As a former school teacher, Sal Albanese understands education in New York City from the ground up.
As a former school teacher, Sal Albanese understands education in New York City from the ground up. He taught in the city’s public schools for 11 years and graduated from Brooklyn’s John Jay High School before earning degrees at CUNY, NYU, and Brooklyn Law School. As they did for him and his family, Sal is committed to ensuring that New York City’s schools continue to play a pivotal role in elevating families from the working to the middle class and beyond.
Providing a world-class education for every New York City student won’t be an easy task. A major investment in our schools, a commitment to supporting students early, and a collaborative approach to education will be the cornerstones of Sal‘s education policy.
• Consolidate programs like Head Start and pre-Kindergarten under a single city agency, eliminating financial waste and increasing access for thousands of our students.
• Revolutionize early education by creating programs that engage our students from age 0-3, pivotal years for developing basic learning skills. These will include the city’s first public pediatric wellness centers, where multidisciplinary teams of educators, psychologists, and doctors can work with parents to ensure that every student enters school with an equal opportunity to learn.
• Eliminate the two-tier wage system Mayor de Blasio instituted that keeps pre-K teachers poorer than their K-12 peers. Pre-K is too important to be used as a playing card in a game of ‘race to the bottom.
• Establish authority with accountability for public school principals. The de Blasio administration has micromanaged and mismanaged school leaders, making it impossible for them to run their schools in the best interest of our kids. We need a mayor capable of letting principals lead while holding them accountable.
• Reform the way we recruit, train, and support our teachers, including a more rigorous student teaching experience, creation and expansion of immersive internship programs, and regular classroom feedback.
• Introduce a 21st century curriculum that puts New York City students at the forefront of technology, engineering, and computer science education while embracing the arts, music, and fitness programs as key components to a well-rounded education.
Corruption and incompetence are wasting our money, hurting city services, and making New Yorkers’ lives worse.
Sal Albanese doesn’t just talk about political independence, he lives it. As a New York City Council member for fifteen years, he butted heads with party bosses. He refused prestigious positions and stipends that would have required him to compromise his core values.
Priority #1: Democracy Vouchers
Currently in NYC elections, voters who make financial contributions to their candidate of choice can have their contribution matched 6:1 by public funds if and only if their candidate for Mayor raises $250,000 from more than 1,000 individual contributors. While this form of public financing was ahead of its time, it has proven woefully inadequate in empowering average New Yorkers to reclaim their political process. After all, candidates only benefit from public funds if they can convince a lot working and middle class voters to hand over a lot of cash up front. For example, if a candidate raised the average contribution that Bernie Sanders did in his primary campaign ($27), that candidate would have to persuade more than 9,000 voters to contribute before being eligible for public money.To improve our system, the time has come for New York City to establish a Democracy Vouchers program. Rather than withholding public funds until your grassroots candidate hits unrealistic thresholds, voters would be given back their public campaign finance money in the form of Democracy Vouchers. They could in turn contribute these vouchers to a candidate of their choice.With this system, true grassroots candidates could immediately begin benefiting from public financing of elections.
New York City’s mass transit system has enabled a few small cities to become five united boroughs. It has fueled economic growth in each one.
Millions of New Yorkers from all walks of life depend on it to get home, to the doctor, to visit family, and to do business. But corrupt state and incompetent local governments have let it fall behind.
Whole neighborhoods have been left without any access to mass transit, while those that have it are saddled with higher fares and fewer services. Meanwhile, those without decent transit are suffering in unbearable gridlock. Enough already! The greatest city in the world deserves the world’s greatest transportation system.
Sal‘s vision for transportation will revolutionize the way we move around the city and create tens of thousands of jobs in the process.
• Write a fairer and more equitable tolling formula – based on the MoveNY model – so that every borough pays its fair share, traffic gets moving again, and major revenue is raised for our mass transit system.
• Expand bus service and SBS routes, designate more bus-only and HOV lanes, reduce the fare for Express Bus service, and – yes – extend our subways.
• Launch an accelerated series of enhancements to our highways, roads, signaling systems, and streets to reduce costly congestion and improve the flow of traffic. This includes making driving less stressful and dangerous for those who have to get behind the wheel and turning Vision Zero into Reality Zero.
• Finally put the transit system on solid financial footing. Sal would champion legislation to dedicate 0.3% of the personal income tax already collected in the MTA district to the MTA’s financial assistance fund. He would also demand that the $1 billion not appropriated from the financial industry settlements be dedicated to the same fund.
The five boroughs have become cruel places for many of the animals that are born or brought in here every year.
Places that once looked to New York for inspiration are now leap-frogging us. Austin, Texas, for example, now operates the Austin Animal Center, America’s largest no-kill animal shelter. It shelters nearly 20,000 animals per year and saves more than 90% of those that pass through its doors. It even assists residents in quarantining, impounding, and controlling animals that may pose a danger.
• Build five new, no-kill animal centers, one in each borough, committed to the principles pioneered by the Austin Animal Center.
• Spin Animal Care out of the Department of Health and upgrade it to full agency status with a Commissioner. The Department of Animal Care will also have a Board of Advisors composed of animal welfare experts. This will ensure that Animal Care will receive attention and resources it deserves.
Did you know that every month, NYC loses over 1,000 small businesses? This is a crisis not seen since the Great Depression.
It means that we’re losing close to 8,000 good jobs each month, since the average business employees 8 people. Small businesses, by the way, represent the largest employers of immigrant families in NYC. Historically, immigrant-owned businesses were the only stabilizing force in poorer NYC communities and offered the only job opportunity for immigrants. But now, only the big chain stores seem able to survive.
Every New Yorker knows that our “Mom & Pops” are on the verge of becoming extinct. It’s happening in every neighborhood across the City. There are more and more empty storefronts, and once thriving commercial avenues and strips are fast becoming ghost towns.
When Mayor de Blasio ran for Public Advocate, he championed the Small Business Jobs Survival Act (Intro 402) as the solution. It would stop the closings – and the extortion of mostly immigrant business owners – as a condition for a lease renewal. But, as Mayor, he’s done nothing more than urge landlords to be “equitable.” Why? City Hall has become too cozy with real estate interests, who “pay” in order to “play.” This atmosphere of legal corruption leaves the little guys – the small business owners – out in the cold.
We can help small businesses and stop the downward slide.
Mayor de Blasio and the big developers that fueled his campaign have done little to slow the skyrocketing cost of housing.
Spend five minutes talking to anyone about how they are doing, and the cost of housing is going to come up. Mayor de Blasio and the big developers that fueled his campaign have done little to slow the skyrocketing cost of housing. From Rockaway to Harlem, Mott Haven to Midwood, and everywhere in between, we hear a common refrain from regular New Yorkers: “I love this city, but I don’t know if I can afford to stay much longer.”
We can and we must do better. That is why Sal has refused to accept contributions from for-profit developers. Unlike de Blasio, when Sal gets to City Hall he will be free to put neighborhoods first. He will fight so that those who grew up here can afford to stay and those who move here can afford to lay down roots and thrive.
• Focus not just on preserving, but on building more units of affordable housing. This includes exploring a tax on pied-à-terre (aka non-primary) properties, with revenues dedicated to an affordable housing fund.
• Craft a New Deal for our neighborhoods so that developers are held accountable for the promises that they make. This includes tying affordability to local median income and requiring clawback provisions.
• Add supportive housing for seniors, veterans, homeless New Yorkers, disconnected youth, and survivors of domestic violence.
• Launch a fund that takes savings from shelter reductions and reinvests them in homelessness prevention services and supportive housing.
• Reform and strengthen NYCHA, the “Sixth Borough,” by fast-tracking repairs, reducing violent crime, ending the absurd double-taxing of residents for sanitation and other services, and introducing a participatory NYCHA Community Budget.
In the nation’s biggest city, it is essential that we have a mayor who actually understands public safety.
For 15 years, Sal Albanese was a member of the New York City Council’s Public Safety Committee. He played a crucial role in putting more police on patrol and in improving the relationship between the NYPD and community members. To him, bolstering public safety is not just an investment in security. Safer cities are more vibrant cities, economically and civically.
In recent years, New Yorkers have experienced a welcome decrease in serious crime, making New York City the safest big city in the nation. Yet too many neighborhoods―from East Harlem to East New York―still cite local crime as one of their top concerns. We simply cannot afford to take public safety for granted. That is why Sal is committed to holding the line on violent crime and terrorism, reducing police-community tension, and addressing quality-of-life issues that have left many New Yorkers feeling vulnerable in their own neighborhoods.
• Expand Community Policing
• Make sure that each of the City’s precinct have enough police officers to maintain patrol strength.