First choice: Maya Wiley
Second choice: Kathryn Garcia
Third choice: Eric Adams
Fourth choice: Shaun Donovan
Fifth choice: Ray McGuire
Last year, New Yorkers collectively heeded the call to shelter in place during the coronavirus crisis. Now, New York City voters are headed to the polls to decide who will lead the city during the recovery process.
The pandemic has exposed inequities in our city that we long knew existed, though we didn’t have the reams of data or honest conversations about them that COVID-19 triggered. The Haitian Times editorial team believes that Maya Wiley is the candidate best-equipped to ensure New York revives and thrives in a sustainable, equitable way. We endorse her for first choice on the ballot.
An attorney and former counsel to Mayor Bill de Blasio, Wiley has recent experience in government and a much longer track record in grassroots advocacy. Wiley co-founded the nonprofit Race Forward, which advocates for racial equity. Her policies would advance those goals, including for Haitian-Americans.
Wiley’s Universal Community Care proposal, for example, would boost the income of professional and at-home caregivers, a segment of New York’s Haitian community that has struggled to afford rising housing costs, per our reporting. Wiley has also advanced a New Deal economic plan to invest in infrastructure and create additional jobs.
In a convenient coincidence, Wiley lives in the Flatbush area, home to the city’s largest Caribbean enclave. We believe the experience of being so close in proximity to immigrant families can guide her views and decisions about policy in a positive way for the most vulnerable New Yorkers.
For second place, we recommend former sanitation commissioner Kathryn Garcia. She has experience leading the city during its most trying circumstances, including Superstorm Sandy and the COVID-19 pandemic. Last year, de Blasio appointed her to serve as the emergency food czar, managing the effort to distribute rations to needy communities. She has also crafted laudable proposals like free child care for children under 3 and bilingual programs in public schools.
Of all candidates in the race, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams almost certainly has the deepest ties to the Haitian community. He has provided a steady leadership hand at borough hall for seven years. And, as a former cop who was beaten by police himself as a teenager, Adams has a deep understanding of law enforcement and those harmed by it.
Adams also helped address affordable housing by opening the door for churches like Evangelical Crusade to construct units, but the underlying inequality driving up prices has gotten worse for many Brooklynites. Adams could have been a more active voice for tenants, as opposed to cheering on developers with slogans like “build, baby build.”
Unlike every other mayoral candidate, our fourth choice Shaun Donovan has deep expertise at different levels of government. He served as Housing and Urban Development secretary under President Obama and as housing chief in the Michael Bloomberg mayoral administration. Although he has consistently polled below the top five, we believe he can help solve one of the city’s most pressing issues, by reforming land use and making a historic $2 billion commitment to preserving public housing.
Finally, we recommend Ray McGuire for the fifth choice. During our interview with him, the former Citigroup executive laid out his ambitious economic recovery proposal. Were it to be implemented, the plan could benefit thousands of low- and middle-income New Yorkers by subsidizing infrastructure spending and small business salaries. This could be the type of big thinking New York City needs, if he could in fact manage to pass it in its current form.