Courage to Change Questionnaire


The questions below are designed to provide voters with clear choices when it comes to voting for leaders that will prioritize the people of their communities.

The questions below are divided into seven parts; part I and part II are designed to inform on a candidate’s campaign practices, specifically, a candidate's capacity to build movements and to fundraise ethically. 

Candidate responses to parts III-VII of the questionnaire provide a look into a candidate’s commitment to grassroot policies that prioritize working-class New Yorkers. The questions in parts III-VII are specifically designed to highlight real actions that New York City Council members can advance in the next four years. 

Only candidates for NYC Council who are endorsed by CTC will be considered for a personal endorsement from Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

Completed Candidate questionnaires must be submitted via this webpage or to on or before Monday, May 10, 2021 at 9am ET.

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    PART I. Building Movements

    New York City’s current issues are too large and complex for any one person, organization or agency to address; it is going to take the collective will of movement leaders across the board to uplift the most vulnerable in our society during some of the toughest years in our history. This moment calls for inclusivity, vision, and compassionate leadership.

    If you are awarded the CTC endorsement, do you pledge to remain positive and not engage in negative* campaigning towards other CTC candidates?
    *it is okay for two or more candidates to distinguish themselves by drawing upon facts; it is not okay to direct nasty claims and misleading allegations toward one another.

    PART II. Ethical Fundraising

    Although contributions from corporations and for-profit companies are prohibited under the rules of the New York City Campaign Finance Board (NYCCFB), corporations and for-profit companies can form Political Action Committees (PACs) and contribute to a campaign under a different name. This presents serious challenges when it comes to keeping corporate money out of politics and ensuring that the will of the people of New York City prevails over the self-interests of a few wealthy companies.

    The corrupting role of big money in politics is one of the largest threats we have to truly people-driven government and policy. We see this when executives and board members of private companies, including the real estate and fossil fuel industries, attempt to gain access to elected officials through large personal and bundled contributions. As a result of being courted and financed by special-interest groups, politicians end up spending more time with their big dollar donors rather than with their communities, where they can refine the policies that will make this city a better place for everyone.

    Is your campaign accepting contributions from a PAC that represents, or was created by, a for-profit company?

    PART III. Prioritizing New York's Workers 

    New York City is home to millions of innovative, creative, and tenacious people who hustle every day to provide for their families, save for their future, and simply get by. These are the people we must uplift with strong labor protections, reliable assistance programs, and expanded small business opportunities.

    PART IV. Investing in 21st Century Infrastructure for the MTA, NYCHA, and Public Schools

    It is time to build a NYC that works for all of us. This means investing in improvements to public transit so every person can access a safe and reliable ride to work, quality broadband internet services for NYCHA residents, and public school retrofits to provide our children with a safe place to learn. From borough to borough, our communities are interconnected through housing, transit and schools— and bold infrastructure investments are a key part to building a prosperous future for everyone.

    PART V. Championing Environmental Justice

    New York City needs environmental justice champions now more than ever. Whether it’s our air and water quality or rising sea levels, climate change is an existential threat to our future and it’s already causing destruction here in New York City. Areas in The Bronx, including Throggs Neck and City Island; in Queens, including College Point and Flushing; in Brooklyn, including Brighton Beach and Sheepshead Bay; in Staten Island, including Tottenville and Midland Beach; in Manhattan, including East Harlem and Wall Street are all threatened by erosion, rising sea levels, and the possibility of people having to leave their homes. The negative effects of climate change are already being felt in working- class and communities which are disproportionately threatened by our rapidly changing planet. We need a Green New Deal now.

    Environmental justice champions know that the goals of the Green New Deal includes promoting justice and equity by stopping current, preventing future, and repairing historic oppression of indigenous peoples, communities of color, migrant communities, deindustrialized communities, depopulated communities, the poor, low-income workers, women, the elderly, the unhoused, people with disabilities, and youth (also known as ‘‘frontline and vulnerable communities’’). There is no middle ground in this fight – if we act quickly, we will transform our economy and preserve our planet for future generations.

    PART VI. Reimagining Public Safety

    In order to provide real public safety and undo our unjust system of mass incarceration and over policing, New York City must invest in education, housing, jobs, healthcare, and community-based programs.

    PART VII. Protecting the Right to a Safe, Decent, and Stable Home

    The answer to solving New York City’s housing crisis begins with trusted leaders in government who are competent, responsible, and want to advance opportunities for all people while ensuring a roof over their heads. When we carry out the work to preserve public housing, to protect tenants and to usher in social housing for NYC, we will realize the true impact of progress by providing enough for everyone.