When new housing is proposed, politicians often cry "Not In My Back Yard!" (NIMBY).
My position, by contrast, is YIMBY- "Yes In My Back Yard" (or more accurately, Yes In Everyone's Back Yard). If elected Borough President, I will consistently favor zoning changes that allow more housing to be built- both market-rate housing for the middle and upper classes, and subsidized housing for those who cannot afford market rate housing.
I favor more housing for three reasons: 1) the law of supply and demand means that more housing means less expensive housing; 2) more construction means more jobs and a bigger tax base for the city; 3) if more housing is built in transit-rich Manhattan, more people can live without cars, which means less pollution and lower carbon emissions. (I realize this is an oversimplification, but you can find more details in the site FAQs and in my blog posts and scholarship).
How far would I go? More mainstream politicians favor piecemeal upzonings, which means adding a little housing here and there.
My view is that if a site is suitable for housing for human beings, it should be suitable for lots of housing for lots of human beings. So if I had absolute power (which I don't) I would abolish all density restrictions. If you can build 10 apartments on a parcel, you should be able to build 100.
Having said that, the borough president has no coercive power; if I was elected, all I could do was recommend pro-housing zoning policies to the city council, and appoint community board members who were pro-housing.
Over 70 percent of Manhattanites do not own a car (including me). Since I think this is a good thing for the lungs of city inhabitants, I would support policies that make it safer to walk, bike and use public transit.
There is a delicate balance between my libertarian instincts and my transportation preferences. On the one hand, it seems to me that New Yorkers are very, very heavily taxed. On the other hand, it seems to me that government has a legitimate role in preventing the use of force, and negligent drivers are just as much "force" as rampaging criminals. So it seems to me that Vision Zero policies such as narrower streets are justifiable even from a somewhat libertarian perspective.
It seems to me that the mayor's job is to promote citywide interests, and that councilpeople do a perfectly adequate job of promoting neighborhood interests. So I am not sure that there is any point in spending taxpayers' money on a Borough President, a position that doesn't adequately promote either. But as long as the job exists, I would, if elected, use it to cause as little harm as possible (and, of course, as a bully pulpit for the positions discussed on this webpage).