Every City leader must commit to treating housing as the human right that it is for all people, not another commodity. Real estate developers, landlords, and banks shouldn’t make a profit from poor living conditions and devastating rent hikes. I’ve been an advocate for our community in several land use disputes.
I’ve provided testimony in opposition to the NY Blood Center proposal, and I actively opposed the Flushing Waterfront Rezoning plan because of its lack of affordable housing. I was also part of the successful fight to prevent gentrification and displacement as a result of major rezoning in Industry City.
As your City Council member, I will lead a fundamental reckoning with New York City’s housing system and fight for the rights of tenants and New Yorkers experiencing homelessness.
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 an issue of racial justice as our students face unthinkable levels of segregation in our current system. We must desegregate our schools and ensure every child has the opportunity to succeed.
District 5 has a diverse community of older adults, despite the fact that senior services are chronically underfunded by the City each year. As a City Council member I will work to create a community infrastructure that is inclusive to all.
Most importantly, I will listen to senior residents, and work to implement the changes that need to be made. Often our older neighbors feel overlooked, despite the fact that they are major contributors to our vibrant neighborhoods.
Our District should lead the way in fostering a community that allows seniors to age and thrive in place.
I've worked on criminal justice reform in the state legislature, specifically parole for seniors and ending the human rights abuses of solitary confinement. I understand the toll a broken justice system takes on New York families. I know what it's like to see a loved one in a cell and lose a family member to addiction. Our system is broken and we have the tools to fix it.
I support refunding the community through a $3 billion minimum reduction in the NYPD budget to be reallocated to the actual needs in our communities. I support an end to the wars on drugs and sex workers, which make our communities less safe. I reject the construction of any new jails in our city and believe our paths to restitution must be restorative, not retributive.
I will fight for the rights of our residents to run prosperous businesses, earn a salary that allows them to live in clean, safe and beautiful neighborhoods, and occupy those neighborhoods without the constant threat of displacement by disruptive real estate developers.
This requires a commitment to a just economic recovery that prioritizes our small businesses and the workers who ensure their success.
Over the last year, the COVID-19 pandemic has come to dominate the discourse surrounding health care. This is for good reason— New York City wasn’t prepared for the danger of a contagious disease and the destruction it brought to essential services and resources.
With strong leadership and serious scrutiny of how we failed to slow down this disaster, we can recover quickly and prevent the next one. I want to lead District 5 beyond recovery and towards true reform of our healthcare system.
Let’s build up the areas of healthcare that have long been neglected— mental health, reproductive health, and medical services for immigrants, seniors, trans residents and residents of color.
As a global leader in technological innovation and progressive ideals, New York City can set a precedent for sustainable cities around the world. I have a long-demonstrated commitment to protecting our environment in both my personal and professional life.
I’ve been an ethical vegan for 15 years and worked with multiple advocacy organizations on environmental campaigns. As a candidate, I’m a proud signatory to the Green New Deal for New York and No Fossil Fuel Money Pledges.
Most recently, I worked with a local nonprofit on Roosevelt Island to prevent overdevelopment that threatened biodiversity in existing green space and participated in an upcoming documentary about the threat of corporate interests to the local environment.
New York City's public transportation system and transportation infrastructure has been inefficient and underfunded for decades. Most transit options are inaccessible to residents with disabilities, our bus system is underperforming, traffic crashes continue to create preventable tragedies, and cars contribute a major portion of the City’s pollution.
There is a way to ensure safe, accessible, affordable, and environmentally sustainable transportation for all New Yorkers. Making it happen will require reexamination of the City’s changing rhythms as well as collaboration among boroughs, residents, and City and State agencies.
New York City has long been a place for people from all over the world to live, prosper, and raise families. We have a responsibility to fight for New Yorkers that have been deprived of basic human rights because of where they were born.
Both citizen and non-citizen immigrant residents face discrimination, disenfranchisement, and disproportionately low living and working conditions.
As a grandson of immigrants from Costa Rica and Guatemala, I will stand with immigrants regardless of their documentation status and reject all attempts to weaponize documentation status against immigrant families.
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.
As a City Council member I will promote the rights of all animals. 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.
Over the course of my career I’ve worked on behalf of animals in the nonprofit sector, fought to end abusive policies as an advocate and written influential articles condemning exploitation of the meat and dairy industries as a journalist.