Gotham Gazette

The Place for New York Policy and politics

Urban Issues: Presidential Candidates and NYC

Although the presidential candidates are spending much of their time and money campaigning in the rural and suburban areas in "swing states" this year, the Democrats and Republicans will hold their annual conventions in the urban settings of Boston and New York City. And while the candidates and political parties will be eager to win over city residents, it is not always clear where they stand on the issues facing the city.

As a guide for voters, Gotham Gazette presents an issue-by-issue breakdown of the candidates urban agendas. Compare the candidates on broad issues, then click on more for expanded details and a series of articles on federal policy and New York City. For more on whether there even is an urban agenda in presidential politics, read Gotham Gazette's article.

Then post your thoughts on our urban issues message board.

George W. Bush

John Kerry


• Aid for Local Police

Would increase Homeland Security money for states and cities by $3.6 billion next year. more

Would reimburse cities for Homeland Security expenses, create a fund to hire firefighters, and enlist the National Guard and Americorps volunteers. more
• Bioterrorism Established a program in major cities to detect the spread of bioterrorism agents. Also would increase vaccine and drug development. more Would appoint an individual responsible for communicating with state and local officials on biosecurity issues. Also would increase vaccine and drug development. more
• Patriot Act Would continue to support the Patriot Act.more Would amend the Patriot Act. more
• Affirmative Action
Opposes racial quotas and preferences.more Supports affirmative action programs. more
• Gay and Lesbian Rights Opposes gay marriage; supports constitutional amendment defining marriage; allows gays to serve in military only if they do not talk about their sexuality. more Opposes gay marriage; opposes constitutional amendment defining marriage; would allow openly gay soldiers to serve in military. more
• Gun Laws
Supports background checks at gun shows; supports granting immunity to gun makers from civil lawsuits. more Supports background checks at gun shows; opposes granting immunity to gun makers from civil lawsuits. more
• Policing/
Cut funding for community policing programs. Proposes a $300 million program to reduce prisoner recidivism rates and help ex-convicts contribute to their communities. more Supports community policing programs, as well as increased funding for drug rehabilitation programs. more
• Death Penalty Supports the death penalty. more Opposes the death penalty, except for terrorists. more
• Jobs
Issued tax breaks that he says created 1.4 million new jobs. Would continue tax cuts to encourage job growth. more Promises to create 10 million jobs in four years through a series of tax reforms and initiatives to keep jobs in U.S. more
• Minimum Wage Has not supported increase in minimum wage. more Would raise minimum wage to $7 an hour. more
• North America Free Trade Agreement Supports NAFTA and says it helps American families. more Would amend NAFTA to keep more jobs in U.S. more
• Taxes Would continue tax cuts, totaling over $1 trillion over six years. more Would repeal tax cuts for families with incomes over $200,000. more
• Higher Ed
Would increase grants to needy undergraduate students and supports new funding for education and job training programs. more Would support a program to provide full college tuition in exchange for two years of community service, and would triple the tax credit to $4,000 for college tuition. more
• No Child Left Behind Would continue to support the No Child Left Behind Act. more Would reform the No Child Left Behind Act. more
• Vouchers Supports vouchers for private schools. more Opposes vouchers for private schools. more
HEALTH CARE Signed Medicare reform, giving prescription drug benefit to senior citizens. Would expand medical savings accounts to give workers more control; would increase tax credits to help uninsured buy medical coverage. more Would offer every American access to health care plan offered to federal employees; would expand existing programs to cover 96 percent of population. more
HOUSING Would continue to support programs that help families with down payments for homes and would encourage minority home ownership. more Would support measures to create a housing trust fund to build long-term affordable housing and to encourage construction and rehabilitation of affordable housing for low and medium income families. more



Would offer temporary visas to immigrants who register with employer; would increase enforcement on U.S./Mexico border. more Would reform current policy to expedite citizenship process for some immigrants; supports adequately funding and reforming border control. more
MASS TRANSIT Would continue to support federal mass transit initiatives; would continue support of federal aid to rebuild lower Manhattan’s transit system. more Would support transportation policy that allows cities to choose how best to use federal money. more
POVERTY Would increase work requirements for welfare-to-work programs; would create faith-based initiatives to meet needs of poor. more Would provide job training and childcare for welfare-to-work programs; would support initiatives to require fathers to pay child support. more





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