Mayoral candidate Dianne Morales is pledging to provide housing for all New Yorkers and to overhaul the NYPD, arguing the police “don’t keep us safe."
Morales, unlike most of her opponents in the Democratic primary, supports the “defund the police” movement, pledging to cut $3 billion from the NYPD budget.
“Police actually don’t keep us safe,” Morales told NY1. “We need to reclaim the idea of public safety and what that means — reclaim it and redefine it. So many of the instances that police are actually responding to are actually social issues.”
Her proposal includes the creation of what her campaign calls a Community First Responders Department — staffed by medical technicians, mental health specialists and people trained in intervention and de-escalation — which would lessen the role of police in emergency situations.
The Democratic candidate said this department would handle situations with substance abuse, mental health and the homeless, and provide longer-term services and programs to those in need of help.
“I think we need to move away from the idea of policing being the sort-of answer to all of our challenges and really how it is that we provide people with resources and interventions that they need to be safe,” Morales said.
Morales also stands by her promise to provide housing to all New Yorkers.
"So I've committed to a housing for all platform, with the idea of prioritizing making housing available for every single New Yorker,” she said. “It's a question of what we prioritize and what we focus on. I understand that in 2022 we're not going to have the same funding that we had in 2019, but we're still the wealthiest city in the country."
Morales said she’s been working “in the fire” her entire career. In addition to her lead role at the social services group Phipps Neighborhood, she worked for the city’s Department of Education in the early 2000s.
Morales says she has built a following through social media with younger voters, but that has not yet translated to the polls.
NY1’s exclusive Spectrum News/IPSOS poll has her in the middle of the pack in terms of first choice, second choice and recognizability.
But she said there’s plenty of time left and she's not cutting deals with other candidates.
Morales joined “Mornings On 1” Tuesday as part of NY1’s ongoing series of interviews with leading candidates for mayor.