The following letter was emailed to the City Hall press office of New York City and addressed to Mayor Eric Adams on January 31, 2022.
Dear Honorable Mayor Eric Leroy Adams,
We the writers of GrassRootsWire.com extend our heartfelt congratulations on your election as the 110th Mayor of the City of New York and the second Black person to serve in this position. We also want to thank you for your leadership. As the first month of your term ends, you have successfully dealt with many high-profile shootings and killings such as the deaths of two New York police department officers; a fire in a Bronx building that killed several people and a brutal snowstorm that temporarily brought the city to a standstill. All of this happened as we continue our lives during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the first few weeks of your term, you called attention to homelessness and the bureaucratic red tape that have hindered small business owners from launching in a timely fashion. We are writing this letter to express our support for these issues and to highlight closely related issues that our readers would like you to focus on. As a non-profit news media group based in Central Brooklyn, we represent the concerns of small business owners, educators, community leaders and retired municipal workers who are Black and Latino across New York City.
As mayor of New York City, you oversee one the largest, if not the largest city budgets in America. We are asking you to address the following issues in the first 90 days of your term to make an impact in Black and Latino communities:
- Create more vocational high schools. As in the past, these schools will provide students with skills that will most likely lead to immediate employment or self-employment upon graduation without a college degree. Schools that can prepare Black and Latino school aged children for in demand fields like auto repair, culinary arts, plumbing, and construction is a much-needed investment for our community.
- Create truly affordable housing. Affordable housing rental rates should be measured by the median income of that neighborhood, not the City’s 2021 area median income of $107,400 for a three-person family according to the 2021 U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). This is laughable considering that the median household income for Blacks and Latinos (Hispanics) was last recorded between approximately $37,000 and $40,000. In addition, we call for more opportunities for affordable home ownership with traditional one-family homes, condos or co-ops.
- Create more opportunities for business development in majority Black and Latino neighborhoods. In these areas, more low-interest loans need to be awarded to long-time residents of that community. These residents should be educated about industries that are experiencing exponential growth and that would benefit the city long term. In turn, this would serve as a good example for neighborhood youth to emulate. Additionally, we urge you to mandate the city spend a certain amount of money with Black and Latino vendors. Of the almost $15 billion that New York City spends with vendors each year, Black- and Latino-owned businesses get less than 1%, although these communities make up almost 55% of the population. This is simply unconscionable. A mere 10% of this expenditure would translate into $1.5 billion of new financing for Black- and Latino-owned businesses.
Mayor Adams, we look forward to discussing these issues with you and are more than willing to assist you in any way we can. Please feel free to contact us by e-mailing: firstname.lastname@example.org. To read some of the stories we have covered in the past, you can visit: https://grassrootswire.com
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