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NYC Mayoral Race Candidates - Kathryn Garcia Background & Policy Positions

Aug 11, 2021 at 03:41 pm by mikewood

kathryn garcia mayoral candidate nyc career highlights public policy positions

NYC Mayoral Race - Kathryn Garcia

Garcia has Emerged as One of the Two Leading Females, with Momentum in an Evolving & Very Undecided NYC Mayoral Race

staten island things to do memorial day weekend staten island memorial day weekend si nycMay 24, 2021 / NYC Neighborhoods /NYC Politics / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

Weather. The temperature highs will rise into the mid 70's on Tuesday, mid to high 80's on Wednesday and Thursday, and then drop into the 60's for the Memorial Day Weekend. The temperature lows will be in the mid 60's on Tuesday and Wednesday, dropping into the mid to high 50's the rest of the week, including the Memorial Day Weekend. There's a 50% chance of about a third of an inch of rain Wednesday and 65% chance of about three quarters of an inch of rain on Friday, but otherwise it should be clear sailing ahead for the entire week and weekend. Humidity is 50% - 70% on Tuesday and Wednesday, falling into the mid 40% range on Thursday, and climbing back to the 70% range on Friday. Humidity will be in the 40% - 50% range through the weekend. Winds will be 5 - 10 mph except on Saturday.


Will Kathryn Garcia Break Some Glass & Kick Some A_s?

If the ads shown by the NYC Mayoral candidates were a proxy for what we're gonna get, then - by a long shot - I would have to go with Kathryn Garcia.

Most of the ads run by NYC's mayoral candidates smell like the same warmed over hash we've been watching for decades. Scott Stringer's ads tell us that he's a family man like one of us. Eric Adams tells us he'll be tough and fair like he was a a policeman. Andrew Yang, who broke through the noise for a brief period in the Democratic presidential primary, also seems to pursue the theme that he's one of us. It's worth noting that part of Yang's breakthrough in the Democratic candidate national field was due in part to the fact that he was reportedly the first Asian American to run for president on the Democratic ticket [Bobby Jindahl ran as a Republican before him]. Maya Wiley is running ads that tell us she's a Mom [one of us] who will fight for our kids.

And then there's Kathryn Garcia's ad.

What it tells us about her. Cut the crap. Short and not so sweet. A touch of underlying humor. Connecting to the modern era of comic book heroes, or maybe even Austin Powers, breaking out of a fire cabinet that looks a lot like a superman / superwoman phone booth. Not so vaguely blasting the historical gender bias, that looks like a glass ceiling, in the two centuries old NYC Mayoral Office.

It's a ten second commercial that's fully loaded. It says a lot about her. Creative, unabashedly female but with the swagger of a man, and a terribly efficient well messaged commercial because her campaign is only funded at what I would call the second tier of candidates. But with nearly a quarter of voters still undecided, and perhaps even some of the decideds trying to make up their mind, Garcia's chances of becoming the next NYC Mayor seem to grow daily.

A Brief History of the NYC Mayoralty vis a vis The Current Primary on 6/22

staten island things to do memorial day weekend staten island memorial day weekend si nycIn the 1800's through the mid 1900's the Irish and the English controlled the office of NYC Mayor [Tammany Hall in the 1800's and 1900's].

In 1934 Fiorello LaGuardia, the 99th NYC Mayor, opened door for the Italian Americans, and since then four of the last eleven mayors have been Italian Americans. In 1974 Abraham Beame, the 104th NYC Mayor, became the first practicing Jewish American Mayor [LaGuardia's mother was part Jewish but he was raised Episcopalian] and since then three of the last six NYC Mayors have been Jewish Americans. In 1990 David Dinkins became the first African American Mayor and is still the only one. And there have not been any Asian American nor female NYC Mayors.

Andrew Yang would be the first Asian American Mayor of NYC ever. Eric Adams would be the second African American Mayor of NYC of the past five NYC Mayors. Stringer would be the fourth Jewish American Mayor of NYC of the past seven NYC Mayors. And Kathryn Garcia would be the first female Mayor of NYC ever.


What the Polls and Campaign Spending Say

Garcia's poll numbers went from 4% in March to 10% in May. The candidate currently leading the pack is Eric Adams at 18%, which is down from 19% in prior polling. Stringer and Yang are at 15%, Yang's candidacy continuing to fall [was at 28% in the beginning due to name recognition] in spite of some good measure of ad spending, while Stringer's poll numbers went up, but Stringer spent heavily on advertising in order to do so.

And, as previously mentioned, a quarter [22%] of voters remain undecided.

Stringer has $3.5 million left to spend, while Yang has $2.5, Wiley has $1.0, Garcia has $1.5, Shaun Donovan $1.9, Eric Adams $5.3 and Raymond McGuire $3.5. From a financial point of view, the field is becoming far more competitive based on the polls, and who has money left to spend. Adams and Stringer are still in the top tier, Yang is sliding fast not just in poll numbers but in cash, and Ray McGuire almost looks like Michael Bloomberg did in the presidential election - meaning that in spite of all of his money - he doesn't appear to be resonating with the voters. Wiley has held her ground poll-wise, but had to spend to do so, and Shaun Donovan, like McGuire, appears to be popular with the moneyed class, but doesn't appear to have connected with any large voting block.


Garcia is Now Neck and Neck with Wiley as the Leading Female & has the Most Momentum

staten island things to do memorial day weekend staten island memorial day weekend si nycAnd then there's Kathryn Garcia. The Dark Horse, not-so-quietly pulling within racing distance on Adams, Stringer and Yang, while managing her cash, grabbing a considerable amount of attention for someone who used to manage our garbage collection, and now tied as the leading front runner female with momentum.

Garcia picked up endorsements for her candidacy from the New York Times and the NY Daily News.


Kathryn Garcia - A Brief Look at Her History

Kathryn Garcia grew up in an educated household as her father was xyz in the Koch Administration and her mother was an English teacher. She attended Stuyvesant, one of the leading public schools in NYC, and then headed west, young woman, for Madison, Wisconsin where she attended college majoring in history and economics. She was married, now divorced, with two children and she lives in the Park Slope neighborhood of Brooklyn.

Professionally, most of her experience is in NYC municipal government, in various positions from financial to garbage collection / environmental recycling, to a brief stint managing the NYCHA crisis a couple of years ago, to food distribution during the CoVid pandemic. Most folks think she's an effective manager, and I found one critic regarding her brief stint managing NYCHA.


Kathryn Garcia - A Brief Look at Her Positions

I look at the primary functions of the NYC Mayor as being: 1) education - managing the public school system, 2) ensuring public safety - managing the NYPD / law enforcement, 3) affordable housing - ensuring people have some sort of liveable home, and 4) managing the budget. NYC's public transit system is run by the Governor and New York State as part of the deal brokered in the 1970's when NYS bailed out NYS from a financial mess. To be sure there are many other less controversial and less time-consuming functions which are part of the mayoral domain as well, including promoting the city for work and tourism, some of which includes supporting the arts & culture, and making sure the parks and streets are clean et al. But the underlying building blocks driving the future of the city centers around the four primary mayoral functions outlined above.

Garcia has been careful in laying out her positions, in a nuanced way which - provides her with the flexibility required to effectively negotiate - should she become mayor. The other top tier candidates appear to have more or less committed themselves to special interest groups, which include the hedge fund managers salivating at the prospect of privatizing the NYC public school system and the rich and powerful real estate developers as well as the many powerful unions working for / negotiating with the city.



In so far as I've gotten with the research, it appears Kathryn Garcia has a nuanced position on charter schools. Since her mother was a teacher, for the moment I'm going to assume that she wouldn't be in favor of privatizing the public school system, by giving away the best students to be taught by hedge fund predators. And that her nuanced stance is to use non profit charters as a bargaining chip with the teachers union to spur performance / achievement. Garcia was a successful office holder in both the Bloomberg and de Blasio administrations - but I hope to complete this research before the primary - so stay tuned.


Public Safety

In so far as I've gotten with the research, it appears Kathryn Garcia favors some police reform. But it's nowhere near the defund the police cries from some on the far left. Mental health emerges as an issue to be funded.


Affordable Housing

In so far as I've gotten with the research, it appears Kathryn Garcia has a nuanced position on Mandatory Inclusionary Housing. But so far the reports I've seen, delve into the issues, which implies she's engaging in policy discussions with the reporters, which is a good sign, because it shows thought.


NYC Finances

In so far as I've gotten with the research, it appears Kathryn Garcia is a very capable manager of finances. She's done a lot with a little in her NYC Mayoral candidacy.


Conclusion - Garcia is one of Two or Possibly the Leading Woman, She has the Most Momentum & is Likely a Top Tier Choice by Election Day

With 22% of voters undecided, and none of the top tier candidates anywhere even remotely close to a majority, the candidacy of Kathryn is looking increasingly competitive. If elected, Garcia would be the first female Mayor of NYC. A municipal rags to riches story as she would have risen from being in charge of garbage collection to being in charge of the entire city.

It's shaping up to be an interesting election. More coming soon.