Housing and Affordability:
One-by-one, members of Patrick’s family moved further uptown or upstate from El Barrio because of a lack of truly affordable housing. The current form of affordable forces individuals living near or below the poverty line, receiving SSI/Social Security, to compete in the housing market, as if housing were something less than a human right. We need expanded support for NYCHA and an expansion of NYCHA housing to get the hundreds of thousands of people on waiting lists in affordable housing. Meanwhile, vacant apartments in luxury towers build wealth for people who live outside of the city while residents struggle with rent. We need to bring the concept of homeownership back to middle- and lower-income New Yorkers. We need to change the culture of bare minimums when talking about wages and benefits. We need to remind corporations, city government, and Albany that true affordability is our right, not a tax write-off.
Healthcare is a human right that should be offered to all, according to their needs, regardless of gender, age, sexuality, income or race. Our health and our bodies should not be subject to market forces. I will work tirelessly in the fight for single-payer care for every New Yorker. I will fight to protect and expand public physical and mental health services for all women, children, and LGBT individuals.
Health and Safety in Schools:
Upper Manhattan has some of the best and most innovative public schools in the city. We have great teachers and talented students. We need to maintain diverse schools, with healthy meals provided to every student, and we need to stop putting students and staff at risk with the high-risk lead contamination found in some of our schools. The contamination results found in the water at Roosevelt Island’s PS 217 are shameful and it is up to our elected officials to take responsibility and address this crisis with greater urgency. I will demand health, safety, and diversity in our public schools.
Environmental safety and the 91st Street Transfer Station:
Our elected officials promised us that the 91st Street Marine Transfer Station would not open. We need newly elected officials who will stand up to the developers, special interests, and lobbyists who managed to sway our current administration.
The station should absolutely not be opened without a second ramp to divert traffic. Better yet, the station could be repurposed for the community. With the station is in a residential flood zone, we need to demand that the health, safety, and wellness of the people in our neighborhood take precedence over the greed of lobbyists and political special interests.
I also support:
- Replacing empty storefronts with pop-up gallery space to expand the cultural footprint of District 5
- Community-based policing and an independent civilian review board for NYPD
- Protected pensions, health care and competitive pay for all city and state employees
- LGBT inclusiveness training for all public employees and all people working in health and mental hygiene, education and social services, to be taught by LGBT-identified individuals
- A cultural shift on how we talk about homelessness and a shared responsibility to provide housing and healthcare needed as basic human rights for all ages, abilities, and identities
- Decriminalizing “quality-of-life” offenses in order to unclog our jail systems and protect first-time undocumented offenders
- Universal basic income for stay-at-home parents
- Full public matching funds and transparency to keep the 1% from influencing policy that affects the 99%
- Truly free public universities, including housing subsidies for low-income students
- An expansion of loan forgiveness programs for degree-holding graduates, to get this generation and the next out of debt
- A jobs program to connect recent graduates and small business owners in order to help graduates build tech careers while helping small businesses run by native and non-native English speakers to be modern and competitive
- Continued support of women’s right to choose and public access to free cancer screenings and birth control
- Expanded public employee access and training for Naloxone administration in response to the opioid epidemic
- Free public access to Naloxone and training provided to individuals and businesses
- Air-conditioning units for families and seniors living in public housing
- Preferred choice and instant run-off voting