NEW YORK — Primary day is just days away and the candidates for New York City’s next mayor are continuing to campaign and reach out to voters.
Democratic candidate Kathryn Garcia stopped by the PIX11 Morning News on Friday to chat with Dan Mannarino about some of the biggest issues facing the city.
Crime and getting guns off the street
“On day one, we have to be dealing with the crime situation so we can open up this economy…You can’t do it if people don’t feel safe,” Garcia said, echoing a concern shared by many New Yorkers amid a rise in gun violence.
Garcia teased that she has a full plan ready for addressing the spike in shootings.
“But the first thing is, we’ve got to expand the gun suppression division, the folks who do the real investigative work. And we need to expand gun buy-back programs,” Garcia said.
The mayoral hopeful said another piece of the puzzle is investing in communities in the long term, and ensuring job opportunities for young people in those communities.
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“We have to have zero tolerance for discipline. We need to make sure that folks who are brutalizing people are fired,” Garcia asserted.
She also said the city should increase the starting age of police officers to 25, as well as making sure NYPD officers live within the city.
As far as choosing a new police commissioner, Garcia said she has the characteristics of one in mind, but she is waiting until after primary day to say any names.
“I want to make sure it’s someone who has law enforcement experience, but has done the culture change that we need, in another organization,” she said.
Housing crisis and evictions
“We know that we are having people who are coming out of COVID, and we could face an eviction crisis,” Garcia said. “Thankfully, there is money at the state level to support tenants and to support small landlords.”
Garcia, who at one time served as interim chair of the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA), said she has a plan for public housing that would “attack the $40 billion worth of need.”
She asserted that those plans do not include privatizing any of the public housing complexes.
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Equal pay for women
Several Department of Sanitation employees have claimed women and minorities were paid less than white men for doing similar work while Garcia led the department.
“I know I left the department more diverse than I found it, and promoted 50% more people of color into leadership,” she said in response to the complaint.
“When I’m mayor we’ve got to go even further.”