ON THE ISSUES

Quality of Life Platform

Main Issues

A Better Solution to Reimagine the NYPD 🚓


Defund Corporate Greed → Refund Basic Human Rights Issue: Martin Luther King Jr.’s fight for economic justice via UBI is his forgotten legacy. Racial justice is economic justice via direct payments to Americans. Likewise, the origin of modern police brutality and mass incarceration is poverty and the War on Drugs. Proposal: (1) End the War on Drugs and (2) Defund the CEO's of large corporations who benefited most financially from Washington's huge bailouts. We must seize power directly from the elites who operate city agencies such as the NYPD from behind-the-scenes.

  • We can reimagine the police via redistribution of corporate bailout funds. The origin of crime is poverty. Police can be demilitarized when low-income residents have the ability to put food on the table and protect our children.
  • Defund Democrat and Republican politicians, Gov. Cuomo's lobbyists, Corporate PAC lobbyists, Wall Street executives, Big Pharmaceutical companies, Hedge fund managers, Con Edison, National Grid, Big Real Estate executives, Amazon, Target.
  • Refund public school teachers, healthcare workers, MTA operators, grocery store workers, taxi drivers, delivery workers, fulfillment center workers, city employees.
  • This would reduce the need for law enforcement to exist. It's common sense. Increased financial resources will reduce the crime rate, so the NYPD budget naturally decreases.




Get the Money Out of Politics 💰


Issue: NYC can't get the money out of politics until Citizens United is overturned. Luckily, we voted to match public contributions 8:1 for grassroots candidates like Edwin. If you live in New York City you are likely eligible for these matching funds! That means for every dollar you donate; the city multiplies it by 8 and adds it to the original amount (a contribution of $5 = $45). Proposal: I pledge to only seek re-election as a progressive 3rd Party candidate, neither Democrat nor Republican. I hereby declare Edwin's abstinence from the NYC Establishment/Swamp. Edwin's No Corporate PAC Money Pledge

  • Our movement does not accept corporate PAC or lobbyist money of any kind.
  • Edwin would govern like a modern day FDR 2.0 or Bull Moose candidate.
  • The ultimate goal is to give everyone an equal voice in our Democracy. We can do this by progressing toward a 3rd party that would serve the interests of Ordinary people, not corporate Greed or a few dozen billionaires.
Edwin's No Fossil Fuel Money Pledge
  • We are one of the only campaigns to pledge not to take any contributions from the fossil fuel industry. Our Democrat opponents accept up to $200 in special interest money.
  • I pledge not to take contributions over $0 from oil, gas, and coal industry executives, lobbyists, and PACs and instead prioritize the health of our families, climate, and democracy over fossil fuel industry profits.
  • I pledge not to take any contributions over $0 from Big Real Estate lobbyists, fossil fuel & all other special interest money.




Single-payer Healthcare | NY Health Act 🏥


Issue: Even prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, medical debt is the number one reason Americans need to declare bankruptcy. There are currently 90+ million Americans who are uninsured or underinsured, despite the majority of the country (Democrats and Republicans) supporting Medicare for All. 👉 Edwin DeJesus is the only candidate for City Council who pressured AOC to refuse voting Nancy Pelosi for Speaker unless she guaranteed a floor vote on Medicare for All. #ForceTheVote Proposal: Guaranteed single-payer healthcare for all NY residents regardless of citizenship or employment status.

  • Covers COVID-19 testing AND treatment.
  • Covers basic dental, vision, hearing aids, ADA accessibility.
  • Zero copays or deductibles.
  • Publicize ownership of existing infrastructure (no need to overhaul system).
  • Expand existing institutions like NYC HRA.
  • Defund Corporate Health Insurance companies.




Weekly Stimulus Checks ($600/week) aka UBI 🇺🇸


Issue: Wealth and income inequality is the origin of modern suffering (including classism, racism, sexism, etc.) CARES ACT = corrupt, biggest upward transfer of wealth in American history. Let us demand our tax money back from a government run by corporate Greed. Proposal: Give power back to New York residents with refunds in the form of direct stimulus payments (*includes all unemployed AND employed workers).

  • We must refund financial power to small businesses (i.e. bars, bodegas, deli’s, cafes, classic diners, kitchen restaurants, Mom N Pop retail shops, union/non-union grocery stores) and keep jobs local with protections from predatory Big Real Estate.
  • We can afford this by enacting a wealth tax of 25% on the $1T made by a dozen billionaires from OUR taxpayer dollars during a pandemic.
  • New York City has more than enough money to do this, especially via fair taxation of ultra-wealthy individuals on Wall Street. If we can afford $5T in huge bailouts for large corporations, we can give every taxpayer and essential worker a universal basic income until this deadly pandemic is over, and beyond. In fact, we cannot afford NOT to guarantee this bailout for Ordinary people.




MetroCards for All 🚆


Issue: Due to an ongoing public health crisis, public transportation is dying and the MTA is proposing to cut their weekday service by nearly 50%. Proposal: Provide transportation justice to all low-income New Yorkers who rely on the bus and subway to survive.

  • Eliminate the $1 fee for new MetroCards.
  • Provide at least 3 free swipes a day to low-income residents.
  • OMNY contactless fare system must be optional (keep cards as a payment method for riders without smartphones or credit cards).
  • Use fair taxation of ultra-wealthy individuals to balance the MTA budget.




Education Reform for All 📚


Issue: Our children are stuck at home without the necessary resources to learn. Kids are not being taught practical skills for use in the professional world. Proposal: We must Refund NYC Career and Technical Education (CTE) to empower public schools (like my high school Academy for Careers in TV Film) with programs for culinary arts, business, technology & other high-skilled trades.

  • Reverse the Mayor’s cuts to the Student Youth Employment Program (SYEP).
  • Expand eligibility for the “Ladders for Leaders” program under the NYC Department of Youth and Community Development.
  • Create job training programs for young students to earn paid internships and job opportunities.
  • Lower the systemic barriers that prevent low-income students from applying to NYC Specialized High Schools because they lack an arbitrary 3.0 GPA requirement.
  • Legislate massive citywide programs including:
    • Ranked-choice Voting 101
    • Taxes 101
    • Starting a Small Business 101
    • Minority grants in STEM & arts




End the War on Drugs 🍄


Issue: Mental health is at an all-time low because we are being forced by our own government to shut down. Big pharmaceutical companies are some of the top contributors to Democrat and Republican campaigns. The agenda of the Big Pharma Establishment is to get people addicted to their opioids & maximize drug profits. Proposal: We must End the War on Drugs by decriminalizing all active ingredients in psilocybin mushrooms, including psilocin. We cannot afford to be coy about these things. This is an overdue policy idea that has already been enacted in cities across the country from Denver to Oakland to DC. Now all drugs are legal in Oregon! New York City can be the East Coast leader in Ending the War on Drugs.

  • Create a municipal extension of an already existing amendment to public health law proposed by NY Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal.
  • Accelerate renewal of studies into the positive effects of psychedelic drugs including overcoming of addiction, depression, suicidal thoughts, PTSD, trauma, stress.
  • Expand the use of kratom to treat opioid withdrawal and extinguish the ongoing opioid epidemic.
  • Remove barriers for scientific research labs at NYU, CUNY, Columbia University, etc.
  • Allow use of psychedelic drugs for free mental health therapy.
  • Create hundreds of new jobs for the city's medical industry.




Rent Stabilization for All 🏠


Issue: The price of a BaconEggN'Cheese should cost NO more than $3.50 a roll. I grew up in Astoria my entire life, so I've seen the change firsthand. I've witnessed Key Foods become a Target. I've witnessed Best Yet become Best Market and now it's completely gone. Gentrification is accelerating due to the economic crisis caused by our government's response to the outbreak of COVID-19. Astoria cannot become the next Williamsburg. Proposal: Stabilize rent for all residential and small business properties so it can only be increased by a set amount each year. We cannot allow big corporations, retail chain stores and fast food giants to take advantage of our already failing economy.

  • Stop Big Real Estate companies (Silverstein and Kaufman) from building a 5-block long $2B multi-use facility development near Steinway St. Astoria is NOT for sale!
  • Preserve Astoria, Woodside, Jackson Heights and East Elmhurst for low-income communities who have been living here their entire lives.
  • Protect our neighborhoods from exclusionary rezonings, which disproportionately affect the livelihoods of Latinos, African Americans and Asian Americans.
  • Create more affordable housing units instead of Amazon HQ2.
  • Track the patterns in food price hikes to maintain property value.




No New Jails | Renewable Rikers 🌎


Issue: According to the NAACP website, “one out of every three Black boys born today can expect to be sentenced to prison, compared 1 out 6 Latino boys; one out of 17 white boys” (NAACP, 2020). Proposal: Transform all jails into rehabilitation facilities for nonviolent inmates and remove prison labor loopholes. Permanently close Rikers Island by 2027 and use the land to create a 21st century hub for renewable energy via green technology.

  • Stop the development of 4 new borough-based jails.
  • Arrest criminal executives of Big Pharmaceutical companies for price gouging drugs.
  • Refund racial justice by immediately expunging the records of all prisoners convicted of nonviolent, drug-related criminal offenses.
  • End the War on Drugs by decriminalizing psilocybin mushrooms for mental health research and therapeutic use.
  • Provide a second chance to individuals previously incarcerated for nonviolent marijuana offenses with training programs to work in the licensed cannabis industry when it becomes legal statewide.
    • Mostly benefits Black, African American and Latino Americans.




Data Protection for Ordinary People ⚠️


Issue: Data is the most valuable currency in the Digital Age. We need Data Protection for all Ordinary people. We cannot allow Big Tech CEO's (i.e. Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok, YouTube, etc.) to sell our private data to for-profit companies. We are being spied on under the Patriot Act. Advertisers collect our information without giving us any money in return. Proposal: In the 21st century, internet access should be a human right. We demand a NYC Internet Bill of Rights in 2021.

  • Nationalize social media platforms and ISP industry (categorize as public utilities).
  • Expand the NYC Human Resources Administration to include options for affordable internet access.
  • Ban censorship of any kind unless;
    • We the People (a democratic majority of Ordinary Americans) maintain the right to restrict speech which is deemed to incite violence or hate speech.




Accessibility for All  ♿


Issue: Due to recent gentrifrication, local residents have been neglected by newcomers to the community in terms of accessibility. Proposal: Edwin would immediately enact a zero-tolerance policy that prioritizes the safety of all disabled/elderly/low-income New Yorkers.

  • Edwin will introduce or co-sponsor legislation to allow private cultural institutions, and businesses, the choice to offer disabled visitors either free entry/pay as you wish, or discounted entry. If the institution/business decides on a discounted entry, then they must offer disabled visitors a discounted entry, plus a discounted membership at the lowest price point currently on offer (caregiver free). These policies must be conspicuously displayed at box offices/websites.
  • Edwin will introduce legislation that would allow all EBT/ SNAP cardholders and 3 family members (plus caregiver) to enter all city cultural institutions for free.
  • Edwin will advocate for all supermarkets/food outlets/farmers markets to offer a specific discount at the check out register when the EBT/ SNAP card is presented as payment, and thus allowing the EBT/SNAP funds to last out a little longer.
  • Edwin will fight for more income to the EBT card per month, as many families run out of food in the third week, and essentially starve until the next EBT deposit.
  • Edwin will fight against placard abuse by restoring parking and traffic enforcement to the DOT from the NYPD. We can more effectively serve communities with use of funds on a case-by-case basis. More speed bumps, less cameras.
  • Edwin will fiercely advocate for full accessibility at all MTA subway stations. No more obstructed sidewalks or disability ramps.
  • Edwin will fiercely advocate for Citi Bike memberships for all low-income residents.
  • Edwin would immediately pressure Lyft to relocate all Citi Bike docking stations onto the sidewalk and preserve street parking spaces. Reckless placement of bike lanes and docking stations disproportionately impact the lives of low-income, elderly and disabled residents.





Healthcare

How would you guarantee working class people have access to comprehensive healthcare services that are free at the point of care?


  • Nearly one third of the country is uninsured or underinsured. This issue has been exacerbated due to a national rise in unemployment cases. Currently, over 25+ million Americans are at risk of losing healthcare. Remember, coronavirus does not discriminate ruling class vs working class, or Democrats vs Republican, or rich vs poor.

  • So how do we begin to address this overwhelming issue? The first step is simple: the majority of Americans support Medicare for All (9 in 10 Democrats). Single-payer healthcare ought to be a human right. NYC Care is a monumental first step in that direction. Ultimately, we must create a system that works for all of us - not just a few dozen billionaires. There is no good reason for the USA to be the only major country where the majority of bankruptcies are declared due to medical bills & massive healthcare debt. We must overhaul the system of private healthcare corporations & establish a single-payer healthcare program which subsidizes all out-of-pocket expenses for reproductive care, mental health, dental, vision, and primary care. No co-pays. No deductibles. No high-cost administrative middlemen. No for-profit agenda disguised as a “public option”.

  • NYC Council members must listen to the will of Ordinary people. Not the corporate Greed and private interests of ultra-wealthy campaign contributors. The ultra wealthy donor class and special interest lobbyists do not care if there is a rent freeze or enhanced unemployment benefits. They do not care if healthcare is a human right, because they already have it.




How would you guarantee working class people have access to reproductive care?


  • In addition to a massive redirecting of funds toward NYC Care, we must refund the NYC Human Resources Administration (HRA) to expand its services to include mental health therapy & reproductive care for low-income New Yorkers.

  • These services must include menopause and fertility care, cervical screenings, contraception and treatment for sexually transmissible infections as well as chronic health problems such as endometriosis & polycystic ovary syndrome.




How would you expand harm reduction programming in NYC?


  • We ought to transform all jails into rehabilitation centers with private injection sites. We must decriminalize all active ingredients (i.e. psilocin) in psilocybin mushrooms for mental health research & therapeutic use. Psilocybin mushrooms can actually cure addiction to the opioids that Big Pharma is purposely prescribing (so inventors can collect big profits). They don't want you to have these substances.

  • Meanwhile, it is confirmed that many billionaire CEO's use psychedelic, plant-based medicines on a regular basis. It's called micro-dosing. And it's not just in Silicon Valley - the Waltons of the world consume psychoactive substances as well. The Establishment privately acknowledges the power behind these medicinal substances & keeps the scientific research data behind closed doors.




Will you oppose the expansion of policing and incarceration into NYC hospitals?


  • Yes, absolutely.




Do you support healthcare as a human right for all people? #ForceTheVote


Yes, absolutely. Healthcare is a human right, not a privilege.

👉 Only one candidate for NYC Council endorsed #ForcedTheVote on Medicare for All during a deadly pandemic. I'll give you a hint: it wasn't ANY single Democrat running in our District 22.

It was me.

  • Edwin DeJesus for NYC Council is the ONLY candidate with the courage to fight for justice at any means necessary. As a constituent of AOC, I started a petition to hold progressive leadership accountable. I was featured in the #ForceTheVote Town Hall alongside the Dr. Cornel West, Briahna Joy Gray, Krystal Ball, Kyle Kulinski and the Jimmy Dore Show.




Do you support fully-funding public hospitals/community health centers and preventing the closing of any public healthcare institutions?


  • Yes, absolutely.




Do you support New Yorkers’ rights to reproductive healthcare, including abortion?


  • Yes, absolutely. I believe every woman has the right to choose what to do with her own body.




Do you support mandatory COVID-19 vaccines?


  • Absolutely not. Taking the vaccine must be a decision made by individuals and families, not the government. All individuals who want the vaccine ought to receive it for free, prioritizing the most vulnerable. Private companies cannot mandate employees to take the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccines.
  • If employees feel unsafe returning to a physical workplace, they ought to have the right to work remotely indefinitely.





Criminal Justice

What is your view on the role of police in New York City public schools?


  • We must completely remove NYPD officers from New York City public schools. Instead, we ought to replace these cops with “peace officers” who are trained in de-escalation tactics, mediation techniques and restorative practices. Veterans seeking employment could potentially be trained to fulfill these roles.

  • On a citywide level, we must roll out a massive Police Education 101 program to significantly reimagine the way we train officers of law enforcement. We must teach NYPD officers (led by a community-based curriculum) the history behind institutional racism and police brutality in our neighborhoods.

  • It is crucial for youth of color, who are disproportionately affected by school-based arrests, to avoid being traumatized by the system at an early age. Ultimately, a bloated police presence in our schools is more dangerous and harmful to our students. We must ensure the safety and mental well-being of our children, especially the most vulnerable students who lack adequate role models.




What​ ​steps​ ​would​ ​you​ ​support​ taking ​to​ ​end​ ​the​ ​“school-to-prison​ ​pipeline”?​


  • Provide direct cash payments to every New Yorker, so they have the financial freedom to live without committing crimes (extinguish small-scale poverty). Refund all Ordinary New Yorkers a bonus of ($600/week) stimulus checks paid for by fair taxation of ultra-wealthy individuals.

  • Divert funding to NYC Career and Technical Education (CTE) Schools, Student Youth Employment Program (SYEP), Ladders for Leaders. Ranked-choice Voting 101, Taxes 101, Starting a Small Business 101.

  • Minority grants in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) plus filmmaking, dancing, painting, singing and other arts.




Would you support a hiring freeze and reductions in the NYPD force?


  • Yes, absolutely. I support a reduction that aligns with the democratic majority or consensus of constituents in our District 22. We must be very careful not to worsen corruption in the NYPD by cutting the paychecks of individual officers, and instead cut the paychecks of those powerful few on top.




Would you support shifting noise complaints, mental health crises and petty conflicts to be handled by trained social workers without weapons?


  • Yes, absolutely.




Would you support returning traffic enforcement to the Department of Transit?


  • Yes, absolutely.




Will you increase the size and funding of the NYPD?


  • Absolutely not. The powerful handful of people at the top of the NYPD need to be defunded directly. According to MLK, racial justice is economic justice. Money must be reallocated from the bank accounts of the political leaders of the NYPD toward reimagined recruitment standards, training & accountability – without increasing the department’s overall budget.

  • If we cut the NYPD budget without this condition, police officers will become even more corrupt. Without extinguishing poverty to disincentivize crime, systemic racism and police brutality will keep getting worse.




Would you support a “duty to intervene” law which requires police to intervene if they see another officer harming or risking a member of the public?


  • Yes, absolutely. Failure to intervene ought to be considered a fireable offense punishable by the law.




Would you support all NYPD misconduct settlements to be paid for by the offending officers’ pensions, rather than paid for by taxpayers?


  • Yes, absolutely.




Would you support aggressive investigations and firings of officers found to have participated in brutality against peaceful protesters?


  • Yes, absolutely.




Would you support making covering name and badge number during any civilian interaction a fireable offense?


  • Yes, absolutely.




Should NYC build borough-based jails to compensate for the closure of Rikers? If not, what should be done?


  • Absolutely, not. I do NOT support building any new jails or prisons. We must transform all new correctional facilities into rehabilitation centers for nonviolent inmates.




What role should police play in regard to the homeless?


  • Homeless is set to skyrocket as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Homelessness ought not to be criminalized, especially on public property. We cannot rely on police to keep the lid on this issue. Community-led initiatives must receive municipal funds to provide food and shelter to the homeless.

  • We must divert funding to local mutual aid organizations which provide food and clothing to our communities. We must reinvest money into city employment and job training programs like Fedcap (for assistance to homeless people with disabilities) and provide job opportunities for those living in homeless shelters.




Do you support not building any new jails, prisons, or detention centers in New York City?


  • Yes, absolutely. We must build rehabilitation centers which safely meet the therapeutic needs of those who fell victim to wealth and income inequality.




Do you support significantly reducing the number of people in NYC jails and prisons?


  • Yes, absolutely. We must ask ourselves what it means to live in a just society. We must ban quotas in every police department. Our country must no longer account for 25% of the world’s prison population.

  • We must reimagine our criminal justice system such that thousands of Latinos and African American men are not disproportionately incarcerated for using drugs at the same rate as white men. Youth of color must not pay a fee or be sent to prison for selling marijuana, especially now that it is considered an essential business during the pandemic.




Do you support creating a city bail voucher program to ensure that no one is held in a city jail for lack of funds?


  • Yes, absolutely. We cannot punish nonviolent individuals for being low-income, especially communities of color. Cash bail primarily hurts New Yorkers who are already financially unstable. As a result, they are more likely to repeat acts of crime.




Do you support ending or dramatically curtailing the practice of cash bail for nonviolent offenders?


  • Yes, absolutely. We cannot punish nonviolent individuals for being low-income, especially communities of color. If we provide Weekly Stimulus Checks ($600/week) for all New Yorkers, crime will reduce significantly and we will no longer need a cash bail system.




Do you support a ban on the use of facial recognition software by law enforcement agencies?


  • Yes, absolutely. This is a major violation of human privacy and raises very serious concerns regarding oversight and security. Big Tech companies are already selling our data – let’s not take another step in an Orwellian direction by allowing law enforcement to abuse this power as well.




Do you support a ban on partnerships and data sharing with private surveillance tools, such as Amazon Ring?


  • Yes, absolutely. We must defend ourselves from infridgements on our civil liberties and rightly secure our private data.

  • For example, Facebook sold our data to Cambridge Analytica. This ought to be a violation of human rights. The same notion applies to Amazon or any other private company run by the most powerful billionaires in the country.

  • According to the Wall Street Journal, Mark Zuckerberg denied resolving the polarization of his platform’s algorithms. Scientists gathered to make Facebook as addictive as possible to the human brain.

  • Big Tech oligarchs want us to be divided so we are more easily conquered.We must demand data protection for Ordinary People via NYC Internet Bill of Rights 2021.




Do you support a ban on the use of predictive policing algorithms?


  • Yes, absolutely. These methods are known to be discriminatory and life-threatening. These algorithms primarily target communities of color and low-income families.




Can we achieve police accountability through an elected and empowered Civilian Complaint Review Board?


  • Yes, absolutely. We can reimagine police safety and accountability through the power of democracy. We must permanently reinstate habeas corpus and end qualified immunity.

  • By giving this elected power to Ordinary people, we can come together to defeat the Greed that corrupts our law enforcement system.




Do you support eliminating the jaywalking violation (Title 34, Section 4-04)?


  • Yes, absolutely.





COVID-19 Relief

How would you guarantee workers are safe and financially secure during the COVID-19 crisis?


  • Nearly 400,000 Americans are dead - not all because of the coronavirus directly. Rather, as a result of corporate Greed. That is why America is suffering worse than other countries. It's not because coronavirus hates Americans more. It is because we have a system that allows corporate Greed to overrun the actual terms of our Constitution.
  • We need to protect the most vulnerable by providing testing, healthcare, living wages, and rent forgiveness. We need Compassion for Ordinary People in the form of Weekly Stimulus Checks ($600/week) aka UBI for all New York residents. Let us enact single-payer healthcare legislation and bailout New Yorkers instead of large corporations.




Do you support making all COVID-19 testing and treatment free and accessible?


  • Yes, absolutely. Healthcare is a human right, not a privilege.




Do you support permanently housing the homeless using all means available, including emergency rent assistance and seizing vacant property through eminent domain?


  • Yes, absolutely.




Do you support canceling rent and mortgage payments for the duration of the crisis?


  • Yes, absolutely. #CancelRent
  • If we can afford to give huge bailouts to the largest corporations, we can afford to bail out Ordinary people. Let’s make the criminals on Wall Street pay the difference. If a corporation is Too Big to Fail then it ought to be Too Big to Exist.
  • We can demand forgiveness from the same hedge fund managers that ripped off homeowners & purposely caused the Great Recession in 2008. Since these executives were never criminally prosecuted, (meanwhile we still imprison Latinos and African Americans for nonviolent drug-related crimes) we can now serve justice by collecting taxes from billionaire Swiss bank accounts & offshore savings on the Cayman Islands.




Do you support a moratorium on liquor license suspensions carried out by the NYC Sheriff's Office?


  • Yes, absolutely. We must stop shutting down small businesses. Revoking these licenses is drastically hurting our local economy and thus accelerating the effects of gentrification.




Do you support blocking ICE from hospitals and courthouses?


  • Yes, absolutely.




Are lockdowns useful or effective?


It depends. Endless lockdown is NOT a solution. Period. If a government has a lockdown with a universal basic income (UBI), it can successfully slow the spread while avoiding major economic and social catastrophe. The following negative effects are at a record high: suicide rate, level of depression, substance abuse, food insecurity, and stress. Lockdowns which do not cover workers' wages are worsening the mental health crisis. An alternative plan is needed to cure the disproportionate amount of suffering that is being faced by small businesses and low-income New Yorkers. The USA is the only major country NOT to subsidize wages for its struggling workers who are being forced to stay at home. As a result, here is the harm caused by lockdowns in the US (as of Dec 2020): 👉🏼 57+ million Americans filed unemployment (half are at risk of losing healthcare) 👉🏼 35+ million Americans may face eviction.
👉🏼 25+ thousand Texans lined up in cars to receive food before Thanksgiving.
👉🏼 $5T+ in wealth was transferred upward to a few dozen billionaires. According to an article by the Washington Examiner, Dr. David Nabarro of the WHO stated: “We in the World Health Organization do not advocate lockdowns as the primary means of control of this virus. The only time we believe a lockdown is justified is to buy you time to reorganize, regroup, rebalance your resources, protect your health workers who are exhausted, but by and large, we'd rather not do it.” (Dr. David Nabarro, Special Envoy on COVID-19). So what is the alternative? A strong test-trace-isolate-treat plan executed at scale and Weekly Stimulus Checks ($600/week) aka UBI. New York has more than enough money to do this, especially via fair taxation of ultra-wealthy individuals on Wall Street. If we can afford $5T in huge bailouts for large corporations, we can give every taxpayer and essential worker a universal basic income until this deadly pandemic is over, and beyond. In fact, we cannot afford NOT to guarantee this bailout for Ordinary people.




How would you fight city budget cuts to social services that will be proposed in the wake of COVID-19?


  • I will personally call out the BS of every elected official advocating for budget cuts. Do not tell me we don't have the money. There are more billionaires in NYC than prior to the pandemic – more than that of Abu Dhabi. If we can afford huge bailouts for large corporations & lobbyists, we can afford to bailout working class families through economic policies like Weekly Stimulus Checks and universal healthcare. No more tax breaks for billionaires & yacht-owners.

  • We can balance the budget via fair taxation of ultra-wealthy individuals in addition to taxes on extreme wealth, stock buybacks, speculation, luxury land developments, digital advertising and CEO’s with huge pay gaps over employees. We must defund the billionaire CEO’s of corporate media outlets (i.e. CNN, MSNBC, New York Times), private health insurance companies, Big Pharma industry, Big Real Estate developers, Con Edison, National Grid, Amazon, Target as well as hedge fund managers, investment bankers and other criminals on Wall Street.





Clean Environment

Do you support a Green New Deal?


Yes, absolutely. The original Green New Deal was proposed by the Green Party - not Democrats. As a Green Party candidate, I support the following proposals to save our planet from an existential climate crisis:

  1. Decarbonize the economy fully by 2030.

  2. Democratize control over major energy systems and resources.

  3. Create jobs for the working class in a just transition to an economy of societal and ecological care.

  4. Decommodify survival by guaranteeing living wages, healthcare, childcare, housing, food, water, energy, public transit, a healthy environment, and other necessities for all.

  5. Reinvent our communities to serve people and planet, not profit.

  6. Demilitarize, decolonize, and strive for a future of international solidarity and cooperation.

  7. Redistribute resources from the worst polluters via removal of tax breaks for large polluting corporations.




Will you advance the goal of a publicly owned, democratically controlled energy system for New York in office?


  • Yes, absolutely. We need to give power and energy back to Ordinary people as human rights. We need public ownership of Con Edison because they are destroying our planet and absorbing all of our taxpayer dollars. Con Edison should NOT be a for-profit company.

  • Publicly-owned electric power industries create tons of jobs and stimulate economic growth. Private companies cannot monopolize our heat and electric system. We will not accept a new NRG power plant in Astoria!




Will you support unionization for all new green jobs and a just transition for fossil fuel industry workers?


  • Yes, absolutely. City Council must protect energy workers by providing them with Weekly Stimulus Checks ($600/week) aka UBI and a free education to retain income security. Society cannot expect these workers to learn how to code via retraining. Job transition programs must be reimagined to guarantee a new job for each worker with similar job skill requirements.




Will you support new development in zone 1 and 2 emergency evacuation zone floodplains?


  • No, absolutely not. These developments would disproportionately displace residents of color (who tend to live in these zones) during weather catastrophes like Hurricane Sandy.




WIll you support City control of the subways?


  • Yes, absolutely. The MTA is very expensive despite its relatively poor service. We must end the MTA's political stranglehold over the City and Mayor. Although it would be an uphill battle, it is most certainly worth fighting for.

  • Most major cities with control of their public transportation systems are cleaner, provide quicker service and are more cost-efficient overall.




Do you support decarbonizing the power grid?


  • Yes, absolutely.




Do you support city funding for community land trusts and programs modeled after Housing Development Fund Corporation (HDFC)?


  • Yes, absolutely.




Do you support decreasing carbon footprints of existing buildings through retrofits, prioritizing and fully funding NYCHA?


  • Yes, absolutely.




Do you support centering policies around the working class while developing and implementing green infrastructure?


  • Yes, absolutely.




Do you support stopping all proposed new fossil fuel infrastructure, as well as drawing down all existing fossil fuel infrastructure in the next decade?


  • Yes, absolutely.




Do you support divesting City pension funds from all fossil fuel industries?


  • Yes, absolutely.




Do you support framing low-carbon public transit as a right and making the subway, buses and transportation system free in the city?


  • Yes, absolutely. I am going to fight for a completely free transportation system. At a minimum, we need to eliminate the $1 fee for new MetroCards and provide at least 3 free swipes a day to low-income residents.

  • City Council must continue to provide permanently free MTA buses for all New Yorkers (the pandemic is not over yet). Increased access to transportation and newer buses like the M60 line results in a faster rate of job growth.




Do you support increasing green, transit-oriented infrastructure, such as bike lanes and bus lanes?


  • Yes, absolutely. Bike lanes should be approved by the community and ONLY implemented if appropriate safety guidelines are met - unlike the dangerous Crescent Street bike lane:

👉 Emergency service vehicles no longer have road space to reach Mt Sanai Queens.

👉 Hazardous traffic conditions for bikers and pedestrians.

👉 High traffic congestion during morning and evening rush hours.

👉 Limited parking spaces for local residents and workers.

  • We must hold leadership accountable for improper bike lane placement due to a lack of knowledge of the surrounding traffic area. We must also establish more “open streets” without increasing traffic congestion and include temporary lanes for joggers to curb the spread of COVID-19.




Do you support limiting the use of rideshare programs that flout worker rights and city regulations?


  • Yes, absolutely. We must encourage politicians to reject money from Uber lobbyists who actively try sabotaging the rights of freelancers and gig workers.




Do you support legalizing e-bikes and e-scooters?


  • Yes, absolutely. We ought to create incentives for more companies like Revel to exist with a set of environmentally friendly standards. E-scooters and e-bikes are crucial modes of transportation that many essential workers rely on to travel to and from work.




Do you support reducing the city vehicle fleet by at least 25%, with a special focus on NYPD’s militarized fleet?


  • Yes, absolutely.




How should we handle the power aspect of the Renewable Rikers plan?


  • The power assets ought to be publicly owned. A community board ought to be created within the Department of Environmental Protection to guide the decision-making process.

  • If the Rikers wastewater treatment plant is not strong enough to replace plants in the outer boroughs, then we ought to reconsider the development. Personally, I think we could redirect the spending toward a massive green infrastructure program. This means an unprecedented system of new rain gardens, green streets and green roofs to address the CSO issue citywide.




Do you support centering transit justice by adopting a “15-Minute City” plan for all New Yorkers?


  • Yes, absolutely. We must allow New Yorkers to live independently of MTA transportation, which is threatening to cut its weekday service by nearly 50%. All of the necessary resources for a household to survive ought to be within a 15-minute walking distance from one's home or apartment.




Do you support investing in public parks, green spaces, and community gardens and ending their privatization?


  • Yes, absolutely.




Do you support building climate resilience measures such as hardened, raised architecture or expansion of wetlands, shores and natural infrastructure around vulnerable areas?


  • Yes, absolutely.




Will you ensure waterfronts are prioritized for use as accessible public spaces and floodwater catchments, rather than development parcels for private real estate?


Yes, absolutely.




Will you take community input and ecosystem preservation into account to democratically plan a managed retreat from coastlines?


  • Yes, absolutely. We must ensure disaster relief efforts prioritize the most vulnerable communities without the requirement of means testing or citizenship checks.




Do you support having a municipally owned commercial waste collection system?


  • Yes, absolutely.




Do you support reducing food waste and expanding existing public food programs?


  • Yes, absolutely. We must expand the urban farm system in our communities. We ought to purchase food from farms that use sustainable practices and protect farmworkers' rights.




Do you support publicly or municipally owned broadband and guaranteeing internet access to all?


  • Yes, absolutely. Internet ought to be a human right in the 21st century by nationalizing Internet Service Providers (ISP) and social media companies.




Do you support restoring parking and traffic enforcement to the NYC DOT from the NYPD?


  • Yes, absolutely.





Education

Would you increase funding to public schools by $4B, most of which is owed to districts with high percentages of low-income youth of color?


  • Yes, absolutely. New York must fulfill the promise of the Campaign For Fiscal Equity. Our public school system is currently dying: 31,000 students were estimated to have left the city’s public school system last fall. This number is nearly 10% of the students who were attending in-person classes before the city closed schools in November.




What is your stance on uneven PTA fundraising across schools?


  • We must ensure PTA fundraising is fair and equal in opportunity for all students, especially those from low-income neighborhoods. One step we can take to achieve equity is through major PTA reform. In particular, we must vote to divert funds from affluent schools to those which are under-resourced.

  • We must provide families with Weekly Stimulus Checks ($600/week) aka UBI relief to increase the ability for low-income parents to fundraise.




Do you support Mayoral control of City schools?


  • No, absolutely not. I do not support the Mayoral control of NYC schools because there are not enough checks and balances on the Mayor to be a truly democratic system. The Council currently lacks the courage to pressure the Mayor on issues of executive overreach. The Council must have a stronger voice in regard to the school system. Ultimately, we must reimagine a 21st century citywide school board to replace the current system controlled by the Mayor.




What is your position on the City’s high school admissions procedures?


  • We must remove the systemic barriers that prevent low-income students and youth of color from equal opportunity of admission.




How will you fight to desegregate the City’s school system?


  • We must eliminate the standard requirements of test scores and grades, since many tutoring programs are out of reach for low-income students and youth of color. We must defund the College Board and re-designate the organization as a predatory for-profit corporation, subject to applicable tax fairness.




Should "School Resource Officers" (i.e. cops in schools) exist?


  • No, absolutely not. We must replace these cops with “peace officers” who are trained in de-escalation tactics, mediation techniques and restorative practices. Veterans seeking employment could potentially be trained to fulfill these roles.




Do you support making CUNY tuition free?


  • Yes, absolutely. Education is a human right, not a privilege.




Do you support funding CUNY to meet adjunct’s demand of $7,000 per course?


  • Yes, absolutely. Our teachers and learning instructors are currently paid in starvation wages.




Do you support a ban on local funding for universities that allow admissions based on "legacy" and similar criteria?


  • Yes, absolutely. As a full scholarship recipient to Columbia University, it is a moral obligation to do everything in my power so others can experience the same quality of education. We must increase the graduation rate for immigrants, low-income students and youth of color. We can pave the way for this effort by eliminating tax advantages based on income and property.




Do you support limits on the expansion of charter schools in the City?


  • Yes, absolutely.




Do you support proper access to secular education for Yeshiva students?


  • Yes, absolutely.




Do you support expanding the City’s 3K program to all parts of the City?


  • Yes, absolutely.




Do you support a​ citywide prohibition​ ​on​ ​exclusionary​ ​school​ ​discipline​ ​(i.e.​ suspensions​ ​and expulsions)?​


  • Yes, absolutely. No child shall be left behind.




Do you support removing screenings for schools and ensuring minimum academic diversity thresholds?


  • Yes, absolutely.




Do you support enacting a comprehensive redistricting of public schools to ensure racial integration?


  • Yes, absolutely.




Will you fight for the funding owed to NYC public schools by New York State?


  • Yes, absolutely.




What is your stance on the Gifted & Talented programs for children?


  • I am committed to re-instating the GIFTED Program for our brightest minds to receive greater learning opportunities. Test scores are arbitrary, but this program does more good than harm. We ought not to restrict our youth with limited education. We can create additional grants and scholarships for students driven to the creative arts and sciences.




Do you support education as a human right for all people?


  • Yes, absolutely. Education is a human right, not a privilege.





Immigrant Justice

Do you support offering all NYC residents the right to vote in City elections, regardless of immigration status or prior felony conviction?


  • Yes, absolutely. Every voice deserves to be heard in our democracy, including my undocumented mother-in-law currently living in the shadows. We especially need justice for our brothers and sisters who lost their land and human rights due to the abuse of colonization and imperialism.




What are key issues for immigrant communities in Astoria, Woodside, Jackson Heights and East Elmhurst?


  • I have met with many excluded immigrant workers who received zero pandemic-related assistance. We need to provide undocumented workers in the restaurant/retail/hospitality industries with Weekly Stimulus Checks ($600/week) aka UBI relief. #FundExcludedWorkers

  • We must address the issue of food insecurity for all low-income immigrants by diverting funds to meal programs. We need a moratorium on liquor license suspensions which have skyrocketed in areas like Woodside and Jackson Heights.

  • We must pass Rent Stabilization for All residential properties, especially those which are rented by undocumented immigrants. We need to subsidize out-of-pocket medical costs for every single low-income resident (regardless of citizenship). We must prevent the NRG power plant in Astoria which contributes to environmental racism.




How do you plan to use your office to provide constituent services to immigrants in your district?


  • My undocumented mother-in-law has applied to dozens of funds for financial assistance and never received a single email in response. We need to address the immediate concerns of immigrant parents struggling to put food on the table for their children.

  • I will create a safe environment for immigrants to address their concerns without the fear of law enforcement presence. This can be socially distant in-person, virtual or via phone call. Links for updated resources in regard to immigrant services will be included in our monthly newsletter.

  • I will personally schedule conversations to connect with every immigrant suffering from mental health decline. It is very important to me that women and immigrants (including single mothers) who seek asylum from domestic violence have their voices heard. I plan to create a non-profit organization that directly funds undocumented workers. I will ensure any donations received will go directly to families living in our district.




What steps do you think are necessary to establish stronger Sanctuary City protections in New York City?


  • Right now, the most immediate threats to the undocumented community are paying rent, groceries, medical bills and DACA application fees (currently $495 plus lawyer fees). We must provide Weekly Stimulus Checks ($600/week) aka UBI relief to all undocumented residents as soon as possible.

  • Rent Stabilization for All would significantly help undocumented families who co-rent private homes with a large number of roommates. We are sick and tired of Big Real Estate using our taxpayer dollars to fund luxury developments instead of building on safe and confidential 311 hotlines like MOIA. We must refund city agencies including NYC Care, HRA and Homebase to provide rental assistance, homelessness prevention and health insurance to our undocumented communities. We also need to recognize tax ID numbers as an alternative to social security for all citywide services.




How will you end Broken Windows and Community policing, which puts immigrants at risk by sharing data with DHS?


  • We must decriminalize a variety of minor crimes including MTA fare evasion, public consumption of alcohol and loitering. We should not target Ordinary people for committing these acts during an economic and mental health crisis.




Do you support legislation prohibiting the use of City resources to assist in the enforcement of federal immigration law?


  • Yes, absolutely. ICE ought to be abolished to prevent the terrorization of immigrants.




Do you support legislation strengthening the enforcement of worker misclassification laws, particularly around contractors, along with funding for a low-wage immigrant worker defense fund?


  • Yes, absolutely.




Do you support increased, and permanent funding in the NYC budget for public defense, in both immigration and criminal proceedings?


  • Yes, absolutely.




Do you support increased city funding toward providing all residents with COVID-19 relief, regardless of citizenship status?


  • Yes, absolutely. It is not the fault of our immigrant community (many of whom rely on tips to survive) that indoor dining, retail, hospitality and other jobs in the service industry are closed during lockdown.




Will you increase funding and resources for city agencies, hospitals and communities to develop policies and training for staff on know-your-rights information?


  • Yes, absolutely. We must commit to educating the public on how to interact with law enforcement and use de-escalation tactics to prevent ICE arrests for nonviolent residents.