Five Questions for Every Candidate
For the 2021 New York Primary Election, the Coalition asked every candidate the following Five Questions to help voters make an informed decision
How will you get New Yorkers back to work?
We must ensure that workers and small business owners are able to live, work, and thrive in New York again. Our communities cannot flourish without a responsive environment for businesses to grow and prosper. We must elect leaders who can balance our post-COVID recovery, while supporting the needs of our diverse business community across the five boroughs.
- New York State lost 1 million jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020; the majority of those job losses were in New York City, which lost over 578,000 jobs.
- As of August 2021, New York City still has the highest rate of unemployment compared to all other regions in New York State.
- New York City’s unemployment rate currently stands at 9.8% compared to 4.1% in September of 2019.
How will you make our city’s streets safer?
We must elect leaders who will find real solutions that will improve the quality of life for all New Yorkers. Public safety concerns are at an all-time high. It is essential to promote a positive working relationship between our communities and the law enforcement who serve them. We must demand leaders who will utilize innovative approaches with a focus on mental health, social equality and public safety.
- Following the spike in shootings and homicides amid the pandemic, murders in 2021 are still up 39% and shootings are up 96% compared to 2019.
- In NYC, gun arrests for the first eight months of 2021 have increased by 37% compared with gun arrests through August 2020 and are up 30.3% compared with the number of gun arrests through August 2019.
How will you address the city’s increasing budget deficit?
New York’s business community is the engine that drives prosperity across the state, but that engine requires maintenance. We must advocate for better tax policy and a regulatory environment that helps our economy, rather than hurt it. Tax revenues have already declined by startling levels, leaving city coffers precariously low and nearly unable to fulfill their many promises to residents. As we prepare for a post-COVID world, we must keep in mind that our city will feel the toll of the pandemic for years to come. The stakes are high, and our next generation of leaders must do better.
- The pandemic has brought over $5.9B in unexpected costs to NYC as unemployment skyrocketed to 20% in 2020 and remains at over 12%.
- In 2020, the city saw a $1.5B revenue decline, driven largely by a $2.5B in property tax revenue
- Even with an ever-increasing budget deficit, the NYC Council passed the biggest budget ever, pledging over $92B for FY22.
- We must make sure that our business community is not put on the hook to remedy the now $5.25B budget gap the city faces.
How will you stop the exodus of residents from New York?
We must reverse the mass exodus of residents from New York. As we enter our post-COVID reopening, it is crucial that policy makers and business owners join together to remind everyone why New York is the greatest city in the world. It is essential that leaders prioritize an agenda that promotes community revitalization and once again, restores New York to a place where people dream of living, working and raising a family.
- 300,000 New Yorkers have fled the five boroughs in 2020, nearly triple the number who left the City in 2019.
- This shocking exodus of City residents has resulted in an estimated $34 billion loss in income, as well as a plunge in demand for rental properties — NYC rents experienced their largest year-over-year decline on record in January 2020 to 2021, plunging 15.5% in Manhattan and 8.6% in both Brooklyn and Queens.
How will you bring back tourism?
The heart and soul of our economy and our way of life has been brought to its knees and millions of New Yorkers have been negatively affected as a result. As we reach the vaccination threshold and reopen our great city, including Broadway, we must have leaders that prioritize the revival of our vibrant, cultural institutions. We must bring back the tourists who crave the arts, entertainment, and hospitality that only New York can provide. The show must go on!
- New York City drew a record 66.6 million tourists in 2019, generating $47.4 billion in direct spending; but 2020 resulted in an unmatched drop in visitations — seeing only 22.9 million visitors, 66% below 2019 levels.
- With international visitors largely still unable to visit, and only 38.2M visitors expected for 2021, we still have a long way to see this critical industry bounce back
- A vital part of our economy, tourism has been decimated, and with it, employment in leisure and hospitality has dropped from around 460K jobs to around 274K at the end of 2020.
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Paid for by The Coalition to Restore New York. Rich Constable, President. Top Three Donors: 1) Madison Square Garden Entertainment Corp. 2) Madison Square Garden Sports Corp. and 3) MSG Networks Inc. Not expressly or otherwise authorized by any candidate or the candidate’s committee or agent. More information at nyc.gov/FollowTheMoney