1. Women have told us that the most common reasons they are unable to engage in civic processes are logistical – time, childcare, work. What are your plans to reform our city’s civic engagement systems so they are accessible to women who face these obstacles—and, how do you plan to address the obstacles?
“You know those “I Voted” stickers you get when you vote? I co-created NYC Votes with the Campaign Finance Board to increase participation in our democracy. It was NYC Votes that first allowed you to find your voter information online, as well as information about all of the candidates. However, since my work on NYC Votes, the use of technology in our City Hall hasn’t kept up with the times. As Mayor, I’d reboot City Hall and bring its tech infrastructure into the 21st Century with an NYC Votes App to make getting your voter information even easier (along with many other ways we can use tech in our government: visit www.chang.nyc/technology for my full plan).
Additionally, as Mayor, my keystone initiative will be providing Universal Childcare to all. I’ll prioritize childcare “deserts” first, then gradually roll out more facilities across the city. Read my full plan at www.chang.nyc/universal-childcare. “
2. For many, civics education ends in the classroom. If elected, what plans do you have to ensure that New Yorkers are learning about civic engagement throughout their entire lives, including their rights as residents, how they can engage in different aspects of government, the legislative process, and changes in voting policies?
First, we need to teach more civics in schools. Then, we will focus on gov’t transparency. By being clear & rebuilding the government in a way that is transparent & equitable, we pave the way for New Yorkers to learn where the City budget is going.
I’ll revise the city charter to allow a fresh start to the powers of NYC’s leadership. An Equity Scorecard will measure the stresses experienced by the most vulnerable populations & the Mayor’s performance. I also believe that the City Council should serve as a confirmation body for key Mayoral cabinet appointments, starting with the DOE Chancellor and NYPD Chief.
The Mayor’s office should be accessible, both physically & digitally. I’ll better utilize technology and marketing to reach every New Yorker where they are with vital information. I’m also proposing we set up a mobile City Hall – myself and my key staff will spend one week each month in a pop-up office in a different neighborhood. Read more: www.chang.nyc/rebootcityhall
3. Given that 43% of community board members are women (and fewer are women of color), what will you do to make participating in community boards easier for underrepresented communities? Do you believe that community boards should have veto power over certain decisions? If so, which ones?
First, we need to utilize that technology and marketing plan I’ve mentioned to get the word out about Community Boards, a vital part of our City infrastructure that’s often not fully staffed. As a Mayor focused on transparency, efficiency, and bottoms-up approaches informed by front-line workers and communities, fully engaged community boards will be vital to achieving my administration’s goals. I plan to engage community boards and CBOs in every new plan I implement, which causes a positive cycle: when City Hall actually takes the advice of Community Boards to make their neighborhoods healthier, more people will actually have the ability and bandwidth to actively participate in their local government, leading to a stronger and more effective Community Board.
4. Protest is an important channel for communities to make their voices heard, especially those who have been historically excluded from civic systems. Following the recent Department of Investigation report that found that the NYPD has acted recklessly and endangered New Yorkers who were protesting, how will you protect New Yorkers First Amendment rights?
As Mayor, I will cut $1.3 billion from the NYPD and establish new checks and balances in order to allow New Yorkers better protection for their First Amendment Rights. I believe the Police Chief should have a separation of powers, in order to prevent one single person having sole power over disciplinary matters. These checks and balances include:
- a semi-autonomous civilian complaint intake and investigatory body, that would also handle agency audits
- an autonomous adjudicatory body or an enhancement of OATH
- this would focus on NYPD and Corrections, but be applicable to all other Mayoral agencies
- insubordination and other HR issues would remain under Mayoral control
Read my full plan at www.chang.nyc/policing.
5. Women of transgender experience are disproportionately impacted by police violence and experience incredible barriers to accessing stable housing, culturally competent health care, and other services that make it harder to engage civically. What specific plans do you have to make New York City a more equitable place for the transgender community?
My LGBTQIA+ policy is rooted in healthy individuals, families & communities. I will:
- Respect the broad spectrum of identities across LGBTQIA+ communities while also acknowledging intersectionality w/ race, national origin, gender, class, etc.
- Communicate the importance of equality of rights/equity of resources for LGBTQIA+ residents, w/ a special emphasis on supporting parents and families, and on ensuring equal access to employment opportunities, childcare, and housing
- Appoint LGBTQIA+ people to senior positions across City Hall/ensure all depts are considering the needs of LGBTQIA+ folks
- Focus on various fields in which transgender women are disproportionately impacted. For one, eliminating poverty within the LGBTQIA+ community by providing livable housing in safe, full-service communities, and increasing access to education, healthcare, and employment. I support decriminalization of sex work, and emphasize protection, education, and alliances over punitive carceral approaches.