Ray McGuire

Democratic Mayoral Candidate

Former Head of Global Corporate and Investment Banking at Citi and Board Member of such non-profits as De La Salle Academy, Citi Foundation, The New York Public Library and Lincoln Center.

McGuire has identified Economy, Safety/Justice and Education as his key areas of focus.

“NYC lost more than 600K jobs last year. I am the only candidate with a real plan to create good jobs and get NYers back to work. And I will use every tool in the city’s toolkit to attract companies and help them grow.”

“Our friends and our neighbors are being attacked. This cannot stand in our city. The fight for safety and justice includes everyone, and I will fight every day until every New Yorker feels safe no matter their zip code, creed or color.”

“Every kid in every borough deserves what I had: a safe school and a quality education. Every New Yorker deserves a chance to get back in the game.”

“If we need to raise taxes to balance the budget, I agree people like me should pay more. But thanks to billions in federal aid, we don’t need to raise taxes. Doing so will push companies & higher-income families out of the city, costing us revenue & jobs.”

Candidate's Standing On The Issues

Mental Health

  • Mental Health would create a separate emergency system from 911 for mental health and substance use calls that require rapid intervention. (Inform NYC Forum)
  • The new alternative to 911 would have social services workers respond to calls that now typically go to the police. He aims to put units of social service workers in every police precinct by 2023 and would also embed homelessness and youth services specialists on the precinct level. (Source: NY Daily News)

Education

  • McGuire highlights a strong education as the key to his rise from poverty to Wall Street and is therefore passionate about delivering high quality education to children to enable their own economic mobility. Fundamentally McGuire is focused on providing a high quality education to all children in the public school system. He wants 100% of children reading by third grade and would track metrics to drive accountability. (Inform NYC Forum)
  • Supports high performing charter schools as one tool in ensuring children in all zip codes have access to good schools. He would expand charter seats and generally reverse the DeBlasio administration’s policy of hostility toward the charter movement. (Inform NYC Forum)
  • McGuire supports expanding the admissions criteria at the specialized high schools so that admissions do not rely on one test. (Inform NYC Forum)
  • “Employing a random lottery for just 2,500 seats means talented children in many communities will inevitably be left out,” Ray McGuire said in regard to the specialized high schools. “When I’m mayor, I’ll increase the number of gifted and talented classrooms, with the explicit goal of expanding programs in under-represented districts.” (Source: Black Enterprise)
  • McGuire will create a panel of education experts on cognition, learning, and equity to advise city leaders on how to assess learning capacities fairly and equitably. The panel will also review the test for the gifted and talented program to make it more accessible. McGuire wants to replace the test with a multipronged admissions process that removes inequities in preparation. (Source: Black Enterprise)
  • “I will create more seats for students entering first grade in 2022 to make sure that those who are left out of the gifted and talented program this year can have another shot to qualify.” (Source: Black Enterprise)
  • One unique proposal of McGuire’s is to create job opportunities for children 6th-12th grade to gain experiences that will prepare them to join the workforce. (Inform NYC Forum)

Public Safety

  • Public safety is a top priority for McGuire. He acknowledges that addressing the rise in crime will be a key component of ensuring the city’s economic recovery. (Inform NYC Forum)
  • “I will lead with integrity and accountability. I want New Yorkers to know that I will wake up every morning focused on making the city a place where everyone feels safe.” (Source: NY Daily News)
  • Believes the recent ending of cash bail was not the cause of rising crime rates. No one should be on bail because of insufficient funds. At the same time, McGuire supports judge discretion to hold suspects who are a danger to the community. (Inform NYC Forum)
  • McGuire will prioritize funding mental health and homelessness programs, including for individuals exiting prison, to prevent crime. (Inform NYC Forum)
  • Ray McGuire opposes the calls to Defund the Police. He has spoken of the need for better policing, not fewer police officers. (Source: NY1)
  • Providing youth with services and a place to go outside of school is a proactive way to keep kids out of trouble. (Inform NYC Forum)
  • He received the endorsement of Gwen Carr, the mother of Eric Garner, who’s become an activist against police brutality. (Source: RayforMayor.com)
  • His police reform plan includes empowering the city’s independent watchdog, the Civilian Complaint Review Board, in part by requiring the NYPD to provide body camera footage within 48 hours of the request. McGuire would also overrule the police commissioner if he disagreed with disciplinary decisions in cases of serious misconduct. He supports ending qualified immunity, which prevents officers from being sued for misconduct in civil court. McGuire would also create a Deputy Mayor for Public Safety. (Source: NY 1)
  • Though McGuire opposes Defund the Police, he intends to pick through the NYPD’s operations budget, which has ballooned $1.2 billion over the last decade and would redirect funds that are going to ineffective and inefficient programs (Source: NY Daily News)
  • NYPD should focus on serious crime and gun violence. We should increase funding for community programs and create a response team to handle mental health crises. Must increase accountability at all levels of NYPD. “I call for proportionality intervention and have ESS Emergency Social Services be an immediate response team.” (Source: VocalNYC)
  • “My focus is to stop substance abuse. I do not support decriminalizing all drugs in NYC. I will focus on the drug dealers and holding them accountable vs. incarcerating users rather than get them help.” (Source: VocalNYC)
  • He will commit to harm reduction programs for drug users but does not fully support Overdose Prevention Centers. “Let’s be clear we have had mixed responses to these 100 centers. I will focus on providing services and support to prevent overdose, and across the world, there is not a clear cut proof these centers are the most effective vehicle – will focus on that.” (Source: VocalNYC)

Housing & Homelessness

  • “We have a moral and legal responsibility to care for the homeless. We need transitional housing. But that alone is not going to solve the problem. Not everyone experiencing homelessness is ready to transition to long-term housing. So what do we need? We need social and mental health care services.” (Source: City & State)
  • McGuire opposes the common practice of DHS to circumvent serious community engagement when selecting sites for homeless shelters. He believes any time a new facility is being considered, there must be meaningful collaboration with the neighborhood as well as appropriate services on site to serve that population. Lack of coordination and preparation creates a hardship on the community as well as the individuals. “You just can’t land someone or a group of people into a neighborhood without the appropriate services.” (Source: Inform NYC Forum)
  • McGuire wants to prevent homelessness by extending the eviction moratorium, repairing existing homes that are in disarray including ones in public housing, providing rent subsidies, and creating support services that will help people transition from being homeless to having a home. (Source: Gotham Gazette)
  • “We need to have rigorous safeguards to protect civil rights, but we also need to be able to get people treatment before they harm themselves or others, which is just what happens, or [they] get caught up in the criminal justice system.” (Source: Inform NYC Forum)
  • McGuire would allocate infrastructure spending to build and renovate affordable housing. (Source: RayforMayor.com)
  • “I want to put New Yorkers to work in building truly affordable housing. And truly affordable housing means that you shouldn’t have somebody who is making $15 to $30k, who is a frontline worker paying 50 to 60% of her income on rent.” (Source: Inform NYC Forum)
  • Would focus on prevention in order to keep people in their homes, whether they need vouchers, legal assistance or other services. He would also focus on building truly affordable housing.
  • Wants to decrease homeless individuals interaction with NYPD and the criminal justice system, reduce overall time spent in shelters and create a definitive pathway to permanent housing by cutting through the bureaucracy and the multiple agencies that make up the current system. (Source: VocalNYC)
  • Fully supports expanding access to Safe Havens. However, they are a stop gap and should only be used to move people to permanent housing. (Source: VocalNYC)

Small Businesses

  • Philosophically McGuire wants city policies to reflect an attitude that small businesses are customers of the city rather than a source of revenue through fines and permits. To that end, he would streamline permitting, inspections, and approvals, and reduce fines. (Source: Ray for Mayor Comeback Plan)
  • McGuire supports a short-term 50% wage subsidy for 50,000 jobs at small businesses hardest hit by the pandemic. He is calling for this effort to launch in 2021, prior to the time he would take office. This lifeline would allow small businesses to stay open until the city comes back to life post-COVID. (Source: RayforMayor.com, Inform NYC Forum)
  • He calls for a sales tax break to allow small businesses time to come back after the pandemic. (InformNYC Forum)

Fiscal Outlook

  • Cutting municipal spending and raising taxes are both on the table, but McGuire stresses that those two levers alone will not close the budget gap. Instead, McGuire says we must grow our way out of this, attracting businesses and people to the city. (Source: Inform NYC Forum)
  • McGuire has signaled that high earners (the threshold is not clear) need to be prepared to pay more, but he has also stated that a more effective route and one less likely to drive away taxpayers to other states is to raise the corporate tax rate. (Source: City & State)
  • McGuire is confident his administration can secure federal funds for infrastructure projects. “We expect… given what the administration has already outlined and their allocation of large dollars to infrastructure that we’ll be able to benefit from that and access that given the relationships that we have in Albany and given the relationships that we have in Washington.” (Source: Inform NYC Forum)

About Ray McGuire

Ray McGuire was raised by a single mother and his grandparents in Dayton, Ohio. They struggled with poverty but still took in a half-dozen foster children. Ray walked three-quarters of a mile to take a bus to a school in the suburbs. His academic prowess opened educational doors for him, eventually leading to Harvard College, where he became the first in his family to graduate college. He went on to earn an MBA and JD from Harvard as well.

For the past 36 years, McGuire has worked on Wall Street, most recently as the head of Global Corporate and Investment Banking at Citi, where he was responsible for a budget that generated $20+ billion in revenue annually. Ray has served on the board of many non-profits, including De La Salle Academy (with a large concentration of gifted children living below the poverty line), Citi Foundation, The New York Public Library, Lincoln Center, and several other New York-based arts institutions.

In McGuire’s words, “I can speak the language of the streets and the suites, which is what’s going to be needed to bring this city together.”  (Source: Bloomberg)

February 17, 2021

Fireside Chat with Candidate for Mayor Ray McGuire

March 9, 2021

Is Ray McGuire the NYC comeback we need?

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