Bill de Blasio Gets Grilled By New York City's Smartest Millennials


Editor's Note: New York City mayor candidate Bill de Blasio published an op-ed on PolicyMic explaining why he's running for office and taking questions from the PolicyMic community. Bill de Blasio agreed to write short follow-up responses to the most Mic'd commenters in the discussion on his article. Read his responses to three PolicyMic questions below.

1. Ed Hancox - 9 Mics

As Public Advocate, I sued the City to obtain never-before seen data and proved that, since 2010, the City has dramatically increased fines on small businesses to plug holes in their budget. As Mayor, I would halt the use of fines to pad the City’s expenses and help business owners avoid fines for first-time low-level violations.

I also have a plan to bring entrepreneurial resources to small business owners in the neighborhoods where they work. As mayor, I would increase the number of neighborhood Business Improvement Districts, which allow small businesses to organize and utilize some of the same advantages as larger corporations, such as group purchasing power. I would also give small businesses a shot at city contracts by redesigning the bidding process and including Minority and Women’s Business Enterprises (M/WBE). Additionally, I will establish the NYC Innovation Equity Fund, targeted to support growing industries in low-income neighborhoods through City loans.

2. Michael McCutcheon - 7 Mics

My vision has broad appeal because all New Yorkers want better public schools and stronger futures for our children. As Mayor, I will work to solve the inequality crisis by ensuring all New Yorkers can rise together, not by impeding anyone else's success. Lifting more New Yorkers out of poverty and into the middle class is good policy for all income levels, and vital to the future of New York City.

I've fought to ensure paid sick days and a living wage for all New Yorkers. As Mayor, I plan to raise wages as a bottom-up driver of economic development in low-income neighborhoods. I will fight in Albany to give NYC the ability to set the minimum wage rate at a level appropriate to our City’s the high cost of living. Additionally, any businesses receiving $1 million in economic subsidies should provide clear plans on how to provide a living wage.

3. Jordan Fraade - 9 Mics

I agree that Mayor Bloomberg’s work to make this city more bike-friendly and sustainable has been visionary. As Mayor, I’d expand bike lanes and Bike Share projects in an attempt to increase bicycling to 6% of all trips by 2020. To increase the safety of drivers, pedestrians and cyclists, I have a plan to ramp up safety measures, such as reduced-speed zoning around schools and senior centers.

As Mayor, I’ll also work to make NYC transit more safe, sustainable and affordable in all five boroughs. I’ve proposed a new Bus Rapid Transit system, which will bring New Yorkers in underserved communities to the city’s primary transportation and employment hubs more quickly. Additionally, I’ll invest in transportation in the outer boroughs and the Rockaways by exploring ways to build a Cross-Harbor Freight Tunnel that will carry freight through the city more efficiently and with less environmental impact. We can also keep fares affordable with strategic planning of route expansion and, by implementing gateless tolling, we can reduce road congestion and cut down on commute time.