The Bronx suffers disproportionately when it comes to the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic and the resulting economic recession. The shutdown has irreparably harmed our mom-and-pop shops. Many neighborhood small businesses and restaurants have closed for good. Our unemployment is over 20%, and significantly higher in Black, brown and immigrant communities. We need an economic stimulus to keep struggling small businesses afloat, generate opportunities for new ones to open, repair our crumbling infrastructure, and create good jobs with fair pay and benefits to provide a path to the middle class.
As a Council Member and former district manager of Community Board 2, Salamanca uses his position to highlight the issues affecting local businesses and MWBEs throughout The Bronx. Working with BID’s, Salamanca sponsors events to provide digital and advertising forums to help businesses navigate the technological era. He stood up to major corporations like Nike when they shunned longtime small businesses, urged residents to shop locally, and is a fierce ally in supporting good union jobs on development projects. As the son of a union member, Salamanca understands how much opportunity comes from good jobs that provide fair wages, workplace protections and benefits. This background has spurred Salamanca to host several job resource fairs to connect Bronxites with apprenticeship opportunities.
Salamanca's Plan for Jobs and the Economy
The current recession is devastating the South Bronx, and the City Council must be prepared to address the mounting economic crisis. Salamanca will focus on reviving local industries and stimulating the economy:
• Utilize private-public partnerships to upgrade key public infrastructure, creating jobs and benefiting the community.
• Recruit companies in the food, construction, and healthcare industries -- where there is the potential for growth and a demand for workers as we combat the pandemic.
• Work with small businesses to ensure all our businesses, especially MWBEs, have access to the future PPP.
• Identify and fund infrastructure projects -- like bringing MTA stations into ADA compliance -- and hire local workers.
• Host regular meetings with small business leaders to discuss their needs across the South Bronx.
• Launch a task force to determine best future uses and job creation potential for Rikers Island
He will create job opportunities and ensure our workforce has the skills they need to succeed:
• Convene regular meetings with education, union, and business leaders to make sure students develop the skills needed to be hired and meet the needs of local businesses.
• Strengthen partnerships with schools and unions to improve access to apprenticeships and job training programs.
• Partner with and allocate funding to organizations like Sustainable South Bronx that provide critical job training in emerging fields, like green infrastructure.
• Work with community organizations to help formerly incarcerated people get back on their feet and secure employment.
As legalizing marijuana becomes more likely as we look for creative ways to increase revenue and create economic opportunities, localities and counties must have plans in place for how they will maximize these opportunities and return funding to communities that have been disproportionately harmed by the War on Drugs. Salamanca will advocate for legalization and create an action plan to implement once it goes through.