leadership-nycha

We are currently waiting on a response to this question.

+ View Answer

Health

+

1. Half of the state’s 2.7 million uninsured live in New York City. What role can the mayor play to broaden access to affordable health care coverage?

Access to quality healthcare is a basic human right for all people, regardless of their legal status. My administration will increase access to healthcare for all New Yorkers, setting up low-cost community health clinics that will service all New Yorkers.

We are currently waiting on a response to this question.

+ View Answer

2. What would be your top health priorities? What are your views on the city's strong efforts to help reduce obesity and smoking?

I will reduce obesity and smoking patterns for all New Yorkers, particularly those in our struggling black and Latino communities, by making sure that all New Yorkers receive education on their health, are provided more access to quality healthcare, and are given healthy options to eat. Unfortunately, in many parts of our city, we have a shortage of supermarkets. I will change that by offering tax subsidies to businesses willing to open supermarkets in our food deserts. But in order to really tackle the issues of health facing our city, we must stress the importance of eating healthy and exercising.

We are currently waiting on a response to this question.

+ View Answer

© 2015 Community Service Society. All Rights Reserved. 633 Third Ave, 10th FL, New York, NY 10017