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Met Council Research and Education Fund
2018 NYS Candidate Survey
Met Council Research and Educational Fund is conducting a candidate survey for all people running for Governor, Lieutenant Governor, and the 20 state senate districts in New York with most regulated units so that our members and the general public can be informed about your positions.
What is your position on rent regulation, what work have you done in the past to further that position, and if elected what would you do in 2019? (75 words)
Expand rent regulation authority statewide. Repeal Urstadt Law to give municipalities home rule to set their own regulations. Repeal loopholes to rent regulations (vacancy decontrol, vacancy bonus, preferential rent, major capital improvements). Cap rents at 30% of income through a refundable tax credit circuit breaker. I campaigned for stronger rent regulations as Green candidate for governor in 2010 and 2014. I fasted in solidarity with hunger striking 85 Bowery tenants outside City Hall this May.
What do you believe is the biggest issue facing NYCHA, and how would you address it? (75 words)
The biggest issue is funding. NYCHA needs $32 billion over the next five years for repairs. New York State should fill the funding vacuum left by cuts in federal support with more progressive taxation: graduated brackets on multi-millionaire incomes, retain revenue from the stock transfer tax, claw back recent federal corporate tax cuts not used to create jobs or raise worker pay, and a land value tax on land value increases unearned by landowner investments.
Do you believe that there is a need for more affordable housing in New York, and if so what would you do to meet that need? (75 words)
Half of New York State renters pay more than the federal affordability standard of 30% of income. Build high-quality, human-scale, scatter-site, mixed-income, clean-energy public housing as a program for jobs, desegregation, and clean energy as well as affordable housing. Building public housing is cheaper than subsidizing affordable units in private developments. Mixed-income public housing is more economically sustainable. More public housing will lower demand and drive rents down in the private market as well.
What would you do to address the homelessness in New York State? (75 words)
Spend the $20 billion Cuomo put in the 2016 budget but has not yet used to rehouse the homeless. Set aside enough funding in upcoming budgets to subsidize or build enough units to re-house the 89,000 homeless New Yorkers, which is up 36% since 2010. Fully fund 20,000 units of supportive housing that provide permanent housing combined with on-site services for people with problems with substance abuse, mental health, and/or physical needs.
What is your position regarding campaign finance reform? (75 words)
I favor full public campaign financing on the Clean Money model where each candidate who qualifies receives a public grant sufficient to convey their message to their electorate and does not use private money. Arizona and Maine do this for state elections. Partial public campaign financing on the Matching Funds model just adds public money to the big private donations of the rich, who still dominate. Matching Funds is a reform that hasn’t reformed.