Steve Kaufman Council Candidate Platform Update 10/14/09


Council Candidate District 5 Manhattan

“I am the leader that you have been seeking. I stand to serve. Try me! (Notice I didn’t say “trust me,” I said try me.) You have everything to gain and nothing to lose except the status quo inadequacy and incompetence of the Democrat machine.”


I have formed a coalition of Progressive Democrats, Republicans, transit advocates, veterans, small business owners, Independents and Conservatives in opposition to one-party machine Democrats, who control the entire Upper Eastside, at City Hall, in Albany, and throughout the entire judicial selection process.

I am aggressively advocating the shutting down of the Second Avenue Subway construction fiasco that only lines the pockets of private interest groups backed heavily by Democrats without regard for harm to restaurants, small businesses and residents to immediately build a state-of-the-art light rail instead of 1.7 mile, $4.65 billion (and counting) subway to nowhere. Today’s completion schedule suggests completion in 2018, more probably 2021 at which time it will be totally outdated and useless. A curbside boarding, non-polluting light rail system at 1/10 the cost could be finished in 2012-2013 providing much quicker relief for the overcrowded IRT Lexington Avenue line and permit end to fare and tax increases voted on in Albany by local machine Democrats. Traffic will flow with more constancy and the inconvenience will be minimal. Businesses will not suffer and relocation of long time residents will not be necessary.

Further, City Council appropriations for contracting out projects have risen from $2 billion to $9.5 billion in the past 12 years (Independent Budget Office figures). “Swept under the rug” research has proven a 75% savings on all costs as realistic when contracts are fulfilled by skilled civil service workers.

            Conscientious City Council implementation for only $4.35 billion (less than half) of the appropriated funds can provide the following and much more.

            1 - $500 million in tax credits for implementing an absolute rent freeze for all through removal of 62 Year age and $24,000 annual income SCRIE (Senior Citizen Rent Increase Exemption) caps,

            2 - $700 million to restore free tuition and textbooks at city university (CUNY) plus other enhancements such as fair wages for adjunct professors.

            3 - $100 million to restore six 9am to 9PM hours at branch libraries and seven day 9AM service at main Library plus additional budget for book purchases and raising of wages for staff now as low as $20,500 a year

4 - $1.8 billion to repeal 18.5 percent real estate tax

5 - $1 billion to improve transit service and stabilize fares. The city council has cut its appropriation from $558 million to $269 million (Independent budget office figures) since 1992

            6 - $250 million to reinstall and fully modernize garbage incineration systems, citywide.

My coalition urges support for the Responsible Ballot Initiative Sponsored by New Yorkers for Humane Housing that would ban all forms of bias against tenants with will-behaved pets.

As a United States Air Force veteran, (I served my country on active duty for four years,) my concern with veteran’s needs includes outreach centers for recently returning vets to have job training and whatever realistic assistance they need. I am working with Mayor Bloomberg’s Veteran’s Affairs committee to enable these services into action.

As council member, I will refuse a “do me a favor” stipends and salary raises. Both machine Democrats representing the East Side voted for and accepted a pay raise increase from $90,000 to $112,500 when they had been in the City Council less than a year. It is rumored that they will be seeking an additional increase in the coming term to nearly $150,000 per annum for what they like to maintain as a part-time job.

I am introducing long overdue good government measures, such as nonpartisan reapportionment, mandatory listening sessions for elected officials, proportional representation, banning stipends, dissolving slush funds, reducing elected officials salaries, etc. I am also in favor of eliminating the totally useless jobs of Borough Presidents and Public Advocates. These two alone at the base level can save the city over $100 million dollars each year and the ”plum” has been proven over and again to be a consistent waste of taxpayer money.

It is essential that concerned citizens contact me by email:, for my position on any issues. I urge you not to waste your vote on do-nothing incumbents and goodie two-shoe liberals. They are tearing the heart and soul out of New York City and screwing the citizens of merit at the same time. AND EVERYONE KNOWS IT. Remember. Leniency leads to indulgence, which is the first step towards weakness.

The time for REAL change and improvement is now, People, the time is now.