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Democracy for NYC (DFNYC) is committed to the ideals espoused by Democracy for America, the organization founded by Howard Dean, and the national network of local coalition groups dedicated to the same.

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Randy Credico Answers to DFNYC 2013 Candidate Questionnaire

Randy Credico is running for mayor of New York City. www.credico2013.org

1. Money in NYC Politics. Large donors, specifically real estate developers and landlords, have a huge amount of influence in NYC politics due to their campaign contributions. While NYC’s matching funds programs is seen as one of the most innovative public funding campaigns in the country, many DFNYC members feel that big money donors still have too much influence and candidates still spend too much time fundraising. Would you support a change to full public financing of campaigns, similar to the Clean Money Clean Elections programs in Arizona, Connecticut and Maine?

I would go even further. I would end the bundling scam currently exploited by my
opponents who have found a loophole to get around the 4950 limit  that otherwise prevent them from getting large sums of money from real estate and corporate/wall street interests. For example, Christine Quinn received 29750 dollars from five member of the Rudin family. This family are in the process of building condos where St. Vincent's used to be, a hospital that was vital to the area. Quinn looked the other way and allowed to close. But all of the so called major candidates are beneficiaries of the campaign finance laws which in effect discourage small campaigns like mine. The campaign finance laws in nyc are really a joke and are riddled with corruption.

2. Tenant Protection & Cost of Housing. Do you support rent stabilization and rent control laws? What will you do to crack down on landlords that break the law? Would you call on the state legislature to repeal vacancy decontrol and more generally, the Urstadt Law, so that New York City – and not Albany – can enact its own housing laws?

I am for low cost housing for everyone that lives in New York. Long time renters and newcomers alike.  Should it be controlled by Albany or NYC is a conundrum. The powers that be on the local and state level are rife with corruption. We cant operate on a year to year basis as it relates to rent control. As a veteran of OWS, I am a strong supporter of a massive housing program and rent control laws to be extended for decades at a time.

3. Paid Sick Leave. There is currently a bill in the city council that would require companies in NYC with 5 or more employees to give 5 paid sick days per year to each employee (if they do not already). While many councilmembers support this, it has not been brought to a vote. Supporters feel this is much needed public health legislation that would only minimally raise labor costs, while opponents say that it would be an unfair financial burden to small business. Do you support the bill and will you actively work to get it passed? Sources: ~For: http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/labor/news/2012/11/16/45152/myth-vs-fact-paid-sick-days/ ~Against: http://www.nypost.com/p/news/opinion/opedcolumnists/why_we_reject_sick_leave_bill_03pE50CZMFiHFhXzasDMLL

I support a 3 worker minimum thresholds. Those small businesses that cant afford it would be subsidize those with one to five employees

4. Fair Police Practices & Occupy Wall Street. The New York City Police Department has been highly criticized for its Stop & Frisk policy, which disproportionally affects racial minorities and poor and working class New Yorkers. The NYPD has also been criticized for its treatment of activists in the Occupy Wall Street movement. Do you support ending or modifying Stop & Frisk? If running for mayor, will you keep Ray Kelly or appoint a new police commissioner? Do you think Mayor Bloomberg and the NYPD should have handled events in the OWS movement differently and what measures will you take to protect political demonstrations?

I have been arrested 3 times protesting stop and frisk and 5 times with OWS. I ran the William Moses Kunstler Fund for Racial Justice for 14 years. I received awrds from the Texas NAACP, the Drug Policy Alliance, the Union Square Awards and the Argentinian Madres de Plaza de Mayo. My work against stop and frisk is well documented and well covered by the press. The problem is much deeper than stop and frisk. It is the entire racist criminal justice system. The racist rigged selection of judges. None of the other candidates follow this issue or attend trials like I have and continue to do.

5. Mayoral Control of Education. Mayoral Control of NYC schools is set to expire in 2016, but the state legislature can renew it. If elected to city government, you will not directly vote on mayoral control, but you will have a ‘bully pulpit’ as renewal is discussed in the next 3 years. Do you support keeping Mayoral Control as is, letting it expire, or making changes, for example to the hearing process for controversial decisions? (Examples: Co-locations of multiple schools in one building, providing district school space to charter schools, phasing out schools that have been labeled as “failing” due to high dropout rates, low test scores, or other factors.)

I suppose I support mayoral control but as a co controller along with community leaders.

6. Teacher Evaluation. A key area where the mayor has influence in public education is in the negotiation of a contract with NYC’s public school teachers. Please give your opinion on the following proposed ways to evaluate teachers for the purpose of tenure, salary and other job benefits: Improvement in student test scores, observations by other teachers, student surveys, whether the teacher has an advanced degree, a principal’s evaluation of a teacher. Should principals be allowed to do unannounced observations of teachers? Do you have any experience negotiating labor union contracts?

I support higher pay with benefits and job security for all teachers.

7. Co-location of charter schools. City officials do not decide how many charter schools can exist, or grant requests to be a charter school. However, the Department of Education - currently controlled by the Mayor - may decide to provide charter schools with space, usually by "co-location" with district public schools. While more than half of NYC schools (not just charters) are co-located, it is a controversial topic when a charter school is involved. Critics argue that cash-strapped district schools should not be forced to share resources with charter schools and that co-location creates a morale problem when students and parents see the contrast. Co-location advocates argue that charter schools are public schools and should have an equal right to publicly owned resources such as buildings, charter schools do not receive funding for space and therefore operate at a severe financial disadvantage if they have to find private space, and that differences between co-located schools result from decisions the principals make about how to spend their per-pupil funding. Do you support the DOE giving public school space to charter schools? Sources: ~ Against - funding and space arguments: http://www.classsizematters.org/our-lawsuit-vs-the-doe-regarding-charter-co-locations/ ~In Favor: Funding: http://www.nyccharterschools.org/resources/school-funding-comparisons-nyc-independent-budget-office-ibo-2010-11 Space (pdf): http://dl.dropbox.com/u/87134745/media/nyccsc_colocation.pdf

I am a strong proponent of expanding and improving public schools. We need to pour more money into the school system. I would hire DR. Cornel West and let him put together a team of progressive educational visionaries to help build a system that is fair across the city. There is no reason, if we put our focus on the future of our city, that all schools not to resemble Bronx Science.

8. The City Wage Tax. New York City’s budget depends in large part on the city wage tax, which is only paid by residents, not everyone who works in NYC. Would you call on the state legislature to allow NYC to collect the tax from people from the suburbs who work in NYC and benefit from our services (police, fire, etc.)? Would you support efforts to collect the tax from people who actually live in New York City but use a second home (a loophole not available to middle class New Yorkers with just one home) to avoid the city wage tax? If these efforts work, would you be willing to reduce the city wage tax so that workers would have more take home pay, and there would be less incentive for people to move to the suburbs, reducing our tax base?

I wouldn’t allow police from outside the city to work in New York but otherwise would fervently push for a commuter tax. I would reduce the workers wage tax in NYC. I would put a major excise or surcharge on Wall Street and repeal some of the tax abatement for as many real estate developers as possible

9. Other Taxes. Do you support progressive taxation? Do you support Governor Cuomo’s approach to the marginal tax rate on high incomes? What is your opinion on the current property tax in NYC? Would you support a federal financial transaction tax to either raise revenue, reduce the practice of high frequency trading, or both?

Yes i would support a federal and state tax on wall street transactions to raise revenue and to curb short trading and flash trading. I support a much more progressive tax code than the one Andrew Cuomo has proposed. Remember Cuomo's biggest supporter is the committee to "save" New York, which is dominated by real estate, wall street, banking, big pharma et al.

10. Poverty & the Social Safety Net. According to a 2012 report by the Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies, many struggling New Yorkers are eligible for welfare, but have not been able to obtain it due to onerous application requirements, and the excessive and arbitrary use of “sanctions” by the City’s Human Resources Administration (HRA). These obstacles have caused very little increase in welfare cases during the recent recession, as contrasted with large increases in Food Stamps and Medicaid. Would you change HRA to make it easier for eligible families to obtain cash assistance, connect them to jobs or meaningful job training, and reform the improper use of sanctions? How would you manage New York City's social safety net programs to ensure that people get the help they need, while at the same time preventing fraud? Report: http:/www.fpwa.org/cgi-bin/iowa/policy/article/218.html

There would be a radical shift in priorities under a credico administration not unlike the sweeping changes that occurred in the early days of the French Revolution before the Terror. The conditions in this city are not unlike they were in Paris in the 18th century on all levels. The elite have everything from goods and services and not affected by the outrageous repressive criminal justice system. There must be subsidies in housing and food for all New Yorkers. We have a crisis. There must be a war on poverty and homelessness.

11. Homelessness. When Mayor Bloomberg first ran, he promised to introduce policies to drastically reduce the numbers of people who are homeless in our city. But during the twelve years of his administration, the numbers of homeless have increased dramatically each year. This is in addition to the approximately 50,000 people sleeping in shelters on an average night, according to a recent report by the Coalition for the Homeless. What would you do to deal with this sad situation? Sources: http://www.coalitionforthehomeless.org/pages/state-of-the-homeless-2013 http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/20/nyregion/20homeless.html

I would ask Mary Brosnahan from the coalition for the homeless along with veterans of Occupy Wall Street particularly Occupy Sandy to run the Agency for the Homeless. This agency would have its funding increased fourfold unless more is needed.

12. Hurricane Sandy & Environmental Protection. The devastating impact that Hurricane Sandy had on New York City poses short term and long term challenges: immediate support for those who lost their homes and businesses, and climate change, respectively. What measures do you support for helping Sandy recovery efforts, as well as energy conservation and reducing the carbon footprint of New York City? What is your position on hydraulic fracturing and the Spectra pipeline?

I oppose both the spectra pipeline and fracking. I have done various videos in opposition to fracking as well against Indian Point Nuclear Facility for Peace Action NYS. We need to build floodwalls around the vulnerable areas not just in Manhattan. We need to provide long-term shelter and homes for those who were tossed out and cant afford another place to live. WE have a post Hurricane Katrina on our hands and the speculators are out there with their shark teeth mouth open. This is a complicated series of questions and I hate to put commissions together but obviously this requires a panel of experts with progressive ideas and experience to formulate a long term plan.

13. Gun Control. While DFNYC members have long supported gun control, the December 14th shooting in Newtown, Connecticut seems to have changed the debate on the national level. Do you support the proposals President Obama made to (a) renew and fix the assault weapons ban, (b) ban high capacity magazines (limit the number of bullets that can be shot before reloading), and (c) improve the background check system? Please indicate any other methods you would support to reduce gun violence, including how you would implement them, for example: gun buy-back programs, training programs for gun owners, improved access to mental health care, and involving the business community in gun safety.

I support gun control for all citizens including the police and military. There have been 250 killings by the NYPD since the Diallo murder. I oppose a new war on guns. I believe it will be a repeat of the war on drugs. A trojan horse. I have never owned or operated a gun. They are scary.

14. Choice & Marriage Equality. Please briefly state your position on the following three issues: marriage equality for gays & lesbians, a woman's right to choose, and access to birth control. (25 words or less)

I am strong supporter of all three. I am the only one of the candidates to run a civil rights group, which i did for 14 years, The Willliam Moses Kunstler Fund for Racial Justice

~ Randy Credico, candidate for mayor of NYC.

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A local coalition group of Democracy for America since 2004

Democracy for NYC (DFNYC) is committed to the ideals espoused by Democracy for America, the organization founded by Howard Dean, and the national network of local coalition groups dedicated to the same.

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