Brooklyn resident Art Chang, a child of Korean immigrants, who co-founded NYC Votes, a voter engagement platform providing online information for New York City voters and tools for candidates running for office, has joined the long list of candidates for New York city mayor.
Chung, who has a history of working between the public and private sectors, always in the service of moving the public interest forward, brings 35 years of experience leading technology companies and innovative ideas to City Hall, will focus his campaign on Universal Childcare support as a critical intersectional issue.
The father of two has seen first-hand how available childcare improves “our communities at large.”
“Universal Childcare support can level the playing field for working parents, ensure children have access to more consistent food and care pivotal to development, save parents an average of $10,000 each year, and create $14.3B in new economic activity,” said Chang.
By leveraging the Community Based Organization model, Chang envisions expanding both home-based and institutional providers while safely re-opening existing childcare centers closed by the pandemic, streamlining licensing of new providers and facilities, and enhancing training.
One of the most extensive possibilities exists in shifting government oversight from reactive & punitive to proactive & collaborative.
As an experienced technologist, Chang will enable mobile technology to make the system user-friendly, easy to navigate, and fair for everyone in New York City.
By including all stakeholders in the planning and administration of the facilities and treating parents as partners in the process, a Chang administration would prioritize childcare “deserts” first and gradually roll out more facilities across the city.
“Data shows us that especially areas in Brooklyn, the Bronx, Upper Manhattan, and Queens lack access to childcare,” said Chang, “In New York City, the average childcare worker would have to spend 57.5 percent of their monthly wages to put their own children in childcare.”
“Childcare should not be a privilege for the wealthy but a right for all; under the de Blasio administration, the city budget ballooned by over $20 billion.”
“Perhaps $1.5 billion of that went to Universal Pre-K. Where did the rest go? It’s time for us to make a direct and real impact on people’s lives, rather than just increase bureaucracy,” said Chang.
“Before COVID, fewer than 10 percent of families could afford childcare. During COVID, the demand has only grown while the supply has shrunk, forcing women to choose between jobs outside the home and care giving.”
He noted that in December 2020 alone, 100 percent of the net jobs lost were by women. “And as we see all around us among our friends and family, a pandemic baby boomlet is about to hit. Rebuilding our city begins with the children whose lives are just starting,” he said.
Universal Childcare, affordable and available housing, and commitment to public safety and restorative justice stand at the heart of Chang’s campaign.
Committed to stopping evictions and foreclosures, Chang believes that the way to address “our housing crisis is to prioritize a massive increase in genuinely affordable housing, along with an extension of the eviction and foreclosure moratoria through March 2022 and cancel all accrued rental debt and interest during this period.”
Chang said many other responsibilities of property taxes, fees, and additional costs would be addressed through a similar mechanism. “NYPD needs to be demilitarized, and CompStat should be used to signal where our communities are potentially distressed, then direct intensive and coordinated responses from the different components of government that would decrease those communities’ pain and lead to healthier communities.”
“Going forward, the emphasis must be on restorative justice and alternatives to jail. I believe New Yorkers want the same things. All New Yorkers want everyone to have a roof over their heads, be healthy, have safety, have equal opportunity for themselves and their children, have clean air and water, and be prepared for the crises ahead.”
“Most importantly, all New Yorkers want the City to be fun again.” For more information, visit www.chang.nyc.