In his latest bid in 2013, Albanese placed far behind the eventual occupant of Gracie Mansion, Bill de Blasio. The former City Councilman from Bay Ridge is a critic of the mayor’s policies, including on issues like affordable housing and homelessness.
“The affordable housing de Blasio is building is not affordable,” Albanese said.
If elected, his plan is to pass a “pied-a-terre” tax on foreign money purchasing properties in the city to create an affordable housing fund. He would then entrust nonprofit developers and the city to build housing on city-owned land.
“There’s no easy solution, but let’s stop giving away the store to developers,” he said. “Let’s think about the people.”
Albanese blasted de Blasio’s “incompetence” on dealing with homelessness. He doesn’t trust Steven Banks, the head of city social services, to handle the crisis.
His plan would include better coordination between hospitals and service providers, improved drug treatment facilities, and safer homeless shelters.
“De Blasio has thrown $2 billion into it and has produced nothing,” he said. “I think we can have an impact to reduce homelessness.”
Another issue Albanese would change is the city’s “corrupt” political culture. Pointing to de Blasio’s ethics investigations, Albanese, who is not taking money from lobbyists or developers in his campaign, wants to improve campaign finance laws.
His idea is to pass a “Democracy Vouchers” bill that would give every registered voter four $25 vouchers. Voters can donate the money to anyone running for municipal office.
“It would eliminate pay-to-play and bundling of money by lobbyists or developers,” he said.
The Koch-era Democrat would also implement nonpartisan elections, a ban on government staffers becoming lobbyists for five years and independent redistricting.
“We want to stop the political class from dominating our politics,” Albanese said.