Although news about the Coronavirus pandemic continues to dominate the headlines, there is an important upcoming event that has eluded the minds of many New Yorkers — the mayoral election.
Fast approaching, the New York City mayoral election is only six months away; for many New Yorkers, it is one of the most important mayoral elections that New York City has ever faced. “The next mayor will have the responsibility of reinvigorating the city after the setbacks caused by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Iskander Khan ‘22.
As Khan explained, the next mayor will immediately be faced with an unprecedented task, but to meet this burden, there is a wide array of candidates with unique backgrounds and perspectives. One of the most known is Andrew Yang, a very divisive candidate among many city residents. Anton Karp ‘22, believes that “Andrew Yang’s core ideas such as a universal basic income were too radical for the presidency, but make him a good fit for mayor of New York.” On the other hand, students such as Khan believe other candidates are much better fits. “Andrew Yang is far too one dimensional. I believe Scott Stringer is the most qualified candidate,” said Khan. Other notable candidates include Brooklyn borough president Eric Adams, Citibank executive Ray McGuire, former United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Shaun Donovan, and longtime financier Sara Tirschwell.
Tirschwell, a single mother of two who worked on Wall Street for over 30 years, agreed to sit down for an interview to discuss her platform, particularly on issues meaningful to Bronx Science students. With respect to the controversial SHSAT entrance exam, Tirschwell believes there is a better approach to giving all students an equal opportunity than scrapping the test entirely, saying, “It is important that we continue to preserve a meritocratic structure while also giving every student a fair chance. I plan on fixing the quality of our public middle and elementary schools in order to ensure that all students are adequately prepared for the SHSAT.”
Another important issue to Bronx Science students is transitioning into a post-pandemic New York City. “The new mayor needs to address the pathway and direct help in regards to post-pandemic redevelopment and aid. Many small businesses are struggling to pay rent or fulfill their expenses. I have seen this first hand in my family’s small businesses located in the tri-state area, where they cannot generate a profitable revenue stream,”said Vasu Patel ’22. In order to help small businesses, Tirschwell says that she plans on lowering taxes and making it easier to secure loans. Tirschwell also has strong thoughts about the return to public transit, something that will affect students as they return to in-person schooling. “We need to be conscious of the growing dangers of the subway, which students are going to have to take every day. I would add more policing to the subway stations to ensure that students feel safe on their way to and from school.”
One more contentious issue that divides many of the mayoral candidates is the role that the NYPD should play in the city moving forward. While some candidates want to reduce funding for the NYPD and scale back their role, Tirschwell wants to put more police on the streets, saying “there is a clear causal connection between police presence and reduced crime.”
While there is still much uncertainty surrounding the 2021 mayoral election and its candidates, it is clear that the upcoming election is going to be extremely important for New Yorkers. For Bronx Science students, transit, safety and the future of the SHSAT are particularly relevant.
While there is still much uncertainty surrounding the 2021 mayoral election and its candidates, it is clear that the upcoming election is going to be extremely important for New Yorkers.