As Comptroller, I will…
Fight for Equity and Win
Our city is faced with worsening economic and social inequality. Now more than ever, we need leaders who can fight for fairness and win.
My record is up to that task.
In my first term in the City Council, the local public school parent leaders proposed redrawing zone lines to address overcrowding throughout the district and integrate three schools.
Not bowing to political pressure, I was the only elected official representing the area who stood up and supported these parents from day one. It is clear that the stakes are too high to allow our public schools to be segregated any longer and, for that reason, I was unwavering in my support of the plan. My advocacy paid off. The school zone lines were redrawn, successfully diminishing the waitlist and integrating the schools.
I am proud to have stood with these public school leaders. I will always stand with New York’s communities to make this city the equitable city it should be.
There are fights like this to be won all over New York. We need battle-tested leaders who know how to support the movements and effect the change we need to stay a fair, diverse, and welcoming city.
Stop Inside Deals
What we spend our city’s money on is a reflection of our values and priorities. The same is true for how we spend our money. City spending and procurement should be transparent--New Yorkers deserve to know how their tax money is being used. When New Yorkers are in the know about our spending, our City is better for it.
In 2015, education advocates noticed there was something unusual about a $1.1 billion dollar contract for school technology. I took their concerns straight to City Hall. After sounding the alarm, the contract was renegotiated down to a striking $635 million. The fact that the same service could be provided by the same bidder for only 58% of the original cost only raised more questions.
This contract was signed, despite the many concerns. I confronted the Mayor, pressing him to negate the contract. It was rebid, with the final cost coming down to $472 million. Even better, instead of going to one bidder, this contract went out to multiple Minority and Women-Owned Businesses (MWBEs).
My advocacy saved New Yorkers nearly $74 each on just one sketchy contract.
Could you imagine how much more we could save if there was a Comptroller who did this oversight for every contract?
Pay People On Time
The City contracts out a significant amount of its construction and services to private companies and nonprofit organizations. All of the work they do for the City happens because of the power of workers.
When the City’s contracts are processed late or underfunded, it not only hurts our City’s ability to provide services, but it hurts the workers who power our city day in and day out.
This particularly hurts human services contractors. These are the contracts that run our City’s homeless services, community centers, and many Universal Pre-K programs. Unfortunately, these are also the contracts that are too often not given the money they need to provide high quality services.
Exacerbating this issue, slow-downs throughout the entire procurement process mean that these service providers are paid sometimes over a year after work is completed. These are mission-driven nonprofit organizations, and the City is relying on them to go into debt and not pay workers living wages in order to do the critical work that holds our communities together.
This is unacceptable. We have to reform our procurement process from top to bottom.
The City Charter currently mandates that all contracts must be registered by the Comptroller’s Office to ensure that there is enough money in the budget to pay for it. As it stands today, this is one of the biggest reasons that contracts are paid late.
Fighting for answers and solutions to this ongoing problem was my first action in elected office. The first hearing I lead as Chair of the City Council’s Committee on Contracts was providing oversight on the impact of late registration.
I am still fighting today because we will never see our contracts registered on time and workers paid on time until we have a Comptroller who puts the responsibilities of her office first. This office cannot be a stage for political stunts to bolster a mayoral campaign. The cost to our communities and our human services and construction workers is too high.
As your Comptroller, I will make sure to never slow down contract registration for political reasons. I’m not running for Mayor. I’m running for Comptroller because I care about New York City’s finances, workers, and communities and have the skills and the record to accomplish the most for this city.
Did I miss anything?
If you have questions about a specific policy or topic I didn’t cover, please let me know. If you need to know where I stand on an issue, I want to reach out and answer that question.
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