New York City Mayoral Forum Signifies Growing Influence of Poverty Issues
A critical part of Spotlight۪s mission is to help elevate the role of poverty in our political conversation. That’s why OOTS was delighted to see a recent New York City mayoral candidate forum dedicated entirely to poverty. The forum, entitled “2013 Race for Mayor: What’s in it for Low-Income New Yorkers?” attracted seven candidates from across the political spectrum.
Topics ranged from minimum wage and paid sick leave to affordable housing, and the conversation sparked both agreement and debate on a variety of issues. For example, while most candidates spoke out in favor of the minimum wage increase, there was some disagreement on the level of that increase. Suggestions ranged from $9 an hour, proposed by former City Comptroller Bill Thompson, to $11.50 an hour from current City Comptroller John Liu. The latter figure was largely supported by the crowd in attendance. The International Business Times reported paid sick days also garnered strong support from some candidates. However, City Council Speaker and Democratic candidate Christine Quinn stated she didn’t think paid sick days should be considered until the economy had more time to recover.
Spotlight is happy to see that whether it۪s the State of the Union address or a mayoral candidate forum, poverty is gaining ground as an issue candidates and elected officials discuss. Just this week, former presidential candidate Rick Santorum also spoke out in support of low-income issues in Town Hall, stating, “We must be the champions for working taxpayers and families and promote policies focused on real health care choices and building assets through savings incentives, homeownership and expanded job opportunities through manufacturing incentives.” And earlier this year, former policy directors from the Obama and Romney campaigns weighed in on Spotlight on the role of poverty in the presidential campaign.
Nationally, there’s no question that campaigns still have a long way to go when it comes to seriously discussing poverty, but OOTS is encouraged by this progress.
Posted by Sarah
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