Your Guide To The 2021 NYC Democratic Mayoral Primary

Where do the top 9 candidates running to be the next mayor of NYC stand on issues relating to small businesses?

With the 2021 New York City Mayoral primaries only three months away (June 22, 2021), we wanted to put together a topline guide to candidates running for our clients and customers. With over 30 candidates running (most in the Democratic Primary), we decided to focus on the candidates who have polled at 1% or higher in the most recent polls (February and March 2021).

It should be no surprise that these candidates have a lot more in common than differences. For instance, each candidate we researched (mainly from the candidate’s website or during the plethora of zoom debates and panels we watched) believes New York City is a crucial point. What is required to move forward and rebuild are big plans requiring all five Burroughs to be involved and focusing on solving the inequalities that always existed, but COVID-19 shined a light on. Each candidate also has plans for the continued “greening” of New York City, creating a talent pipeline through CUNY, increasing affordable housing footprint, and expanding broadband to all New Yorkers, among other things. 

Please note before reading on we are tenant-only commercial real estate representatives. Therefore, our summary of the mayoral candidates focuses on issues most important to commercial tenants, including small business plans (commercial rent and economic relief, inspection and regulation, access to broadband, jobs and educational programs, public transportation including plans for sidewalks, affordable housing-related to rezoning, plans for restaurants and retailers, and New York City’s economic comeback). Many of these candidates are running on core issues such as policing and safety, health care, housing for the homeless, Climate Change, Real Estate, and children and education as their main campaign issue. We believe these are important issues and encourage you to read the candidate’s proposals on their website even though we don’t include the details of them below.

Additionally, we intend for this to be a working document as more candidates release pertinent proposals and policies or perhaps drop out of the race before the primary. If you are with one of the campaigns and see something here that is missing or you see as factually incorrect please contact us. We do not have a horse in the race and want to be as helpful to our clients as we can be.  

 

Eric Adams 

Current position: Brooklyn Borough president

Former Positions: Former NYPD Officer, State Senator 

One of Eric Adams’ campaign pillars is his goal to have “a more equal city.” According to his campaign website, the Brownsville native believes, “the city must do a far better job of maximizing its resources and using its regulatory powers to help deal with structural economic and social issues.” His plan to do that includes:

  • Prioritizing minority-and women-owned businesses for City contracts.
  • Eliminating the fees for starting a small business.
  • Instituting a warning system for violations that do not pose an immediate danger.
  • Maximizing the use of City assets — particularly office buildings for affordable housing. 

For Adams, “New York City must position itself to lead in the industries of the future: the green economy, healthcare/biotech, digital technology, and cybersecurity.” If elected Mayor, he intends to advocate for investing in green infrastructure projects through a municipal bond program while building an “inclusive” and “equitable” economy. As part of his 100+ Steps for NYC, Adams intends “to keep good jobs in New York and advance our goal for a fairer economy; we will reward businesses that hire local workers and benefit minority and female owners and workers.”

For Adams, “New York City must position itself to lead in the industries of the future: the green economy, healthcare/biotech, digital technology, and cybersecurity.” If elected Mayor, he intends to advocate for investing in green infrastructure projects through a municipal bond program while building an “inclusive” and “equitable” economy. As part of his 100+ Steps for NYC, Adams intends “to keep good jobs in New York and advance our goal for a fairer economy; we will reward businesses that hire local workers and benefit minority and female owners and workers.”

Adams believes that for too long, NYC governmental agencies have treated Brooklyn, Bronx, Queens, and Staten Island as afterthoughts. If elected Mayor, he would prioritize the “outer boroughs” and not just the “gentrified communities” by bringing festivals, open streets, bike lanes, etc., to every corner of the city.

On Commercial Rent Tax: 

Adams acknowledges that “business owners are struggling to stay open as income for many stays low during the pandemic.” If elected, he will “allow businesses that pay the Commercial Rent Tax a break for two years if they demonstrate hardship and commit to certain employment levels.” 

On attracting out-of-town businesses: 

Adams is a fan of New York’s Relocation Employment Assistance Program that provides tax credit per employee per year if a business locates in some regions of New York City. If elected, he intends to expand it. Adams has acknowledged real estate costs and high living costs have caused talent to turn to other cities. If elected, Adams will “incentivize startups to move to our outer-boroughs where property costs are more affordable and to develop fellowship programs with CUNY schools in exchange for tax credits.”  

On triple-net leases: 

During a panel discussion hosted by New York City Hospitality Alliance, Adams said he believes there should be a hold on triple-net leases — a lease agreement on a property whereby the tenant or lessee promises to pay all the expenses of the property, including real estate taxes, building insurance, and maintenance — for ”two years at a minimum” to allow small business owners to get back on their feet. 

On Rezoning and affordable housing: 

According to his campaign website, Adams believes that New York City is zoned for another era when New Yorkers worked in one neighborhood and lives in another. If elected, he would like to make more options for New Yorkers to live and work by expanding employment options in life science, urban agriculture, and manufacturing. Additionally, Adams proposes allowing private office buildings and hotels to become affordable housing “by making some zoning tweaks and other rule changes.” Adam’s goal is to create live/work communities with a “healthier mix of residential, commercial, and retail space.” 

On a more accessible city 

Adams intends to prioritize making all parts of New York City more accessible for pedestrians. His plans include creating shared electric bike and cooter networks, expanding the bike share program and creating safe byways for bikes, creating “safe routes to parks,” and a “state of the art (electric) bus transit system.” 

Learn more about Eric Adams here: https://www.ericadams2021.com/

 

Art Chang

Former positions: Cofounder of NYC Votes, Managing Director, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Founder & CEO, Tipping Point partners, Director, Pivotal Software, Co-Founder and Advisor, Qwire Inc. 

“Born in Jim Crow Atlanta to Korean immigrants and raised in an all-white district in Ohio, [Art Chang knows] what it feels like to be different and that is why he moved to New York City [33-years ago]” is one of the first things you will see on Art Chang’s campaign website. Chang, who helped build Queens West under Empire State Development, started 12 small businesses in NYC, launched NYC’s tech startup industry and created an onramp for CUNY students, and worked under four mayors and two governors, is running for Mayor “because the problems NYC is facing are far more complex and intertwined than other candidates realize, and [his] background had taught [him] how to go about fixing them.”

Chang believes that what needs fixing most in New York City is housing affordability, safety, policing, small business support, education, and healthcare. His campaign’s main avenues for restoring hope include:

  • Universal childcare.
  • Stopping evictions and foreclosures.
  • Investing in affordable housing.
  • Supporting small businesses.
  • Preparing for climate change.
  • Building a government that works for everyone. 

Mr. Chang believes that New York City will recover economically, but the only option is a fair, equitable, just, and clean recovery. His plan to revitalize small business include: keeping businesses in their stores and offices through an eviction moratorium, coupled with a “Cancel Debt” strategy; incentive landlord to open up vacant storefronts for pop-up retail and art installations; ensure workers in early-reopening businesses have access to vaccinations; create an “innovation corps” of entrepreneurs who can help shepherd and mentor new small businesses; focus on stabilization and improving business practices of “micro-businesses” to enable sustainability and position for growth; re-think future of most distressed industries; leverage business schools at CUNY, Columbia University, and NYU; create internships for high school and college students; modernize unsustainable business models and practices; deliver universal broadband; organize a massive investment in new, genuinely affordable, carbon-free housing, creating construction jobs; drive innovation through construction; and implement universal childcare creating thousands of community-based jobs.

On Saving NYC’s restaurant industry: 

Chang is committed to saving the NYC restaurants by expanding street dining, eviction moratorium, and foreclosure moratorium until March 31, 2022. Additionally, he will convene a citywide effort to redesign streets with long-term sideway occupancy, work with the financial services industry to extend mortgages, and cancel accrued debt from the moratoria. If elected, he will cancel tax increases and create an easy application process for deferrals, including modifying the 18% payment for late tax payments and aligning and consolidating into a single service the various agencies that regulate restaurants, bars, and retailers. 

On delivering a ‘coordinated, proactive, collaborative city government united around a common interest to grow our City forward’: 

A Chang administration will lead a digital transformation of government with a reliable web infrastructure to provide city residents’ services. According to his campaign website, his administration, if elected, will streamline and coordinate regulatory oversight where businesses can call the City government for advice, rather than the government simply being a punitive entity. Additionally, they will create a single point of contact for storefront tenants; examine City-controlled business costs like property taxes; renovate the City’s procurement process to include more MWBE and local business with a priority on innovation and cost-efficiency; use the City’s convening power to negotiate for relief on business costs and resolve the difference between parties that delay or block successful business reopening post-COVID. 

On new affordable housing: 

A Chang Administration will build more housing and lower the cost for everyone. His administration will increase the City’s portfolio of developable land with a creative approach to re-assessing City property ownership, including underutilized property like parking lots, air rights including air rights over roads and rail yards, and looking at the City’s 18 golf course that represents significant development opportunities starting with the Trump course in the Bronx. Chang is also calling for the City to facilitate underutilized office space in commercial buildings to residential and other uses, including the arts. 

Learn more about Art Chang: https://www.chang.nyc/

 

Shaun Donovan

Former Positions: United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (2009-2014), Director of the U.S. Office of Management and Budget (2014-2017), Commissioner of NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development (2004-2009)

As part of his launch for Mayor, Shaun Donovan unveiled a jobs plan that includes creating 500,000 jobs for New Yorkers by the end of his first term and a ‘15 Minute Neighborhoods’ plan “where a great public school, fresh food, access to rapid transportation, a park, and a chance to get ahead can all be found within 15 minutes of their front door.”

Donovan believes that six principles anchor New York’s recovery include: grow the economy to create opportunities for all New Yorkers; build a path for every New Yorker to develop skills that are directly tied to jobs; invest in neighborhoods, beginning with those that have endured the greatest disinvestment; see, understand, and address racial inequalities; address inequalities head-on in partnership with community and business leaders; prioritize racial equity through strategic leadership and critical appointments.

Donovan sees New Yorker’s quality of life is enhanced by access to goods and services in all of its neighborhoods. Even before COVID-19, businesses have taken enormous hits from online shopping growth that hurt local retailers to the increased congestion and emissions due to freight movement affecting disadvantaged communities. If elected, Donovan will prioritize capital to small businesses by establishing the NYC Entrepreneurship Financing Fund and leverage public, private, and philanthropic investments to fund it. “By meeting and exceeding the needs of small businesses,” his website says. “We work from the ground-up to create livable and enjoyable neighborhoods that are designed to accentuate New York’s streetscape and spur more significant economic activity.

On Supporting Small Businesses

According to the Donovan campaign website, a Donovan administration will nurture Black and Latinx New Yorkers’ entrepreneurship and strengthen business enterprise networks for minority and women-owned businesses. If elected, Donovan will establish the NYC Entrepreneurship Financing Fund and leverage public, private, and philanthropic investments to fund it. Those funds will be deploying capital to small businesses in neighborhood commercial areas, “dispersing small loans to viable retail businesses to help them retool and expand.” A Donovan administration “will reinvent small business regulation — from fines to licensure — and rationalize regulations with an eye to utility, equity, public benefit, clarity, and the costs imposed on businesses.” 

On Protecting Neighborhood Business districts 

A Donovan Administration “will work to encourage the concentration of retail offerings in neighborhood retail districts.” That includes “dramatically increase flexibility, allowing for a wider range of ground floor uses that reflect a twenty-first-century understanding of what makes for great retail environments” citywide. The Donovan administration “will establish a cross-agency coordination office to deliver comprehensive, coordinated management of public space in commercial corridors” to achieve high-quality public spaces in business and commercial districts throughout the city. 

On making Office buildings safe

A Donovan administration “will work with health experts and property owners to establish a scoring system for office buildings, measuring their delivery of healthy workspaces.” This includes fresh air flow, updated HVAC systems, and contactless navigation) 

On the first neighborhood-based investment 

Investments will be in communities where public and private investment has lagged to strengthen transit, affordable housing, and neighborhood business districts. Residential tenants, property owners, and business owners will participate in decision-making about investments, capital projects, and changes in zoning and regulations in a Donovan administration. Since every neighborhood is different, “investment and regulations will be designed to be flexible.”

On affordable housing 

The former HUD Secretary has a robust housing plan that will focus on keeping New Yorkers safe and secure in their homes and communities, investing in and preserving public housing, expanding housing choice for all New Yorkers, addressing homelessness through housing, reforming land use policy to be more equitable, inclusive, and sustainable, producing more housing affordably and equitably across all five boroughs, and investing in improved data and analysis. Donovan notes that “homelessness and affordable housing are complex issues that require a multi-layered and comprehensive response” and believes that “homelessness is a solvable problem.” 

Learn more about Shaun Donovan: https://shaunfornyc.com/

 

Kathryn Garcia

Former Positions: Commissioner of NYC Sanitation Department (2014-2020), COO of NYC Department of Environmental Protection, CEO of NYC Housing Authority. 

Kathryn Garcia runs her campaign for mayor based on her New York City government experience, including her six-year stint as the city sanitation commissioner under Bill de Blasio (she stepped down recently to run for mayor). In addition to her role as sanitation commissioner, Garcia served as interim chair of NYCHA, the COVID-19 emergency “Food Czar,” and other positions in both the de Blasio and Bloomberg administrations.

Ms. Garcia believes that “our strength lies in our ability to evolve” and she has pointed to restaurants creating outdoor dining “overnight” as proof that New Yorkers can move quickly. She will “build on the success of open streets and outdoor dining to create more vibrant outdoor spaces to power our recovery in every single neighborhood” with the hopes of making it easier for all small businesses to thrive. 

As part of Garcia’s recovery plan, a Garcia administration would create a pipeline from CUNY colleges and trade schools to jobs, including guaranteeing graduates of trade schools City employment. “Will bring in green new deal and infrastructure stimulus dollars to pursue building upgrades for climate resiliency, particularly while vacancy rates are high, and incentivize growth within the biotech sector,” she states on her campaign website.

“The next mayor,” her campaign website states, “has the opportunity to lead New York into a green future.” Her vision for New York City is rooted in a commitment to addressing climate change. 

On Unlocking the barriers for small businesses to survive

A Garcia administration would increase access to credit and non-dilutive capital for City’s vital and at-risk enterprises at amounts less than $100,000 and supportive, innovative financial mechanisms that serve small businesses. A Garcia administration will “streamline all laws and regulations governing restaurants and nightlife establishments, and streamline all permit and licensing processes for businesses. The administration will also “update zoning and work with Albany to reduce commercial vacancies and encourage flexibility of space.” 

On affordable housing 

A Garcia administration “will focus the City’s investment where it’s needed most and create 50,000 units of deeply affordable housing (<30% AMI). Garcia notes that over that page decade, NYC grew by 500k, but the City only created 100k units of housing during that time and therefore cannot reduce the housing prices without increasing the supply. A Garcia administration will zone for more affordable housing citywide, “focusing on neighborhoods rich in transit, jobs, and schools.” Garica plans to make it easier, faster, and legal for private partners to build more housing to achieve this. In an interview with Gotham Gazette, Garcia “expressed support for a proposed SoHo/NoHo rezoning and the Gowanus rezoning to increase housing supply, including affordable housing, in two whiter, wealthier neighborhoods.” 

On Transportation: 

Ms. Garcia believes that a “smart, effective transportation strategy means bringing new jobs closer to where New Yorks live, learn and play. A Garcia administration will “create more equitable access to jobs by expanding transportation options, but also protect our health and make our streets, sidewalks, and bike lanes safety and more enjoyable.” 

Learn more about Kathryn Garcia: https://www.kgfornyc.com/

 

Ray McGuire

Former Position: Executive at Citigroup 

According to Mr. McGuire’s campaign website, New York City under a McGuire administration will be “the center of the global economy, a juggernaut of job creation: the best place in the world to start and run a small business; the most forward-looking, innovative city in the world; and a place that helps its people overcome the current challenges that participate in the opportunities of a more equitable future.” McGuire notes that “a fast and inclusive economic recovery is the foundation of everything” that he will do as mayor. As part of his comeback plan, “Ray’s Comeback Plan,” a McGuire administration will “bring back more than 500,000 good jobs, at least half of which will be small businesses.”

He proposes to accomplish this by immediate financial support for struggling local businesses, streamlining permits, inspections, and approvals to help businesses open or re-open quickly; A wage subsidy to bring back 50,000 jobs at the small businesses hardest hit by the pandemic; a significant infrastructure program that will create jobs rebuilding our roads and bridges, fixing subway elevators, building and renovating affordable housing, and making our city more sustainable; working with unions to help ensure good wages and benefits; targeted job training that gets more New Yorks the skills they need to get good jobs; and affordable childcare for all New Yorkers, which will grow jobs in early childhood education and help parents reenter the workforce.

Ray McGuire wants to make New York City the best place to start and run a small business. And to do so, he wants to make it easier for New Yorkers to start and grow their small business. If elected, his administration plans to make small businesses the city’s customers, speed up the permit approval and inspection process, find opportunities to cure violations without paying fines, create a one-stop for the city’s small businesses, create a deputy mayor position for small, women- and minority-owned business, reduce the burdensome regulation, and empowering BIDs to supercharge a small business.

Additionally, McGuire plans to create jobs with what he calls “the biggest infrastructure plan in generations,” with private and public sectors having a seat at the proverbial table. According to his campaign platform, McGuire will prioritize key investment areas such as threats to safety, safe and affordable housing, sustainability, community infrastructure, and transit projects. He intends to treat tech companies as partners in economic growth, provide universal broadband access, create a smart city, and make CUNY the number one tech talent supplier to NYC companies.

On Rent Relief or Forgiveness to small businesses

McGuire notes that over the past year, thousands of New York City’s small business owners were unable to pay all or even a portion of their rent in 2020, causing many small landlords — many of whom are minority property owners — to default on mortgage payments and property taxes. McGuire’s campaign website writes, “avoiding a joint eviction and foreclosure crisis requires several interventions that would help both small businesses and small property owners.” A McGuire administration will “create a menu of financial relief options that can be made available to small property owners in exchange for forgiving or lowering rent for small businesses tenants, or providing early lease breaks, subleasing, and other tenant benefits and protections.” 

On Getting 50,000 New Yorkers back to work: 

A McGuire administration would create “The Comeback Job Accelerator” to bring back 50,000 jobs. It will cover 50 percent of a worker’s salary for one year at small businesses that were hardest hit by the pandemic. According to his campaign’s website, this type of subsidized job program has numerous benefits, including allowing subsidized workers to access additional federal funds via earned income tax credit and child tax credit, keeping small businesses alive, and helping the economy rebound.

On Small business sales tax: 

A McGuire administration would work with the state of New York to allow small retailers, restaurants, and other businesses that collect sales tax to keep the city portion of the sales tax for one year as an immediate infusion of capital. 

On high property taxes driving up rents of small businesses: 

During a panel discussion hosted by New York City Hospitality Alliance, the former vice Chairman of Citigroup acknowledged that high property taxes throughout the city has driven up the rents of small businesses. He plans to “create a menu of financial relief options that can be made available to the property owners in exchange for lowering or forgiving rent or providing early lease breaks.” 

On permits and license renewals: 

A McGuire administration would automatically renew some license categories and allow businesses to self-certify renewals of some others for businesses under 100 employees in 2022. According to his campaign website, “fees will also be waived for small businesses.” 

On Small business owners relief on utility bills: 

A McGuire administration “will work with the small business community, Con Edison, and other utility companies to negotiate agreements that would reduce costs for small businesses or create extended payment options while providing the resources utility companies need to maintain good service.” 

On Launching a Comeback Bank:

According to McGuire’s proposal, “to rebuild our neighborhoods, we need to build an army of lenders who can reach these small businesses.” Mr. Mcguire would leverage his deep relationships in the financial and philanthropic community to launch a Comeback Bank Initiative that can supplement city support .with capital used for expanded lending through community banks. If elected, McGuire intends to host a “Comeback Festival” that would include “venues and galleries and performance stages.” 

Learn more about Ray McGuire: https://www.rayformayor.com/

 

Dianne Morales

Former positions: Chief of Operations at Office of Youth Development and School-Community Services at NYC Department of Education (2002-2004), Director of The Teaching Commission, CEO of Philipps Neighborhoods

Dianne Morales, a former non-profit executive, former NYC public school teacher, activist, and Bed-Sty native, built her campaign policy platform on the belief that politics should work for all the people and that we are more robust and better positioned to grow when every New York is prioritized, oppressive systems are eliminated and barriers are removed.”
According to her campaign website a Morales Administration “will finally center the needs of those disproportionately underserved, because it is the right thing to do and because it benefits everyone.” Morales wants to give New Yorkers an economy that cares for everyone who invests in it. Under a Morales Administration, “we will finally take all that we’ve marched for and advance a city that balances growth and prosperity with justice, fairness, and equity.”

As part of her campaign launch, Morales unveiled her ‘Dignity Now’ plan for her first 100 days, should she be elected Mayor. That plan includes: advocating for basic income relief for every household; advance a small-business recovery strategy that provides grant support for entrepreneurs impacted by COVID-19; execute an education equity executive order to desegregate schools, free CUNY, and increase culturally-responsive schools, curriculum, and educators; a citywide rent moratorium including business leases for small businesses, and ensuring our small businesses receive assistance to stay open; immediate housing to end homelessness including turning hotels, the city leased property and abandoned spaces into shelters; and create a municipal green jobs plan by investing in lowering carbon emissions in NYC.

Learn more about Dianne Morales: https://www.dianne.nyc/

Scott Stringer

Current Position: NYC Comptroller (since 2014) 

Previous Positions: New York State Assemblyman (1992-2005), Manhattan borough president (2005-2013)

Scott Stringer, who currently serves as the city comptroller, was first elected to the state Assembly in 1992, where he served six terms. In 2005 he was elected  Manhattan Borough President and since 2013 as city comptroller. His lifetime of experience is that he and his supporters believe “uniquely prepares” him to “lead New York City out of crisis.” As part of his “progressive leadership to bring us forward,” he is advocated for a more robust, fairer New York and plans to bring its economy back “with a focus on supporting small businesses, putting New Yorkers back to work, and training them for the jobs of tomorrow.”

If elected, Stringer plans to keep New York City a magnet for talent by shoring up city services, such as sanitation, investing in parks and cultural institutions (bringing back NYC’s tourist economy), keeping communities safe from serious crime, and launching post-pandemic outreach and marketing campaigns to attract businesses, drive tourism, and encourage patronage of retailers, restaurants, and nightlife. 

According to his campaign website, Stringer plans to help small businesses recover across all five boroughs. His administration will seek to provide tax relief to help small businesses get back on their feet. Will create a “storefront incentive program” that would draw retail and restaurants to empty neighborhood corridors. His small business plan would establish a public-financing database of vacant storefronts to facilitate reopening and match businesses with the space they need. A Stringer administration would help entrepreneurs expand their tech capacity and make the government more user-friendly for small businesses to expedite every license and permit application.

Stringer is proposing restarting the “City’s lagging capital program,” where every $1 billion spent creates more than 5,000 jobs. His administration would launch a public works program that focuses on state-of-good-repair projects to rebuild the city’s crumbling infrastructure — from public transit, streets, and parks to schools and hospitals. Stringer proposes redesigning local streets to serve better bus riders, pedestrians, cyclists, and small businesses to build stronger neighborhoods. Additionally, a Stringer administration will reconfigure and realign NYC’s transit service to meet the needs of a 24-hour, five-borough economy and invest in a citywide buildout of 5G to better serve New Yorkers’ small businesses.

Stringer wants to strengthen minority- and women-owned businesses by harnessing the City’s $20 billion procurement budget, creating aggressive minority- and women-owned business goals on competitive city controls, and giving agency Chief Diversity Officers.

As part of his ‘make every neighborhood affordable plan’, a Stringer administration will mandate universal, affordable housing to require every developer to set aside 25 percent of its units for permanent, low-income housing and replace developer-driven rezonings with comprehensive planning.

On Training New Yorkers for Jobs of the Future: 

According to his campaign’s website, Stringer would create a “world-class workforce development program” or pipeline at CUNY and “make community college free to create a true K-14 public education system.” Additionally, Stringer will establish a universal, paid internship program for CUNY students, expand career and technical education opportunities, develop training programs and bring out-of-school, out-of-work youth back into the education system to create a robust and educated workforce to accommodate businesses of the future. 

On Green Jobs: 

Scott Stringer sees many of the jobs of the future coming in the green and sustainability space. If elected, he intends to “create tens of thousands of well paying green jobs” by launching the nation’s largest green and blue bonds program, retrofitting the city’s most polluting buildings, transforming Rikers Island as a hub of energy generation and storage, jump-starting solar installations throughout the city by increasing the solar property tax abatement and slashing red tape, overhauling city buildings to become hubs of sustainability, and fightings for federal and state funding to implement a Green New Deal. 

On a proposed Business income tax credit: 

During a panel discussion hosted by New York City Hospitality Alliance, the City Comptroller said has “proposed a business income tax credit to help with reopening costs and back payments and a property tax credit for opening businesses in high vacancy rates.” He insisted that small businesses, many of whom are “barely hanging on,” need tax relief while also noting that the city must “incentivize new businesses or existing businesses to eventually expand in our vacant commercial corridors,” which include many of NYC’s “outer boroughs.” 

On helping renters stay in their homes and small landlords stay solvent: 

A Stringer administration would expand voucher usability to increase New York City’s enforcement of housing violations, convert vacant hotels and commercial spaces into shelters, supportive housing, and affordable housing, and assist small landlords and non-profit organizations with a new program to provide financial assistance in exchange for restrictive declaration preventing tenant evictions. 

On more green spaces:

Stringer is a proponent of widening sidewalks, more green spaces, bus shelters, bike parking, and public restrooms. He said to the New York City Hospitality Alliance that he plans to “keep the streets clean and open and plan streets that encourage people to eat, shop, and walk local… That’s how we’re going to attract people to New York City worldwide. That’s how we’re going to become the culinary capital.”

Read more about Scott Stringer: https://stringerformayor.com/

 

Maya Wiley

Previous Positions: board chair of NYC Civilian Complaint Review Board, Counsel to NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio, SVP for Social Justice at The New School, Henry Cohen Professor and Management at Milano School of Policy Management, and Environment. Legal Analyst at MSNBC, NAACP Legal Defence and Education Fund and ACLU lawyer. 

If elected as mayor, Ms. Wiley believes it is not enough to rebuild our city but that we must reimagine it. According to her campaign website, “We must protect what we love about New York while we chart a new path.”

When launching her campaign, Wiley put forth her “New Deal New York” plan that states, “As mayor, Maya Wiley will take bold, decisive action and invest city dollars back into our communities and neighborhoods addressing the City’s Critical infrastructure needs through investments that also put City residents back to work and stimulate the economy.”

If elected, she intends to accomplish this guided by core principles including communities know their needs best and must have a seat at the table, attention must be on the communities hit historically the hardest from disinvestment, New York City must invest in growing wealth here in New York, along with attracting new businesses, must prioritize worker protections and living wages for all New Yorkers, develop a holistic approach to economic development “that doesn’t force residents to choose between good jobs, climate goals, affordable housing, and displacement, and invest in a new industry, while “also investing in and protecting existing small businesses.”

Wiley’s New Deal New York, which her campaign says will create up to 100,000 new jobs for New Yorkers — including 30,000 new jobs through new city projects — includes proposals to support small businesses, strengthen protections for workers, protect gig workers and workers in the cash economy, reclaim a year of learning for students and better prepare them to enter the workforce eventually, and reimagine New York’s workforce development ecosystem. The centerpiece of Wiley’s economic recovery program is “a $10 billion (over 5-years) investment to provide a shot in the arm of our City’s economy-putting residents back to work and investing in the future of our communities. This investment will fund much-needed development (including new projects), infrastructure repairs, and enhancements.

Wiley believes physical infrastructure is key to New York City’s recovery. She notes that “we must recognize that physical infrastructure can and must benefit social, cultural, and civil infrastructure.” As mayor, her administration will not only invest in infrastructure that is physically safe but also that “meet our climate and environmental justice goals around health and safety.” Her campaign notes that for too long, disinvestment from communities of color has caused delayed repairs and inadequate infrastructure in those communities, which make up a significant part of New York City. A Wiley administration would make “take stock of infrastructural needs by community district” and use metrics such as unemployment rate, average capital investment, number and nature of critical repairs, and length of time need.

On Job Creation: 

As the city enters recovery, Wiley notes that “it’s time that New York addresses long-standing racial disparities in employment and implement policies that actively address legacies of systemic racism that arise in our labor market.” A Wiley administration will ensure that new jobs go to residents and New Yorkers who need them most by developing and implementing policies and practices that promote local hiring, committing existing sources of operation funding for bridge programs that lead to employment NDNY projects, partner with CUNY, in partial the Grove School of Engineering, to create a job pipeline for new graduates, and build workforce training sites in impacted neighborhoods and partner with neighborhood-based organizations to run training programs.

On Property tax burdens placed on Small Businesses: 

When asked during a panel discussion hosted by New York City Hospitality Alliance on her plans to address property tax burdens placed on small businesses, the professor of urban policy at the New School Maya Wiley said, “Commercially affordable rent and having a commercial affordable rent program is something we don’t have. I will have an announcement hopefully in the next few weeks on that.”

On Building a Climate Resilient NYC: 

A Wiley Administration would propose $3 billion in new and accelerated spending to meet New York City’s challenges due to climate change. Her plan would prioritize the City’s historically marginalized and vulnerable communities. This investment includes Renewable Rikers, developing solar and wind power generation, implementing energy grid infrastructure, energy storage systems, conversion to porous surfaces, coastal resiliency, and water infrastructure, and fully funding the Department of Parks Recreation’s capital budget.

On Modernizing Physical and Digital Infrastructure:

If elected, a Wiley Administration would invest $2 billion in modernizing our physical and digital infrastructure to update the City’s “crumbling sewage and transportation structures, including roads, bridges, protected bus lanes, and bike lanes” and to “help tackle the pervasive digital divide, including more low-cost options and access.” Wiley notes on her campaign website that “this will require creativity and transforming how the government works on broadband — as well as investment in the skillset to build and deploy networks and ensure digital inclusion.” 

Read more about Maya Wiley: https://mayawileyformayor.com/

 

Andrew Yang

Previous Positions: Former Democratic candidate for President, Venture for America founder

According to his campaign website, Andrew Yang runs for New York City Mayor because he believes he can help. If elected mayor, he intends to “launch the largest income program in history, invest in a human-centered economy, return to fact-based governance, and create an accessible healthcare system.” And he plans to do all of this, if elected, while also enacting accountability and smart policing, building affordable housing, closing the city’s digital divide, and modernizing transportation and city services.

The former presidential candidate Yang’s signature program is to create a basic income for all of New York City. If elected, his administration will launch the most extensive basic income program in the country, providing 500,000 New Yorkers with the greatest need for basic income to give them a path forward. The goal is to eradicate extreme poverty in New York City by putting cash relief directly into the hands of those who desperately need it. The program, the campaign says, will provide those living in extreme poverty with an average of $2,000 per year. The plan would grow over time as it receives more funding from public and philanthropic organizations. The program builds on Andrew Yang’s proposal for a People’s Bank of New York City and NYC’s existing IDNYC program. New Yorkers who receive UBI would automatically become participants in the People’s Bank, and cash would be directly transferred to participants in their accounts every month.

As part of Yang’s economic recovery plan, a Yang administration will ensure all New Yorkers have broadband internet access, create local business spending vouchers, expand the fair fares program to make transit affordable to all, tax big box e-commerce deliveries, end tax breaks for Madison Square Garden, make New York City the leader in early startups that create high-quality jobs “by creating the biggest startup incubator the country has ever seen,” foster community economies through “Borough Bucks” — $3.4 billion where NYCHA residents can use with each other to create a trust currency that can multiply in impact through the city, and lobby the federal government for reinstatement of the SALT deductions.

On relief for small businesses: 

If elected, the Yang administration plans to save 15,000 small businesses in 2022. The administration will appoint a head of small business support and recovery. There is a single responsible party and point of contact for small business owners to help recover efforts and reduce red tape, and end enforcement of curable violations. A Yang administration will pass the Small Business Jobs Survival Act that many in the City council already support, push New York State for a vacancy tax to incentive landlords not to leave retail space empty, create a permanent low- or no-interest loan program, renew licenses, and permits without fee or application, contract with minority and women-owned business enterprises, foster solidarity economy and support worker cooperatives, extend the cap on food delivery services, reduce the audit burden on nonprofits and guarantee registered contracts and payments within 30 days, create local business spending vouchers via e-payment, allow for land swaps and pop-ups throughout a neighborhood, and crowdsource donations from small businesses based on London’s Pay it Forward. A Yang administration will also partner with the proposed People’s Bank of New York, philanthropy, and other financial institutions to help provide funds to businesses that are trying to reopen, support Cinch Market and other local e-commerce efforts to compete with Amazon, and adapt an Akron point system for shopping locally. 

On economic recovery for NYC Restaurants and bars:

If elected, a Yang Administration will call for immediate federal relief for restaurants, convert tax collected by restaurants and bars into grants, halt the 3.9% commercial rent tax, provide PPE to all restaurants free of charge and prioritize hospitality workers for the COVID-19 vaccine, buy regulated hardware — such as outdoor heaters, dividers, and air filtration systems — in build and then sell them to local businesses, incentivize creative space usage amongst commercial neighbors, immediately renew all licenses and permits, build upon the outdoor dining momentum, and advocate the state loosen restrictions on carry-out alcohol beverages.

On transportation: 

If elected, a Yang administration will build and maintain a reliable and comprehensive transit network both above and below ground, including building Bus Rapid Transit throughout the City. Yang believes the City must integrate its subways, buses, and bike infrastructure and take municipal control of its transit network and not rely on the state-run MTA to get it right. 

On affordable housing: 

If elected, a Yang administration will invest in innovative solutions to create affordable housing across the City, including allowing communities to lead the charge in creating rezoning and development plans so that communities maintain their identity while expanding NYC’s affordable housing stock. Additionally, Yang is proposing more residents on the NYCHA board, making the most use of tenant participation activity funds, prohibiting luxury infill development, and requiring all NYCHA land projects to adhere to the Uniform Land Use Review Process. 

Learn more about Andrew Yang: https://www.yangforny.com/

 

An earlier version included candidate Carlos Menchaca who suspended his campaign on March 24th.