Municipal Government

Carrión: ‘The Best Social Program is a Job!’

May 16, 2013
By Marc Bussanich

Adolfo Carrion Jr speaks with Richard Anderson at the Penn Club

Adolfo Carrion, Jr. (r.) speaks with Richard Anderson at the Penn Club

New York, NY—Independent candidate Adolfo Carrión, Jr. warned at an event organized by the Association for a Better New York this morning at the Penn Club that some of the proposals his Democratic rivals are prescribing on the campaign trail to intractable problems would be damaging to the City. Watch Video

He accused his Democratic rivals for pandering to special interest groups and for failing to be bold and embrace a pro-growth strategy.

“I have participated in more than 20 mayoral forums and I have never heard as much pandering as I have heard over the last few months. Pandering is not leadership, and not every idea that comes out of every single interest group is a good idea,” said Carrión, Jr.

Without mentioning by name, Carrión, Jr. ridiculed individual Dems for calling for a host of proposals they would implement as the next mayor—an increase in the minimum wage to $15 an hour, universal pre-K to solve the education crisis, raising taxes on anyone earning more than $500,000 a year to pay for expanded pre-K services, eliminating the controversial stop-and-frisk police practice and hiring an inspector general to monitor the New York Police Department.

“I have a proposal—let’s call for a moratorium on pandering and let’s get in touch with reality,” Carrión, Jr. said.

“We keep hedging our bets hoping for someone among the candidates in the crowded Democratic field that will have the guts and vision to look beyond allegiance to special interests, old politics and failed policies and actually put forth a plan to help build a city that’s a beacon of opportunity,” he added.  

He believes his Democratic rivals are wrong on policy and politics and are missing the simple fact that the “best social program is a job.”

He said the city needs practical solutions to real-world problems, which include an education system that is failing to equip students with technical skills, an unaffordable city for business and families, a shrinking middle class, a structural budget deficit, aging infrastructure and the need to build out an information technology infrastructure to compete with Silicon Valley and other tech-centered hubs.

He’ll be announcing his plan in the coming weeks, but offered a few highlights. Carrión, Jr. wants to expand neighborhood schools, which integrate the resources and expertise of social welfare agencies such as The Children’s Aid Society. In addition, he wants to create an infrastructure bank to rebuild an aging infrastructure and he wants New York to be the world’s premier Smart City, Smart App economy by building a comprehensive IT infrastructure. And he wants to do all this without increasing revenue.  

“I commit to not raising taxes on anyone,” said Carrión, Jr.

Councilman Robert Jackson agreed with Carrión, Jr. that community schools are the way to go; the first community school built in the City was in Washington Heights with the help of the Children’s Aid Society in the Councilman’s district.

“I heard you say you’re not going to raise taxes, but I don’t know how we’re going to do all that you described without raising taxes,” Councilman Jackson asked the mayoral candidate.

Carrión, Jr. responded that he wants the private sector to partner with community schools based on a model used by the City’s tourism industry that worked with junior colleges to prepare students for professions in hospitality.

“We need to do that in every sector of our economy. We need to connect students to industry; we’re the hub of finance, healthcare, education, real estate and we can become the IT magnet of the globe if we lay down the infrastructure.”

Follow Marc Bussanich on Twitter marc@laborpress.org

May 16, 2013

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