Brian Benjamin

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Brian's Vision

Brian Benjamin is running for Comptroller with two goals in mind - to use the powers of the office to create important change that benefits all New Yorkers, and to maximize the pension returns for New York's retirees. To that end, Brian's guiding principles as Comptroller are as follows:

Dramatically increase oversight of the NYPD and other city agencies

The Comptroller has the power to audit and investigate any spending of city resources. Brian will use this tool to effectively hold the Mayor and City Council accountable, starting with an audit of the NYPD budget as soon as he assumes office.

By maximizing oversight of agencies like the NYPD, NYCHA, the MTA, and the Department of Education, Brian will reveal budgetary investments that do not reflect our values and shine a light on waste and mismanagement that is harming New Yorkers.

Protect retiree pensions

Brian is the only candidate in this race with relevant investment management experience, and he is concerned about the state of the pension fund. Last year the fund did not reach its required return of seven percent, meaning that hundreds of millions of dollars must be transferred to the fund that could have gone to other important priorities. Managing a pension system valued at over $229 billion is central to the job, and Brian is well-prepared to step up to this task on day one.

Target investment to create affordable housing

Two percent of the pension fund is supposed to be invested in economically targeted investments (ETI). As Comptroller, Brian will roll out a plan to invest in developing new income targeted affordable housing projects as well as permanent supportive housing to shift resources from temporary shelters for the homeless. Brian knows how to achieve this goal because he helped finance the construction and rehabilitation of over 1,000 units of environmentally sustainable affordable housing, which included housing for the homeless, before being elected Senator.

Invest our money in our values

As State Senator, Brian successfully fought to divest New York’s public pension funds from private prisons. As Comptroller, Brian will direct New York City investments into the kinds of companies that are leading us into a better future–such as those focused on renewable energy sources and investing in companies that create real affordable housing; including for the ever-increasing homeless population.

To facilitate this investing power, Brian is proposing that New York City create a Public Bank. In addition to fighting to lower the number of unbanked and underbanked New Yorkers and contracting with M/WBEs, this Bank could undertake lending programs that private banks are less interested in undertaking, such as a worker cooperatives, capital to build units of lower-income and senior affordable housing, and mortgages to new homeowners.

Brian Benjamin
Brian Benjamin talking with a group of people
Brian Benjamin talking with a group of people
Brian Benjamin walking and talking with someone

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