EXPANDING OUR DEMOCRACY

Our democracy has been challenged over the last few years. Through the pandemic, we have seen the importance of securing our election systems. We have also witnessed the surge in active citizens advocating for a more just and inclusive society. Our City will require community involvement, and our plan seeks to mobilize a new generation of active participants. 

Our plan to Expand Democracy:

•Continue and expand participatory budgeting in the district in partnership with local schools and community centers
 

•Automatic voter registration and online voter registration through a City portal
 

•Mandatory civics curriculum about local government in high schools
 

•Expand the number of language interpreters at poll sites to reflect the area demographics
 

•Modernize Community Boards:
 

•Launch a School-To-Community Board program to increase youth engagement
 

•Establish classes/seminars to show what local boards are working on
 

•Ensure Community Boards reflect gender, racial, and income parity
 

•Establish mandatory EEO training for all board members through legislation

 

DEMOCRATIZING OUR DATA

 

How we collect, manage, and apply data directly affects our community members’ lives and livelihoods. Historically, Big Data has been a part of the state’s larger process to surveil Brown and Black bodies and perpetuate racist policing and racial profiling. Big Data and machine-learning play a dominant role in predictive-policing. Automated decision systems (ADSs) help determine decisions regarding bail and sentencing, leading to biased outcomes and invariably reproducing inequality. 

In conjunction with private enterprises, the state has monopolized Big Data, instead of this information belonging to the community from which it stems. Data integrity sits at the core of racial equity, restorative justice, and societal health because data directly influences the decisions made by law enforcement. By disseminating data, this information can be a resource for all members of society, rather than a coveted form of capital only in the hands of a select few. 

These proposals coincide with initiatives towards Restorative Justice, Fair Employment, Education, and Housing. They ensure that data on community members is being used for good, keeping in mind the socio-economic inequalities in our society. We approach Big Data and machine-learning algorithms with a critical perspective and compel a transformation in how we envision data collection and usage, acknowledging that we live in an unequal society where inequality needs to be redressed, not reinforced. 

Our plan to Democratize Data:

•Launch affordable, municipal broadband to guarantee all New Yorkers have access to a reliable internet connection
 

•Disaggregating Data on Communities of Color to identify inequities within groups and provide a more accurate picture of those in need of local and federal services
 

•Integrating Data Across Levels & Support from Government:
 

•Data integration not only promotes equality and equal access to information but also allows for data to be shared, creating a nuanced data set that reflects the complexities of its subjects
 

•Promote Community Ownership and Advocacy in Data
 

•Protect Data & Confidentiality:
 

•We must create a Protect Data and Respondent Confidentiality Policy, especially for marginalized groups (LGBTQ+ and undocumented immigrants, persons with disabilities) so that they can be assured that their various identities will not lead to their persecution or cause them harm

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