In our district and across the state, many New Yorkers struggle to find affordable housing, live day-to-day in fear of eviction, or face unsafe conditions. We need to protect renters’ rights and make sure there is enough affordable housing in the district for young families to build their futures here, so that our economy continues to boom and we maintain our diverse, vibrant community. We must close the loopholes that allow landlords to increase rents. We also need to repeal the Urstadt Law and explore circuit-breaker legislation to limit the burden of property taxes on working families across New York.
All of our children must be fully prepared for the world they will enter after graduation. We need to modernize curricula and give public schools the resources they need to create the best learning environment. We must give our public schools the full funding they are owed under New York law — including the $88 million our district’s schools are owed — and stop siphoning funding for privately run charter schools. We need to modernize our education system with strong STEM programs and encourage teachers to practice culturally responsive pedagogy.
Healthcare is a human right. Every New Yorker deserves affordable, quality healthcare. Although the Affordable Care Act has allowed us to make tremendous gains nationally, New York state can and should do more to expand coverage and decrease costs. We must work toward implementing an effective single-payer healthcare system in New York.
Aging New Yorkers
Aging New Yorkers face unacceptable burdens. They struggle to afford housing, food, medication, heating, and other basic needs. They’re threatened with fraud and sexual and physical abuse. Too often, they’re lonely. We need to revamp our policy on aging to address foundational issues faced by older New Yorkers in our district and across our state. Aging New Yorkers deserve to live in comfort and dignity.
Economic Development, Jobs and Workers’ Rights
New York should lead the nation in economic growth. We need to create jobs by courting the next wave of massive industries like biotech, drones and personalized healthcare, protect workers’ rights, improve transit systems (especially the MTA), and upgrade our economy’s resilience to climate change. And we must tackle the rampant economic inequality in our state, protect our unions and the rights of workers.
Climate, Resiliency, and Sustainability
While President Trump and Republicans continue to deny the reality of climate change, New York must take bold action and lead the way to combat climate change, increase our sustainability and resilience, and pursue environmental justice. We must expand our use of renewable energy, lead innovation in green technology and jobs, increase our resilience and preparation for extreme weather events and flooding, and ensure that communities of color and low-income communities don’t bear the brunt of these threats.
After years of deferred maintenance and growing ridership, New York City’s subway system is falling apart, with constant delays and cancellations. Local and regional transit is the connective tissue that allows New Yorkers to earn their livelihoods and enjoy a high quality of life. We must prioritize transit as a strategic investment in keeping our state competitive and functional. We should implement congestion pricing and other measures to revitalize the MTA and make long-term, strategic investments in New York State’s transportation infrastructure.
As politicians in Washington abdicate their responsibility, it is up to us to act. New York families deserve to be free from the epidemic of gun violence that threatens our schools, homes, and communities every day. We must follow the courageous leadership of the next generation and enact common-sense gun reform measures in New York State. We must protect and strengthen the SAFE Act, pass an Extended Risk Protection Order law, and support research on gun violence.
Voting Reform, Campaign Finance, Ethics
Voting rights are under siege across the United States. From restrictive voter ID laws to cuts in early voting, states have been making it harder for people to vote, especially low-income people and people of color. Meanwhile, New York has some of the most restrictive voting laws in the country and one of the lowest turnout rates. As ballot access is challenged around the country, New York should affirm voting as a fundamental right and expand voting access. We need to protect voting rights and election infrastructure, enhance transparency of campaign contributions and root out corruption in public offices.
New York State should be on the forefront of women’s issues. We must protect reproductive rights, ensure access to affordable health care, child care, and elder care, and stand against sexual harassment, abuse, and assault, and domestic violence. We must expand paid sick leave and work toward pay equity for all women.
Everyone deserves to live with respect, no matter their race, ethnicity, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation, or any other aspect of their identity. As many of these rights are challenged nationally, we have an obligation to affirm and protect the rights of all New Yorkers. We must pass GENDA and the Child Victims Act, and ban the harmful practice of conversion therapy.
It is long past time to make our criminal justice system more equitable, especially for poor people and people of color. We must reject the false choice between protecting our communities and reducing mass incarceration. We must end cash bail, reform policing practices that disproportionately impact communities of color, and legalize marijuana.
Immigrants and their families are one of the pillars of our vibrant communities and a strong force for economic growth in our state. We must do everything we can to protect immigrants from the ongoing attacks of the Trump administration. We must pass the DREAM Act and the Liberty Act.