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ISSUES

GOOD GOVERNMENT

Mount Vernon city government should serve all the people of this great city, not just a few long-term factions vying for power and patronage.

 

Mount Vernon Forward supports a collaborative, inclusive, and transparent form of governing and we will work across groups to keep this city moving forward.

 

- Charter reform is only half finished. We will pursue an aggressive plan to complete the redesign of Mount Vernon city government for this century, including reviewing the elected comptroller’s position, and instituting strong financial controls, annual audits, and a budget that works over the long term.

- Making sure all unions have collective bargaining agreements in place.

SUPPORTING LOCAL BUSINESS

After a year of pandemic, Mount Vernon’s business community needs action. The Mount Vernon Forward coalition includes business leaders, and we must all work together for craft creative solutions to keep our bedrock businesses open and flourishing.

 

- Each central retail area should have a task force of business, community, activist, government and faith leaders to meticulously plan and promote Mount Vernon business. This includes Gramatan Avenue, 4th St, 3rd St, and Sanford Boulevard.

- We must encourage residents to shop locally, while examining zoning regulations and incentives to make sure we have the right mix of businesses.

- Identifying how the Industrial Development Agency and Urban renewal can help with stimulating local business growth.

RESPONSIBLE DEVELOPMENT

Mount Vernon is blessed with an incredible location, connected to New York City and the surrounding region by a thriving transportation network, and we are clearly an emerging market for development. However, we must pursue smart development - commercial and residential - that protects our own residents against gentrification while increasing our tax base and amenities. We must develop for our residents of all income levels and work to bring in diverse businesses.

 

  • Create a true Comprehensive Plan for Mount Vernon for the next decade that balances protecting our existing housing, welcoming new residents, encouraging tax-paying

 

business, and making sure we don’t succumb to “hodge podge” development that ruins the character of the city.

  • We must develop principles that guide future development and ensure that EACH

development fits within those guidelines.

  • Diversify the types of businesses that we bring into the city and incentivize them to stay in the city and employ our residents.

  • Create a requirement that developers of large projects give something back to the Mount Vernon Fire Department, Dept. of Public works or Mount Vernon Police Department.

POLICE REFORM

We support police reform and the work of our local Police Reform Commission, as well efforts by Westchester County and New York State. City government must assure public safety and a well-trained police force, while changing how police officers operate in our community so that trust can be restored.

 

- Accountability and Transparency

- On-going Training: Implicit Bias, Use of Force, Mental Health Crises

- Diversity, Retention and hiring local residents

- Offer the Police Exam in Mount Vernon annually

- Increase Community Engagement

- Bring our officer pay and benefits up to par with surrounding municipalities

- Homeless outreach

QUALITY OF LIFE

We live here, and we hear the same stories you do - abandoned houses, our broken sewers, streets that need cleaning, vagrancy and gang activity, the parking situation, neglectful business owners. So many issues converge to form the impression that Mount Vernon has an overall quality of life problem. We will aggressively pursue a legislative agenda that prioritizes a better quality of life for our residents, starting with full-funded city services.

 

The Mount Vernon Forward team will convene a Quality-of-Life Task Force to evaluate the Quality-of-Life issues that we have in the City and develop recommendations on how to address each issue.

HEALTHCARE & FIGHTING COVID-19

We are in a war against this deadly pandemic, and we need a coordinated response from the Federal and State governments to beat the virus and restore our communities. We are in full partnership with our Democratic allies in government and support a cooperative effort that involves all of our key stakeholders. We also believe that underserved communities - particularly Black and Brown communities - must be a priority during the pandemic and in terms of improving healthcare for all.

- Preserve and improve Mount Vernon Hospital - we support all efforts to keep the Hospital open and to expand services to residents, particularly emergency care.

- COVID testing and vaccinations - providing access in Mount Vernon for vaccinations and testing, especially for our most vulnerable elderly citizens.

- Making sure funding is allocated toward our community health centers.