Poverty is the single biggest cause of health disparities, leading to poor outcomes stemming from stress, violence, unhealthy living conditions, pollution, poor nutrition, homelessness, mental illness and more. Poverty traps people in a cycle of sickness, ensuring that people are more vulnerable when crises emerge, like the COVID pandemic. From my experience, I know that only holistic approaches will create longer-term outcomes.
My administration will address the root cause with the following measures:
- Eradicate housing and food insecurity
- Create safety on the streets and in families’ homes
- Deliver equity with a focus on education
- Provide opportunities for personal growth and employment
My signature proposal is to deliver Universal Child Care in Centers of Community Care, coordinated with DOH programs that improve infant and maternal health and build partnerships to provide free or low-cost baby and women’s hygiene products.
From my experience seeing the positive outcomes of intensive, coordinated delivery of services in child welfare, healthcare and education, I know that intensive, coordinated services delivered disproportionately to the most underserved communities are the only way to make sustainable progress.
As Mayor, I will ensure that programs to deliver the root cause solutions addressed in the prior question are robustly funded, staffed with great people, coordinated at the Mayoral level and down the ranks. But City Hall can’t do it alone. Communities and community-based organizations must be partners. As Mayor, I will engage with communities and CBOs on the ground to align around needs assessment and prioritization. In doing so, we must also address inequities related to disability, gender, language/culture, and immigration. Trust is a major missing factor. Developing trust will not happen overnight; it will have to be earned. Without it, all the best-intentioned plans will be difficult if not impossible to execute.