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"For communities to thrive we need strong and balanced leadership solving complex problems with thoughtfulness and community participation."
- Leslie Boghosian Murphy
Due to COVID, bus ridership surpassed subway transit for the first time in NYC in over 50 years. In normal times, over 6 million people use our buses and subways daily. We have to capitalize on this chance to restructure our mass transit system with priorities on designated bus lanes, redesigning the outdated bus network and a fossil fuel free fleet. I am committed into installing wide spread speed cameras. They work and they take policing out of traffic enforcement. 75% of our subway stations are inaccessible to the disabled. We must do better. I will fight to bring transportation equity to our district.
A high-quality public education is a cornerstone of the Democratic Party. I believe in strong support services including a guidance counselor and certified nurse in every school. I will work to close the middle and high school achievement and racial gap. We must provide an accelerated learning curriculum to all public NYC elementary schools, not just a segregated few. Our city now pays $325 million a year sending special needs kids to private schools. We must have early screening and teaching for special education students. I support specialized educational and vocational programs preparing students for college and career readiness. I also strongly support the New Deal for CUNY, advocating for free higher public education.
Air quality in our district is one of the worst in the city, directly attributable to two factors: Port Authority and the Manhattan Cruise Terminal. Docked cruise ships emit diesel exhaust equivalent to 34,400 idling tractor trailers a day. I am actively working to bring electric shore power to the west side. The reduction of diesel emissions from commercial vehicles, with plans like the NYC Clean Trucks Program, is essential and I support further installation of electric charging stations. It is widely understood environmental quality and economic inequality are directly linked and I am a strong supporter for helping both with the Green New Deal.
We have over 20,000 adults over the age of 65 in our district, many who need home and community based services. Older adults should be supported to age in place with access to care managers for medical visits, transportation assistance and support for family caregivers. Access to care and social connectedness are especially important today with COVID-19 forcing many of our elders inside and into isolation. I support more options for intergenerational and enriched housing to give the elderly freedom how they choose to
live in their later years.
We must support affordable housing across the board to strengthen a vibrant and healthy community. Having seen the unacceptable conditions some of our NYCHA residents are forced to live with, I commit to providing the basic housing needs of hot water, working infrastructure and safe conditions. I support mixed-income housing plans balancing low income, very low income and working income units. People should be able to work where they live and families should be able to find adequate and affordable housing in our neighborhood.
Few segments of our city have been hit as hard by COVID as our restaurants and small businesses. We need a dual program of immediate financial relief and plan for reopenings through tax credits and assistance to access federal funds. I support aspects of the "Save Main Street" initiative such as eliminating DOB expeditors, tax credits for independent owners and expand SNAP benefits to non-chain restaurants. I also support eliminating red tape procedures and streamlining permits & licenses to one point of contact.
All residents deserve to live in a safe and clean community. We need to make cleanliness and security a priority as we move to return our neighborhoods to a healthy and vibrant space while at the same time respecting all our neighbors. Those living in temporary housing must be provided adequate supportive services and I will hold DHS and faulty providers accountable and stress healthy communication between city agencies and residents. The livability of our district is paramount as it affects all other social and economic strains we are facing during COVID. We are a strong and compassionate community. I will look to take immediate actions while we successfully work towards long-term solutions.
QUALITY OF LIFE
We are proud that our neighborhoods reflect the strength and diversity of the LGBTQIA+ family better than anywhere in the city. We must continue to lead the way for equality. Right now, we are seeing LGBTQIA+ youth, especially of color, experience higher than normal rates of homelessness, incarceration, depression and suicide. I also strongly support our GNC community and will extend support for high quality, gender affirming health care and access to safe spaces within our community. I will continue to work with our strong neighborhood partners to further provide programs and quality mental health care to those in need and continue to showcase the strengths of our Queer community.
LGBTQIA+ rights are human rights.
The art and theater community have been disproportionately affected by COVID, most notably, live entertainment. Our district is the heart of performance and creativity and where many artists call home. I support continued arts emergency funding with both public monies and grant makers while actively providing updated resource lists for artists as well as the businesses that service them. I support City Council bill #2068 providing more outdoor open spaces for performances and rehearsals. The show will go on.
Residents are the lifeline of our campaign, therefore our office will reflect the constituents we serve. Open communication and transparent decision making is the foundation of our service philosophy and what makes for effective representation. I encourage citizen participation and believe in an accessible and responsive government. I have been a district resident for over 16 years and will give our community the strong and unifying voice we need. We're in it together!
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