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STU ON THE ISSUES

Healthcare

Healthcare is not a commodity. It is a human right. As a type 1 diabetic I have seen first-hand how broken our health system is. I have dedicated my life to fighting to expand access to quality healthcare -- from the halls of state government in Albany, to legal aid clinics at Woodhull Hospital. We must do more to ensure everyone in District 33 and across the city has access to the care they need.

  • Provide home care for all so seniors can continue to live in the community and don’t need to be placed in dangerous institutions like nursing homes

  • Open city-run community pharmacies to expand access to life-saving medication at prices New Yorkers can afford.

  • Work alongside our allies in Albany to pass the NY Health Act and provide healthcare for all New Yorkers. 

  • Expand city healthcare options to provide comprehensive care, and not just emergency coverage.

  • Fight to stop the closure of community hospitals like Kingsbrook

  • Provide comprehensive mental health care and use the closure of Rikers (the country’s 3rd largest mental hospital) to decarcerate the mental health treatment, particularly for marginalized communities. 

  • Support passing the New York Health Act to free both businesses and employees from being responsible for health insurance.

Housing

As a result of the pandemic, there are over 200,000 evictions pending which will lead to the largest housing and homelessness crisis since the Great Depression. I fight every day to get my clients access to quality housing, consistently standing up to powerful special interests that would prefer to leave them behind. We must reclaim the levers of power that determine New Yorkers’ access to housing and get them working for all of us--not just the rich and powerful. 

  • Overhaul the NYC Planning Commission to make its primary focus solving the affordable housing crisis in NYC

  • Reform rezoning laws to ensure sure all land rezoned for residential use is zoned for 100% affordable housing, based on the actual needs of the district

  • Require the city to work with mission driven non-profits to construct affordable housing, instead of for-profit developers.

  • Give all immigrants, including undocumented immigrants, access to affordable housing

  • End homelessness by adopting a housing first plan which focuses on long term housing for the homeless instead of temporary shelters, and does not set pre-conditions on providing affordable housing

  • Convert financially distressed hotels and commercial space into housing for the homeless and legalize basement apartments

  • End privatization programs like RAD which constantly lead to increasing rates of evictions.

  • Work with Albany to fully fund NYCHA repairs and fix the NYCHA repair process to make the ticket system transparent for regular review

Small Business

Many of our beloved local spots have been forced to close over the past year. Neighbors lost their jobs and those who dedicated their lives to building community had to shutter their bars, restaurants, and stores. They closed not because of the pandemic, but because of our city’s failure to protect local stores. We need to do more to help those that survived stay open, and help entrepreneurs start new places that could become the very fabric of our community.

  • Providing relief for small business who are in debt for months they couldn’t stay open funded through COVID-19 Bonds.

  • Implementing a small business legal aid and social worker program and give local businesses the tools to navigate city bureaucracy.

  • Requiring commercial rental agreements to forgive a tenant’s obligation to make lease payments when unforeseen circumstances like terrorist attacks, hurricanes and pandemics occur.

  • Centralizing small business licensing so owners don’t have to run around to different agencies.

  • Finally passing the Small Business Jobs Survival Act to protect businesses from massive rent increases in lease renewals.

  • Creating a NYC public bank to provide loans to new businesses and businesses looking to expand, with a focus on assisting women and minority owned businesses access capitol.

  • Ensuring the state’s $800 million small business relief grants go to local businesses that need the support the most.

 

Justice

While the arc of history may bend toward justice it does not do so on its own.
We must make a city where no one is expendable, and where safety means safety for all not for some. We must make a city where people, particularly black and latinx folks, are safe from discrimination and violence at the hands of law enforcement. I have committed my life to fighting for justice and I will continue to be that champion in city council. 

  • Drastically reduce the budget of the NYPD and reallocate funding towards departments focused on the social welfare of the city.

  • Remove the NYPD from traffic enforcement, mental health response, homeless outreach, school safety, and public hospital security. 

  • Create a fully ADA compliant 15-minute city for all New Yorkers.

  • Create more accessible affordable housing stock so people with disabilities aren’t trapped in their homes while they wait years for a transfer

  • Addressing the crisis of black women’s high maternal mortality (8x more likely to die in childbirth in New York City) and demand the state finally provide funding for the Brooklyn doula project

  • Demand a report from all hospitals, nursing homes, and long term care facilities in NYC on the disproportionally high mortality rates for black and latinx seniors.

  • Cannabis legalization in a manner that takes into account the destructive effects of the war on drugs.

Labor

New York City has always been a union town. The labor movement built our city and protects its workers. As we see a national crackdown on unions at the state and national level, it falls to our local representatives in City Council to protect New York’s workers. We must provide     unwavering support for our unions and be vigilant against efforts to undermine them. As the Councilperson for District 33 and a proud member of ALAA 2325 (UAW 9A), I will fight for workers’ rights every day I am in office.

  • Within District 33, advise against any new development, construction, or infrastructure projects that do not have unions at the table at every phase and do not pay prevailing wage.

  • Codify and expand requirements that anyone who receives city funding or contracts with the city sign labor peace agreements with employees attempting to unionize

  • In order to build Union power and Union density, I will pilot a program in high schools in District 33 to expand awareness of Labor organizations to ensure a bright future for working New Yorkers

  • Support the creation of a gig workers union in NYC and pass legislation classifying gig workers as employees (pre-empting a Prop 22-style bill)

  • I will stand with and support all workers during labor disputes and negotiations and will never cross a picket line

  • Demand employers respect card-check neutrality agreements 

  • Advocate to increase resources for DCWP in order to more effectively enforce New York City’s paid sick and Fair Work Week laws.

Sustainability

As a waterfront district, District 33 is on the frontline of the global climate crisis. When Hurricane Sandy hit, our neighborhoods were decimated. We have a responsibility to do everything in our power to live sustainably. This means working with the film industry to incentivize green technology, strive for zero waste and combined sewage overflows, and stop all pipeline construction across the district. The next City Council must take bold action in the face of climate change - we cannot afford to do less.

  • As the heart of New York’s film industry, we must support a tax incentive for carbon neutral features, building a film set/prop recycling center in the district, and require electric generators for filming on any city owned or maintained property.  

  • Support no-motor vehicle infrastructure including: genuinely protected bike lanes, underground parking for vehicles, addressing urban freight and Last mile problem.

  • Invest in zero-waste and composting programs across the district.

  • Create open streets designed by the city, with infrastructure like retractable bollards, and coordination with other city services and local businesses.

  • Fund NYCHA for carbon neutrality and fund loans to retrofit buildings for neutrality

  • Build green infrastructure to reduce combined sewage overflow (CSO) dumping into our rivers, and modernize NYC's sewage so stop dumping sewage into waterways entirely.

  • Stop the North Brooklyn pipeline, and any future proposed fracked gas pipeline

  • Ensure all city-owned vehicles are electric - including school buses and ambulances.

  • Fund long term solutions with community input from groups like the BQET that get the BQE out of peoples backyards and reconnect the neighborhood with it’s waterfront