Who is New York for? According to the budget, it’s hedge fund billionaires, real estate tycoons, and an out-of-control police department. Brandon will fight for a People’s Budget that invests in the care, housing, transit, education, and nutrition all New Yorkers need.
Divest from Violence.
Over the last half century, since the last time this city faced a fiscal crisis on this scale, New York has become a playground for the ultra-rich. Luxury real estate tycoons and Wall Street billionaires have had their run of the place, extracting untold wealth from struggling communities, hollowing out public healthcare, education, housing, and other vital supports everyday New Yorkers depend on.
The only public programs they have built up have been systems of violence and control. The NYPD has ballooned to nearly 40,000 officers, by far the largest municipal police department in the country – larger than most militaries. With the department’s growth has come an unending parade of indignity and violence, inflicted with impunity on working class Black and brown New Yorkers. Instead of providing the services struggling parents and their children need to sustain themselves, New York City has built up a “family policing” system that invasively surveils and too often separates families facing poverty. Our rates of imprisonment and family separation have grown dramatically.
The results are clear. The rich are much, much richer than ever. Working class communities are more vulnerable than ever. Our city is filled with guns and human cages.
Invest in Communities.
None of this “public safety” regime has resulted in public safety, let alone justice, freedom, or democracy. We need a dramatic drawdown of the city’s means of enforcing violent control, to free up human, financial, and technological resources for guaranteeing the essential pillars of a dignified life to all. This new approach to ending violence will focuses on addressing root causes, not responding to the symptoms with policing and jail.
All the money the city spends on violence against the poor should be shifted over to far safer non-violent alternatives. This city will never be safe until it ensures that, as a matter of human rights, everyone has well-paying jobs, decent housing, nutritious food, guaranteed healthcare/mental healthcare/elder- and childcare, a quality education, reliable high-speed public transit and internet, leisure time, and public greenspace.
Once we put our incredible city’s amazing resources to work accomplishing these goals, then our communities will finally know safety, health, and a level of freedom befitting the statue towering over our harbor.
A New York for All New Yorkers.
This is the wealthiest city in the wealthiest country in the history of the world. We have everything we need to ensure that everyone, even those suffering in the margins of the margins, can live with dignity.
Achieving it will require taking on the rich and powerful financial, real estate, and corporate interests who for too long have been allowed to trample all over working New Yorkers and kick dirt in our faces. It’s high time we confiscated the control big time landlords, luxury property developers, Wall Street fat cats, and wage-stealing corporate bosses have enjoyed over our political and economic affairs – and our municipal budget.
No longer will our budgetary decisions reflect their interests at every term. No longer will our top priority be providing ceaseless police protection of their property. No longer will we allow them to steal wages, bully tenants, and hold our public agencies hostage to the whims of hedge fund managers.
A People’s Budget means, at long last, a New York for All New Yorkers, not just the very rich.