Working class New Yorkers are struggling during this financial crisis—and they need direct assistance now and a much stronger safety net for the future. We also must do a much better job of finding jobs for New Yorkers. I will do that by:
- Providing direct cash assistance to New Yorkers through my NYC AID program.
- Offering subsidized or free childcare to any New Yorker needs it.
- Creating an unprecedented effort to place New Yorkers in new jobs.
Enact an NYC AID program to expand the Earned Income Tax Credit.
We will keep precious dollars in the hands of New Yorkers who most need it by boosting the City’s Earned Income Tax Credit amount for frontline workers by increasing their share to 30% of the Federal return. This will significantly help households making up to $50,000 a year.
Provide every parent who needs it with childcare.
Childcare in New York is outrageously expensive—and the lack of affordable childcare harms parents’ ability to work and affects their children’s futures. Children without adequate childcare – especially during the first 1,000 days of life – are much less likely to succeed and are much more likely to be Black and Brown.
It is a moral imperative that we provide childcare for every parent who cannot afford it, starting at birth. This will close a massive gap in care for the youngest New Yorkers at the most critical point of their brain development, and free parents — especially women of color — to power our economy and excel in their careers.
Develop a next-level citywide job training and placement program.
The City has had mixed success in training its workforce and connecting them to better job opportunities for generations. Today’s global marketplace has more competition than ever for labor and the skills needed for emerging, lucrative industries like artificial intelligence, cyber security and life sciences are in demand. We are woefully underprepared for this moment: We had hundreds-of-thousands of jobs that we could not fill before the pandemic. We will go to the next level to prepare our workforce by using metrics and connecting human services nonprofits, the private sector, and the communities that most need jobs to identify skill gaps and focus our training on those areas.
We will implement a data-oriented system with holistic and detailed skills mapping of the labor force by City Council district. Companies looking to hire will then submit a set of jobs and skills profiles. We will then match workers to appropriate providers using local organizations and working with landlords with open storefronts to create service centers and outreach programs. Lastly, we will develop a public-private partnership with large New York companies to develop a talent portal with a centralized system of resumes and hiring information using a tool similar to the college admissions Common App process.
Make it easier for New Yorkers to find jobs.
Our city’s unemployment rate for people of color is far higher than it is for white New Yorkers. But the biggest problem is not a lack of jobs; it’s the lack of access to jobs. It takes an average of nine weeks to find a job in the City. Our digital portal for all agencies will simplify filing for jobs with one-stop shopping by identifying all available city jobs and making it easier to apply. We also should expand the summer youth employment program and make it year-around.
Help the unbanked and under banked build wealth.
New York City has 350,000 households that are unbanked and another 680,000 that are under banked, meaning they must rely on services such as check cashing or payday loans. That means we are sidelining thousands of people from our economy and allowing industries such as payday lending to flourish by profiting off of poverty. Community-based banks in lower-income areas that remove minimum balance requirements and overdraft fees will be granted property tax relief, or their landlords will, in exchange for sharing that relief as a rent break.
Make the Summer Youth Employment Program year-round.
We know summer jobs programs help youth develop crucial skills, which lead to better criminal justice, academic, and employment outcomes. In the immediate term, they also help families make ends meet. We need to make these programs year-round—and we will.