issues

HOUSING

Protecting our tenants and small homeowners is essential to the success of D30. For decades, elected officials have prioritized private development as the response to the dwindling housing supply instead of public-driven, community-first remedies, and the net result has been resoundingly detrimental to affordability. Every New Yorker should have the right to a safe, stable, and affordable place to live and it is time we prioritize housing as a human right. 

Transportation

The lack of transportation access and options in District 30 presents a real problem for our working class neighbors, students, and seniors. Very few pockets of the district have access to the NYC Subway and a limited number of buses, giving District 30 the unwelcome reputation as a transportation desert. We know how important it is for New Yorkers to remain connected to the city for employment opportunities, access to schools and health care needs, therefore investing in equitable access to public transportation is an investment in our neighbors and the betterment of our communities overall. 

education

Every student in New York City deserves access to a quality education that ensures their individual needs are met, creativity fostered, and their safety prioritized. Regardless of race, income, special needs, or immigration status, our students deserve a world class education that puts them first. Working towards equitable education means investing in students, teachers, and our public schools. 

labor

Labor unions and the workers they represent across a multitude of industries are the lifeblood of New York City. The Covid pandemic has only reinforced the importance of our essential working class neighbors and centering the rights of workers to create equitable and dignified job opportunities will be the key to a full recovery. We must legislate to protect, expand and empower labor unions as they create equitable workspaces for all New Yorkers. 

small business

Small businesses are the cornerstone of our communities. 98 percent of the businesses in New York City employ fewer than 100 employees, and it is these businesses that have been hit the hardest during the Covid-19 pandemic. Our city’s economy depends on the ability for small businesses to thrive and ensuring that our response to Covid relief for small businesses is equitable is the first step to ensuring that District 30 can continue employing our neighbors in our locally-owned restaurants, bakeries, retail, pharmacies, florists and other great small businesses.

public safety

Well funded and resourced communities are safe communities. Therefore, to ensure a safer and more prosperous city, we need to properly address how we fund policing and safety measures. A safer community for all means taking into consideration the needs of our neighbors, acknowledging racial and economic disparities in access to resources, and creating a just budget for our city that prioritizes safety and resources before a crime occurs. We need a responsible NYPD budget that prioritizes the safety of all New Yorkers, expands resources for the neediest communities, and invests in areas we know deter the likelihood of crime.

lgbtqia+

Queens is the most diverse borough, in the most diverse city in the world. That’s why it’s imperative we protect all of our neighbors from any form of discrimination due to their race, gender, sexual orientation, and identity. Ensuring a safe New York for all includes protecting our LGBTQIA+ neighbors from discrimination in housing, health and employment. I am committed to being an ally of the LGBTQIA+ community and will work to protect and enhance the quality of life for all New Yorkers. 

immigration

Queens is undeniably better and more resilient because of our diverse immigrant populations, which is why it’s crucial that every New Yorker, regardless of immigration status, feels protected in our city. As a first generation son of immigrant parents, I understand the plight immigrant families face daily, which is why we must ensure that immigrant communities are well-resourced and represented in all facets of government. 

quality of life

At the heart of all civic engagement is the desire for a better quality of life, which is why we must work to ensure a better quality of life for all residents of District 30, not just those who can afford it. Living in a transportation desert can often make every other aspect of life that much more difficult, which is why a better quality of life for District 30 must center increased access to basic goods and services, as well as incentives for small businesses and responsible developers to invest in our district.

Housing 

Protecting our tenants and small homeowners is essential to the success of D30. For decades, elected officials have prioritized private development as the response to the dwindling housing supply instead of public-driven, community-first remedies, and the net result has been resoundingly detrimental to affordability. Every New Yorker should have the right to a safe, stable, and affordable place to live and it is time we prioritize housing as a human right. 

 

Protect and expand affordable housing for tenants

  • Ensuring that any housing allowed to be built on city-owned land be permanently affordable to low- and moderate-income New Yorkers.

  • Protecting our NYCHA developments from privatization of any means, including repairs, as it displaces tenants, expands gentrification, and leaves union workers out of job opportunities. 

  • Ensuring that all new housing is designed and built to be environmentally sustainable and in areas of low risks of flooding.

  • Implementing a Land Value Tax to incentivize more housing and reduce vacant land in the city from going to waste.

  • Reforming the ULURP process to better serve our neighbors through a combination of community involvement, racial and ecological impact studies, and local vacancy rates that should inform our new development decisions.

 

Expanding protections and resources for small homeowners

  • Protecting small homeowners from foreclosure as we recover from COVID-19.

  • Ending the predatory tax lien sale which preys on vulnerable small homeowners.

  • Reinstating the property tax relief credit for homeowners as we recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. 

  • Providing grants to homeowners for risk-mitigation improvements to prevent further damage to D30 homes.

  • Expanding programs for Seniors 62+ who need help with mortgage payments.

 

Expanding protections and resources for tenants 

  • Limiting real estate speculation in middle class neighborhoods across D30, as real estate interests look to force families out of their homes. 

  • Supporting anti-eviction measures across the city and state of New York. 

  • Expanding the Right to Counsel which provides free counsel to low-income tenants facing eviction.

  • Increasing funding for the City’s code enforcement programs to protect tenants from harassment and predatory landlords. 

 

Create pathways towards homeownership for working class people 

  • Support legislation to deter cash home buyers that often are partnered with large real estate corporations.

  • Expanding aid to organizations working to help first time home buyers purchase a home. 

 

Address NYC’s homelessness crisis by investing in housing solutions 

  • Implementing a Housing First Model across the city, which moves away from the shelter model and provides permanent housing security for New Yorkers.

  • Supporting legislation that would allow New York City to purchase financially distressed commercial properties to provide permanent housing for poverty-stricken New Yorkers.

  • Expand the current programs addressing homelessness through the Department of Social Services.  

  • Placing an ultra wealth tax and a pied-a-terre tax that would help level the playing field between the top 1% and bottom 20% of our city.

Transportation

The lack of transportation access and options in District 30 presents a real problem for our working class neighbors, students, and seniors. Very few pockets of the district have access to the NYC Subway and a limited number of buses, giving District 30 the unwelcome reputation as a transportation desert. We know how important it is for New Yorkers to remain connected to the city for employment opportunities, access to schools and health care needs, therefore investing in equitable access to public transportation is an investment in our neighbors and the betterment of our communities overall. 

 

Expand transportation access and options in District 30

  • ​Expanding bus routes and dedicated lanes to connect our communities to transit hubs. 

  • Working with MTA to increase the speed and reliability of the buses in D30.

  • Investing in safe cycling and alternative transportation infrastructure to expand access to jobs, schools and local businesses.

  • Support the reopening of closed LIRR stations that run through District 30.

  • Listening to our constituents’ needs and working alongside them to develop a plan to meet their transportation needs. 

 

Ensure equitable access to transportation in NYC

  • Support the expansion of the Fair Fares program to assist all New Yorkers, including students and seniors.

  • Increasing the speed and reliability of Access-A-Ride to better connect our neighbors with their jobs, homes, schools, and other resources.

  • Ensuring our subway stations are ADA compliant - including the above-ground M stations that run through our district and recently underwent renovation without addressing the lack of accessibility elevators.

  • Supporting initiatives to decrease carbon emissions from public transportation. 

 

Make street safety a priority

  • Bring District 30 into the Open Streets program to support local communities and businesses.

  • Support implementing more wide turn lanes, speed cushions, delayed green lights and red-light enforcement.

  • Rationalize neighborhood parking to better ensure our community’s needs are met.

  • Improving commercial delivery curb space and delivery zones.

Education 

Every student in New York City deserves access to a quality education that ensures their individual needs are met, creativity fostered, and their safety prioritized. Regardless of race, income, special needs, or immigration status, our students deserve a world class education that puts them first. Working towards equitable education means investing in students, teachers, and our public schools. 

Equitably funded schools

  • Demanding foundation aid be paid to our public schools based on a need metric. 

  • Standardizing funding models to ensure that all schools are getting the aid they need, regardless of zip-code. 

  • Focusing on lowering class sizes as current overcapacity makes it difficult for students to remain engaged and understand class materials.

Prioritize Public Safety in our schools 

  • Removing police officers from our public schools.

  • Investing in more counselors, psychologists and nurses that can help students in a mental health or physical crisis.

  • Expand resources for special needs students, especially during a COVID19 recovery as students with disabilities have gone without much needed services.

  • Center restorative justice practices to resolve conflicts between students.

Desegregating/ Integrating schools 

  • Invest in equitable admissions models that are culturally responsive to the diversity in NYC public schools.

 

Culturally responsive teaching/curriculum

  • Hire and retain teachers, faculty, and staff that reflect the makeup of the D30 community. 

  • Bring city-funded Universal 3-K and Dual-Language pre-K programs to District 30. 

 

Investing in student’s future success 

  • Expanding resources to high schools for college preparedness. 

  • Expanding aid to schools with Career Technical Education centers (such as in Grover Cleveland High School).

  • Fully funding CUNY and making CUNY more accessible to all New Yorkers.


Labor 

Labor unions and the workers they represent across a multitude of industries are the lifeblood of New York City. The Covid pandemic has only reinforced the importance of our essential working class neighbors and centering the rights of workers to create equitable and dignified job opportunities will be the key to a full recovery. We must legislate to protect, expand and empower labor unions as they create equitable workspaces for all New Yorkers. 

 

Strengthen labor protections for all workers

  • Prioritizing hazard pay for our frontline workers who risk their lives to keep us all safe from COVID-19.

  • Creating new and clear guidelines to keep workers safe during the COVID-19 recovery

  • Expanding the City’s paid sick day requirement to cover gig workers. 

  • Supporting prevailing wage policies in the construction industry and service industry.

  • Assuring that strong labor standards for construction workers are included every time a project is considered under ULURP.

 

Support Labor Unions and expand unionization  

  • Protecting essential workers from termination without “just cause” to ensure that no worker is punished for calling out unsafe working conditions​.

  • Expand Project Labor Agreements (PLAs) beyond 2024/2025 to maximize full fiscal and other benefits related to them during the upcoming administration. 

  • Ensuring the right of fast food workers to organize free from intimidation and retaliation as they fight to improve jobs in their industries.

  • Passing comprehensive policies that protect displaced TEAs and hotel workers.

 

Post-COVID Recovery

  • Creating more green jobs across labor industries as we work to build environmentally sustainable buildings, modes of transportation and waste management plans. 

  • Investing in workforce development programs to get people back to work and offer workers resources to continue in their chosen field. 

  • Providing more aid to SYEP to get young people job opportunities and ensuring Council interns are paid.

  • Maintaining workers pensions and overtime pay whenever a fiscal decision is voted on during the next administration.

Small Businesses 

Small businesses are the cornerstone of our communities. 98 percent of the businesses in New York City employ fewer than 100 employees, and it is these businesses that have been hit the hardest during the Covid-19 pandemic. Our city’s economy depends on the ability for small businesses to thrive and ensuring that our response to Covid relief for small businesses is equitable is the first step to ensuring that District 30 can continue employing our neighbors in our locally-owned restaurants, bakeries, retail, pharmacies, florists and other great small businesses.
 

COVID-19 Relief and Assistance

  • Supporting rental assistance programs to keep small businesses in their spaces as we recover from COVID-19.

  • Reducing unfair fines to businesses that have been struggling due to the COVID-19 restrictions.

  • Expanding the eviction moratorium for small businesses including independent music venues and art spaces. 

  • Supporting the Small Business Job Survival Act.

  • Ensuring that small businesses in communities most negatively impacted by COVID-19 are prioritized in recovery aid. 

 

Investing in small businesses 

  • Expanding the Visiting Inspector Program to ensure businesses can receive free consultation on compliance with city laws and licenses. 

  • Collaborate closely with the Department of Small Business Services to help businesses adapt to online platforms and equip them with various language access.

 

Expanding equity in small businesses

  • Encouraging greater participation of minority and women owned businesses (MWBEs) in design and construction of public works.

  • Implementing uniform goals across the city’s Minority and Women-owned Business Enterprise (MWBE) program for engineering architectural service.

Public Safety 

Well funded and resourced communities are safe communities. Therefore, to ensure a safer and more prosperous city, we need to properly address how we fund policing and safety measures. A safer community for all means taking into consideration the needs of our neighbors, acknowledging racial and economic disparities in access to resources, and creating a just budget for our city that prioritizes safety and resources before a crime occurs. We need a responsible NYPD budget that prioritizes the safety of all New Yorkers, expands resources for the neediest communities, and invests in areas we know deter the likelihood of crime.

Enhancements in the community

  • Implementing community safety centers, integrated service facilities and mental health counseling. 

  • Investing in a mental health response unit that removes armed officers from the first line of response in mental health calls. 

  • Moving away from the 911 system for non-criminal related calls and investing in a civil public order and property protection service.

  • Investing in early childhood education. Studies show that for every $1 invested in programs such as Universal 3-k and 4-k, society sees a $17 return and a dramatic decrease in the incarceral rate.

 

Prevention vs. Reaction

  • Addressing the root of crime before crime is committed to keep the people of D30 safe.

  • Investing in housing support systems, substance abuse treatment programs, legal support clinics, youth restorative justice programs and data-driven traffic policies. 

  • Increasing targeted supportive services for our school children, including mental health specialists, learning and physical disability specialists, gender and youth violence prevention experts and trauma experts

 

Increasing transparency

  • Ending qualified immunity.

  • Supporting a civil equity research and data analysis transparency commission to gather and release data about policing tactics and their results, including race and wealth impact analyses.

 

Fiscal responsibility

  • Investing in a responsible safety-first NYPD budget that is homologous with other city departments.

  • Requesting a third-party financial audit of the NYPD to ensure a responsible NYPD budget.

  • Removing indemnification of police officers in civil suits who intentionally violate the law, or in acts of extreme recklessness and brutality.

  • Working with current officers to work on earlier retirement packages and pathways to new career opportunities. 

 

Repairing the harm done to underserved communities 

  • Moving towards a more just and equitable form of public safety that moves away from broken windows policing which is proven to inequitably harm working people and not deter crime.

  •  Rather than focusing on broken windows policing, we should increase resources like expanding sanitation efforts, investing in affordable housing and dealing with quality of life issues are all measures that we know will increase safety in D30. 

 



 

LGBTQIA+

Queens is the most diverse borough, in the most diverse city in the world. That’s why it’s imperative we protect all of our neighbors from any form of discrimination due to their race, gender, sexual orientation, and identity. Ensuring a safe New York for all includes protecting our LGBTQIA+ neighbors from discrimination in housing, health and employment. I am committed to being an ally of the LGBTQIA+ community and will work to protect and enhance the quality of life for all New Yorkers. 

 

Remove discrimination from housing, employment, and health

  • Providing more aid to organizations working directly with LGBTQIA+ populations to help them find employment, housing and better health alternatives. 

  • Increasing awareness of the health needs of our LGBTQIA+ neighbors to ensure adequate and equitable health care from clinics, hospitals, and primary physicians. 

 

Advocating in D30 for LGBTQIA+ rights

  • Working with LGBTQIA+ D30 residents around advocacy for gay rights and equity throughout our personal and professional spaces. 

  • Supporting legislation that would allow individuals to change their sex designation on their birth record.

  • As the City Council Member of District 30 I would hold gatherings in my office and throughout the district that promote inclusivity and education around LGBTQIA+ issues.

 

Expand resources to LGBTQIA+ students

  • Create a NYC suicide prevention task force for students to examine the needs of LGTQIA+ youth. 

  • Train staff, teachers, and faculty in DOE schools on LGBTQIA+ specific needs and resources.

  • Ensure that the school curriculum highlights LGBTQIA+ history, individual achievements, and acclamations. 


 

Immigration 

Queens is undeniably better and more resilient because of our diverse immigrant populations, which is why it’s crucial that every New Yorker, regardless of immigration status, feels protected in our city. As a first generation son of immigrant parents, I understand the plight immigrant families face daily, which is why we must ensure that immigrant communities are well-resourced and represented in all facets of government. 

 

Protecting and expanding resources to all immigrant communities

  • Ensuring that New York City is a real sanctuary city for our undocumented neighbors by prohibiting ICE partnership with NYC agencies. 

  • Support immigrant workers and ending wage theft towards immigrants. 

  • Working with immigrant community leaders in D30 to address the issues faced by our diverse communities.

  • Ensuring resources such as Cash Assistance, SNAP, Medicaid, and other city resources are accessible to immigrant communities without fear of Public Charge.

  • Expand language access across all NYC agencies. 

 

Supporting an easier pathway to citizenship 

  • Removing barriers to immigrant access to employment. 

  • Support municipal voting for all New Yorkers.

  • Provide legal counsel to immigrants in deportation proceedings.

 

Ensuring that Covid-19 recovery measures are equitably available 

  • Establish a NYC Excluded Workers Fund so every essential worker that was left out of Federal and State aid can receive compensation to help their families recover from the economic effects of COVID-19.  

  • Establishing direct assistance funds for people not eligible for unemployment insurance and other government benefits because of their immigration status.



 

Quality of life

At the heart of all civic engagement is the desire for a better quality of life, which is why we must work to ensure a better quality of life for all residents of District 30, not just those who can afford it. Living in a transportation desert can often make every other aspect of life that much more difficult, which is why a better quality of life for District 30 must center increased access to basic goods and services, as well as incentives for small businesses and responsible developers to invest in our district.

 

Sanitation & Streets

  • Increase rapid sanitation services, including trash pickup, and graffiti cleanup through the district.

  • Work with D30 youth to increase participation in community service and community clean ups.

  • Convert hazardous two way streets to one way streets. 

  • Working with the Department of Transportation to place stop signs or traffic lights in dangerous intersections across D30.

Food accessibility

  • Expand NYC’s FRESH Program, which the city implemented in 2008 to assist certain communities with increased access to grocery stores with fresh food options. Currently, our district is excluded from this program.

  • Partnering with initiatives such as Meals on Wheels, as seniors and many others are homebound throughout this health crisis. 

 

Green spaces

  • Expanding trees and green space across D30.

  • Support the Brooklyn-Queens greenway, which will connect all the boroughs parks with dedicated bike paths.

  • Expand dedicated bike routes to Highland Park.

 

Services and responsible budgeting

  • Reintegrate Participatory Budgeting in District 30, a process in which members in the community deliberate on how to spend a portion of the public budget within the district.

  • Increasing accessibility to legal services and benefits for senior citizens and vulnerable populations within our communities. ​