Opportunities for Success
Most New Yorkers agree that we need a financial safety net in place to prevent our neighbors from unnecessarily going homeless, hungry, or unable to get medical attention when they need it. Unfortunately, we’ve been given a system that creates perpetual dependency with little to no hope of becoming self-sufficient. It’s unfair to the taxpayer and it’s an injustice to our fellow New Yorkers who are most in need.
There are as many reasons for this catastrophic failure as there are reasons for people who need it. This isn’t a time for finger pointing. Now is the time for solutions to get as many people off welfare as possible while significantly reducing costs for people still dependent upon welfare and at the same time providing additional benefits to make the transition off assistance easier, quicker, and permanent.
Human Resource Administration Efficiency
It doesn’t take a genius to realize how much time is wasted at the HRA due to a sluggish computer system that quite feasibly consumes upwards to a third of HRA caseworker and employee time waiting for each new screen to load causing frustration and a significant decrease in productivity.
Update HRA Telecommunications
Caseworkers are overworked and mistreated by an increasing caseload while trying their best to compensate for smaller budgets. It doesn’t take long for fresh recruits with hopes of making a difference to become disgruntled and fed up with the system. By renegotiating our telecommunications deal, we will get the HRA up to speed helping employees regain hundreds of cumulative hours each month and thousands of hours each year that were previously wasted.
Facetime Interviews and Home Visits with GPS Pin
Further time-saving mechanisms will include facetime interviews and facetime home visits including GPS pins with their clients saving hours of travel time and expense for caseworkers every week. This also becomes an added benefit for the clients as well who would rather not waste half a day traveling to and from the HRA just to sit in a depressing holding area patiently for their number to be called. The Facetime home visits will ensure caseworker safety who bravely enter what could be an unsafe situation. Of course, home visits can still be made when deemed necessary.
The HRA 4 Day Work Week and 3 Day Weekend
New Yorkers who are most in need deserve happy, productive caseworkers and staff who feel energized and excited about their jobs instead of being treated like the number they hold in their hand waiting to be called. So, I'm introducing a generous 4 Day Work Week (32 hours) and 3 Day Weekend for all HRA caseworkers and staff. HRA hours of operation will be Monday through Thursday with Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays off. HRA employees can use their extra day off to spend with their families, relax, get a second job, or start a side business. The HRA employee salaries are fixed and will remain the same despite the extra time off. Although there will be some savings in terms of cutting back on electricity usage and hourly labor by remaining closed on Fridays, the priority here is creating happy caseworkers.
HRA Customer Service and Stress Management Training
HRA caseworkers and staff (including upper management) will also be required to participate in mandatory customer service and stress management training program to create a more positive employee and client experience. These training sessions will be ongoing to keep caseworkers up to date on the latest protocol. This additional training is designed to help the HRA employees to be happier when dealing with stressful situations as a means to encourage proactive clients to be hopeful of their ability to get off benefits without feeling judged or demeaned by insensitivity.
The HRA clients will be asked to complete a customer service response rating each HRA interaction along with any comments, questions, or concerns that they might have. These results will be anonymous and will be used internally to determine who is most in need of more customer service training and promotions.
HRA Office Makeover
HRA offices lack personality and do not express the culture of the employees who work there or the community they serve. A well-designed space is a happy space which inspires people on benefits and the people who work there to do better. All of the 5 Borough HRA offices will undergo an extensive makeover undertaken by the NYC Time Bank who will supply art, murals, wallpaper, green plant-life walls as well as the time dollar labor needed to create these happy, healthy spaces.
SNAP (Food Stamps)
SNAP, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, is the program formerly known as food stamps. It is a federal nutrition program that helps Americans in need to stretch their food budget and buy healthy food. A single New Yorker can receive upwards to $188/mo to spend on food which is about $2 per meal. Under the current system, a 6’2” 200lb male is given the exact same amount of food allowance as a 5’1” 95lb female. Their nutritional needs and inflated New York City food prices are barely a factor in the cookie-cutter, one-size-fits-all program.
To compensate for this discrepancy the NYC Time Bank will launch the NYC Land Partner Program where time dollar labor will grow, harvest, process, and distribute whole foods from around the world to local New York City warehouses where whole foods and canned, jarred, and boxed foods can be purchased online and delivered directly to SNAP recipients at a fraction of the price charged by grocery stores, convenience stores, farmers' markets, and co-op food programs.
SNAP credits can still be used to buy groceries from their favorite markets who already accept EBT cards but with no additional savings. They will be required to pay market value the same as before.
NYC Land Partners
The NYC Land Partners Initiative consists of a membership of landowners within the five boroughs, New York State, across the country, and internationally who provide short-term and long-term leases to the NYC Time Bank to supply our city’s growing food needs and sustainable building materials.
Here’s how it works. The landowner provides the property and the NYC Time Bank provides the resources necessary to grow, harvest, process, and distribute a majority of the food and building materials to the NYC Food Bank and the NYC Upcycle Shop which also supports the Zero Waste Initiative.
Local labor is paid using NYC Time Dollars as well as the cost for seed, atmospheric water generators, tools, and all the necessary equipment needed to grow, harvest, process, and distribute the whole foods and building materials to the NYC Food Bank. It's here the ingredients are sold as whole foods and processed into ready to eat canned, jarred, frozen, and boxed foods for sale to low income families on benefits and to the NYC Public School Cafes.
NYC EBT Card
It’s time to stop corporate welfare to big banks that issue EBT cards state to state. The government dedicates $3.6 billion annually just to administer food stamps (renamed Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), according to a federal audit. New York paid over $126 million for just a seven year contract from 2004-2011 with numbers increasing since then.
That’s money being siphoned right out of New York and into the hands of big banks who invest that money elsewhere such as the Dakota Access Pipeline (which I oppose 100%) or by sending those funds to overseas tax havens making money even more scarce than it already is. This is a great sum of money we need reinvested right here in New York City and with our NYC Land Partners in upstate New York.
Under this new NYC EBT Card Program NYC Time Bank will issue EBT cards including advanced features to help make welfare recipients become self-sufficient. The new credit cards will include a checking and savings account where cash assistance will be direct deposited, a SNAP credit account, an unlimited MTA Travel Pass, an NYC Time Bank account for NYC Time Dollars, and a Store Gift Card Exchange Account where members can trade gift cards up to 70%-95% of their original value.
The profits from the $126 million contract will be reinvested in New Yorkers from the 5 Boroughs in the form of business loans, personal loans, mortgage loans and subsidies for low-income and middle class New Yorkers.
I will also lobby for-profit banks operating within New York City to stop charging ATM Fees for NYC EBT Card transactions. At no charge to the banks, NYC TIME BANK coders will assist rewriting the coding for their ATM Vending Machines to recognize NYC EBT Cards if need be. This type of cooperation by the big banks would make for a great first step in reparations for crashing our world economy in 2008 which caused millions of Americans apply for benefits in addition to losing their homes and possibly everything they owned.
All New NYC Credit SCORE
The NYC EBT Card will also contain an all new NYC Credit SCORE to offer members a clean slate for business and personal loans from the NYC Time Bank and participating banks and credit unions. This new credit score can also be used to acquire leases from participating commercial and residential landlords as a deterrent to homelessness and a catalyst for success.
NYC Direct Patient Care Hospital & Medical University
All New York City residents (including those on Medicaid and Medicare) can opt-into a new universal health care system financed by the proposed NYC 420 TAX, NYC Gambling Tax, and the NYC Time Bank. The tax revenue will pay for the construction of two Direct Patient Care Hospitals and Medical Universities in each borough with multiple mobile clinics for routine checkups, vaccinations, STD/cancer screenings as well as new member signups. The hospital will also include a separate veterinary hospital for an additional monthly fee. This tax revenue will be used to update equipment in the future and provide access to medication and lab results at near wholesale prices but only for those insured under this program.
This program is completely voluntary. If you prefer your Obamacare or your Trumpcare or whatever else you have a legal right to then you will still have that right. I'm not looking to change or take away anyone's insurance—especially for those people who are love the insurance they already have. My intention is to ensure that every New Yorker is insured.
Each hospital includes a university and dormitory for pre-med and grad students wanting to learn medicine as well as visiting physician housing for premiere medical specialists and professors from around the country. The University is free of charge and the students will be paid NYC Time Dollars while learning and working at the NYC Direct Patient Care Hospital and Mobile Clinics (aka Ivy League University and Learning Hospital/Mobile Clinics.
The proposed hospital will specialize in bionics, prosthetics, and 3D stem-cell printing (new organs, skin, bone, etc) for United States Veterans who will receive free care in addition to other resources such as the many entrepreneur programs, work-to-own waterfront property, the formation of a Veterans Community Watch Group, and free service dogs for veterans living with PTSD and other traumas (see Riker's Island dog rescue program). The veterans wellness program also includes counseling, veteran support groups, and adventure outings to help build veteran community.
The proposed hospital will also offer free gender reassignment surgery for New Yorkers as well as counseling although ongoing healthcare needs must be paid for the same as everyone else.
Here’s how Direct Patient Care works
Instead of charging insurance companies for doctor visits, medications, and copays to patients, the members pay a small monthly set fee starting around $150/mo. or so. Typically, direct patient care offers only primary physician service and doesn’t include lab results or medication albeit available at wholesale prices in smaller communities. New York City having a much larger population and tax revenue will be able to fund a complete staff of specialists including all of the state-of-the-art, high-tech medical equipment required for their given practice. 10% discounts will be available to NYC Direct Patient Care Members who have a gym membership and/or exercise trainer and who exercise on average 3 times per week to encourage optimal health in addition to each member being enrolled in the Healthy Living discounted rate by taking a mandatory healthy living class once a year offered by the NYC Direct Patient Care Program. Special classes for children and young adults will be offered as well.
New Yorkers on medicaid and medicare who choose to join the Direct Patient Care Program will have their insurance billed for their monthly fee saving the federal welfare program hundreds of millions if not billions of dollars every year. New Yorkers not on medicare or medicaid will pay a low monthly fee starting at around $150/mo and up with a sliding scale for the working poor not currently on benefits. There will also be a mechanism in place for New Yorkers to pay their monthly fee with NYC Time Dollars or a combination of cash/credit, NYC Time Dollars, and discounted Gift Cards via their NYC Time Bank Account.
Full Service with Wholesale Prices for Medications
Included in that monthly fee are basic checkups, same-day or next-day appointments, and the ability to obtain medications and lab tests at or near wholesale prices. Direct primary care also comes with near-constant access to a doctor—talking via FaceTime while the family is on vacation, or taking an emergency trip to the office to get stitches after a bad fall on a Saturday night. Because direct primary care doesn't take insurance, there are no copays and no costs beyond the monthly fee except for those near wholesale cost medication and lab test results.
Of course, New Yorkers will be allowed to keep whatever insurance you have now or will have access to in the future. If you choose not to have any insurance that’s your right as well. you will not be required to sign up for the NYC Direct Patient Care Program unless you want to.
Universal Stem-Cell Bank
I'm also proposing that we start an optional city-wide stem cell bank for new parents. New Yorkers giving birth to their babies at any New York City hospital should be given the option to have their baby's stem cells kept at the city stem-cell bank. These stem cells can later be used to 3D print organs, skin, bone, or other body parts in the near future. When the child becomes 18 they can decide if they want to donate their stem cells to provide organs for other people who don't have a stem cell account. This is similar to the donor card you fill out at the DMV. You will still be asked permission if someone is a match and needs a copy of your stem cells to print organs or body parts due to sickness or injury. This is a completely optional program and no DNA or stem cells will be used without permission from the donor under any circumstances except in cases where the donor is unconscious and needs an organ or body part 3D printed for surgery but in such cases consent will be made in a living will.
I will reach out to existing providers to create an optional universal telecommunications package for New Yorkers on benefits to receive free cable, wifi, and phone service enlisted in NYC Time Bank Entrepreneur Program. The NYC Time Bank will also offer personal and business loans for those members to purchase an affordable laptop, discounted software, and smartphone to offer them the tools they need to become self-sufficient.
As an added bonus to all New York City residents, I will also work hard to renegotiate a winning telecommunications deal in 2018 to offer free wifi on every street, park, bridge, bus, and subway across New York City along with a Universal low cost package for all New Yorkers to cover cable, wifi, and phone service to lower costs for everyone while readying the city for a larger market.
I also plan to workout an affordable and optional Universal Energy package for New Yorkers on benefits to reduce their power bill to an affordable rate, helping to stabilize the cost of living for the working and non-working poor, and disabled.
Optional Universal PowerCom Package
Although these Universal utility packages are originally designed for New Yorkers on benefits, I will negotiate with existing providers to offer an optional and low cost Universal PowerCom package including all telecommunication and power needs for any adult living in New York City for a year or longer. We luckily live in a city the size of a small country so we have the numbers to create an attractive offer allowing existing providers to make more money by offering a lower overall rate across the board for participating members. These costs will be offset by the additional power being generated throughout the New Amsterdam barrier wall and the MTA energy farms.
Universal Basic Income
As automation and robotics begin to release people from jobs we're going to have entire industries of people needing new jobs at things they love and at the things they're great at. Unfortunately, without a safety net it's nearly impossible for most New Yorkers to support themselves while launch a new business or try out a new talent or creative venture.
So, I'm also proposing a sort of Universal Basic Income for New Yorkers choosing to plug into the NYC Time Bank Entrepreneur Programs in participation with Popup Rescue to supply housing, food, power, communications, and centralized business services while participating in the entrepreneur program.
This is an optional program which is partially funded by the NYC 420 Tax, The Casino Tax, and the "Airbnb Tax" (Short-Term Lease Tax).
Free PrEP and PEP for all New Yorkers and Wholesale for Tourists
To stop HIV and AIDS I am proposing a free PrEP and PEP program to all New Yorkers and wholesale to tourists visiting our city. I want people to be able to use their NYC Smart City App to speak to a doctor about PrEP via Facetime and get a digital prescription sent to them in the mail and available for pickup at the pharmacy.
Pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP, is a way for people who do not have HIV but who are at substantial risk of getting it to prevent HIV infection by taking a pill every day. The pill (brand name Truvada) contains two medicines (tenofovir and emtricitabine) that are used in combination with other medicines to treat HIV.
I want to launch a more aggressive campaign to make sure New York City is the first to get the cure and to distribute it free of charge to anyone suffering from HIV or AIDS. I invite all the other candidates to make this pledge as well. We have to stand together to deliver the cure to the people.
I also want to expand the existing Free NYC Condoms program to include the distribution of free XL NYC Condoms. The larger condoms are greatly needed in the LGBTQ and POC communities where larger condoms are often needed but underused because of the higher cost of larger prophylactics. A large segment of our population and their partners are at risk of contracting HIV and eventually AIDS if left untreated.