**FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE**
March 5, 2021
Contact: Yuridia Peña, [email protected], (718) 790-0837
ICYMI: LEADERS FROM ACROSS THE CITY AND COUNTRY PRAISE SHAUN DONOVAN’S PLAN TO PRIORITIZE RACIAL EQUITY ACROSS EVERY ISSUE AND POLICY DECISION
Founder of the Crisis Action Center Rev. Kevin McCall, Founder of the Smiling Coast Women Empowerment Network Fatoumata Waggeh, and Former New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu praised Shaun’s comprehensive platform and deep commitment to ensure each decision his administration makes is in service of racial equity.
The platform focuses on establishing equity-focused infrastructure in City government led by the City’s first Chief Equity Officer, outlines steps the City must take to make our COVID response more effective and equitable, and highlights key pro-equity policies from Donovan’s Campaign of Ideas.
NEW YORK, NY — This week, former Obama-Biden administration Housing Secretary and Budget Director Shaun Donovan continued his Campaign of Ideas with the rollout of his comprehensive Racial Equity Platform entitled ‘Prioritizing Racial Equity to Ensure the Success of All New Yorkers.’ The over 4,000-word platform stresses Donovan’s commitment to be a mayor for all New Yorkers, and recognizes that this requires taking bold steps to close historical and worsening gaps in racial equity.
“Racial Equity has been front and center in every platform in our Campaign of Ideas because our campaign is one that is built on the notion that we must reimagine our city as a place that truly works for everyone, where everyone has a fair chance at creating a healthy, secure, sustainable life for themself and their family,” said NYC Mayoral Candidate Shaun Donovan. “Through the work of our City’s first Chief Equity Officer, we will be able to set clear goals, track our progress, and hold every City agency and department accountable to these efforts. Only then can we aspire to effectively roll out innovative policies, like my Equity Bonds and 15 minute neighborhoods, that have the potential to completely transform the way this city supports its residents. The steps in this plan are long overdue, and following through on them will be my first priority as mayor.”
The extensive platform was praised by leaders in New York and beyond:
“If the next mayor of New York City truly intends to recreate the city and lead it out of this crisis in a way that benefits everyone, racial equity must be at the very forefront of their priorities — or better yet, should itself be a policy area. By launching a Racial Equity Platform, Shaun Donovan has demonstrated that he not only wants to be a mayor for every New Yorker, he understands what that means,” said Rev. Kevin McCall, Founder of the Crisis Action Center. “Through this set of ideas, Shaun has laid out plans to tackle injustices from the more recent, like disparities in COVID vaccine distribution, to historical trends across housing, education, transportation, and every other issue he has already released comprehensive plans to address. It’s an impressive feat, and it complements his broader efforts to be detailed and ambitious in his plans to guide the city through and beyond this crisis.”
“Our City’s pandemic response has unfortunately followed a longstanding trend: the most vulnerable and hardest hit are once again receiving the least support. Our city can’t properly begin to heal until we’ve all overcome this crisis, and I’m happy to see that this Equity platform emphasizes the urgent need for an effective and equitable recovery,” said Fatoumata Waggeh, founder of the Smiling Coast Women Empowerment Network (SCWEN).
“What stands out to me about Shaun Donovan’s Racial Equity Platform, besides the significance of a candidate releasing a plan focused solely on racial equity, is that it highlights just how committed Shaun has been to equity since the release of his very first plan,” said Mitch Landrieu, former mayor of New Orleans. “Having implemented a racial equity strategy inside of city government in New Orleans, I’ve seen the impact it can have. It has to be a whole-of-government approach. Shaun has said since Day 1 that he would apply a lens of equity to every policy put forth by his campaign and his administration, and he has followed through with that commitment every week.”
The platform emphasizes that the long-term recovery and growth of our city must be built on equitable recovery from the COVID crisis, in parallel with persistent efforts to combat long-standing inequities across city issues.
Highlights of the platform include:
- Immediately repurposing contact tracing funding for robust vaccine distribution, and focusing these efforts on the communities that have been hit hardest by the virus. This includes working closely with community leaders to educate New Yorkers, bringing vaccines directly to people in NYCHA developments and retirement communities, and using in-language messaging.
- Establishing an Equity Office that reports directly to the mayor, composed of a Chief Equity Officer and a team responsible for integrating racial equity principles into all operations, projects, and services of the City, and collaborating with all agencies in the City of New York to ensure progressive achievement.
- Developing a citywide equity plan establishing continuous channels of communication and input, crafting a City budget that reflects our values, and ensuring that City procurement, contracting, and employment practices help address the racial wealth gap.
- Helping communities build wealth and access opportunities by launching the Equity Bonds plan, which will provide $1,000 to every child in New York City, followed by up to an annual $2,000 for each year until they turn 18 (scaled based on family income), and investing in equitable education, family-sustaining careers, neighborhood development, and housing initiatives.
- Leveraging data and technology to better track where our City is falling short and informing our use of resources, while ensuring that all information is used in a way that is transparent, equitable, secure, responsible, and respectful of New Yorkers’ privacy.
- Increasing New Yorkers’ access to the entire city through a true Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system and other innovative and pro-equity transportation initiatives.
- Making every neighborhood in New York City a 15 minute neighborhood, where every New Yorker will have access to a great school, fresh food, quality primary care, rapid transportation, a beautiful park, and a chance to get ahead within 15 minute of their front door.
- Reducing over-policing and over-incarceration, closing Rikers, and reinvesting resources in community-focused public safety and racial justice initiatives that provide access to housing, health care, job development, and critical social services while keeping our city safe.
- Ensuring that current and future generations of New Yorkers have the opportunity to live healthy, active lives by investing in health care, fresh food, and open space accessibility, and making targeted efforts to protect our aging population and our climate.
This plan follows a series of other ambitious, comprehensive policy proposals, achievable only through Donovan’s equity-driven approach that prioritizes gathering input from every relevant community, advocacy group, and business sector. Among these are his plans to create 500,000 jobs for New Yorkers by the end of his first term, open libraries 7 days per week in every neighborhood, make every neighborhood in the city a 15 minute neighborhood — where every resident has access to a great public school, fresh food, rapid transportation, a park, and a chance to get ahead within 15 minutes of their front door — and launch equity bonds, whereby every New York City child will receive $1,000, plus up to an additional $2,000 each subsequent year. Last week he released his Innovation Platform, which aims to improve the city’s innovation and data infrastructure and bring quality, high-speed broadband to every New York City household.
For more details on Donovan’s Racial Equity Platform, please visit shaunfornyc.com/issues/racial-equity/.