Mark’s Priorities for Staten Island
Mark is the Democratic Party of Staten Island’s candidate for borough president, also endorsed by all four elected Democrats in Staten Island. In addition, Mark has earned the support of a broad coalition of labor and political organizations.
Browse Mark’s Priorities
Housing | Staten Islanders with Disabilities | Education | Infrastructure | Healthcare | Public Safety | Seniors | LGBTQ | Traffic, Transit, & Transportation | Labor, Workers, Jobs | Small Business
Through Mark’s work in real estate and as a member of this community, he knows that a lack of affordable housing is the single largest stress on a family’s budget. We’re not going to solve this problem without more supply of housing at all levels—it’s simple economics. While protecting our communities and the environment, we can expand the amount of housing available and continue to make Staten Island an appealing place for families to settle and achieve the American Dream. Unhoused New Yorkers deserve dignity and assistance in breaking cyclical poverty.
- We need to get creative in the way we support the housing-insecure by ensuring that, first, they can be housed in their own communities when possible, to make sure they still have the community and resources they’re accustomed to.
- Homes for the housing-insecure need to be in places that are well resourced and able to take in new residents. We can’t put up hundreds of new families in places like St. George, Tompkinsville, Stapleton, and Grasmere, all which are lacking in infrastructure and don’t have nearly enough seats to school an influx of children. We need to make sure every facility to home New Yorkers provides the opportunities for education and training that helps people break the cycle of poverty.
- Increase funding and resources for senior supported housing, so that our most cherished residents can live out their retirement in dignity.
Staten Islanders With Disabilities
Staten Island has over 100,000 residents living with disabilities. Our infrastructure and transit systems need to be improved to provide these residents with the equal access they need and deserve.
- When Mark is elected, he will prioritize holding events that are accessible to people with disabilities, and making certain that Borough Hall is physically accessible for all. Our Staten Islanders with disabilities deserve a leader who will provide written materials in alternate formats, assistive listening systems, and sign language interpreters whenever possible.
- We need to make sure people with disabilities can be a part of their own communities, and that starts with creating housing infrastructure that reflects that. Our communities need supported apartments/homes for people with disabilities. In his development work, Mark has been proud to make accessible infrastructure a priority, and he plans to further these efforts when elected.
- It’s no coincidence that accessible rides continue to be plagued by unacceptable delays, while at the same time, taxi and ridesharing services utilized mostly by people without disabilities have flourished and are more reliable than ever. We need to leverage technology that gives people with disabilities the same ability to track and get readily accessible customer service that the ridesharing apps deliver. Mark will push the mayor and council to do just that, and will demand that every citizen-facing agency in the city perform a top-down audit of their services to New Yorkers if elected.
Staten Island’s educational system is the foundation of our children’s futures and should be treated as such. The COVID-19 Pandemic has shed light on various educational disparities amongst children, particularly when it comes to access to the internet. Mark Murphy believes that Staten Island needs adequate funding for our public schools; they are our single greatest tool to build a brighter future.
In order to make certain that our schools are a safe space for our students and teachers, as well as ensure that our students have equitable access to education, Mark Murphy proposes the following:
- Our students deserve an education tailored to their needs. Mark believes increasing class sizes takes away from the individualized approach our children need to receive a quality education. Teachers already have to accommodate and plan for dozens of curious and growing children with different needs. Our children cannot fall through the cracks of a jam-packed classroom.
- Mark opposes diverting funds needed for public schools for any other purpose. Our schools need that funding to nurture a safe, quality learning environment, and that funding is one of the main components in ensuring that our children receive equitable access to education.
- Enrollment at competitive public schools in the city still does not fully reflect this city’s diversity, so we need to redouble our efforts to give every student the support and opportunity to succeed and excel. One helpful tool would be universal access to test prep programs for exams like the SHSAT, which BIPOC students rarely have the same access to as white students. This should extend to every test.
- As it relates to higher education, Mark plans to introduce legislation in the city council as well as advocating to the state legislature to pass legislation to extend to companies who hire CUNY and SUNY students the option to receive tax credits. This would incentivize employers to hire employees with student loan debts, and in many cases, provide employment to students who need jobs the most. Education doesn’t stop after high school, and our children deserve a fair shot at living a life reducing student loans as much as possible to avoid crippling debt.
Staten Island has been the victim of poorly planned and unsustainable development for far too long, which has led to endless traffic, crumbling roads, and overcrowded schools. Lack of infrastructure is not smart development – or the best use of our budget. Development isn’t always all good or all bad – we can and must find a common ground. Zoning has been at the center of this conflict, and we need to address that. Mark Murphy believes that as Staten Island continues to grow, we must prioritize infrastructure to preserve the Island’s quality of life. From alleviating endless traffic, to crumbling roads, from overcrowded schools to reducing tolls, Mark will ensure that we build the infrastructure we need to continue moving forward.
- Mark will continue to advocate for Staten Island with the Dept. of City Planning – keeping our precious Island’s beauty, integrity, and people in mind. We are overstressing areas with massive development and not enough schools, police, fire, sanitation, hospitals, roads, sewers – infrastructure that is not smart development; this must be addressed and rectified.
- As witnessed during the cluster of storms Staten Island and the city of New York experienced this past summer, Staten Island’s infrastructure cannot handle flooding of this magnitude. Our sewer systems are not equipped to handle the amount of rainfall we saw this summer, and as climate change continues to worsen, our city needs to take immediate action to keep our homes and citizens safe. Mark Murphy will work directly with the Mayor’s office and his administration to advocate for measures to be taken to protect Staten Island, its residents, and its wildlife from future flooding.
- Mark will work with our partners in government to finally get the East Shore sea wall built after almost 10 years of inaction. While this sea wall will protect vulnerable communities on the East Shore, we must also protect our wetlands and greenspaces throughout the island for their invaluable ecosystem services as well as their proven health benefits to individuals.
As seen during the COVID-19 Pandemic, our hospitals on Staten Island need more funding to be able to properly care for the people of Staten Island. Staten Island University Hospital and Richmond University Medical Center are highly sophisticated medical facilities that provide world-class care to everyone who needs it regardless of ability to pay, but without any public hospitals in our borough, our two private hospitals lose out on valuable funding that can help them function to the best of their capability. There are numerous long-term solutions we need to pursue to build durable, redundant health care infrastructure that can treat our people, but the most urgent missing piece is dedicated city funding for SIUH and RUMC, which are already doing the work of the large public hospitals in other boroughs.
- Mark will demand a designated amount of NYC Health & Hospitals Corp. funds which are directed to city hospitals be earmarked for our 2 hospitals in Staten Island.
- We need to ensure our community members can receive care near home and expand community health centers throughout the Island.
- The nurses and doctors are overstretched and asked to do far too much with far too little support. When elected, the Borough President’s office will work with City Hall, our State Legislators, and you all to create a better working environment for our nurses, which will in turn create a safer environment for the patients.
- We must begin the process of building a public hospital for Staten Island. It is the only borough in New York City without a public hospital, and the City’s response to COVID-19 highlights the fact that Staten Island comes last when it comes to healthcare resources.
Gun violence is a constant terror to our families, ending lives, stealing childhoods, and tearing neighborhoods apart. We need to address the inequality and poverty that leads to gun violence.
Shootings are up 97% from 2019 to 2020, and we need to be allocating resources to lower these statistics and keep the people of Staten Island safe. When elected, Mark Murphy will take a comprehensive approach to reducing gun violence and making the community safer.
- We need to fund the NYPD as well as have better NYPD training, better outreach, new technology, and continued communication, community input, and trained officers on the street.
- We need guns off the street now by creating an anti-gun unit that is created in partnership with the community. We can make strides by ensuring there’s a team who wakes up and clocks in every day with the singular goal of getting dangerous illegal guns out of the hands of people who would use them to harm us.
- We must fund hospital intervention programs to break the cycle of gun violence utilizing all channels, not just traditional law enforcement.
- We need more funding for the FDNY in order to reduce response times and save lives. In addition, we need one additional fire house in Staten Island and must ensure all trucks are 5 man trucks.
- We also need to establish an additional EMS Station in Staten Island.
We must protect our senior citizens living in Staten Island. As made evident during the COVID-19 Pandemic, it is more important than ever to ensure that our seniors have safe, secure living conditions. Mark Murphy will make their health and wellbeing a priority when he is elected Borough President. In terms of making that happen, Mark will:
- Ensure that we fight to keep property taxes low, so that seniors on fixed incomes can stay in their homes, their communities, and remain close to their loved ones.
- Mark is always looking to support senior affordable housing. In the past, Mark has fought to make sure that affordable housing buildings on Staten Island, such as NYCHA, provided heat and managed maintenance accordingly so that our seniors lived in dignity, safety, and comfort. He has continued these efforts throughout his campaign, writing a letter to NYCHA officials condemning their treatment of NYCHA buildings on Staten Island.
Mark has always been an advocate and an ally for the LGBTQIA+ community on Staten Island, in NY and everywhere. In his real estate business, LGBTQIA+ individuals have made up a significant portion of the people contracted to help in his work. This campaign currently employs members of the LGBTQIA+ community and when Mark is in Borough Hall, he plans to have the most inclusive and diverse staff Staten Island Borough Hall has ever seen.
In 2020, Mark was proud to stand in solidarity with the LGBTQ community in condemning the exclusion of the LGBTQ community from the annual Staten Island St. Patrick’s Day parade. He wrote a letter to the editor published in the Staten Island Advance voicing these concerns. When elected, Mark will continue to fight for the LGBTQIA+ community to ensure that they feel safe, heard, and that their rights are protected both here in Staten Island and citywide.
Traffic, Transit, & Transportation
Staten Island’s transportation system is in need of a massive overhaul. Our residents chose to live on Staten Island for it’s suburb atmosphere and close proximity to Manhattan and New Jersey. However, our current transportation system makes it a difficult and time consuming task to get over any of our four bridges.
- We must further develop transportation through the ‘6th Borough of New York,’ also known as its waterways. While the fast ferry service that debuted this summer is a start, we need to expand ferry services from the South and West Shore of Staten Island. This will cut commute times, decrease traffic congestion, and lower greenhouse gas emissions simultaneously.
- To make our streets safer, we must slow down drivers without crushing the middle class with speed-camera tickets – let’s listen to each community about where they want stop signs, lights, and speed bumps – the City’s unelected unaccountable bureaucrats should not decide for us.
- Long term traffic nightmares on the Island also need to be dealt with immediately. Let’s finally find a Hylan Blvd solution and change the patterns on that thoroughfare to make it work better. By removing the median and parking on the street and using paint and light timing to increase efficiency, we can cut down on what has turned into a 2-hour commute for many of our neighbors.
- Mark plans to reduce Staten Island’s greenhouse gas emissions by improving our public transportation and making public transit a viable alternative to driving in parts of this island. He will also fight to add electric car charging stations at all public parks and city owned parking lots to make the inevitable energy transition as easy and equitable as possible
Labor, Workers, & Jobs
Every worker was hit hard during this pandemic, and Mark will support laborers and unions when elected Borough President. Mark has a long history of supporting labor unions from their inception, and has vocalized his support of the Amazon workers on Staten Island who are trying to start a union. Mark Murphy will do everything in his power to create more jobs, support every union on Staten Island, and create a safe and secure workplace environment for all workers when he is in Borough Hall. When big developers want to build in Staten Island they must build Union!
Our small businesses on Staten Island were hit hard by the pandemic. Between restaurant closures, new regulations from the health department, and capacity limits on all establishments, the city has made it difficult for our small businesses to function and thrive. When elected, Mark Murphy will help ease some of the burdens placed on small businesses to ensure that no more business owners are forced to close their doors permanently. Our economy depends on these small businesses, and our community wants to support them.
- Mark Murphy wants to ensure that businesses are not penalized when customers refuse to follow Covid-19 restrictions, such as refusing to wear a mask while unvaccinated. Our small businesses and their employees should not be responsible for the choices of their patrons, nor should they be required to pay hefty fines in cases where customers refuse to wear masks or are not vaccinated.
- Our economy needs these small businesses to thrive, so Mark will do everything in his power to prevent business closures. He will offer support and point small business owners in the right direction for aid in keeping their doors open. He will also fight for more funding for small businesses on Staten Island who were adversely affected by Covid-19.