Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Black Leadership Action Coalition Releases BLAC Manifesto Guide to Political Offices and Issues


Manifesto calls for reimagining several offices to give them real power

 The Black Leadership Action Coalition (BLAC), together with its sister organization The Black Institute (TBI), announced the release of a political manifesto encompassing an educational and political vision of New York. Entitled The BLAC Manifesto, it outlines a bold new political agenda and reimagining of the political structure of New York and New York City. While it is not the Black Agenda, an all-encompassing look at the multitude of issues that confront these communities, it is a Black Agenda; a view of policy and politics from a Black perspective.

“We have hundreds of people running for office in New York City this year, and some of them don’t even know the responsibilities of the job they’re trying to be elected to. This Manifesto is a way to educate people not just on the issues that matter to black and brown New Yorkers, but a guide on what level of government can get it done. For those offices that hold no power to accomplish these goals, it is a call to reimagine those offices and give them real power to get things done,” said Bertha Lewis, Founder and President, Black Leadership Action Coalition.

Following an extended analysis of every elected office representing New York City, from District Leader to President, the Manifesto includes high priority issues and how they can be tackled at each level. Each issue area includes background and analysis, policy making goals, and legislation that accomplishes those goals.

Issues at the state level include:
  • COVID-19 Relief for Minority-Owned Small Businesses
  • Equitable and Transparent Banking Relationships
  • M.A.R.C.H. Raids on Minority Businesses
  • Legalization of Marijuana
  • Education – Unequal Access to The Internet
  • Housing Reform

Issues at the city level include:
  • Environmental Racism in The Form of Pesticide Distribution
  • Housing Reform
  • Property Taxes
  • Immigrant Voting
  • Police Reform
  • MWBE’s Share and Role in The Economy Of New York
  • Pay Equity

Issues at the federal level include:
  • Legalization of Marijuana
  • Reparations
  • H1B Visas
  • DACA
  • Voting Rights
  • Police Reform

As a conclusion to the Manifesto, BLAC calls for a reimagining of the offices of Public Advocate and Borough President, which currently hold little power. Under the proposal, the Public Advocate would have the power to introduce legislation to the City Council for serious consideration and be responsible for operation and oversight of the 311 system. New powers for Borough Presidents include a restoration of old powers from the initial city charter that grants greater power over land use decisions. The Manifesto also calls for the elimination of Mayoral control of the city’s school system and the reinstatement of school boards.

Through The BLAC Manifesto, BLAC and TBI aim to educate elected officials, candidates in the upcoming 2021 municipal elections, and regular citizens about the power of elected office and the issues that they must be held to. As an action tank, a think tank that takes action, TBI has been at the forefront of constructing and criticizing policy from a racial angle to ensure that some of the city and states’ most vulnerable populations have a voice in the legislative process. BLAC champions the policies and legislation that TBI and others have put out that help to ensure that these populations are not forgotten or ignored by those whom they elected. The BLAC Manifesto represents a crystallization of these shared objectives.

The full BLAC manifesto can be found here Concurrent with this release, BLAC has sent out its Manifesto to all candidates currently running for elected office and all current occupants of elected office in New York City and New York, to inform all individuals of what BLAC expects from them in policy and in duty and to elicit a response. BLAC will tabulate the responses, or lack thereof, and begin to issue "report cards" in May so that voters may be informed as to what a candidate's relationship to BLAC's agenda is and whether they are “BLAC approved”.

No comments:

Post a Comment