In 2013, I pledged to you we would take dead aim at the Tale of Two Cities and tackle rampant income inequality. I promised to create a fairer city, while keeping crime in our neighborhoods at record low levels. And I said we would improve your kids’ education across all New York City schools.
Over the past four years, we have achieved much together. New York City is the safest big city in America, while stop-and-frisk is down 93%.
We established full-day, high-quality universal pre-kindergarten – and are now expanding it to every three-year-old in the city. Test scores and graduation rates are up; and we are introducing Advanced Placement and computer science classes for every student, and getting kids to reach their reading level by the third grade.
We are attacking the affordability crisis head on: 78,000 affordable apartments and two consecutive rent freezes to help families stay in their homes; paid sick leave for 500,000 more workers so they can protect their jobs and their families; and now a new plan to create 100,000 good middle-class jobs that pay at least $50,000.
But we have just begun. Here’s what’s next:
Body cameras for our police. Outfitting all 20,000 patrol officers with body-worn cameras by 2019 is a commonsense reform that is good for both our cops and those they serve. Body cameras will help people build a stronger bond of trust with our officers because they provide transparency and accountability. These devices are another important way to bolster police-community relations – which is essential to a stronger city, reducing crime and keeping everyone safe.
Tenant protection against unfair evictions. I’ve talked to too many people who live in dread of an eviction notice, or who lay awake at night worrying about keeping a roof over their head. So we’re increasing legal representation in Housing Court for low-income New Yorkers to fight unfair evictions. We will boost our investment to $155 million – becoming the first city in the nation to guarantee these services and helping 400,000 tenants by 2022. This means preventing homelessness for thousands of our fellow New Yorkers, and helping people stay in their affordable homes – especially our seniors.
Millionaires’ tax to fix our subways. Our state-run subway system is in crisis, plagued by chronic delays and ancient infrastructure. Every delay disrupts your life – whether making you late for work or forcing you to miss your child’s doctor’s appointment. I will fight to pass a modest tax increase on the very wealthy – less than the top 1% – to fix the system. This will provide $800 million annually in dedicated dollars to repair our beleaguered subways. And it will provide 800,000 low-income people with a 50% fare decrease to reduce the cost burden on already-stretched pocketbooks – because every New Yorker deserves word-class transit.
De Blasio is mayor of New York.