Former Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrion, who is running for mayor as a third-party candidate, unveiled his first policy proposals Wednesday on how to fix the city's schools. NY1's Bobby Cuza filed the following report.
Adolfo Carrion is re-introducing himself to voters.
A longtime Democrat, Carrion is now unaffiliated, running for mayor on the Independence Party line as a socially progressive, pro-business centrist with appeal to Latinos. Fixing failing schools, he says, is priority number one.
"It is the moral and civil rights issue of our generation to fix these schools," he said.
On Wednesday, Carrion outlined an eight-point plan. It includes a community schools approach integrating school buildings into surrounding neighborhoods, extended school days, school-parent contracts detailing the expectations of parents, and expanded charter schools.
"We will expand charter schools with the understanding that even if we double the number of charters, we're still only going to reach about 10 percent of the kids in New York City schools," Carrion said.
Though he's been running since February, he's gotten little recognition compared to his Democratic and Republican opponents. A poll Tuesday had him at just 3 percent. So he's now seeking to draw contrasts.
"My biggest fear right now is that we get locked into these failed policies and plans of the '70s and '80s that Mr. de Blasio is advancing, or that we get locked into the bad-attitude, or Giuliani Phase Two, that I think Lhota is advancing," Carrion said.
Bill de Blasio has also made education a centerpiece of his campaign, proposing a tax increase on the wealthiest New Yorkers to fund universal pre-kindergarten and after-school programs. However, Carrion pointed out, as have others, that that plan requires approval in Albany.
"The state legislature and the governor, who has future plans, is not interested in adding new taxes to New Yorkers, one of the highest-taxed places in the nation," he said. "And I will tell you, in a Carrion administration, no new taxes."
Carrion, though, will have to raise money for himself. His campaign currently has just $327,000 on hand, putting him at further disadvantage heading into November.