I am a strong believer in supporting small, minority, and women-owned businesses because they make up the backbone of New York City’s small business community. In the Assembly, I pushed for economic development and government opportunities to help create jobs. I sponsored and guided a bill through the Assembly that compels state agencies to develop growth plans for increasing the number of Minority and Women-Owned Businesses (MWBE’s) awarded state contracts, and called for oversight, transparency, and accessible information about the procurement process to be readily available.  

But more than increasing awareness and availability of contracts for MWBE’s, we must also increase capital for contracting purposes to provide more opportunities. And we must track how many jobs are created for women to ensure that we are making progress toward a more equitable system. Lastly, we need to create regulations that protect retirees’ financial security.

As Public Advocate, I will:

Support Minority and Women-Owned Businesses:

People of color and women are the backbone of New York City’s job-market and drive our national economy, contributing more than a billion dollars to it each day. Supporting Minority and Women-Owned Business (MWBE) doesn’t just help business owners – it helps the communities they work in and the people they hire. As Public Advocate, I will establish a Chief Diversity Officer (CDO) through the City Charter Revision Commission to oversee NYC’s MWBE program, establish CDO’s at every city agency, and dedicate more time and resources toward tracking our progress on MWBEs to hold us accountable.

Raise Employment and Close the Skills Gap:

Job opportunities and job skills training should be available city-wide. As Public Advocate, I will fight for more resources to prepare people for good-paying, long-term work, particularly in tech and healthcare - industries that are actively expanding their presence in NYC. I will also support investments in broadband infrastructure that will bridge the digital divide for disconnected communities by pursuing a municipal broadband option. We must also invest more in CUNY Tech Prep, an industry-designed course for computer science majors in the CUNY senior college system that teaches web development skills for free.

Support Employment for People with Disabilities:

The poverty rate for people with disabilities is 10% higher than the rest of the city. This is unacceptable. Many people with disabilities want to work but lack both accessible transportation and training on utilizing public services to get them there. This is a serious problem that I will fight to fix as Public Advocate. The City needs to do a much better job of connecting people with disabilities to stable, well-paying jobs. We can start by requiring our own Department of Citywide Administrative Services - in conjunction with the Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities (MOPD) - to commission a study on the extent to which the City is employing and providing job opportunities to people with disabilities. If we make the City accountable, the private sector will follow our lead.