We asked the candidates the following questions, visit our homepage to read the answers.
1. In New York City, over 42,000 people are homeless; and for 43 percent of households in the city, housing costs account for over 30 percent of income. What should the state do about the lack of access to safe, affordable housing for the lowest-income New Yorkers – including those struggling with mental illness, physical disabilities, addiction, or reentry from jail or prison?
2. Each year, over 120,000 people are released from New York’s jails and prisons. For formerly incarcerated people, securing a job is critical to successful reentry. However, many employers will not hire persons who have a criminal record, despite laws against discrimination. How should the State promote employment for job-seekers who have criminal records? If elected, what steps would you take to protect job-seekers from hiring discrimination?
3. Nationwide, more than 5 million people are barred from voting because of incarceration or a past criminal record. In New York, people convicted of a felony lose the right to vote while imprisoned or on parole. Currently, approximately 37,000 New Yorkers are denied their right to vote because they are on parole. What are your views on voting rights for people in prison New York State? What are your views on voting rights for people on Parole in New York State?
4. In 2011, the New York City Police Department conducted a record 684,330 stops as part of its stop, question and frisk policy. Of those stopped, 87 percent were Black and Latino. The NYPD asserts that this policy has reduced crime, but it has come under criticism that it is inefficient and racially biased. Also in 2011, the NYPD has made over 50,000 marijuana-related arrests even though possession of small amounts is considered a violation, not a crime under New York State law. What are your views on the NYPD’s stop-and-frisk practices? What are your views on the large number of arrests for marijuana in New York City?
5. What other issues will you address if elected?