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2013 NYC Public Advocate Questionnaire SENATOR DANIEL SQUADRON

20 Jay Street, Suite 830 Brooklyn, NY 11201 Tel (212) 796-4200 Fax (646) 349-3893 website:

Instructions: Gothamist plans to interview all candidates for citywide office in 2013. This survey will give us and our readers an overview of each candidates positions on issues of particular import to our audience of young New York voters. For each question, please give a a short response outlining your candidates position. You may include a link to longer position statements at the bottom of each response, which we will include when we publish the piece. If you do not wish to answer any question, please specify no comment. If you have any questions, please contact us.

Candidate Overview 1. Why should young people in NYC vote for you for Public Advocate instead of the other candidates? As a lifelong New Yorker, I know first-hand that making a life here can be tough -- tougher than other places in a lot of ways -- but this city is also the greatest engine of opportunity the word has ever known, and a place unlike anywhere else to live. That's true of the recent college grad or the retiree, the young family or the new immigrant. Our job is to make sure that NYC works better for all who want to be a part of it. I was elected to the State Senate in 2008, when I was 28 years old, unseating a 30-year incumbent who had been in office since before I was born, and have fought to reform government and deliver real results: Getting the MTA to improve frequency, reliability and cleanliness on the F and the L lines -- and the agency has just agreed to do so on the G too (h/t to Gothamist for beating the drum). Authoring and passing ethics reform legislation into law, and leading the fight for state campaign finance reform. Negotiating an end to the Citys policy of charging rent to homeless families in shelters. Creating safer and more accessible streets both block-by-block and by passing new laws. Making the public school admissions process more parent-friendly for families in my district. Writing the law that made it harder for landlords to jack up rents in rent-regulated apartments. As Public Advocate I will make sure that young people -- and each and every community that finds itself left out or left behind -- are represented, so that city government delivers results to make a difference in their lives. The Public Advocate can and must be a vehicle that connects our large city government to the individuals, communities, and businesses that too often aren't served, and makes sure their voices aren't just heard -- but that their needs and ideas are driving real change. As Public Advocate I will fight to ensure that New York is a place where more people, from more backgrounds, have a better chance to make a life. 2. How would you distinguish your future office from the present one run by Bill De Blasio?

Because Public Advocate has a broad mandate and limited resources, it is inevitable that each occupant of the office would bring his or her own focus and structure. As Public Advocate, I would focus on reforming government so that it is more transparent and effective, and on issues that make our city more affordable and livable. One thing's for sure: I will continue to fight to bring July 4th fireworks back to the East River (which Bill and I have done, along with BP Markowitz, and with a lot of support from Gothamist and its readers) although hopefully well win while Bill is still the Public Advocate!

Personal Questions 1. Do you rent or own your home? After renting for many years, my wife and I recently purchased an apartment in Carroll Gardens, where we live with our son. 2. Do you have a pet? No. 3. If you have children, do/did/will they attend public schools? Yes. My son is two years old -- and we're planning for him to attend our local public schools when hes old enough. 4. Have you ever been the victim of a crime? Yes. Safety 1. What changes would you like to see in the NYPD's stop and frisk policies? There's no question that we need major reform of the NYPD's stop-and-frisk policies. Far too often, entire New York communities -- and, in particular, young black and Latino men -are made to feel like suspects targeted by law enforcement instead of citizens protected by it. I proudly sponsor the legislation that is the centerpiece of Governor Cuomos plan to reform the NYPDs stop-and-frisk policies by reforming the in-plain-view marijuana possession statute, so that people aren't arrested for a crime simply because a police officer tells them to empty their pockets. I also strongly believe that we need a number of other reforms, including an Inspector General so that there's real oversight of the NYPD -- both when it comes to stop-and-frisk and when it comes to other issues, like surveillance of the Muslim-American community -- just as so many agencies and departments already have. 2. Do you support the decriminalization or legalization of marijuana in New York City? As I mentioned above, I introduced the legislation to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana in public view. Let's be clear: a large number of people carry around small amounts of marijuana. But the vast

majority of people who get criminal records for it are young black and Latino men, because of stop-and-frisk policy. That's simply immoral and unacceptable. None of us should accept living in a place where the color of your skin, your gender, and your age define whether your behavior is a criminal act or not. 3. Do you support an independent inspector general for the NYPD? Yes. 4. Would you lobby to change the way the NYPD handles protests in the city, including the present "free speech zones"? There are clearly major issues with how the NYPD handles protests. In 2011, my district was home to Occupy Wall Street. I worked with OWS and the City to stop an ill-conceived attempt to deal with the protest that would have been deeply destructive for free speech and the community. At the end of the day, there were a number of ongoing concerns with how it was handled, including the protesters' rights to speech and assembly based on the rules at the time the protest started and vital press access (including the confiscation of some reporters' credentials and "noreporting" zones). Free speech, the right to assemble, and peaceful protest are sometimes uncomfortable and inconvenient. Thats why these are rights that are so carefully protected. The idea of a "free speech zone" suggests that these rights only exist in limited, delineated, access-restricted areas and that is wrong. There are basic limits on free speech and even peaceful assembly to protect the general welfare; but those can't be confused with turning protest into a privilege granted by the authorities only when it is most convenient for them. Just as I have as State Senator, I will stand up for the right to protest -- even when its inconvenient or uncomfortable -- and I will also roll up my sleeves and deal with legitimate community and quality-of-life concerns, however thorny the balance becomes. 5. Do you favor an increase in funding for the Accident Investigation Squad, and directing AIS to investigate all accidents which include a serious injury (rather than just deaths)? Yes, absolutely. I've been proud to lead the push for the safe, complete streets that are critical to New York's pedestrians and cyclists. In 2010, I wrote and passed "Hayley & Diego's Law," along with Assemblymember Kavanagh, which cracks down on careless driving. The bill is named for Hayley Ng, 4, and Diego Martinez, 3, who were killed in Chinatown when a delivery van that was left in reverse jumped the curb and hit the children. I am now pushing to ensure that the NYPD will effectively use the law to crack down on careless driving. In 2011, I also launched the Delancey Street Safety Working Group that brought together my colleagues in government, community groups, and advocates to improve safety along the dangerous Lower East Side corridor. A number of key safety improvements -- including shorter crosswalks, revised traffic signals, pedestrian plazas, and a plan to improve traffic flow --were a direct result of the working group and were implemented in late 2012. I have also successfully pushed for safety improvements and street livability on the Bowery -- be sure to come to the second cherry blossom festival, in honor of the dozens of cherry trees that were part of our initiative -- and around downtown Brooklyn. 6. Should people be allowed to drink alcohol on their own stoops? What about in public parks?

Yes. No. Transportation, Bikes and Bike Lanes 1. How often do you ride a bike? Rarely. 2. How will you change Mayor Bloomberg's bike lane policy? The overall increase in bike lane use is great. I've long fought for increased safety measures to better protect cyclists and crack down on careless drivers. I do believe that the City can be more collaborative with both communities and businesses as it expands the bike lane network (which we have seen improvement on in the last couple of years). 3. How often do you ride NYC subways and buses? Very frequently. Ive made better transit a centerpiece of my work. Ive worked with the MTA to create the first-oftheir-kind Full Line Reviews, which resulted in more frequent and on-time trains and newer and cleaner subway cars on the F train beginning in 2009 and increased service on the L train beginning in 2012. A few months ago, I convinced the MTA to undertake a Full Line Review to improve G train service; the MTA has committed to finishing that review by the end of June 2013. Ive also worked to restore and increase bus service. In a city as wealthy as ours -- with some areas getting wealthier -- its simply insane that we cut bus service in communities that need it most. I was successful in working with the MTA and my colleagues to restore service in and between Manhattan and Brooklyn. I also worked to secure -- and am currently helping to lead the planning efforts for -- two new bus routes that will open later this year: a Brooklyn Tech Triangle route between the Navy Yard, DUMBO, and Downtown Brooklyn, and a Williamsburg Waterfront route. Before I was elected to office, I worked on the Rebuild and Renew Transportation Bond Act, helping to secure nearly $3 billion in infrastructure improvements and expansion of our subways and buses. 4. Should livery cabs be allowed to pick up street hails in the outer boroughs? Yes. 5. Do you support congestion pricing?

Our transit system is severely underfunded and I believe every option including congestion pricing must be on the table. Ive also been a strong supporter of the transit lockbox legislation in Albany that would prevent MTA funds from being raided by the state. And Ive worked with the MTA to find creative, low-cost ways to improve service, such as the Full Line Reviews noted above. 6. Should the new Staten Island ferries be required to have outdoor decks? Yes! The outdoor decks are what make a ride on the ferry -- for New Yorkers and tourists alike -so great. There are few better ways to see New York's incredible harbor and most of the Harbor Park -- the central park in the center of our city -- that Ive worked on. The question really is whether every visitor should be required to take a ride on the ferry before they leave the city.

7. Do you favor adding platform gates on New York City subways? We should explore the viability of platform gates, along with other innovations and safety measures to bring our early 20th century transit system into the 21st century. Of course, without sufficient funding we are desperately just trying to keep the system treading water (almost literally, as we saw during Sandy). These solutions also need accountability and dollars. Health 1. Will you support the change or repeal any of the following Bloomberg administration policies? a) Salt ban No. (The policy is also voluntary.) b) Soda size limits No. c) Smoking in public parks No. d) Restaurant letter grades No, though theres room for greater consistency and fairness in the enforcement. e) Styrofoam ban No. Disaster Preparedness 1. Should residents be allowed to rebuild their homes in flood-prone areas like The Rockaways? Yes. We also need policies to make sure we rebuild with a better understanding of how to protect neighborhoods and lives. There are places where the water cost some sheetrock, and other areas, as we know, where it was shockingly devastating. We need to rebuild in ways that give us confidence we won't end up with this kind of destruction again. 2. What specific measures should the City take to prevent widespread destruction from Sandylevel storms? My district, which surrounds the harbor, was hit hard by Sandy. After the storm, nearly 200,000 of my constituents were without power, heat, or hot water for days and as in other areas of the city, for some the consequences continued for weeks or months (and still remain). In the days after the storm, I worked to secure assistance for those in need -- successfully working with my colleagues and pushing the City to set up food and water distribution sites, and organizing over a thousand volunteers who went door-to-door to the elderly and vulnerable to provide food, water, medicine, and blankets. And in December I hosted NY After Sandy, a large resource fair and community conversation for those still in need of help and for all New Yorkers who wanted to be involved with planning for the future.

Disaster preparedness is a perfect issue for the Public Advocate to take on -- particularly because we now live in an age of unprecedented events, from storms like Sandy to the ability of small numbers of people to do great damage. Bureaucracies are not good at preparing for the unprecedented. Good preparation requires thinking outside the box and ceding turf before a crisis hits. The Public Advocate is in a uniquely good role to deal with that. After Sandy, I believe we should have three major priorities: 1. Prepare for the consequences of global warming, which we saw some but not all of during Sandy's storm surge. This requires a number of changes, from building codes to new infrastructure to even seeding our harbor with a billion oysters. And it also means dramatically improving preparedness in communities that were left behind during Sandy, including NYCHA developments, both when it comes to evacuations and to responding to needs in the aftermath of the storm. 2. Regularly assess how prepared the city is, not just for events that have happened like Sandy, but for those we haven't yet seen. 3. Assess from outside the city administration how effectively it has responded to events. Development 1. Do you support a ban or limit on chain stores in New York City? I support protecting locally-owned businesses and believe we should look to zoning code to create better predictability. It is possible -- without needing to wait for Albany to act -- to ensure local, emerging businesses survive through smarter zoning, which is explored in my report, "New York Retail: Serving the Public." We also need to force large chains to create good jobs that lead to real careers, not poverty wage jobs that don't improve our city. That's why I'm proud to be a part of the Fast Food Forward campaign, for example, fighting to ensure that fast food workers have a fair wage and the right to organize. 2. Do you support Walmart building stores in the City? No - Walmart's labor practices have no place in our city. 3. Do you support NYCHA's recently announced plans to build market rate apartments on public housing parking lots and playgrounds? I have real concerns about the plan, which would impact a number of developments in my district. Along with my colleagues, I've called on the Mayor to create a true community process within developments and, in addition, a ULURP process for each of the proposed developments. Public housing is critical to New York as a city. There's no question: NYCHA needs a plan to ensure that public housing is truly funded. In 2010, I was proud to write and pass landmark legislation that's now bringing over $1 billion in federal funds into NYC's public housing -- allowing for critical improvements in 21 developments around the city. But more needs to be done to ensure that NYC's over 600,000 public housing residents have decent communities to live. And it's time to once and for all renegotiate the MOU that makes NYCHA the only residential landlord in the city required to pay for police protection -- draining over $70 million a year from the agency. To be very clear: any plan to sustain public housing must sustain every single unit of public housing that we currently have and hopefully expand the amount of affordable housing in the long-term.

4. Do you support tax breaks to keep corporations in NYC? What about for movies being filmed in NYC? I've focused on partnering with NYC's emerging industries, from the tech sector to the film and TV industry -- including by helping secure the soon-to-open Center for Urban Science and Progress in Downtown Brooklyn, supporting vital tax credits for "Made in NY" productions, and reinstating a beer production tax credit for New York's small brewers. Any tax incentives or other government policy must have accountability and require the recipient to show meaningful results creating real, responsible jobs in New York. One tax break that I don't support, for example, is the one given to Cablevision for Madison Square Garden, which gets a tax break worth between $11 million and $16 million annually. 5. Do you support the "public-private" model of park development used under the Bloomberg administration? I've fought to ensure that each and every community has access to parks and open space. I've long advocated for a Harbor Park -- a central park for the center of our city -- and have successfully moved each of its elements forward, from Brooklyn Bridge Park and Governors Island, to Pier 42 and the East River Waterfront. I've had deep longstanding concerns about housing on public parkland. Over time, those who live there have a fundamentally different relationship with the park than the broader public. That's why I was proud to negotiate an agreement that allowed Brooklyn Bridge Park to move forward while dramatically reducing and potentially eliminating much of the planned housing and securing great new amenities at the park -- including the pool that opened last summer. Be sure to visit the pool this summer! I've also been working with my colleagues on a plan to sustain Hudson River Park's Pier 40 that does not include housing. And I worked with Senator Schumer to secure funding to turn the nearly-abandoned Pier 42 on the underserved Lower East Side into a real, world-class waterfront park. On May 4, part of the pier will open for interim recreational use while the community planning process for the permanent design continues. Hope to see you there! 6. How would you lobby to modify the Bloomberg administration's waterfront development policy? That fact that our city has been able to reconnect with our waterfront in new and innovative ways in recent years is a great thing. I would fight to expand the Harbor Park -- a central park for the center of our city -- and other waterfront revitalization to new neighborhoods, especially those that are often left behind when it comes to public parks and open spaces. That's what I did at Pier 42, and that's what I'd do across the city as Public Advocate. I also believe that a true working waterfront is vital to our city's economy and would fight to ensure that water-dependent industries and the many jobs they create are not pushed out by big developers. And I would work -- ahead of the next storm -- to secure the green infrastructure we need along our waterfront to prevent the scale of damage we saw during Sandy.

Education 1. How can the city reduce the number of teachers in "rubber rooms"? No one supports having large numbers of teachers on the payroll and outside the classroom. The 2010 agreement to deal with this provides a path, but there must be the staffing and resources to deal with each case fairly and expeditiously. And let's be clear: this in and of itself is not the core educational issue facing our schools. We need to be focused on ensuring that every classroom has a high-quality, well-supported teacher and that all of our schools have the resources they need to succeed. 2. Do you support schools distributing "morning after pills" without parental consent? Yes - all students should have access to contraception and comprehensive sex ed. 3. How would you lobby to change the present administration's Charter School policies? There's no question that we have a real problem: whether it's the achievement gap and graduation rates or the performance of kids with special needs, today's reality should shock each and every one of us. And even where schools are working, families are too often forced to leave the city when their child reaches kindergarten or middle school -- because there simply aren't enough good options. Let's be clear: some charter schools provide parents with new, better options for their own child right now. But there are certainly charter schools that don't work and absolutely must be shut down. I've opposed co-locations that undermine existing school communities and students. And in my own district I've seen how hard it is to stop co-locations that don't make sense. Whether the question is new schools, charter schools, or co-locations, parents and the community have a critical voice that must be a real part of the process. I've worked with BP Stringer and my colleagues on legislation that would change Community Education Councils to make them independent of the Department of Education -- rather than run by an institution that doesn't have an interest in giving parents a stronger voice. We've also proposed a Uniform Parent Engagement Procedure, which is similar to ULURP and would create a real structure for hearings and parental input into educational decisions. And I've fought to solve the huge overcrowding problem in my district and across the city. I've written a bill that would change the way projections are done by increasing transparency and involvement so -- rather than looking at what happened in the past -- DOE would have to use real, current demographic information to plan for growing need. Miscellaneous

1. Do you support or oppose term limits for NYC politicians?

Generally oppose -- but elected officials should never ever change term limits for themselves, and in cases where there's essentially no competitiveness in elections they serve a useful purpose. 2. Should short-term vacation rental services like AirBnB be legalized in New York City? I strongly supported legislation to crack down on real illegal hotels, which displace residents, erode the stock of affordable housing, unfairly undercut legitimate, tax-paying hotels, and present a threat to neighborhood quality of life and people's safety. I'm very proud that we successfully enacted this law when Democrats controlled the State Senate -- over unanimous Republican opposition.

At the same time, individual residents should be able to responsibly let others stay in their apartments when they are out of town, and AirBnB and other vacation rental services provide a mechanism for that to occur. But that doesn't mean that property owners should be able to turn affordable housing stock or blocks of apartments into short-term-stay hotels. Today the City's enforcement mechanism is complaint-based, and it should stay that way to prevent that sort of practice, rather than targeting individuals who are not causing harm. 3. How would you increase transparency in New York City government for citizens and the press? Increasing government transparency has been a cornerstone of my work -- whether it's ethics and campaign finance reform and better Senate rules, or the State Liquor Authority website I helped create that provides communities and businesses with comprehensive info on liquor licenses and violations. (I was proud Gothamist called that site a "boon to everybody but barowners with something to hide"). I believe government works best when it actively engages citizens -- not just on Election Day, but every single day as part of governing. When I was first elected in 2008 in an unlikely campaign, we engaged New Yorkers in a real grassroots effort and -- just as I am in this campaign -- I refused to accept contributions from corporations or PACs. Ive worked hard for those who dont have their own lobbyists, from young New Yorkers and small businesses, to public housing residents and new immigrants, including with unique programs like my annual Community Convention. At the Convention I not only discuss what I'm already working on, but I hold nearly 20 breakout sessions where constituents weigh in on what they'd like to see which shapes my work at home and in Albany. Check it out on Sunday, April 28th when I hold my Fifth Annual Community Convention at BMCC. The Public Advocate has a unique role, inside city government but free of the bureaucracy. Just as I've done since I was first elected in 2008, I will bring an independent and transparent approach to the job of Public Advocate -- allowing me to deliver meaningful results for the individuals, communities, and businesses that too often get left out by powerful interests and bureaucracy.

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