New York City is America’s largest city by population with over 8 million residents. It is the size of a small country and in many ways, the mayor of New York City wields immense power for running it. In November 2021, New Yorkers will go to the polls to vote for a new mayor. Cleopatra Fitzgerald is one of the candidates on subsequent years to come of hopefully winning over her fellow citizens.
In Fitzgerald’s own words, she wants to “defend the five boroughs”. The mayoral candidate has outlined her stance on many of the issues surrounding New York City. Although Fitzgerald isn’t one of the big named career politicians or wealthy entrepreneurs running for office, she hopes her appeal as a Manhattanite will sit well with voters.
Cleopatra, you studied political science in college and have been in the political scene for quite some time now. When did your interest for politics really begin?
Before graduating with a degree in political science, there was an inward propensity towards politics that from the earliest of time could be felt. It commenced with my affinity to explore history, public affairs, international relations and foreign languages. By interacting with persons from all over the world and listening to their history, socio-cultural-political viewpoints, these introduced me to the public sphere of geopolitics and the concept of how our five boroughs and nation are indeed intertwined with the ethnic diversity of globalization as well as diplomacy. At the age of 18, I had the privilege of meeting the Manhattan Borough President along with other politicians at a welcoming holiday Democratic Association Party I was invited to and became a member of. That sense of community and speaking with crowds of friendly guests and members on that night was a memorable event that demonstrated the peaceful unity of the moment.
What triggered your interest in joining politics?
The bond in politics developed naturally through the interconnectedness of being invited to exclusive political events and being a public figure who could relate to the issues of concern each populace was encountering. My interest in wholeheartedly helping others guided me to politics which is about solving humanity’s problems.
You are currently running for Mayor of NYC. However, you’ve been on and off changing between being a Democrat, Independent, and Republican, then back again to Democrat. Why the change of heart?
The switching of party affiliation occurred during disparate years and was not at all frivolous. I will commence with a brief timeline: At age 18, I was a registered Democrat and remained so for many years because I considered the Democratic Party to be a party for the people where they could freely voice their worries if the system or politicians were abusing their rights. Nonetheless, the perpetual dissension amongst the parties and the bitter allegations in internal conflict made me convert to the Independence Party for several years, which was independent in the manner of not being committed to a specific party ideology or voting preference. As I ran for office I decided to join one of the major parties which is the Republican party.
I considered the Republican Party to be that of upholding the constitutional and values of America. Nevertheless, I was dismayed at its aloofness. Thus, after a year, I switched to Democrat in affiliation due to time constraints and managing a campaign all by myself with minimal assistance. I did not participate in the primaries and will contemplate the options. I still believe this is a beginning and I will not give up, but continue with the aspiration of revival to the five boroughs regardless of position or office.
As mayor of New York City, Fitzgerald would have a lot of work to do and an incredible amount of responsibility. If elected, she would like to work with multiple groups and agencies to build a better New York City and tackle many of the issues the city faces.
How do you plan on tackling rampant issues such as food security, climate change, unemployment and coronavirus, now that new strains keep emerging.
It is done through careful analytical planning. Overall studies and community surveys to see what is going wrong. Food insecurity has occurred globally especially as a consequence of COVID. Labor shortages, unemployment, low food nutritional value, prices can lead to greater poverty and illness. The World Bank, grants, governments, new technology, emergency funding, jobs, free support tools, pantries, food cleaning, food safety laws, fix waste, trade regulations, et al.
In regards to climate change: Check main issues and how to correct them. The Union of Concerned Scientists, NASA, foundations, organizations, grants, investments, philanthropy, charities, nonprofits, etc… help find ways to reduce climate change. Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy, the Mayor’s Office of Climate Policy and Programs, to pitch in. There has to be less pollution, emissions management, protect species and habitats, energy conservation, environmental investment, health, deal with resource depletion, mining, waste, Nanotechnology, GMO, and more.
Things to look into for unemployment include: Unemployment assistance, lower interest rates, fund education, training, fiscal policy, employment subsidies, geographical mobility, the international labor organizations, decent work, underemployment, equal pay, COVID-19 online and new jobs, employment recovery, invest in education, poverty areas, rent relief, mortgages, food relief, pandemic unemployment assistance, retirement benefits.
In terms of COVID-19, we need to see where it has affected people the most? Poverty areas, prisons, overcrowded places, care homes, housing, epidemiological data to help the most vulnerable populations and risk groups. COVID testing inequalities based on zip codes and the variants depending on country, training jobs, schools how to wear masks which to wear, safety tips and penalties.
In your campaign, you have been vocal in stating that yours is a call of duty rather than service to self, and further, being the voice of the people of the five boroughs. What then, will be your main agenda be if you are elected to the mayor’s office?
My main agenda is to listen to the call for help for the true voices of those who are hurt, necessitous, and worried. I will keep on finding the resolutions compassionately for I feel their pain. In the seat of concerns, I will deliver a healthier environment, economic advancements, good quality life and a city that is safe to be in. The reinvigoration of finance and business openings, improved education and an examination of each sector, departments, offices and places of authority for politics to be responsive. Reading the letters of suggestion to the mayor and distribution surveys, brochures to get to know the populace’s concerns.
With America’s confidence in local police shaken in 2020 and 2021, Fitzgerald aims to alter the way the force works in New York City. Fitzgerald also realizes that New York City must lower its crime rate to entice tourists to the Big Apple.
Last year saw the eruption of the Black Lives Matter movement here in the U.S. This occurrence was replicated in New York City following the brutal handling of Eric Garner by the police. What reforms would you take, being the mayor of New York City?
If in the near future I become the mayor of the five boroughs, the reforms will be enacted by making a total analysis of all sectors, agencies, departments, offices, etc. A novel strategy will be effectively constructed to remedy for general concerns.
The policeman/women must respect others and likewise they should be respected. Police brutality will not be tolerated and a mechanism for reporting it to an independent agency will be created. Statistics and civilian reports not to be underreported or erased but reliable statistics not hiding the truth. Body surveillance cameras worn by police have been utilized in other countries and laws vary, but years of this method in various cases were ineffective. There has to be change to its usage, the department’s rules, the attorney’s admission of evidence, the data being collected and stored or deleted. The police department’s yearly reports on what is being unnecessarily wasted and how to reduce costs properly. The police training to include cultural-non-bias training.
The banning or boundaries of carotid holds and chokeholds is being enforced in many states. However, clarity is needed in what is not permissible, the techniques that are causing harm and how best to use a force that will not endanger human life. We need to bring crime down, tourists back and safety to our communities. New technologies for: DNA evidence, crowd control, immigration, AI, officers recruitment, privacy issues and much more.
Xenophobia and racism have been on the rise against the Asian-American community in the USA recently. In an article from the New York Times, it affirms that many attacks against people of Asian descent have seen no one arrested or dutifully charged. How would you handle this situation being a policy maker?
As I have constantly mentioned in my discussions and writings, persons tend to discriminate among themselves. The causes are vast and consists of: malevolence, intolerance, dehumanization, objectification, misogyny, misandry, machismo, bigotry, narrow mindness, stereotypes in movies, literature, songs, biased laws, ethnocentrism, ignorance, apathy, chauvinism, xenophobia, governments or those in power tolerating discrimination because of their agenda to exclude, etc.
Trillions of dollars are wasted due to racism, sexual violence, and the gender wage gap. Trillions are wasted globally. Each type of discrimination is hurting trillions of dollars globally and causing crimes, emotional trauma, misrepresentation. In some cases, persons affected are afraid to report hate crimes due to being identified by the perpetrator. Some believe jailing
the perpetrators will not change their minds but cultural training would. Asian Americans, notably immigrants in poorer areas, are doubtful of the police and policing. They believe that the crimes Asians commit in poverty areas can be reduced by investing, job training, education, and not just racial profiling.
According to New York City law, hate crimes carry a harsher sentence subject to whether it is a felony or misdemeanor. It ranges from fines, money given to the victim or anti-racism, anger programs and 10 years to a life sentence. These atrocious attacks similar to the ones against the Jewish community and the elderly cannot be left without being accounted for.
The policies for “verbal harassment” and “hate speech” and “online hate speech” should be reformed because hate and ethnic intimidation is not freedom to incite violence and hatred. The violations should have harsher penalties either monetarily or a duration in jail or cultural training courses. In each ethnic zone of NYC the police from similar or the same races are uniting. It is seen in Shomrim (Fraternal police organization), women taxis, and multicultural police based on the community’s racial demographics so they might reduce tensions and increase understanding.
If you were in a position to make any reforms to the constitution, what would that be and why?
It is noted that “Since 1787, 27 amendments” were made to the US Constitution. Ten collectively known as “Bill of Rights.” The last amendment was in 1992. Multitudes of countries have modified or discarded their constitutions when transitions of government took place. Around 700 proposals to “reform or discard” the electoral college have taken place. Some favor national voting and end to small state bias. Major parties debate on this. Recently President Biden arranged a commission to review the Supreme Court reform and what is at debate is the number of years justices serve, the turnover, the court’s size and membership.
Hence, amendments are being requested by elected politicians and voters. I would examine the entire constitution and check the arguments set forth and convene committees or groups to analyze which are no longer relevant to our era.
Fitzgerald wants to improve New York City’s economic fortunes through investments. The mayoral candidate aims to bring the Big Apple out of the COVID-19 era and back to its place at the forefront of American cities.
What are the economic policies and project that you wish to initiate if elected the Mayor of NYC?
The economy of New York City is composed of the industries that raise its GDP: “Finance, high technology, trade, real estate, health care, insurance, mass media, journalism, publishing, creative industries, performing arts, the arts, manufacturing, information technology, technology, biotech, educational services, retail trade, consulting, entertainment, construction, professional services, food service, transportation, travel and tourism, etc.” Despite that, COVID-19 has affected the functionality of multiple industries.
The NYC Mayor’s Office of Management and Budget is guided by the mayor, budget director, and economists. The “financial plan for fiscal years” is based on creating policies that will solve these themes: expenditures, revenue, taxes, forecasts, federal funding, grants, debts, bonds, agencies purchases, adjustments, estimates. I will make economic development through investments.
Bringing to life all businesses with novel technology and training. Educational access for all, apprenticeship, and good policies. Bailouts and higher unemployment/sickness benefits, prices, rebuild infrastructure. The techniques necessitated to bring us out of recession and pandemic budget deficit of trillions and devastating state and city budgets.
Would you be willing to concede defeat and work with other leaders in case you lose the elections?
Election integrity and ethics must be verified. There is no law that says a candidate has to give a concession speech. Concession is not legally required. It has no effect on election results.
The US constitution does not mandate concession. When parties shake hands after losing a game, a contestant could show sportsmanship if there exists no rancor, no fraud, no rigs. A true leader is professional and does not take it personal. I do not see it as concession but as the beginning, a continuation for future elections and the opportunity to represent the voice of the people. I believe the concession speech is outdated. If the candidate has something to say, gather a press conference or media.
Cleopatra, what is a day in your life like?
It is a conglomeration. Each day, I appreciate the persons who are full of camaraderie or good intentions. Constantly, I interact with persons globally and these have become a valuable experience in public affairs. There are moments found for recreation and days without repose due to ongoing duties. Each day is a great life lesson.
I want to say thank you for persons like you that makes it worthwhile and makes the globe better with learning about the pressing issues that are so vital for our communities.
What is something most people don’t know about you?
They fantasize of what I am not. I am versatile. I blend in within each culture, society and so forth. I am unprejudiced and open-minded. I have become as I am for they have helped me see the diversity of perspectives with opinions, queries, facts. I believe in the perseverance of patience with any class and the mission to curate the ills that need to be alleviated in our world.
The decision lies in each person to follow the principalities of evil or goodness. The host that debilitates the wicked by making them vulnerable to evil actions and the righteous that seek justice. It is part of a cosmic long-term struggle found in most religions and in other fields such as astronomy, paranormal, and astrophysics.
Can you share two of your favorite quotes with us?
Confucius said, “Never do to others what you would not like them to do to you.” This quote presents the Golden Rule that is mentioned by plenty of religions and in diverse regions and countries. It is the ethics of reciprocity (social and political philosophy). It is a code of conduct that raises harmoniousness in public relations.
“Those who try to hurt others, hurt themselves” This quote is valuable for it is the Law of Nature, The Law of Cause and Effect, Karma, “What goes around comes around.” Those whose thoughts have negative energy exerts the perturbation into their bodies, minds, and souls. Thus, breeding an abundance of polluted essence that is in itself a destructive cycle. The person containing such hatred will sooner or later putrefy their own lives as persons will lose the trust of those around them and they will encounter a similar retributive form of justice and be inflicted with the same proportional pain they sought for others. Negative energy is evil and brings eventual doom.
If you had the power to change just one thing in the world what would it be?
I would do away with hate. It is one of the negative emotions that is the most disastrous. It has led to crimes, conflicts, wars and trillions of lives lost, affected, it has disrupted the economy, relationships, communities, public affairs, laws, human rights, etc. It introduced inequality, racism, suffering, poverty, apathy, and all types of abuses and horrors. If persons would truthfully have positive emotions much would cultivate even better than in the best historical periods or eras of progress and discoveries.
Why do you think Julian Assange and Edward Snowden should be pardoned?
Without journalists there is no voice of the people. Their investigative reportage, opinions, and critiques, have shed light on what could constitute a better society. In good faith, their efforts bring peace and awareness. Many human rights organizations ,attorneys, activists, politicians are in protest of Assange’s persecution, psychological torture, defamation, discrimination, prison conditions and the issues of freedom of expression, protection on journalism, ethical hacking, freedom of the press. Internationally, the #FreeAssange movement is overflowing and has a wide amount of supporters. Newspapers say Julian Assange helped our Earth by alerting the public of the varying types of corruption found globally in the various industries, agencies, departments and far more. Assange gathered data as human rights organizations do, as journalists do for the people’s right to know and prevent further harm to society.
I believe Assange should be pardoned for the sake of journalism. It is “great injustice if freedom of the press is not free.” If all kinds of “crimes against humanity” are left to happen, innocent people will be vulnerable to false accusations, abuse, torture, genocide, dehumanization, sexual violence, mortality rates and lots of others.
I also believe Edward Snowden should be pardoned because he defended the people’s right to privacy. The #FreeSnowden campaign is supported by immense numbers of persons, activists, politicians, various US politicians, attorneys, and human rights groups. Newspapers state that Snowden should be pardoned for the reason that he showed how individual’s human rights were being abused by mass surveillance without them knowing.
Additionally, their data was stored without permission violating digital privacy. Snowden demonstrated the illegality of infringing upon the populace’s privacy rights. It is known that a huge deal of people are listening, observing individuals in the privacy of their own homes. How light bulbs, heaters, radios, flashlights, digital watches, laptops, cell phones, weight scales, drones, satellite, livestream cameras, anything that has a screen or is electric, battery operated can listen or see you.
This form of surveillance is being negatively used to place people in false programs, to medicate them (misdiagnosis), to enter them in camps, to separate families, etc. Surveillance can help in other cases when used properly to deter crimes but if it is utilized against ethnic, tradition, religion, colored people, minorities, LGBTQ, social status, etc -then, it is called discrimination and bias.
In conclusion, Julian Assange and Edward Snowden are heroes in a manner of speaking for their brave whistleblowing and should be pardoned for honestly serving the public’s interest in knowing the reality that crimes cannot be tolerated.
New York City residents will go to the polls in November 2021 to elect a new mayor. Fitzgerald aims to be the last person standing when the votes are tabulated and results posted. Her ideas may be different than what many of the other candidates offer, but Fitzgerald offers voters an “outsider’s perspective”. She isn’t a lifetime politician continually running for office to make a living. Rather, Fitzgerald is someone seeking to make changes to the City that Never Sleeps. Fitzgerald is a candidate of the people.
For more information: https://cleopatraﬁtzgeraldfortheﬁveboroughs.us/
Cleopatra Fitzgerald For The Five Boroughs
“Paid for By Cleopatra Fitzgerald For The Five Boroughs”