I want systemic shifts where more trans lives are not only treated as if they matter, but where all our lives are celebrated and our authentic gender identities and expressions are acknowledged and our lives are not in danger simply for being who we are.

Austin Farwell


Actor (The Long Ride Home); advocate for Rethink 9/11

I hope and pray daily that we as a nation recognize that forensic evidence exists proving that Building 7 was brought down in a controlled demolition. We at rethink911.org and the entire crew at Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth have been tirelessly pursuing recognition for our peer-reviewed critiques and experiments into how and why Building 7 (the third tower to fall at freefall speed on 9/11) fell the way it did. Our hope in another new year is that the American people receive a true and impartial investigation into the events of 9/11.

Robert Doar


Commissioner, New York City Human Resources Administration

We have to contain the rising costs of public employees' pensions and healthcare. I have been blessed with a truly excellent staff, people who have dedicated their lives to helping those less fortunate, and they deserve to be well compensated for the work they do. Unfortunately, the contracts that govern city employees' benefits were drawn up in a very different time, and the city simply cannot sustain them now. We have a responsibility not just to the New Yorkers of today, but to children who will be born into poverty in the future and civil servants of tomorrow starting new careers. We cannot allow old commitments to crowd out our ability to help those in need, and to hire those who can provide that help. Solving this will mean adopting the kind of benefits structure that has become standard for professionals in the private sector, which asks a bit more of employees but also offers greater flexibility.

I don't say this as an outsider to the process: Having been a city employee myself, I am in the pension system, yet I recognize that it can't continue in its current form. It is difficult to change something that has been in place so long, and the kind of compromises needed won't leave anyone completely happy, but I believe that the city and labor unions can arrive at an agreement that is fair to our excellent employees and gives us the resources to address the challenges of the 21st century.

Ebro Darden


Program director, Hot 97 (WQHT 97.1 FM)

I would build a walk/cycle tunnel from Edgewater and Jersey City to Manhattan to encourage less driving into the city from Jersey.

And I would stop local rappers from complaining: I would accomplish this by telling them all to stop whining and make better music.

Geoffrey Canada


President and CEO, Harlem Children's Zone

I would change federal, state, and local housing supports so we can create a significant number of new units of affordable housing. No child should be homeless in New York.

Kevin Wilson


Director, Sacred Gallery; manager, Sacred Tattoo NYC

I would create more permanent affordable housing throughout the five boroughs to meet the needs of all the poor and struggling individuals who have been increasingly marginalized and priced out of the city. New York City is experiencing a housing crisis, and the city that once valued diversity and creativity now seems to value only the wealth of the top 1 percent.

With more than 51,000 individuals currently in homeless shelters, and many more middle-class workers and emerging artists one paycheck away, the quality of life for those who once made the city so vibrant has hit a new low. Affordable housing is a human right, and I would prioritize its creation so that the individuals who make the city interesting and dynamic can continue to remain here.

Christian Joy


Fashion designer

I'd love to see some restrictions on all of the utterly crap buildings that are going up. I understand that New York needs more housing, but who puts plywood paneling on the outside of a building, and why does the Williamsburg waterfront look like downtown Cedar Rapids, Iowa? Also, what's up with having one giant floor-to-ceiling window, and why is the light switch to the bedroom in the kitchen? I could go on and on. I feel like people deserve better-built homes with some consideration to the existing aesthetic of a neighborhood.

Jimmy McMillan


Political activist

We have to stop landlords from forcing senior tenants out of their apartments, set up a special team to go after landlords who are illegally destabilizing tenants, and reform the unified court system by removing and replacing every New York City Housing Court judge in all five boroughs.

Money is what the people I'm here to represent do not have, due to joblessness and the high cost of living. Elected officials are doing nothing to take care of those who voted them into office. Instead, corporations come first. To me, Jimmy McMillan, founder of the Rent Is Too Damn High Party and movement, "Peace on earth and goodwill toward men" means three things: a roof over your head, food on your table, and money in your pocket.

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