IMPROVING THE FUTURE OF PUBLIC EDUCATION

Public education is the foundation of every community. We need to ensure our students are prepared to compete in an increasingly competitive and technological world. Students and teachers alike need more resources and better advocates.

I PROMISE TO:

  • Fight to fully fund our schools to give parent, students, and teachers the resources they need​

  • Work alongside neighborhood advocates to increase community involvement in our schools

  • Advocate for greater access to resources for students to continue on to higher education institutions, including test preparation, counseling, and scholarships

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Fighting for
Brooklyn

 

EDUCATION

Public education is the foundation of every community. We need to ensure our students are prepared to compete in an increasingly competitive and technological world. Students and teachers alike need more resources and better advocates.

As City Council Member, I will:

 

Build a high school at the borders in between Gowanus and 7th Ave - Park Slope

  • I pledge to build a high school on the borders of Gowanus and 7th Ave to provide great, modern educational opportunities to those in the area. Specifically, in the face of new development in the Gowanus area, we must capitalize on the space and opportunity. We must ensure that the education we provide to local students is nothing but the best.


Build a second High School at Carroll Gardens and Columbia Waterfront in partnership with Presbyterian Hospital

  • The Gowanus rezoning plan is a major concern in the community. Not only will this proposed rezoning project include 22-30 story residential buildings along the iconic canal, but it is not environmentally friendly. Still, as we tackle the reshaping of our city, it also presents us with the opportunity to create the change we wish to see.

  • Because of that, I pledge to build a second high school in the Carroll Gardens area to ensure the best possible opportunities for our residents. Education is my priority.

  • Along with the construction of a second high school, I will grow the alliance between the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and the New York-Presbyterian Healthcare system. This collaboration has already provided numerous jobs to residents and will continue to provide new resources to the area.

Install a Dial-a-Teacher & Anti-Bullying Hotline

  • As a teacher’s union organizer, I heard about the issues and concerns teachers face on a daily basis. I am dedicated to creating a safe and efficient environment for our teachers and students, which includes a city council initiative to create programs like Dial-a-Teacher and an Anti-Bullying Hotline.

  • Dial-a-Teacher would give students access to teachers that can give them free homework help. Not only would this improve students’ grades, but this would also give students even more support at home.  

  • The Anti-Bullying Hotline will be implemented to help those experiencing bullying or witnessing it.

Implement Health & Social Services in Local Schools

  • During my time as a government liason to the New York City Council for the United Federation of Teachers, I learned what increased social services could do for kids. Because of that, I will advocate for more New York City schools to take on the “community schools model,” which allows schools to provide more comprehensive services to students. In installing dedicated social workers in our local schools, we will see the tremendous social and emotional benefits in our students.

  • We also must reimagine the health services we provide in our schools, opting for improvements that will promote both student’s mental and physical health. With the new challenge of coronavirus, this is more important than ever. We must invest in the resources needed to keep students safe and healthy.  


Create Pod Learning Opportunities and 50/50 Remote & In-Person Learning

  • COVID-19 is an unprecedented time, and I firmly believe that we should proceed with the utmost amount of caution. The safety of our children is always my priority, but we also cannot let them fall behind and miss the benefits of in-person learning. For that reason, I believe we need to offer blended learning for our children.  Through this method, we still give our children the in-person education they are accustomed to, while also utilizing our technological resources to ensure the safety of our city.  

 

HOUSING

As we rezone and recover from COVID-19, we have the opportunity to make some overdue changes to our housing system.

 

I pledge to:

Advocate for Affordable Housing by the Gowanus Canal

  • The rezoning plan for the Gowanus area needs to be paused. Any continuation must take into consideration the environmental impacts and the existing environmental challenges the area faces. On top of this, I will fight to employ union workers with prevailing wages for any housing projects in the area. We must pay our workers fairly and make housing affordable as we do it. Particularly, in these tough economic times of COVID-19,  the choices we make by the Gowanus Canal will affect many individuals’ livelihoods, so ensuring affordable housing in this area is a major priority for my campaign.

Freeze Rent to Ensure Financial Recovery During COVID-19

  • The pandemic has affected all of us in countless ways. For many of us, it has changed our income drastically, making it impossible to pay rent. Residents should not have to choose  between basic necessities. We must keep housing affordable and the area growing for the future. In order to ensure the continued growth of our community, we must allow for a rent freeze program to relieve some of the burden on our families.

     

Install Workforce Housing for Union Members

  • Housing offerings for union members must be taken into account as we work on affordable housing projects. I will ensure union members will keep their housing conditions as we create new housing opportunities for a different generation of workers.

  • We’ve seen the vibrant communities that can come from workforce housing. There is a rich history within the Local 3 Electchester union housing community, home to the Joint Industry Board of Electrical Industry. It is the embodiment of what good can come from subsidized housing for union workers.

SMALL BUSINESSES

There are far too many storefronts in our communities that stay vacant for months and even years. Now, with the pandemic, our community faces countless new threats that put our beloved small businesses at even higher risk. I will implement incentives for local businesses to stay afloat, invest in our community, while ensuring that small businesses are protected from predatory landlords that aren't tied to our community's success.

 

I will fight for:

Commercial Rent Control

  • As a community, we need to help one another as much as possible. One way to help one another is to support the growth of small businesses. I will work to implement commercial rent control in our community to help our small business owners afford a space to conduct their business. This plan would also include a tax break to landlords to allow them to offer their best rates to local business owners. Through this plan, we will experience economic growth, but we will also greatly increase job opportunities for our community.

PSAs to bring businesses to our community, incentivize businesses

  • The pandemic has changed everyone’s lives quite quickly and sometimes not in the best way. Many have lost their jobs and numerous small businesses are either struggling or have already closed. To revitalize the community and its businesses, I plan to put forth a public service announcement to draw businesses to our community. This PSA will include incentives for businesses and will encourage creative solutions that can continue sales. Now is the time to think creatively about small business relief. Much of what we knew pre-COVID is not possible now, so we must support these small business owners as the market evolves.

  • For example, allowing movie theaters to utilize outdoor parks as drive-in movie theatres would give movie theater owners the ability to subsidize COVID-19 revenue losses.

  • One positive side to the coronavirus pandemic is the increased free time and schedule flexibility. We must take this newfound time to reconnect with the community around us. Hard times always bring people together, and during this especially difficult time, it is crucial to take time to come together— even if it can’t always be in-person.

  • I propose the use of The Bandshell for movie nights with the proper adherence to social distancing and mask guidelines to ensure safety. This small act will not only offer some monetary support to our movie theaters, but it will also serve as a great way to connect with people after experiencing long-term isolation.

     

COVID RECOVERY

Many individuals and families are facing unthinkable hardships due to the pandemic. I plan to provide a comprehensive COVID-19 recovery plan to ensure those greatly affected receive assistance.

 

I will fight for:

  • There needs to be a stimulus for job loss and job fairs for those who are looking for new employment as a result of Coronavirus’s economic tolls.

  • Many have lost loved ones due to this pandemic, which is why I will advocate for a monetary settlement for those who lost loved ones in nursing homes. It doesn’t replace the loved one and the loss facing our community, but hopefully, it will bring some sense of closure.

  • Another aspect of recovery is ensuring people still have housing and food. I plan to provide rent and food security compensation for those who face financial hardships.

  • All of the aforementioned plans can be executed through the budgetary process in City Council. I also call for the department within the city government to find one, unified voice as we navigate recovery as there is a need for joint leadership from those within the city government.

     

TRANSPORTATION

The need for better and more efficient transportation is a priority for not only myself, but our community as a whole.

 

I plan on:

Closing Union Street

  • In order to create more efficient and effective transportation that serves our community, I will advocate to close Union Street to provide more streamlined transportation. This plan will allow buses to pass through other streets, like 14th street, to get to their destinations in a timely manner. I also plan to implement a straight line travel system between Gowanus and Prospect Park to ensure people are able to get from one place to another in the most efficient way possible.

Bike Lanes

  • Our cyclists face dangerous traffic conditions every time they go out on our streets. There must be more traffic calming measures on our streets like speed bumps, curb extensions, and raised crossings to slow down traffic and protect pedestrians and cyclists. We need more protected bike lanes that separate bicyclists from traffic. We also need real penalties for people who injure or kill cyclists. Right now many are simply served a traffic summons, I believe in implementing stricter penalties to send a message to drivers that they need to pay attention to the road and look out for cyclists and pedestrians.

Trains

  • For those who rely upon our train system, I plan to increase the number of trains running to heighten service and movement of people around the city.

  • I also plan to refurbish our train stations, making them ADA accessible so that everyone can enjoy our train system.

GOWANUS

Gowanus is currently undergoing a major rezoning project, which will greatly impact the area both environmentally and socially. The area of Gowanus has serious environmental concerns that must be addressed before any serious action occurs.
 
The area is a FEMA “Flood Zone A” with mandatory evacuation, and the EPA Superfund Clean Up of the toxic materials at the bottom of the canal is not yet underway. On top of these concerns, the city still needs to build two EPA mandated Combined Overflow Tanks to capture the raw sewage that is currently being put into the canal. It is unclear when these changes will occur.

I will make sure the environmental concerns of our community are not only taken care of but take priority as we navigate this undertaking, so we can better our beautiful city for ourselves and future generations.