issues

our plan for a NEW TOMORROW

for our community

We can have the resources we need to thrive within our neighborhoods – a food oasis, affordable healthcare, excellent education and affordable, green homes.

COVID-19 has magnified the systematic issues that our communities have been surviving for decades. Angela believes that together, we can create the dignified and just solutions to stop these cycles of crisis.

Now is the time to use our political courage and moral imagination to co-create a better future for our families that prioritizes dignity and justice for all.

Affordable Green Housing

as a Human Right

We must legislate housing as a human right in New York City. No one should be homeless nor undergo the mental health strain of worrying about losing their home.

Over half of NYC residents are rent-burdened, 115,000 NYC public school students are homeless and of 22,000 CUNY students surveyed, 55% experienced housing insecurity in the last 12 months.

Everyone must have the right to guaranteed and dignified housing, to live in a home that has heat, comfort, clean air, clean water, and structures that are not crumbling or are environmentally toxic.

It is untenable to live in a city where public housing is in systemic collapse on one block and where Manhattan condominiums upwards of $5 million are paid in cash on the next block.

But it is absolutely within our reach to have truly affordable and healthy homes for all New Yorkers.

  • Our existing housing stock must be prepared for climate change through renewable energy such as solar installation, implementing maximum building temperatures, and use healthy green materials.  
  • District 10 has the highest number of rent stabilized apartments in the city, a critical support that has allowed working families to stay in their homes in a time of rising rents. Working with our community, we must expand universal rent control across the city. 
  • We must end the warehousing of empty apartments.  We must provide tenants the rights of first refusal to purchase their apartments at a highly affordable rate.
  • Strengthen and enforce laws that protect tenants from discrimination and harrassment from their landlords must be enforced.
  • Invest in Community Land Trusts that will develop green housing and support tenant ownership through the Community Opportunity to Purchase Act.  
  • Any plans to rezone any area of our district must be initiated and led by our working class community, through a Comprehensive Community Planning framework, where the process is designed and controlled by the community that is most directly impacted and accounts for racial and environmental justice. Our district will not be a sacrificial zone. 

It takes political will and an acknowledgement of the tale of two cities— I am determined to work alongside colleagues in Albany and foster downstate/upstate alliances to review and support wealth taxes that can fund and restructure housing for all.


Green and Dignified Work

as a Human Right

The climate crisis and the inequality crisis must be solved together.

“The screaming buzzsaw noise in the background of this [COVID-19] conversation is the sound of the climate crisis” — Peter C. Baker

Due to the pandemic hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers have lost their jobs, and tens of thousands of young adults about to enter the workforce are unable to secure a dignified living.

Just as this pandemic is historic, our response to it must be historic and future thinking. And a just transition to a Green economy is imperative not only for our survival but for our descendents and planet’s survival.

We must co-create, together with the community, a city-wide, public sector Green Jobs Guarantee program that will provide green jobs training and dignified, well-paying, secure employment with opportunity to unionize for frontline residents in energy efficiency and renewable energy jobs such as:

  • Retrofitting and upgrading our general housing stock, NYCHA, and commercial spaces so that we achieve carbon-neutrality by 2050

     

  • Designing, building and maintaining green roofs and solar and wind installations throughout the city

     

  • Designing, building and maintaining blue and green infrastructure around waterways to capture runoff into rivers and waste resource recovery facilities

Specifically, for parks and other public spaces, I would like to propose the creation of an Urban Civilian Conservation Corps (Urban CCC), inspired by the New Deal. In partnership with the community, we would co-design the creation and implementation of an Urban CCC, which would immediately employ and pay dignity wages and benefits to New Yorkers to prepare our neighborhoods for the climate crisis.

Local workers hired and trained by the Urban CCC would:

  • Expand green space, to disrupt the heat island effect on streets without adequate shade

     

  • Work on the creation of more permeable surfaces and rainwater gardens to absorb excessive rain

     

  • Work on park maintenance

     

  • Design and build local food systems such as urban farms and community gardens

We must reduce barriers to civil service jobs at both the city and state levels.  We must conduct a community-first analysis of the barriers to entry for these positions and drive policy changes based on that analysis. We must also hold, in district, an annual, weekend-long, city, state and federal agencies job fair where members of our community can both learn about career paths and apply for positions at the job fair.

Unions have been under attack for decades, and those attacks have increased under this federal administration. In this atmosphere, New York City plays an important role in preserving and growing unions – a common path towards dignified wages and strong benefits for the working class. We must co-design relevant policy solutions that would expand the rights of workers to form unions and expand unionization. We must not offer tax breaks to companies that are against unionization.

Employment discrimination and harrassment is one of the biggest sources of lost wages for our working class community. As the former Commissioner of the Division of Human Rights, I understand how critical a tool the NYS Human Rights Law is for restoring lost wages or someone’s position.  We must ensure that these laws are properly enforced, especially in the context of sexual harassment and race, age, disability and LGBTQ+ discrimination.


Safety, Wellness, & Recreation

as a Human Right

Our city’s racialized, punitive framework around policing makes us less safe by breaking up families, placing untold economic burdens and barriers on those affected and by diverting municipal funds away from life-building and life-affirming programs.

The root causes of drug addiction, mental health issues, homelessness/home insecurity or gender-based violence cannot be solved by the largest police force in the country.

You can’t simply prosecute or police many of these issues away.

We must prioritize our municipal budget to fund strong infrastructures for mental health support, housing support and multigenerational recreational, life-affirming programming.

  • Due to the long history of inappropriately addressed police brutality and misconduct, we must immediately prioritize the removal of these officers and staff off of the NYPD payroll and benefits structure. 
  • We must ensure that the NYPD budget is fully transparent and accessible so that the public and policymakers can have a full understanding of how our taxpayer dollars are spent. With that in hand,  we can conduct a deep analysis of both municipal funding and foundation funding to the NYPD as a first step in understanding the tax-supported revenue the NYPD receives and how to reallocate these funds to support life-affirming programs for the community. 
  • Our municipal budget must prioritize funding for training and job creation in social services, public health and youth leadership-based recreational sectors.  We need to reinvest in programs that sees and preserves the dignity we all deserve. 

Wellness

  • I propose that we fund and co-create Mental Health Professionals Corps, where young adults from our frontline communities receive free educational and clinical training, supervised by participating universities, and degrees to provide free mental health counseling via community-based health care programs to NYC residents.

  • We must dismantle the sexual abuse to prison pipeline. Girls and women in the criminal justice system are disproportionately victims of sexual violence. Girls’ behavioral reaction to sexual abuse and trauma (such as running away, substance abuse, truancy, getting into fights) is criminalized, further traumatizing them. The first approach must be a wellness-based approach, rather than a criminal justice based approach.

     

  • I will work with our federal colleagues to grow and strengthen Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC) in our district. FQHCs provide comprehensive primary care services, including preventative health services, dental and mental health care, to underserved and uninsured individuals and families, regardless of their ability to pay. With nearly 15% of district residents without insurance or access to care, FQHCs can help residents stay healthy as we fight for state-wide free health care.

     

  • I will work with our upstate colleagues to support the NYS Health Act so that everyone has access to free health care, with long-term care included from day one.

     

  • I will work to ensure that all home care workers are well-paid, have access to PPE, paid time off, and all other benefits required for essential workers. We must transform home care jobs into high-quality, family-sustaining jobs that will strengthen our communities and improve New York’s health and economic future.

Youth Recreation and Leadership Development

Our district has an abundance of green and public spaces that are integral to a healthy and vibrant community.

Well-resourced towns across the country provide many opportunities for youth leadership development. Whether it be in sports or the arts, our youth want to be engaged in activities that connect them to something larger than themselves in a fun and fulfilling way.

  • Increase funding and support for fully accessible, community led programming on public spaces and ensure procurement of local businesses and organizations for vending opportunities;

     

  • Study, fund and expand pedestrian recreational access such as Summer Streets in partnership with frontline groups promoting community building and resilience;

     

  • We will intentionally engage kids and adolescents within our co-governance framework to design and take part in decision making that affects their futures;

     

  • Fund and strengthen youth-driven, peer-based training programs that support youth leadership development and simultaneously strengthen culturally relevant programming and pathways.

Educational Equity

as a Human Right

Our educational system is one of the most segregated in the country. Years of cuts and lack of real community control have robbed generations of pathways towards life-affirming futures. By centering educational equity as a human right, we can reverse these trends together.

Within the boundaries of NYC School District 6 (the majority of which falls within District 10) there are a total of 47 public PK-12 schools that educate 22,130 students.  Just as a reflection of our entire city, the quality of our district’s education varies from school to school.

  • We would work with those who have been organizing around desegregation of schools such as Dignity in Schools, BLM Edu, Urban Youth Collaborative, MORE, IntergateNYC, New York City’s Alliance for School Integration and Desegregation, and Teens Take Charge to fight to end segregation in the City’s school system.
  • Dismantle the school-to-prison pipeline. We must replace every NYPD school safety agent with trained school counselors and/or psychologists. 
    • NYPD school safety agents inside our public schools are both a negative symbol of the school to prison pipeline for our students and an actual cause of it. Studies have now shown what common sense has told us all along, that policing inside of schools simply mirrors policing in over-policed communities of color. School safety agents turn relatively minor incidents into criminal justice issues for students, and the racial disparities in police use of stop and frisk, handcuffing, arrests, and violence in the streets are merely mimicked when police are stationed inside of schools. 
  • School counselors and/or psychologists trained in and operating from a trauma informed, transformational justice framework must be fully available for any 3K – 12 student.
  • Ensure that every staff member and student is trained in a restorative and transformational justice framework with benchmarks for successful implementation.
  • Invest in and prioritize in student-centered learning to increase academic achievement.
  • Provide the option of free, academic one-on-one tutoring after school. 
  • Provide robust, high quality after-school programming.
    • There are creative ways of implementing afterschool programs that utilize the resources that already exist. For example, provide teachers the option to design an after-school program and teach it or have older students, with supervision, mentor younger students in areas such as STEM or the arts. PTA contributions should also be divided evenly across all schools to ensure equitable distribution of after-school and enrichment programming.
  • Expand and fully fund programs that provide pathways to a broad variety of careers. 
  • CUNY must be free for all NYC residents.
  • Provide a debt cancellation option of college/university debt for all NYC residents, funded by the Stock Transfer Tax Rebate.
  • Fund the “NYC Under 3” plan, which would expand child care access to 70,000 additional families in NYC and increase pay for community-based childcare workers.

    Economic Prosperity

    as a Human Right

    Our City’s current approach to economic development is one of the primary causes of gentrification and displacement. As a City Council Member, I would fight to reorient our approach to focus on supporting existing small businesses (which employ half of New York City’s private workforce) and local entrepreneurs, building our local talent base in growing sectors of the economy, and securing community wealth and ownership for a broad base of New Yorkers, especially communities of color.

    We must support and shore up our local economy, our commercial corridors and small businesses by:

    • Reinstating the previously successful universal rent-stabilization program for commercial tenants;

       

    • Funding free commercial-related legal services for small business owners and worker-owned cooperatives, and locate these services within District 10;

       

    • Swapping out inspections and expensive, punitive penalties from city agencies for wellness checks;

       

    • Reducing the barriers to accessing lines of credit;

       

    • Working with my colleagues at the state level to support the elimination of the virus exclusion in business interruption insurance policies;

       

    • Ensuring that local businesses and worker cooperatives (old and new) can tap into the procurement streams of anchor institutions (hospitals, universities) in order to build community wealth;

    We must conduct an in-depth analysis and audit of Community Benefits Agreements (CBA’s) that have been entered into with developers and other institutions in District 10 over the last ten years and those who are not in compliance must become compliant.  Compliance with CBA’s ensures that any economic benefits for the community that has been agreed to is enforced. 

    We must evaluate the relationship between the NYCEDC and NYC.  The NYCEDC is a 501 c 3 non-for-profit that operates under a $1 billion contract with NYC, with little oversight by the community and the NY City Council. We need to initiate a community and city council driven audit to assess the proportionality between the city’s investment in the NYCEDC and the amount of well-paying, secure jobs the NYCEDC has actually secured for New Yorkers.

    We must also address the intergenerational wealth inequality gap. One of the ways in which we can address this issue head on is by creating and funding a universal Municipal Baby Bonds program. This would provide every child with a savings account at birth, which the government would contribute to each year, according to the family’s income level (poorer families receive more). This will help New Yorkers build a foundation for economic security.


    Leading Through a
    Co-governance Framework

    I am committed to leading through a co-governance model. Beyond practices of listening sessions and meetings with community gatekeepers, I am committed to strategizing on policies and implementing decision making with community residents, particularly in cases where access, control or use of community assets are in question.

    Co-governance models, as implemented in urban cities across the world, come from an ethos of creating belonging, common ground, and a desire to build community.

    District 10 benefits strongly from this model because often those most impacted are the last called upon by (and many times unknown to) elected officials and their staff. By developing community councils and general assemblies throughout the district, we can integrate feedback within District 10 to design truly responsive policies, bills and budgetary priorities.


    Work 

    with

    Angela