Donovan praised the Pakistani American Skilled Women Organization (PASWO) for their work supporting their local community in a time of crisis.

He noted that organizations like PASWO deserve greater support from the City and outlined plans to work with community organizations to expand food access as mayor.

BROOKLYN, NY — Today, New York City Mayoral Candidate Shaun Donovan visited a food pantry in Brooklyn operated by the Pakistani American Skilled Women Organization (PASWO), highlighting their incredible work over the past year, distributing meals to community members, and discussing his plans to make fresh, healthy, affordable, and culturally appropriate food more widely accessible.

We know that AAPI organizations and nonprofits only get less than 2% of the money that the City invests into organizations like this, and that has to change. As mayor I would change that, I would work closely with the Pakistani community, with all of our immigrants, to make sure we’re creating economic opportunity.

And specifically I would ensure that organizations like [the Pakistani American Skilled Women Organization] that support food needs, economic needs, that we are investing with you — that’s one big part of my food plan, that every restaurant, every food organization, every pantry could be supported. Second, that we make sure that fresh food is available everywhere… we need to have that available in every community, and we need to make sure that food is culturally appropriate — halal food in every cafeteria in schools — to make sure that everyone can eat hot, fresh, culturally-appropriate, religiously appropriate meals.

And I would bring — working closely with President Biden, with Vice President Harris — billions of dollars of aid to put people back to work in our city.”

Donovan also shared a number of policies from his Food Platform, which was introduced last month, including:

  • Supporting the city’s food establishments — regardless of size or location — in recovering from the pandemic and overcoming obstacles that have existed for years

  • Making healthy food accessible in all of our communities and all of our institutions

  • Finding innovative solutions to reduce waste and address our carbon footprint

Read more about Shaun Donovan’s plans to reimagine New York as a city that works for everyone in his 200-page Plan for the City of New York.

About Shaun Donovan:

A lifelong New Yorker, Shaun Donovan served in President Obama’s Cabinet for his full eight years in office. From January 2009 to July 2014, Shaun was the 15th Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, where he led the fight against the nation’s unprecedented foreclosure crisis. Under his leadership, HUD helped families rent or buy affordable homes, revitalized distressed communities, fought discrimination, and dramatically reduced homelessness. After Hurricane Sandy hit his hometown, President Obama asked Shaun to lead the Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force, leaving a stronger, more resilient region than before the storm hit.

In July 2014, he was sworn in as the 40th Director of the U.S. Office of Management and Budget. At OMB, Shaun increased investment in key domestic and national security priorities that grew the economy, protected our country, and increased opportunity. He also oversaw regulations that reduced inequality, expanded health care, improved education, and fought climate change. While OMB Director, Shaun played a pivotal role in managing the nation’s response to the Ebola and Zika outbreaks.

Prior to joining the Obama Administration, Shaun served as Commissioner of the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development under Mayor Mike Bloomberg. He also served in the Clinton administration as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Multi-family Housing at HUD and as acting Commissioner for the U.S. Federal Housing Administration.

Deeply affected by the crisis he saw around him while growing up in New York City, he volunteered in a homeless shelter during college and interned for the National Coalition for the Homeless when he graduated. After studying housing in graduate school, he returned to work for the nonprofit Community Preservation Corporation in the Bronx and across New York City.

Shaun holds a B.A. and Masters degrees in Public Administration and Architecture from Harvard University. Shaun was born and grew up in New York City, and is married to Liza Gilbert, a Landscape Architect who has designed and restored parks in New York City and across the country. Shaun and Liza live in Brooklyn, where they raised their sons Milo and Lucas.


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