Editor’s Note: Abraham Lincoln said, “The ballot is stronger than the bullet.” Exercise your rights by voting on November 7. All polling stations in Forest Hills are open from 6 am to 9 pm. Polling sites are posted at the end of this article.
Mayoral Candidate Mike Tolkin
Invested. That’s a solid word to describe Mike Tolkin, the youngest Democratic candidate (32) running for mayor. Mr. Tolkin is invested in his work, his community, his beliefs, and his campaign. Recently, in an effort to understand the plight of the homeless, Mr.Tolkin even spent a week as a homeless New Yorker. He has invested financially in his own campaign and continues to invest in his understanding of the socio-economic challenges faced by New Yorkers each day.
Though few know his name, this self-proclaimed innovator and problem-solver, has already made his mark on the world by founding the Merchant Exchange, two IMAX initiatives, and his latest launch, Rooms.com. Mr. Tolkin is a graduate of the Wharton School at University of Pennsylvania. He believes that his degree in business as well as a decade of experience in the worlds of technology, business, retail, and media have prepared him to run the city of New York.
In short, Mike Tolkin believes that his ideas will provide a new form of government that will work for the people and will set a precedent for other large cities across the United States to emulate.
Forest Hills Today sent some questions to Mr. Tolkin, and here are his responses:
1. Which past New York City mayor do you admire the most and why?
He wasn’t a New York City mayor, but I most admire Ben Franklin. He was an extraordinary polymath – a scientist and inventor, philosopher and theorist, author and artist, politician and diplomat. He was a dreamer who seamlessly integrated seemingly disparate skills into a potent creative force that drove a generation of transformational change. The people of our movement similarly dream big and want change.
2. What would be the first thing you would do if you were elected mayor of New York City?
First on our to-do list is to hire an exceptional “Head of People Operations” to begin the formal recruitment process for our key administrative roles. Anyone interested can suggest a nomination at http://www.tolkinformayor.com/our-plan. Our team will be diverse and balanced, with at least half of key positions held by women. Everything we do stems from a strong and competent team – so we’re laser-focused on establishing that right from the start.
3. What can you do to help New Yorkers fulfill the jobs of the future and prevent some people from being left behind?
1. We’re going to strengthen our social safety net with massive investments in new programs like “income for all” so that everyone can afford to live comfortably while building skills for the future.
2. We’re going to prepare our people for future jobs with a complete overhaul of our education system and new vocational training. See: NYC Talent
3. We’ve developed a comprehensive economic development plan to make sure the jobs of the future are abundant in NYC. We’re going to cultivate entirely new economic ecosystems in high-growth industries like biotech, artificial intelligence and robotics. We’re going to expand our creative industries by funding new arts programs. And we’re going to invest in new and expanded infrastructure and city services.
You can learn more at:
4. What’s your favorite restaurant in NYC and why?
V&T’s pizzeria in Harlem. I’ve been going there with my family since I was a little kid – it’s my absolute favorite New York pizza. And the Hungarian Pastry Shop next door is perfect for dessert!
5. We noticed on your Instagram account you wrote: “The next American Revolution begins in NYC!” Could you please explain what you mean by that?
We are proposing a radical transformation of government – the most comprehensive overhaul of city operations in New York’s history. For the first time ever, we have a plan to fund new government programs and initiatives without raising taxes: NYC Enterprises (see: YouTube).
This allows us to rethink every aspect of governance, address the root causes of our challenges and strategically invest for our future. Our city will lead the charge to upgrade government and restore power to the people, but our ideas and their implementation will ultimately lead to a nationwide revolution. Every big city in America can use and benefit from our plans.
6. As a voter, we find that Proposal 1 on Page 25 of the Voter Guide a little confusing. How would a YES vote benefit a 25, 45 or 65-year-old New Yorker?
Every 20 years, New Yorkers get to vote on whether or not we have a constitutional convention to re-write our state constitution. We believe that our government is outdated and that we must redesign and rebuild it from the ground up. So, we’re supporting a constitutional convention to get the ball rolling. The new draft will be subject to a voter referendum in 2019.
7. What’s your favorite NYC landmark and why?
There’s a tiny bronze placard on 28th and Broadway that memorializes the legendary Tin Pan Alley, which was the birthplace of the modern American pop song. We’ve designed a new pedestrian park on Broadway between 24th and 32nd streets that will preserve the neighborhood’s significant cultural heritage. Check out our renderings and plans at www.nomadwalk.nyc!
8. We read on Patch that you would upgrade the city’s technology with “flying buses and robotic carriage horses!” That’s exciting! Could you please tell us more?
We anticipate creating “NYC Labs” as a new department to conduct long-term research, develop prototypes, and experiment with new technologies.
Additional information can be found about Mike Tolkin at TolkinforMayor.com.
Here are a few Forest Hills Poll sites:
Forest Hills High School 67-01, 110 Street, Forest Hills, NY 11375
P.S. 101 – School in the Gardens, 2 Russell Place, Forest Hills, NY 11375
JHS 190-Russell Sage, 68-17 Austin Street, Forst Hills, NY 11375
PS 303-Academy for Excellence, 108-55 69 Avenue, Forest Hills, NY 11375
PS 144-Col. Jeromus Remsen, 93-02 69 Avenue, Forest Hills, NY 11375
Forest Hills Library, 108-19 71 Avenue, Forest Hills, NY 11375
If you don’t know your poll site, go to https://nyc.pollsitelocator.com/search, type in your house number, street address, and zip code.
Disclaimer: Forest Hills Today is dedicated to informing, promoting and serving local businesses and residents of the Forest Hills community. With this thought in mind, efforts are being made to introduce Forest Hills residents to people who impact our community. As candidates and officials respond to inquiries, their responses will be posted without bias.