The New York City mayoral election has shaped up as a mandate against stereotypical politics as usual; the daughter of immigrants is running as a Republican against identity politics savant, Democrat Mayor Bill De Blasio.
Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis spoke to Red Alert Politics in the midst of a campaign where she’s hawking subway stations, encouraging her many millennial volunteers, and distributing flyers left and right. Her ideas are unique and her message for a budding generation of conservatives should catch some well-deserved attention.
Malliotakis knows that young adults need alternatives to college or help paying for it.
As of right now, the CUNY and higher education programs in NYC lack tuition assistance for graduate students. Malliotakis wants to reduce the large amount of student debt accumulated by teaching, law, medical, and other graduate candidates.
She’s also suggesting the implementation of job-training programs in high schools in order to adjust to the natural (or man-made) resources of New York, specifically technology.
“Keeping up with the opportunities that are emerging is really key, and I think we can do that by offering more of these programs throughout our high schools,” Malliotakis told Red Alert Politics.
These opportunities include applied sciences and STEM programs, but the 36-year-old millennial Assemblywoman, born and raised in New York City, has her eyes — and potential policies — set on an industry anyone under 40 knows all too well: video games.
“Right now video gaming is a huge industry, you’ve got the creation of apps,” Malliotakis, who wants NYC to be competing with Silicon Valley, explained.
One major challenge in Malliotakis’ plan is getting New York students to the point of high school graduation — but Malliotakis realises this. There is a strong lack of discipline instituted in NYC’s public schools.
“I get young teachers who are in the classroom and they’re very upset with the state of the Department of Education,” Malliotakis explained. “They feel that there’s a lot of bureaucracy, a lot of corruption; a lot of money being wasted and is not getting to the classrooms.”
The NYC school system itself has been scarred by recent events, most notably a student who stabbed two of his alleged bullies, killing one and seriously wounding the second.
New York actually spends more than the other 49 states, over $22,000 a year, per student, and yet some schools, such as Catherine and Count Basie Middle School in Jamaica, Queens, report from 79 percent teachers that structure is not maintained, and that 75 percent of middle school students say fights happen most or all of the time.
Perhaps it will take a young lawmaker to fix the issues impacting young adults. Malliotakis is set to take her brand of barrier-breaking ideas to the debate stage tonight (October 10th) against Mayor De Blasio and Independent challenger Bo Dietl.
Neil Dwyer is a graduate of the University of Miami, and is a political and sports broadcaster, as well as a freelance writer.