Welcome to Scribd. Sign in or start your free trial to enjoy unlimited e-books, audiobooks & documents.Find out more
Standard view
Full view
of .
Look up keyword
Like this
0 of .
Results for:
No results containing your search query
P. 1
Paul Graziano

Paul Graziano

|Views: 4|Likes:
2013 New York City Council Human Rights Profiles
2013 New York City Council Human Rights Profiles

More info:

Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


Read on Scribd mobile: iPhone, iPad and Android.
download as PDF, TXT or read online from Scribd
See more
See less





Name of Council Candidate: Paul GrazianoName and Title of Person Completing Questionnaire: Paul Graziano, CandidateCampaign Website:www.paulgraziano.com 
1. Many in the United States think of international affairs when they think of human rights. Our workemphasizes the applicability of the human rights framework here in the United States. Please share your thoughts on the domestic applicability of human rights, and discuss why human rights are important to youin the context of New York City and the City Council.
Human rights are critical to any civilized society, whether in foreign lands or our own. Under the Bloombergadministration and oftentimes in partnership with Speaker Quinn, those who have not been able to advocate for or defend themselves have been left with limited support from governmental agencies and private charities. Part of our role as representatives in city government is to represent all of the residents of our Council District and New York Cityas a whole. It is our responsibility as the legislators of the City of New York to take action - and if necessary,challenge the power structure as a whole - in order to realize a positive outcome in addressing the enormousinequities facing our city. As an individual who aspires to represent an area that is one of the few truly middle-class sections of the city left - asea-change from several decades ago, where large portions of the city would describe themselves that way - Ibelieve that by focusing on the myriad of issues and needs for our low, moderate and middle-income communities,the city as a whole will benefit and can act as a model for the entire world.
2. How have you used current or previous professional positions to advance human rights?
 As an urban planner, historic preservation consultant and community organizer, my role during the past two decadeshas been to stabilize neighborhoods at risk throughout Queens and New York City. During the past two decades, Ihave contextually rezoned 85% of my Council District and close to 50% of the borough of Queens. By stoppingoverdevelopment, which stresses infrastructure, services and the environment, many neighborhoods are nowprotected from luxury housing and gentrification, allowing working and middle-class families to remain. Additionally, Ihave been a proponent of mandatory affordable housing in new high-density development in the city, as optionalinclusionary zoning has been an utter failure. For a more detailed accounting of my work, please refer to mybiography and CV at my website:http://www.paulgraziano.com/biography.html .
3. What will your top 3 legislative priorities be in your first term as Council Member?
I have many more than just *3* legislative priorities. Please refer to my policy positions located at my website:http://www.paulgraziano.com/policy-positions.html .
4. What will your top 3 budget priorities be in your first term as Council Member?
I believe that redistribution within the current New York City budgetary process is an essential part of equalizingincome disparity. Hundreds of millions - if not billions - of dollars from the budget are used to give developers,corporations and other non-person entities tax abatements, tax breaks and other monetary gifts at the expense of funding for other critical agencies (Homeless Services, Senior Services, Health/Mental Health Services, ChildProtective Services, Family Support, etc.).1.
Increase taxes on top wage earners in New York City to create a more fair and progressive tax structure,with new benchmarks between $500,000 and $5 million up to a maximum of 6.876%, or almost double theexisting top rate.2.
Remove exemptions and enforce "clawback" provisions for large corporations, which currently cost the citymore than $1.5 billion in tax revenue.3.
Subsequently increase funding for vital services as described in the first paragraph using additional fundsgenerated by the above.
5. Do you plan to use participatory budgeting to allocate your discretionary funds? Why or why not?
In its current form, I believe that participatory budgeting operates more as a beauty contest than anything else andunfairly focuses scarce resources on "sexy" projects. Additionally, with discretionary funding solely under the controlof the Council Speaker, council districts receive wildly differing amounts of discretionary funding based upon loyalty,not need. In order for me to support participatory budgeting, there needs to be an institution of a modified needs-based formula - per district - which also includes not only socio-economic data but also the physical size, complexityand infrastructure of a particular district.
6. Please provide examples of recent legislation in Council that you believe promotes human rights.
Some examples include the major immigration law passed in November 2011 which prohibits the Department of Corrections from detaining someone solely based on immigration status; a whistleblower protection expansion act,which protects city contractors from taking an adverse personnel action against an employee who reports fraud or mismanagement; and an actual amendment to the New York City Human Rights Law which protects those "nothaving a job, being available for work, and seeking employment" from deleterious decisions and discrimination byemployers.
7. Legislation is only one of many ways in which Council Members can work to advance human rights. Whatways
than through legislation will you advance the human rights of New Yorkers as a City CouncilMember?
It is extremely important to coordinate with organizations that promote human rights issues, as societal changes oftenresult when several different segments of society work together. Publicity and press are extremely important to shinelight on a particular issue, and having an elected official allied or involved can raise interest and provide focus tospecific subject matter.

You're Reading a Free Preview

/*********** DO NOT ALTER ANYTHING BELOW THIS LINE ! ************/ var s_code=s.t();if(s_code)document.write(s_code)//-->