On Campaign Trail, Ray McGuire Says Business Community Is Critical To NYC’s Comeback


Coming into a restaurant on Staten Island final week, mayoral candidate and former Wall Road government Ray McGuire scanned the room as he was ushered in for a meet-and-greet with native retailers. It was one in every of a number of stops on a tour of the borough’s enterprise group as his marketing campaign struggled to realize traction.

The group of enterprise homeowners, predominantly girls of shade, had many grievances, from an absence of loans from the Paycheck Safety Program to transportation challenges on the island. McGuire remained largely silent, listening.

He was mellow till it was his flip to talk, at which level he tossed out rapid-fire questions on employees sizes, broadband entry, and funding streams. He appeared in his ingredient as a former funding banker. The distinction, although, is McGuire was on the high of the company ladder at Citigroup and now, among the many eight main Democratic mayoral candidates, he’s close to the underside rung.

In an interview with Gothamist/WNYC, McGuire, 64, stated working for mayor was not an arrogance challenge, and argued that his report of managing billion-dollar budgets units him other than the remainder of his rivals.

“Let’s check out these individuals who’ve been in authorities all their lives. The place’s the federal government now?” McGuire stated. “We’re going backwards in training. We have gone backwards within the financial system, backwards in healthcare. And we have gone backwards on legal justice.”

He actually has a number of the New York enterprise group behind him. His 13 years working as vice chairman at Citigroup—the place he facilitated the $80 billion sale of AT&T to Time Warner—earned him the respect of his friends.

To a lot of his former colleagues, McGuire is finest suited to run the town and get it out of its monetary gap. Based on the NY Instances, a number of characterised McGuire as an “approachable chief and keen mentor,” but additionally an “image-conscious supervisor who might wrestle with indecision.”

His marketing campaign is concentrated now on introducing him to extra New Yorkers with an promoting blitz. Regardless of spending $8.2 million of its $11.7 million marketing campaign battle chest, greater than another candidate, McGuire just isn’t extensively identified. He’s raised cash privately, foregoing the town Marketing campaign Finance Board’s matching funds program. His marketing campaign has additionally obtained hundreds of thousands of {dollars} in tremendous PAC cash, for which he emphasised there’s no coordination, per state guidelines.

McGuire, a beneficiant donor to native arts and non-profit teams such because the New York Public Library, Council of City Professionals, Harlem College of the Arts, and the New York Metropolis Police Basis Board, stated the enterprise group had an vital position to play in serving to deprived New Yorkers and the town as a complete get well from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Keep in mind within the ’70s, enterprise, authorities, and labor all got here collectively to ensure that this metropolis to outlive,” McGuire stated. “The narrative that’s now a part of the discourse is a story of divisiveness. It isn’t a story of the place we carry individuals in. We can’t, the town can’t, survive and have a future so long as we stay divided.”

Ray McGuire (second from left) inside a Staten Island café.


Ray McGuire inside a Staten Island cafe.

David Cruz / Gothamist

His argument that it’s time to carry all of the stakeholders to the desk— and never divide them as he and lots of within the enterprise group consider Mayor Invoice de Blasio did—has attracted endorsements from distinguished Black New Yorkers, together with movie director Spike Lee, and Gwen Carr, the mom of Eric Garner.

The 20-minute chat with Staten Island enterprise homeowners wasn’t all enterprise. When it segued into New Yorkers shifting out of state for someplace extra inexpensive, and McGuire heard somebody point out Ohio, the place was born, his eyes lit up.

“Go Browns!” he stated. “Quantity 32!” His reference to the well-known Cleveland Browns soccer participant Jim Brown drew loads of laughs.

McGuire has typically talked about rising up poor in Dayton, Ohio, along with his single mom, siblings, and grandparents. He left at age 16 on a scholarship to the elite Hotchkiss Preparatory College from which he launched a higher-ed diploma spree at Harvard, the place he earned a B.A. from the school in addition to legislation and enterprise levels.

The candidate wrapped up his day visiting Kecia Weaver, proprietor of Pavilion on the Terrace, who took him across the landmarked waterfront occasions venue. Weaver bought the property (in-built 1835) seven years in the past nevertheless it wasn’t till March of this 12 months that she was allowed to open.

McGuire stated he was dismayed over the delays Weaver confronted when opening her place, including as he regarded round, “that is precisely the enterprise that I’d have.”

He then discovered Weaver was the one lady of shade to personal a banquet corridor on Staten Island, one of many 3.5% of Black enterprise homeowners throughout the town. McGuire stated if will get elected mayor he would beef up these numbers.

“Now we received to get you in workplace!” Weaver stated.

“Now we received to get me in workplace,” McGuire echoed, his eyes smiling over his facemask.