The New York City primary is finally finished and the race to become the next mayor of Gotham has come down to Bill de Blasio and Joe Lhota.
With more than three million African Americans residing in the Big Apple, many of whom live if predominantly African-American neighborhoods, the remaining candidates' stances on issues important to blacks carries significant weight as the city picks its next mayor.
Check out the slideshow below to see where the candidates stand on some of those issues.
Bill de Blasio On New York City's Homeless
<a href="http://homeless.samhsa.gov/ResourceFiles/hrc_factsheet.pdf" target="_blank">Over 90 percent NYC's Homeless are African-American males,</a> Bill de Blasio has been highly critical of mayor Bloomberg's policy of increasing requirements to access NYC's homeless shelters. de Blasio favors <a href="http://www.billdeblasio.com/issues/affordable-housing" target="_blank">limiting "bureaucratic red tape" and giving vouchers for vacant NYCHA apartments.</a>
Joe Lhota On NYC's Homeless
Republican candidate, Joe Lhota, as been noticeably silent on addressing the city's 50,000 homeless citizens. However, according to the New York Times, <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/17/opinion/the-forgotten-50000.html" target="_blank">the candidate favors "market solutions."</a>
Bill de Blasio On Gentrification
“But what happened in recent years -- a combination of the economic crisis, gentrification, and some mistaken policies by the administration -- all came together to start a reshaping of this city that unfortunately is digging in inequality. This is corrosive to our social fabric, it is undermining our ability to have a city that can function well in a more competitive future, and it really deviates from our values as New Yorkers. New York City is also an idea. It’s a culture and a history. We are the keepers of the flame of inclusion and tolerance and diversity. That is threatened now in a way it has never been in our history. I see people suffering and feeling like they’re losing their grip on the place, and my job is to help New Yorkers live in New York. It’s not to clear the place out and see it fully gentrified.” <a href="http://www.billdeblasio.com/news/in-the-press/bill-de-blasio%E2%80%99s-towering-problem" target="_blank">Source.</a>
Joe Lhota On Gentrification
While Joe Lhota hasn't addressed gentrification by name during his run for mayor, he is on record in supporting Bloomberg's initiative of giving tax incentives to real-estate developers who designate 20 to 30 percent of their buildings as affordable housing. He also has a plan to <a href="http://www.nydailynews.com/blogs/dailypolitics/2013/06/joe-lhotas-plan-to-turn-post-offices-into-affordable-housing" target="_blank">replace some of NYC's post offices</a> with affordable housing.
Bill de Blasio On Stop And Frisk
“The sharpest disparity in the last few years has been two different approaches to policing, depending on what kind of community you lived in. I think the judge’s ruling put a very, very fine point on the issue … that’s why this whole approach has to end. It’s actually making us less safe for the long run.” <a href="http://tv.msnbc.com/2013/08/14/bill-de-blasio-stop-and-frisk-ruling-will-define-mayoral-race/" target="_blank">Source.</a>
Joe Lhota On Stop And Frisk
"I think the judge's decision is ... what's unfortunate, is that it's not based on facts. Facts were presented that actually showed that this system actually works and that it's in compliance with the United States constitution as set out by the Supreme Court. Basically, this judge has put every great thing that's happened in New York City over the last twenty years at risk. The reason why our economy is growing, the reason why the number of people are moving here, the reason why tourism is growing so much is that this is the safest large city in America, and this single act alone is enough to cause it to go in another direction. It's another step closer to making New York City like Detroit." <a href="http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/355653/lhota-judges-stop-and-frisk-ruling-step-closer-making-nyc-detroit-andrew-johnson" target="_blank">Source.</a>
Bill de Blasio On New York City Economy/Jobs
“For all the progress in nurturing new industries, too many New Yorkers are still being left out and left behind. New York under Mayor Bloomberg has become a tale of two cities where very few graduates of our public schools and community colleges have benefited from New York’s tech boom, while the fastest growing industries creating new jobs in this city continue to pay poverty-level wages. Addressing this gaping inequality is the great challenge for our next Mayor. Mayor Bloomberg and Speaker Quinn didn’t create the tale of two cities that New York has become, but their failure to take the bold steps necessary to reverse the trend threatens the very foundation of what New York City has always been and can be once again: a city of opportunity for everyone that leaves no one behind.” <a href="http://politicker.com/2013/08/bill-de-blasio-quibbles-with-mayor-bloombergs-big-detroit-speech/" target="_blank">Source.</a>
Joe Lhota On New York City Economy/Jobs
"Need to find ways to make the government more user friendly and business friendly. As mayor, I will review our tax structure, create a one-stop-shop for biz that wants to open in New York and I'd like to do everything possible to encourage entrepreneurism. Diversifying our economy will be one of my highest priorities. Our high-tech businesses need to be nurtured and expanded. Mayor Bloomberg should be given a lot of credit for his efforts to expand the high-tech industry in our city. I want to continue his efforts and further develop bio-tech as part of the diversification of our economy. We have some of the greatest hospitals and medical schools in the world and we should take advantage of their expertise in making NYC a hub for bio-tech." <a href="http://live.nydailynews.com/Event/Chat_with_NYC_mayoral_candidate_Joe_Lhota?Page=1" target="_blank">Source.</a>
Bill De Blasio On Education
On Class Size: "As mayor I would want to be held accountable for reducing class size. If in four years we don’t decrease class size, we’re making a huge mistake … you can’t have class size at the level it is now and expect to change graduation rates." On Teacher layoffs: "It's going to be tough budget times for years to come. If you set up the wrong equation it becomes a shooting gallery where it's easy for principals to get rid of any veteran if it costs more. Look, my two kids are in public school and part of my objection here also is that there are good and bad teachers that are newcomers and there are good and bad teachers that are veterans ... it's a mixed bag. Those who don't teach well over a period of time need to leave." On Charter Schools: "There is no way in hell that Eva Moskowitz should get free rent, okay? There are charters that are much, much better endowed in terms of resources than the public sector ever hoped to be. It is insult to injury to give them free rent. They should have to pay rent. They have the money." "We don't need new charters." <a href="http://gothamschools.org/bill-de-blasio/" target="_blank">Source.</a>
Joe Lhota On Education
On Charter Schools: “While co-location between charter schools and traditional public schools is not ideal, we cannot wait for new schools to be built. I strongly support charter schools and believe we need even more of them.” On Teachers: "The one piece that’s missing is working with the union for merit pay and changing their approach." “We really need to work with our faculty and our teachers to have them not train for tests. Train for the core competency of math and arts, as well as English and language.” "On the day after I'm elected I will sit down with Michael Mulgrew of the UFT and begin the process of negotiating a new contract for teachers. In addition to the contract, I want to make sure teachers have proper training and professional development. My goal -- a very high goal -- is to make all teachers excellent teachers." On School Closings: "I do not support a moratorium on the closing of failing schools." <a href="http://gothamschools.org/joe-lhota/" target="_blank">Source.</a>