Khari is the fighter and advocate that Brooklyn needs. As Brooklyn Borough President he will fight for more affordable housing. Khari will make Brooklyn the healthiest borough in the country. He will fight for our small businesses. He will fight to ensure all young people in the borough have opportunities. Khari has a deep understanding for what is needed to strengthen communities and enhance the lives of all Brooklynites.
Khari Edwards –
Leadership that Puts People First
Khari Edwards was born and raised on Carroll Street in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. He is the son of immigrant parents from Guyana and Trinidad who were both city workers. Khari is a product of NYC public schools and is a public school parent to three children.
Khari Edwards believes in putting people first.
For nearly two decades, Khari’s career has been dedicated to community development and political action throughout the City and State of New York. He has worked behind the scenes in various capacities for several elected officials, non-profit organizations, and city agencies. Most recently Khari served as Vice President of External Affairs at Brookdale Hospital, where he was the first VP of color. In this role, Khari opened Brookdale Hospital up as a community resource, building partnerships with community based organizations throughout the borough.
Khari has created several community based initiatives targeting those in need. Khari has hosted free math tutoring programs geared toward young women and girls of color. He is one of the lead coordinators of the East Brooklyn Call to Action Campaign, a project that focuses on housing, healthcare, workforce development disparities, and on physical fitness for central Brooklynites.
Khari Edwards is the fighter and advocate that Brooklyn needs. As Brooklyn Borough President he will fight for more affordable housing. Khari will prioritize making Brooklyn the healthiest borough in New York City. He believes in the power of our small businesses. He will fight to ensure all young people in the borough have the opportunities they need to reach their goals. Khari has a deep understanding of what is needed to strengthen communities and enhance the lives of all Brooklynites.
Khari has a deep understanding for what is needed to strengthen communities and enhance the lives of all Brooklynites:
Brooklyn just does not have enough affordable housing, and what is often deemed affordable simply isn’t for most New Yorkers. Too often, the affordable housing available is meant for people making over one hundred thousand dollars a year. We need housing that is affordable to our fast food workers, bus drivers, teachers, and city employees – the people who make our community work. The lack of affordable housing in Brooklyn leaves thousands of families unhoused and unstable. Khari knows that this is a crisis, especially in a pandemic, and that we must act immediately and aggressively to fix this problem. Khari believes that:
- An 80/20 split is not enough affordable housing and must be better balanced to meet Brooklyn’s real needs
- Housing projects should only be approved if it includes housing for those making less than 50% of the AMI for their zip code, and not using HUD’s overinflated AMI
- An increase of more units for families, meaning 3+ bedrooms, is needed in Brooklyn
- Utilize the Borough President’s power in introduce legislation to enact policies that address our housing crisis
COVID has highlighted the ongoing health disparities in Brooklyn. Low income residents wait longer to get care and are already more likely to have underlying conditions, making COVID particularly dangerous. This inequality has cost us the lives of thousands of Brooklynites. As a borough, we must prioritize health and expand access to care. Khari will:
- Utilize the capital budget to provide more funding for hospitals, mental health programs, and addiction treatment
- Work with local hospitals to bring doctors directly to increase for wellness visits for seniors, children and families
- Expand COVID testing across Brooklyn – more mobile sites, a testing site for every borough, more testing sites at senior centers and schools
- Place focus on the fact that an ounce of prevention is a pound of cure. So many issues can be helped with preemptive care – health and wellness programs, eliminate food deserts, funding for pantries, and health education play a role in increasing health outcomes, and need to be a priority
Small businesses are the foundation of economic growth in Brooklyn. Our small businesses, many who were already struggling, have been devastated by COVID. Some economists are even estimating that NYC could lose one third of its small businesses. This impact has been especially hard on businesses owned by women and people of color. Small businesses have been responsible for pulling families into the middle class and are the backbone for our communities. It is critical that we aid their recovery. Khari will:
- Create a portal between businesses in Brooklyn and provide incentives for Brooklyn businesses to partner with other Brooklyn businesses
- Utilize the Borough President’s nonprofit fund to provide COVID relief to small businesses in Brooklyn
- Conduct proactive outreach to businesses to connect them with resources and assistance
- Advocate for a tax structure that will ensure that small businesses can continue to be the foundation of economic growth in Brooklyn
Our young people are our most precious assets. As a parent and a life-long Brooklyn resident, Khari believes in the potential of future generations. To ensure successful growth of our younger residents, we must make sure they are connected to opportunities in all disciplines. Khari will:
- Make mandatory community board seats – 2 for youth 18 and under, 2 for youth between 18 and 25
- Cover cost of permits for community based organizations at DOE schools
- Foster our young entrepreneurs and fund youth business initiatives
- Create a youth job and paid internship portal
Community Boards are and have been, an essential part of local governance in New York City. From enforcing local codes to connecting elected officials and policymakers with community members, CB’s serve as a powerful force in shaping the present and future opportunities of our neighborhoods. However, Community Boards are oftentimes unrepresentative bodies, skewing the general opinion of residents to those in power. To make matters worse. Community Boards can only offer recommendations regarding how our neighborhoods are shaped through new developments. To meet the needs of our communities, provide greater economic opportunities, and address issues of health, safety, and climate change, we have to address the issues of representation and power in our community boards.
- Create outreach plans with local officials and organizations to ensure board members reflect the age, racial, socio-economic, and geographic diversity of the community they represent before being submitted to a Screening Committee
- Revise the City Charter to create Community Planning Organizations (CPO’s). Similar to jury duty, CPO’s are comprised of community members who will be contacted to and compensated for spending time with community board members in policy-making and decision making processes
- Make hiring, outreach, community board discussions, and community board information publicly available for viewing and comment
- Require Community Board input in ULURP application certifications which will also include environmental and racial impact studies for public viewing
- Support Community Boards by connecting members with policy professionals, policy training, and excluding Boards from budget cuts