Meaningful, Lasting, Necessary Change

Screen Shot 2020 12 23 at 3.02.44 AM

Kristin Richardson Jordan’s “Disrupt The District” Policy platform spells H.A.R.L.E.M.

H: Holding Police Accountable & Abolition


  • Give full investigative abilities and real power to an elected Civilian Review Board in order to address police brutality and hold officers accountable. read more
  • Demilitarize the NYPD and end police surveillance of our neighborhoods.
  • Defund the NYPD. Divert funds from NYPD and Department of Corrections and reinvest that money into our communities thereby preventing crime by addressing “root-cause” issues such as poverty and mental health. Invest instead in education, youth services, housing, substance abuse treatment, mental health treatment, healthcare access and establishing new approaches to conflict resolution.
  • Start the process of proactively addressing crime prevention and reimagining public safety by working with community leaders and community organizations to develop and implement strategies for “community care governance” programs in district 9.
  • End police intervention in mental health crisis, as well as any emergencies involving the homeless. Such calls should always be responded to by trained social workers, mental health care professionals and crisis workers
  • Disband the MTA Police Unit and instead re-allocate funds to social workers and health care experts who are trained to treat the conditions of the homeless in the subway.
  • End the militarization of ICE control and surveillance over immigrants. Investigate complaints of abuse in (public and private-corporate) detention centers
  • Stop our courts and the NYPD from working with ICE (end all inter-agency and immigration-police collaboration programs).
  • Close Rikers by 2027 without building any new jails.
  • Invest in alternatives to incarceration i.e., mental health treatment, youth courts, drug courts, supervised release, intervention programs and restorative justice programs

Read more: The Path towards Abolition: Dismantling a Broken System and Rebuilding from the Ground Up

A: Actually Affordable Housing


  • Cancel the rent now!
  • Increase NYCHA funding and reject the privatization of public housing. Instead expand and increase public housing. Also, conduct a probe into the housing budget and the mismanagement of funds.
  • Immediately house the homeless. Now with homelessness on the rise, and imminent mass evictions, it is time to pivot towards a true “Right to Housing/Housing First” approach. End the shelter system, invest in the Homes Guarantee now! read more
  • Highly regulate landlords with universal rent control, rent stabilization, and a transfer of slumlord buildings to tenant ownership. 
  • Fund a rent forgiveness initiative for those who are still struggling with past-accrued rent due to the pandemic.
  • Redefine “affordable” housing and adjust the metrics to make it truly affordable based on tenant income
  • Increase the amount of supportive housing available to the disabled community.
  • Conduct a probe into homeless services and end homelessness by making homes (not just shelters) for the homeless population.
  • Advocate and lobby congress to implement the Green New Deal for Public Housing, which proposes to install “green retrofits” in over 1 million public housing units, with an aim to significantly reduce emissions and pollution in our neighborhoods, substantially improve the living conditions of our residents and create thousands of green jobs.
  • Advocate on behalf of tenants, and help harness tenant power through organizing, supporting and aiding Tenant Associations/Unions and providing space for tenant leaders to be heard in City Council. I will also be a voice against the “Blueprint” which is an unrealistic and overly speculative proposal that offers nothing meaning for NYCHA residents, other than what is deserved and owed. I will advocate for NYCHA residents and for the expansion of public housing against the threat of privatization.
  • Reject the “Blueprint” which is an unrealistic and overly speculative proposal that offers nothing meaningful for NYCHA residents, other than what is deserved and owed.
  • Propose a pied-a-terres tax and a tax on all vacant housing. These taxes are important for our overall goal to house New Yorkers who need housing, wherever housing is available. I will funnel that money into programs for the public good, especially affordable housing.
  • Require landlords to make fully accessible apartments and to upgrade current apartments to be fully accessible.

Read more: 11 Crucial Steps to Making Harlem Housing Affordable

R: Redistributing Wealth (Economic Justice)


  • Support and advocate for increasing taxes on the city’s richest 1% (or even in some cases 0.1%!) of residents, using the funds to address income disparities and to eliminate poverty and homelessness
  • Implement a Land Value Tax on all purchases of land based on the value of the land sought to be developed. Since it is the community itself that creates “market value”, developers should pay a tax for benefiting from what the community creates, and thus, the community should be able to collect “land rent” from developers. Instead invest that money into programs for the public good, including affordable housing.
  • Fight tooth and nail for all workers to build a strong labor movement. Building solidarity among all workers, whether poverty wage workers or privilege wage workers, and all unions from various industries, is absolutely crucial to this movement.
  • Support the unionization of all workers. Support and provide grants to community organizations that help unionize non-union workplaces, empower collective bargaining and fight against wage theft.
  • Unconditionally support labor strikes, even when actions violate legal restrictions. Worker strikes, whether wildcat or general, must be legal.
  • Support the rights of independent workers, freelancers and gig-workers to have the same benefits as employees.
  • Rise to the demands of the working class who are calling for adequate personal protective equipment (PPE), higher levels of health and safety measures, wage increase, proper resources and training, job preservation, benefits, paid leave, sick pay and hazard pay. I will fight with all my power to advocate on behalf of our essential workers.
  • Extend unemployment benefits (or the equivalent) to undocumented immigrants who are unemployed due to the pandemic.
  • Fight for all workers to earn a livable wage that demonstrates the true value of their labor.
  • Propose to fine landlords for keeping their storefronts empty. I also aim to help Harlem entrepreneurs and artists to flourish by creating tax incentives for commercial landlords to lease spaces to local businesses and nonprofits at lower rents.
  • Pass the Small Business Jobs Survival Act (SBJSA) which legislates to give commercial tenants a right to a lease renewal, including a 10-year term for those in good standing, to demand arbitration if a rent hike is too high and to extend protections to all commercial businesses, including restaurants.
  • Increase the number of permits and licenses, increase space for vending, and bring justice to NYC vendors. End the policing that happens with vendors and allow them to participate in the economy without fear or retaliation.
  • Expand programs providing financial assistance particularly to family members who are caring for a disabled, dependent and/or elderly family member.
  • Support and advocate for universal basic income or guaranteed income to alleviate poverty, create a step towards true equity and a pathway towards equal access. I intend to implement a pilot supplemental income program that will assist poor and working-class families in the district with food insecurity, rent, credit card debt and other everyday emergencies.
  • Expand public transportation and eventually move towards free transportation for all.
  • Call for a substantial increase in funding to the New York City Commission on Human Rights so that more New Yorkers can be afforded effective legal recourse against discrimination in employment, housing and law enforcement.
  • Allow free entry/pay as you can to cultural institutions for all EBT cardholders and disabled patrons + one caregiver.

L: Living Longer and Living Well (Senior Care and Gun Control)


  • Provide Medicare for All
  • Support and fund our community’s senior centers to provide resources that improve seniors’ health, sense of safety and life satisfactionread more
  • Advocate for and advance gun control legislation, violence intervention programs and mental health services to enhance each Harlemite’s quality of life.
  • Invest in community-led violence intervention initiatives that move beyond policing to ensure collective safety.
  • Push for gun buyback programs that will remove weapons off Harlem streets.
  • Pass the New York Health Act and also work locally to expand NYC Care so that every person in the five boroughs can get comprehensive health care at affordable rates before we reach Medicare for All.
  • Provide free access to reproductive health services like sex education, abortion, and contraception.
  • Decriminalize sex work.
  • Legalize marijuana if it is coupled with expungements for possession and sale of marijuana convictions, equity programs in place, such as 50% quota on how many licenses are available only to black businesses as well as lower fees charged specifically for black and brown businesses and no discrimination when it comes to marijuana jobs based on criminal convictions.
  • Ensure city agencies are language accessible, all public agency documents should be in straightforward language and provide translation aid. Extend such requirements for work contracts, mortgage agreements, medicine leaflets, utility bills etc.
  • Provides services to veterans for re-entry into the workforce, end veteran homelessness and provide the highest quality health and mental health services.
  • Fight for a free and accessible subway.
  • Reform Access-a-Ride to be more streamlined and user friendly.
  • Ensure community clinics, hospitals, and medical services are well-funded and geared towards community needs. This includes fighting medical redlining and addressing the use and treatment of drugs with a model of community care.

E: Education for all and Environmental Justice


  • Treat education as a fundamental right. All children have a right to high-quality education, regardless of where they live, their family’s income level, their race or nationality or gender or religion, and whether or not they are living with a disability.
  • End our two-tier education system by increasing the Dept. of Ed. budget. Fight for all NYC public schools to be well-funded and properly maintained. Education must be prioritized in City Council immediately!
  • Provide smaller class sizes and increase number of teachers.
  • Ensure that all Harlem school buildings have the equipment, staff, and adequate ventilation needed to ensure a safe learning environment during the pandemic.
  • Conduct a probe into the unnecessary spending of the Education Department.
  • End the SHSAT and redesign the specialized high school admissions process with racial equity, diversity, and fairness as central pillars.
  • Implement culturally responsive curriculum that accurately reflects and responds to the lived experiences of the students and communities they serve.
  • End the resource and technology gap faced by low-income students.
  • Increase the size of existing specialized schools to accommodate a larger, more racially diverse student body. The City should continue to create more specialized schools. Specialized education cannot remain a zero sum game!
  • Expand the Community School program, an education model that allows for healthcare, mental health services, and other social services to be readily available to students and families. Education, food, housing, and health are all human rights, and community schools can be a hub for providing access and supporting communities to realize all of these rights. read more
  • Stop the practice of business-run charter schools from “double dipping,” which siphons much-needed government funds at the expense of local taxpayers and the public education system.
  • End the school-to-prison pipeline by removing police in schools and ending zero-tolerance discipline policies.
  • Fight for representations of our history and freedom fighters as they inspire youth and promote education. Sign our petition to get the 135th subway named after Arturo Alfonso Schomburg.
  • Support the historical preservation of Harlem’s culturally significant sites and landmarks, such as Lenox Terrace (where Kristin and her family have lived)
  • Fight for every school building to be fully accessible in a way that accommodates children with mobility issues and fight for more comprehensive legislation that requires equitable education for children with disabilities, including transportation to school, accessible school buildings, and accommodations as needed.
  • Advocate for environmental health protections for our community, putting the welfare of people before profits.
  • Return to Harlem the 223 litter baskets taken away by the New York Sanitation Department and increase the number of litter baskets and recycling litter baskets in District 9.
  • Fight Harlem’s trash and sanitation problem by restoring the sanitation budget and increasing trash pick-up.
  • Implement plentiful access to trash, composting, and recycling bins.
  • Pass the Green New Deal which calls on the federal government to significantly move the United States away from a reliance on fossil fuels and curb planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions across the economy. It also aims to guarantee new high-paying jobs in clean energy industries.
  • End New York City reliance on fossil fuels.
  • Immediately enforce the Climate Mobilization Act and push for the Renewable Rikers Plan.
  • Conduct a probe into the mismanagement and profiteering that have led to a rise in summer blackouts and other recent outages within the city. As well as the deceptive business practices by energy resellers (ESCOs) that have put an additional burden on families across the state.
  • Allow New Yorkers to take control of their electric grid by making it a public utility. We must municipalize New York’s power delivery infrastructure. read more
  • Increase green structures such as, green roofs, solar paneling, hydroponic planting, community gardens. read more
  • Increase community fridges in more locations and encourage use by restaurants to reduce waste.
  • Move to totally energy efficient transportation.
  • Pass legislation that Mandates “LEED Certification” For New Construction And Existing Buildings Undergoing Improvement Work, Including Interior Design.
  • Beautifying and rehabbing our Neighborhoods—because we deserve it!
  • Advocate for the humane treatment of animals in NYC, because the fight for social justice cannot stop with justice for human beings, but must include all living creatures in our city.
  • Pass legislation to ensure the welfare of New York City’s carriage horses, either by increasing protections and guaranteeing that they receive humane care and living conditions, or by abolishing horse-drawn carriages altogether.
  • Restrict the use of animal products in classrooms, such as live birds and bird eggs for school projects, and enforce compliance with laws requiring instruction on humane treatment and protection of animals in NYC schools.
  • Protect New Yorkers with pets by expanding pet-friendly affordable housing options, preserving the rights of seniors not to be denied housing because they have a companion animal, and developing resources to allow homeless pet-owners keep their animals.

Read more:

M: Meaningful Change & Mental Health

  • Kristin Richardson Jordan is Black, a lesbian, a woman, an activist, an artist, a teacher, an author, a small business owner and a social justice warrior. She believes in full employment, free quality education, free public transportation, and prison abolition. ONCE elected, Kristin would be the youngest person in history AND the first out LGBTQ individual to hold this office. 

[Kristin for H.A.R.L.E.M. print version]