Why I support John Liu for mayor

COUNCIL MEMBER CHARLES BARRON | 5/31/2013, 12:32 p.m.
June 26, Brooklyn battles for Congress: Barron and Jeffries

Our communities are in a state of crisis. We need strong, effective leadership that is not controlled by Wall Street and the rich real estate industry here in New York City. Poverty, unemployment, crime, school closings, the health care crisis, institutionalized racism, gender discrimination, racial profiling, foreclosures and mass incarceration are some of the issues that plague this city.

In my opinion, mayoral candidate John Liu, is the best of the candidates for the Black community in particular and for all New Yorkers in general. Here are some reasons why.

Reason No. 1: Liu is the only candidate who will abolish and put an end to NYPD's racial profiling in the form of stop, question and frisk. The other candidates only say they will reform this racist policy. You don't reform racism; you abolish it.

Reason No. 2: Although Liu, like the rest of the candidates, is for mayoral control of education, he publicly stated that he is open to examining other school governance models that will end mayoral control. Liu opposes school closings and the chaotic policy of co-locations.

Reason No. 3: As city comptroller, Liu conducted the audit of SAIC, the main contractor of the City Time project, that led to the Justice Department investigation and prosecution of the corrupt SAIC, revealing the biggest scandal in New York City history. Thanks to Liu's initiative, SAIC had to pay back $600 million to the city. This money saved some very valuable services and transitioned management from outside contractors to city workers.

Reason No. 4: Liu supports reparations for African-Americans. When he was in the City Council with me, he became a co-sponsor of my Queen Mother Moore Reparations bill.

Reason No. 5: Liu supports the "Central Park Five," the young men falsely accused and jailed for the rape of the so-called Central Park jogger. I, along with Assemblywoman Inez Barron and Sen. Bill Perkins, joined Liu at his press conference calling for the city to settle the civil suit out of court. The Central Park Five have suffered enough.

Reason No. 6: Liu supported the Black community's right to self-determination by co-naming parts of Gates Avenue in Brooklyn as Sonny Carson Boulevard after the deceased Black activist. While he was not a supporter of Carson, he took the criticism, yet maintained our right to co-name the street.

Reason No. 7: Liu has been there for Black families who lost loved ones to the NYPD's abusive use of deadly force. He marched for justice with the families of Ramarley Graham in the Bronx. Those officers have been indicted.

Recently, Liu was the only mayoral candidate who attended the wake of Kimani Gray, a 16-year-old who was recently gunned down by police in East Flatbush. Liu was there to console Gray's mother, Carol. No other mayoral candidate called the mother or attended the wake.

Reason No. 8. Liu is a great supporter of MWBEs (Minority- and Women-Owned Businesses). He gave New York City's prestigious bonding contract services to an African-American firm. He is committed through pension investments and contract fairness to increase the number of contracts for MWBE.