As the campaign for New York City’s next mayor heats up, Trinity Church has been working with its grantee partners to sponsor mayoral forums on racial and criminal justice and housing and homelessness. The next mayor has the opportunity to lead an administration that can break the cycles of mass incarceration and mass homelessness. Trinity is pleased to have supported these forums to educate voters on the candidates—and educate the candidates on these issues.
On March 11, the NYU Furman Center, New York Housing Conference, and United for Housing Coalition (all Trinity grantees) sponsored the 2021 Mayoral Forum on Housing and Homelessness. Moderated by NY1’s Errol Louis, the event brought together eight of the leading candidates to discuss issues related to housing, including New York City’s affordable housing shortage, conditions at New York City Housing Authority buildings, homelessness, the city’s recovery from COVID-19, zoning and land use, and racial segregation. All eight leading mayoral candidates had previously signed on to the United for Housing Coalition pledge, a tremendous and promising accomplishment.
On March 30, several of Trinity’s grantee partners and the Faith Communities for Just Reentry (FCJR) campaign, of which Trinity is a founding member, hosted the 2021 Criminal Justice and Reentry Mayoral Forum. In addition to FCJR, the conveners were Getting Out and Staying Out, Fortune Society, Osborne Association, Youth Represent, Urban Justice Center, Exodus, Women’s Community Justice Association, Fair Chance for Housing Coalition, and John Jay Institute for Justice and Opportunity. Five participating candidates presented their positions on key issues related to prison reentry, policing in schools and communities, barriers to housing for justice-involved individuals, mental health and incarceration, and criminal justice reform.
On April 8, Trinity grantee the Supportive Housing Network of New York held a mayoral forum on A NEW New York: A Mayoral Town Hall on Supportive Housing, cosponsored by Enterprise Community Partners, the National Association of Social Workers New York City Chapter, and Trinity. The town hall provided six participating candidates the opportunity to discuss how they intend to address the homelessness crisis and ensure equitable development of affordable housing in New York City, including their stances on supportive housing.
On May 11, the NYC Jails Action Coalition, Trinity, and our grantee partners Freedom Agenda, Legal Action Center, Women's Community Justice Association, BronxConnect, and Vera Institute of Justice convened a Mayoral Forum on Closing Rikers Island. Through a combination of recorded video interviews and written responses, five candidates responded to questions about the plan to permanently close Rikers and how to help the communities most harmed by it. Significantly, all agreed with the need to close Rikers and reduce total jail capacity citywide.