Co-Governing Our Way Out of Crisis

As a community organizer, I have seen and fully believe that building consensus among as many stakeholders as possible is fundamental to being accountable to our communities. Our campaign is dedicated to co-governance. Not only are we engaging constituents and directly incorporating their concerns into our work, but we're also partnering with local and citywide movements to build policies and envision transformative legislation that we, collectively, can draft and ultimately pass once elected.

How We Created This Policy Action Plan

1
Reached out to grassroots, member-led organizations to ask what their demands for NYC Council are
2
Surveyed the community on these issues over 5 weeks
3
Called residents to invite them to online policy forums for feedback

This policy platform is the result of these efforts and reflects our vision for a better community, a better City. It is, as all policy platforms should be, a living document, one that is and will continue to be informed by movements as we collectively struggle for a better world.

Our Platform

HOUSING FOR ALL NEW YORKERS

Housing is a human right, and no one should be without a home. Council District 37 has the highest rate of youth who are housing insecure or homeless, some of the highest rates of women and children going into local shelters, and the highest number of homes on the city’s tax lien sale. My top priority is to push for a NYC Homes Guarantee to win housing for all and treat land and housing as a public good, not as a commodity.

  • Immediately pass Intro 146 to increase the CityFHEPS voucher amount in order to meet market rate housing prices until larger social housing projects are completed

  • Swiftly identify and demand all housing developed on city owned lots be targeted to low and extremely low-income households

  • Work to accelerate and expand the creation of the already-committed 15,000 units of supportive housing under the NYC 15/15 Initiative while focusing on a Housing First approach to expedite placements

  • Examine the potential to purchase, convert, and rehab hotels into supportive or permanent housing facilities individuals

  • Support a just and equitable property tax reform to bring tax relief to small homeowners in communities of color

  • Fight to eliminate the 421a tax abatement, which costs NYC $1.6 billion per year and has failed to provide truly affordable housing for extremely low income households

  • Fully implement the Right to Counsel program for all zip codes in NYC

  • Work with City, State, and Federal lawmakers to fully fund NYCHA repairs and work with resident leadership to retrofit existing NYCHA buildings for sustainability

  • Work with NYCHA residents to push back against PACT Conversions and RAD and ensure full transparency and accountability for the developments that have converted, such as Hope Gardens

  • Support and fund community land trusts and cooperative home ownership initiatives to keep housing permanently affordable, off the speculative market, and to build residents’ power

  • Support the work of State Senator Julia Salazar’s office in extending the Cease & Desist Zone across NYC

  • Create a registry of vacant units and impose escalating fines on landlords who warehouse; create pathways to bring these units to occupancy for low and extremely low income households

HEALTH AND MENTAL HEALTH CARE FOR ALL

Healthcare is a human right, and it should not be tied to a job or your immigration status. Absent a State or Federal universal healthcare program, I will fight to guarantee every New Yorker has access to quality universal mental and physical health.

  • Increase funding for our nearby public safety net hospitals, Wyckoff and Woodhull Hospital

  • Protect and expand NYC’s paid sick leave and paid time off to independent contractors and immigrant workers

  • Expand mental health facilities and services, including quality field-based and site based treatment and crisis intervention

  • Work with State lawmakers to advocate for ending the 24 hour work day for home health aide workers

  • Protect New York’s Essential Plan that guarantees health care to all New Yorkers

  • Ensuring funding for the Access Health Initiative to ensure the most vulnerable New Yorkers gain access to healthcare

  • Protect the Managed Care Consumer Assistance Program (MCCAP) to support New Yorkers in navigating the complex health care system

  • Support the NYC Care Program, which improves access to services for immigrants within the public hospital system and for people and families without insurance

  • Work with State legislators to pass the New York Health Act to guarantee comprehensive, universal health care in New York State

  • Create a 24/7 call-in mental health responder service involving unarmed, trained de-escalators that can effectively and safely respond to mental health crises

  • Increase access to healthy and nutritious fresh food through increasing funding for the NYC Food Box

COMPREHENSIVE, HIGH QUALITY EDUCATION FOR EVERY CHILD

Your zip code should not determine the quality of your public education. Our current segregated school system leaves students of color often with less access to a comprehensive education and extracurricular activities. I am fully committed to standing with students, parents, educators, and administrators, to fight for the health and wellbeing of our children.

END THE SCHOOL TO PRISON PIPELINE

The police punish Black and Latino students at higher and harsher rates than their white peers. Policing - no matter who does it - does not belong in our schools: our students need access to social services and support. I will fight tirelessly to disrupt the school to prison pipeline and move toward a restorative justice system in our schools.

FREE HIGHER EDUCATION FOR EVERY NEW YORKER

New York City has more billionaires than any other city in the country and is one of the wealthiest cities in the world. This inequality is replicated in our school system, and must end by guaranteeing quality education for all. We need to support the next generation of leaders and innovators through providing free higher education to every New Yorker who seeks it. As an activist and organizer, I have been fighting against student debt and the high cost of higher education for years. In the Council, I will continue that fight.

  • Support a New Deal for CUNY that will increase the number of mental health counselors, academic advisors and full time faculty, as well as increase the compensation for adjunct faculty

  • Support the expansion of CUNY Excelsior program to include part-time students, undocumented students and students who must take time off between semesters

  • Address the needs of CUNY students with disabilities through pushing for more funding for infrastructure upgrades and professors trained for different learning styles

DECARCERATION AND HARM REDUCTION

The “criminal justice” system is unjust, and it's time for it to be completely upended and reimagined. Prisons, torture, and isolation should not be our societal practices. I believe our communities can be safe without having armed officers respond to the majority of crises. Whether it’s Council Members or District Attorneys, all public officials have a responsibility to decarcerate our city. We must divest from the systems that harm us, and invest in the public services and programs that promote healthy communities such as robust family services, drug rehabilitation centers, strong job and workforce development programs, anti-violence programs and experts, and real investments in mental health facilities and services.

NYPD ACCOUNTABILITY & REDUCTION

The police have too much power and too much taxpayer money. It’s time we, the people, get a say in what actually makes us feel safe. I was a leader during the Spring 2020 mass action movement that demanded at least a $1 billion divestment from the NYPD, and for those funds to be reallocated to public programs and services that center care and meet peoples’ immediate needs. I am ready to bring the Movement with me to the floor of the City Council.

  • Fight for an independent conviction review process for a second look at unfair or wrongful convictions

  • Support giving the Civilian Complaint Review Board subpoena powers and the authority to determine disciplinary action for police officers found guilty of misconduct and abuse

  • Reassign the enforcement of traffic to the Department of Transportation

  • Fight for a cap on NYPD overtime to $400 million annually

  • Work to reduce the NYPD headcount through a hiring freezes and steep reductions in cadet class sizes

  • Move all misconduct settlement payments to come from the NYPD budget

  • Bring full transparency to the NYPD budget and support Comptroller access to budget outlays

  • Create enforcement mechanisms that ensure fiscal responsibility in order to restrict overspending.

  • Divest $3 billion from the NYPD budget and reinvest in services that create public health and safety

LOCAL RESILIENT ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

The COVID-19 pandemic, shutdown, and economic recession has changed the way our economy works, and how people “work.” This moment demands us to define what the future worker will be doing, and what future work will look like. We have an obligation, and an opportunity, to promote resilient local economic development in our community. I will fight for more workforce development programs that are training new workers, and re-skilling current workers as our industries evolve and change.

  • Work with small business owners and citywide allies to implement commercial rent stabilization in order to end excessive commercial rent hikes, level the playing field during lease negotiations, and protect immigrant and MWBE businesses coming out of the pandemic.

  • Increase funding for the incubation of innovative sustainable industries for our manufacturing spaces and within the East New York Business Improvement District

  • Protect our district’s manufacturing spaces from being rezoned or illegally converted into residential units

  • Establish and expand funding to support worker cooperatives and workforce development programs in new sustainable industries

  • Enable more immigrant-owned small businesses and worker cooperatives to procure city funding through the NYC ID

  • Support community credit unions and the establishment of a Public Bank to invest in local, non-predatory development

  • Work with local community organizations to get funding for a Central Brooklyn Food Hub and an East New York food hub in order to address food inequity, insecurity, and to support a resilient local economy

SUPPORT AND PROTECT OUR SENIORS

Our seniors should feel celebrated, not left behind; they deserve to feel cared for, secure, and a part of our communities. I will fight to ensure all seniors have access to supportive programs regarding rent and home repairs required for their mobility and that any newly-created housing protects their dignity. I will fight for measures that defend their economic, emotional and physical safety.

  • Establish additional funding for Department for the Aging (DFTA) programs to address the homecare and case management waiting lists

  • Support caregivers through additional funding for City programs & CBOs

  • Create a DFTA enforcement office that will enforce high standards of care and management of senior housing through issuing reports, grading senior facilities (public or private) and imposing penalties when needed

  • Increase funding to senior centers and develop new senior housing in District 37

  • Support the expansion of eligibility for the Senior Citizens Homeowners’ Exemption (SCHE) to help older homeowners living on limited budgets

  • Increase funding to foreclosure prevention programs that support seniors at risk of deed or equity theft

  • Advocate for the creation of additional bus shelters and benches to better serve seniors

  • Engage economic development organizations to bring workforce development programming in industries with remote jobs for Seniors who must work to subsidize their fixed income

HIGH-QUALITY PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION

Guaranteeing every New Yorker has access to public transit is a climate justice and a racial justice issue. Too many of our Black and Brown neighborhoods are transportation deserts. Our public transit system is in trouble, and we have a chance to not just save it, but transform it so it can finally work for all New Yorkers.

  • Secure Federal funds to save the transit system that is losing $125 million per week because of the Coronavirus pandemic

  • Support the calls for city control over the NYC transit system

  • Expand the fair fares program to include more vulnerable New Yorkers

  • Increase bus-only lanes going north and south in Brooklyn

  • Add traffic signal priority at 300 intersections per year

  • Work with State lawmakers to ensure the ADA-compliance of subway stations, in particular Broadway Junction, with more elevators and escalators

  • Create more fully connected bike lane arteries, focus efforts to keep bike lanes clear, & increase biker safety through protected bike lanes

  • Preserve, expand, and monitor the Open Streets Program that was created during the pandemic. Work to extend this to District 37th through the creation of an Open Streets Committee

EMPOWERING AND PROTECTING WOMEN AND OUR LGBTQ+ NEIGHBORS

As an organizer who has literally and figuratively been co-creating physical spaces and community institutions in my district for nearly a decade, I pride myself on the fact that people from all walks of life continue to find joy, purpose, and power in the groups and spaces I have led. I will bring these experiences to the City Council.

  • Ban Virginity Testing that subjects young women to sexual violence and a violation of privacy

  • Support the first inclusive Equal Rights Amendment to establish sex, ethnicity, national origin, age, disability, sexual orientation and gender identity as protected classes

  • Establish comprehensive Sexual Education in grades K-12 that will provide age-appropriate education of human sexuality aligned with national sexuality education standards

  • Fund initiatives that directly work with young girls and women

  • Restoring NYC Unity Works to support LGBTQIA employment

  • Offer year-round apprenticeships through our City Council office

CLIMATE-RESILIENT NEIGHBORHOODS

Working to achieve climate and environmental justice means we prioritize communities who have lived through institutional environmental racism. These communities should benefit first from any new solutions to combating, adapting, or mitigating the climate crisis. I will fight to ensure District 37 is not left behind again.

EBT/SNAP BENEFITS

  • Work with state and federal elected officials to increase monthly EBT/SNAP allotments to address families running out of money/food in the third week of each month, leading them to experience hunger until their next EBT/ SNAP deposit, something which is unacceptable in 2021

  • Advocate for businesses to offer EBT/SNAP recipients a significant discount for purchases

  • Advocate for all Supermarkets, food outlets and farmers' markets to offer a specific discount at checkout when the EBT/SNAP card is presented as payment, allowing EBT/SNAP benefits to last longer

  • Introduce legislation to provide EBT/SNAP cardholders and four family members free entry to city cultural institutions, and to ask private cultural institutions to offer free entry or a max cost of $3 per family unit -- policy already implemented in many cities across the US.