Housing is a moral human right. New York City residents face a dearth of affordable housing, skyrocketing rents and corrupt eviction practices. In addition to these challenges, an uncounted but substantial number of people are experiencing homelessness on our streets. As a member of the Council, I would advocate for the expansion of affordable housing units in District 5.
The Right to Counsel program must be expanded for residents in need of legal representation amid unjust eviction. The Department of Housing Preservation and Development and Department of Buildings should also be allotted the additional resources necessary to fully support our residents. In addition to city measures, state lawmakers must pass stronger housing legislation.
Every child deserves a world-class education. Some of the best schools in our country are right here in New York City, including District 5. But many of our public educators and students are not receiving the support they need to thrive. Our public schools are not receiving the funding they deserve. Understaffing, poor teacher pay and crowded classrooms detract from students’ ability to learn.
Education is also a racial justice issue. Over 70 per cent of our Black and Latino children attend schools in which the majority of children live in poverty. Only 15 percent of the students in public classrooms are white. The lack of attention our public schools receive in the discourse is another expression of systemic disenfranchisement.
I am committed to systemic reforms to policing in New York City.
My office will work tirelessly to enact the Campaign Zero reforms. I encourage all candidates to commit to these common-sense policy solutions to make our communities safer and more equitable.
I also support refunding the community through a $1 billion minimum reduction in the NYPD budget to be reallocated to the actual needs in our communities and have demanded legislation for an Elected Civilian Review Board, including the position of independent prosecutor.
We must become a city where Black Lives Matter is an operating principle rather than a statement of protest.
I stand with immigrants regardless of their documentation status and reject all attempts to weaponize documentation status against immigrant families.
All immigrant residents should be given a pathway to citizenship. No family should ever be separated due to immigration status. Every child should be afforded equal opportunities regardless of national origin. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) should be abolished. Period.
I propose that the New York City Council launch an ICE Alerts NYC program to better protect our immigrant communities from ICE raids, through advance training/education, up-to-the-minute alerts about incoming ICE activity and on-the-ground immigrant assistance amid immigration detention attempts
As an openly gay man, I recognize both the stunning progress we've achieved toward LGBTQ+ rights and the hard work remaining to be done. We prioritize the rights and inclusion of our transgender, genderqueer and gender non-conforming siblings in the LGBTQ+ discourse.
In New York City, an urgent issue remains the disparity in LGBTQ+ health outcomes and anti-trans discrimination, most notably the repugnant Walking While Trans law. Addiction services, HIV prevention services (PrEP), accessible health screenings and educational health services require additional funding and innovation to more fully serve our queer community. I support the full decriminalization of sex work and reject the Nordic model.
New York City must be a city that welcomes people regardless of ability status. As a long-time caregiver for family members with physical and cognitive disabilities, I understand first-hand the way our city is failing our neighbors living with disabilities.
I will work to strengthen and expand civil rights protections around disability. I support the development of supportive housing in our district and will work to expand accessible transportation. I commit to allocating discretionary funding to serving people living with disabilities.
My office will accommodate those living with disabilities, ensure accessibility standards that meet the needs of our community and exercise inclusive hiring practices.
Universal basic income (UBI) is a sound solution for reducing national economic inequality, providing greater socio-economic mobility and promoting economic stability.
The COVID-19 crisis has created a need for immediate implementation of emergency UBI in New York City. An historic number of residents are now unemployed, underemployed or furloughed.
The ability of all people to access food, housing and medical care is a fundamental component of any nation's commitment to human rights. UBI is proven tool to move us closer to our human rights goals while improving our economy.
I’ve been a consistent and uncompromising animal rights advocate in both my professional and private life since I became an ethical vegan at age 16.
As a Council Member, I will work to ban horse carriages from the city, support an end to all live animal use in schools, ban fur sales, end selective enforcement of laws for illegal animal abuse, ensure every student has access to healthy plant-based meals and end animal slaughter in the city. I am also in favor of expanding the number of animal shelters, ensure companion animal access to homeless shelters and provide free spay/neuter programs.
In education, I support efforts to expand K-12 instruction on animal issues to ensure students develop a healthy relationship to both animals and the environment.
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