Tuesday, May 18

Shaun Donovan: “I’m the only one who can get New York out of the crisis”

The next June 22 New Yorkers will go out to vote at primary elections to elect the Democratic candidate who will compete in the general elections in November, where it will be known who will be the next mayor of New York, when Bill de Blasio term by mandate.

And within the vast array of candidates who aspire to get the top leadership of the Big Apple, is the former Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development of the Obama Administration, Shaun Donovan, who insists that he is the Mayor that New York needs to get the city out of the crisis in which COVID-19 has plunged it, and as claimed, De Blasio’s lack of leadership.

Donovan spoke in an interview with El Diario, sitting on the restaurante Hudson Smokehouse, in the heart of the Bronx, a site he helped with el programa “Common Table”, an initiative created in the midst of a pandemic, which distributes restaurant meals directly to poor families in partnership with community organizations.

There, the former Mayor Mike Bloomberg official, who is the son and grandson of immigrants, and who has very close relationships with the current presidente Joe Biden, defended the urgency for New Yorkers to elect a president who has experience dealing with crises and who has good relations with both the federal government and grassroots organizations, and warned that only he meets those requirements.

Donovan, 55, who speaks Spanish, and is the son of a Panamanian father who came to New York In search of the American dream, he promised that by becoming mayor, he will ensure that New York is truly a sanctuary city, not only that it protects immigrants from ‘la migra’, but that it guarantees them opportunities, employment, housing and health and economic prosperity.

You have experience in government, but you have not been a politician: Why did you decide to jump into the ring looking for the Mayor of NYC

“Part of the answer is my own immigration story, which began with my grandfather and my father. I love this city, because it has given everything to my family, it gave my family an opportunity that I don’t think any other city in the world would have given us. My grandfather was one of the many Irish children who grew up south in London and left by boat alone, ending up in Valparaíso, Chile. There he learned Spanish and made a living. And having an experience like many of those who come here to New York, my dad, who was born in Panama and grew up in Costa Rica and Lima, Peru, came to this country to educate himself, worked hard, and achieved his American dream. I am the son and grandson of immigrants and I am also competing, because in a way, I owe everything I am to New York City, but also, because since I was a child I have seen my city in crisis. I’ve seen homelessness exploding in the streets, I’ve seen the South Bronx literally burning, and I want to work for the city I love. “

And why should voters give you that job?
“Because I think I am the most qualified candidate. The right person to be mayor right now, because I understand what it means to take back the city, street by street, neighborhood by neighborhood in times of crisis. I am the only one who can get New York out of the crisis, and I say that, first of all, from my experience. I have led crisis after crisis in this city and in the country, in a way that no one has, and that makes me the most qualified ”.

What crisis have you handled?
“In addition to my work in this neighborhood, (the South Bronx) and around the city, rebuilding it in the 70’s and 80’s, I was a Housing Commissioner after 911, when the worst crisis hit the city and stole more than half of the prosperity of Latinos in the city. Then President Obama asked me to be Secretary to handle those damages. Also when Hurricane Sandy hit New York, he asked me to lead the entire recovery effort and then he asked me to be director of the entire budget for it, of 4 billion dollars and we managed to manage the crisis. Also weeks later when Ebola appeared, we made sure shoulder to shoulder that this global threat did not turn into a pandemic. I have led crisis after crisis, and now, faced with the worst crisis I have ever seen in my life, I believe that no one else can handle it like me.

And how do you plan to get New York out of the current crisis left by COVID?
“The first thing is that we have to make sure that New York City receives the help it deserves from the federal government and no one is in a better position than me, because of my deep relationship with President Biden with Vice President Harris and all the leaders. in Congress”.

What can immigrants expect of you as Mayor?
“I’m going to make sure New York is truly a sanctuary city. My dad had a green card for 50 years in this city. For me immigration is a deep issue in my own life, and I want to make sure that this is a sanctuary city for immigrants not only in protections but with real opportunities. I will allow immigrants to vote here, even if they do not have citizenship, I will work so that they have access to health. We need to do more in education, create more programs in schools for people with a second language, have more Latino teachers. Now only 45% of teachers are of color when there are 85% of children of color in schools. I want to create real change in many areas ”.

And how would you handle the NYPD and crime?
“I know that we can create both safety and respect. We have to focus on both, because I hear there are concerns in the communities. I want the police to reflect our communities, create transparency and hold the police accountable for their actions. I want there to be more training and make sure we get out the bad apples and cut down on the things that police do today, like patrolling schools and responding to homeless people. Take away those tasks and thus do the job much better, focus on weapons and crime. “


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