Why do you think you will make a great mayor for Latino New York?
I say all the time that New York has become The Tale of Two Cities. This crisis of inequality has hit the Latino community especially hard. Whether you are talking about income disparity, the fact that the education system is failing a lot of our kids, or the impact stop and frisk is having on Latino young men, I think that my agenda for change is particularly important to the Latino community.
Can you explain your vision for public education?
I would be the first mayor in the history of the city to have a child in public school. One of the most important parts of my identity is that I am a parent— (one of his kids, Dante, 15, has become a campaign hit sporting a huge ‘fro and is the star of his dad’s latest ad.) it’s so much of who I am. It allows me to understand the challenges that parents face and part of the reason I believe we need a tax on the wealthy for our schools is because I understand that they can’t get early childhood education, they can’t pay for after school activities, and I think it’s a parental perspective that makes a difference.
The lack of affordable housing is some of the issues New York Latinos are facing.
People feel powerless when they see that the economy is changing around them and they don’t see a response from government or from the City. My affordable housing plan would challenge the real estate industry and make the creation of affordable housing a mandatory part of the development process. It will require the creation of affordable housing on a grand scale - creating and preserving 200,000 units of affordable housing.