The left-wing Working Families Party is pushing City Council candidates to fight Mayor Eric Adams’ agenda, offering support if they support her favorite causes, such as cutting off police funding and bail reform.
The WFP also wants actors and other candidates to embrace the tidal wave of migrants flooding the city, support more licensed injection sites for drug addicts, and block charter schools.
“We are determined to oppose Mayor Adams’ agenda of austerity, broken windows guards and mass incarceration policies,” the WFP said in a lengthy questionnaire.
All 51 council seats will be up for grabs in 2023 following redistricting to reflect population changes in the new decennial census.
Campaigning for the June 27 primary will come at a time when city budget talks are heating up after Adams, a moderate Democrat, unveiled his $102.7 billion executive spending plan on January 12, which calls for cuts of nearly for all agencies and services.
The WFP supported liberal Maya Wylie instead of Adams in the 2021 Democratic primary for mayor.
The mayor’s office brushed aside the WFP’s anti-Adams questionnaire.
“A historic coalition of workers has elected Mayor Adams to fight on their behalf, and that’s exactly what he’s done in his last year in office – creating new jobs and more opportunities for young people, ridding us of COVID and making the city safer,” he said. Sunday The Post spokesman for the mayor Fabienne Levy.
But WFP’s left-wing third party support could help advise incumbents or rebels in contested Democratic primaries. The World Food Program, like the anti-Adams American Democratic Socialists, which includes Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, is known for providing foot soldiers and other financial resources to help candidates it supports.
The WFP approval request asks questions such as: “In the future, will you work with supporters, including members and affiliates of the Working Family, as well as your colleagues, to form a block and develop a strategy for the 2023 budget, which will reduce NYPD funding. and instead increase funding for social services and programs? Please explain how.”
The questionnaire also asks candidates if they would support legislation that would ban the NYPD from aggressively responding to nonviolent protests, abolish the “gang database”, remove the police from schools, and dismantle the police squad that raids prostitutes in massage parlors.
Progressive left activists also accuse Adams of a public backlash against the state’s controversial cashless bail reform law. The overhaul abolished cash bail and freed defendants charged with misdemeanors and most non-violent felonies pending trial.
“Mayor Adams continues to mislead the public about the impact of New York bail reform laws,” the WFP said in a questionnaire. “The data on bail reform is crystal clear: bail reform reduced prison populations, kept communities intact, reduced racial injustice, and had no effect on crime. Will you publicly reject and speak out against the mayor’s ongoing efforts to vilify and further roll back bail reform?”
Like last year, the WFP is also asking candidates if they will “reject all donations” from law enforcement unions, as well as fossil fuel and real estate businesses.
The questionnaire asks whether applicants support access to housing vouchers for all New Yorkers “regardless of immigration and work status,” which qualifies homeless migrants and illegal residents for benefits.
The WFP notes that a city law allowing non-citizens to vote in municipal elections has been challenged in court as unconstitutional and asks, “Do you support this appeal and will you continue to fight for the right of New York non-citizens to vote? in local elections?
The questionnaire also criticizes Adams’ handling of the migration crisis.
“New York is experiencing an influx of thousands of asylum seekers and displaced people due to political violence, economic instability and the climate crisis. The Adams administration responded by attempting to overestimate the city’s eligibility for asylum and building insufficient tent cities for asylum seekers rather than housing solutions,” the WFP said in a statement.
He then asks, “Do you support increased funding for housing, school support, and other services for recent immigrants?”
WFP is also critical of opening more parent-friendly charter schools and programs for the gifted and talented. The state-imposed restriction has blocked more alternative charter schools from opening in the city.
“Most of the increased New York City Foundation aid goes to charter schools despite our public school system supporting 80% of our students,” the WFP said in a questionnaire. “In addition, New York City is the only school district in the nation to house charter schools in the same buildings as traditional public schools, creating competition for access to limited space and resources. What is your position on co-location? What role do you think charter schools should play in our public education system?”
The WFP also stated that the gifted and talented classes can “often perpetuate segregation in New York’s schools” before asking the question, “What role can the city council play in addressing segregation and ensuring equity and inclusion in New York’s schools?”
In addition, the questionnaire notes that the first authorized overdose prevention centers opened in the city last year, and the two centers are said to have saved more than 140 lives.
“Do you support increasing funding and opening more OPCs in New York?” WFP asks.
Elsewhere, WFP asks whether candidates support legislation that would make it harder for private-sector employers to fire workers without “good cause,” a proposal opposed by the business community.