Protecting New Yorkers in their Homes
With 89,000 homeless New Yorkers, over 115,000 homeless students in the school year, and over 250,000 vacant units in New York City alone, New York State must enact measures to immediately provide dignified, supportive housing for its homeless inhabitants while protecting those vulnerable to displacement and homelessness in their homes. An estimated 1.6 million households in New York State precariously close to displacement. These homes have no protections against rent increases, lease renewal or arbitrary evictions.
- Home Stability Support Act (S2375/A1620): To fund to supplement rents of families and individuals who are eligible for public assistance benefits and are also at-risk of eviction, homelessness, or loss of housing due to domestic violence or hazardous conditions.
- Pass the “Good Cause Eviction Bill” NY State Senate Bill S2892A: An act to amend the real property law, to prevent eviction without good cause.
- Increase Lease Options for Rent-stabilized and rent controlled tenants (S2891/A6567): rent-stabilized and controlled tenants often only have the option to sign leases of one or two years and should have the option to elect for longer leases.
- Introduce a Right of First Refusal / Right to Purchase Bill. When buildings go on the market, organized tenants with State-funding should have the first pass to purchase. This measure would encourage cooperative and social housing through land leases to community land trusts leased to tenants at permanently affordable rates. (Manufactured homes already have this something similar under HSTPA.)
Toward a #NYHomesGuarantee
We suffer austerity and divestment in social and public sectors to subsidize capitalist and company in Albany. Public housing in New York City faces a $32 billion capital deficit. Nearly half a million New Yorkers reside in poor housing conditions with mold, lead, and intermittent heat and hot water. I demand accountability, structural change, fully-funding, retrofitting and repairing all NYCHA housing. I vehemently oppose any plan to privatize NYCHA land. I believe in tenant-owned, community land trust and other socialist alternatives to public housing. I also will fight for LGBTQ and gender-minority youth and elder housing and services.
- Support a predatory equity remodeling or “flipping property” tax which requires mandatory minimum period of property-ownership following flipping of property. In real estate, “flipping” is the process by which investors pressure homeowners to sell their property, which are then purchased, refitted, and sold for exorbitant profit. While many engage this practice thinking glamorously, this process contributes to gentrification by increasing of units at the top of the market, contributing to local displacement and homelessness. S3060E
- Support a “pied a terre” tax on unoccupied residential property and a tax on temp homes and short-term rentals to discourage peer-to-peer marketplaces (sharing economy marketplaces: AirBnB and blockchain-based competitors), which contribute to displacement.
- Support a “vacancy tax” to discourage warehousing by landlords and speculative investment in luxury housing. End vacancy bonuses and vacancy decontrol.
- Support legislation to eliminate Major Capital Improvement Increases, a loophole landlords use to displace tenants.
- Multi-Millionaire’s Tax Bill to Fund NYCHA (S4511A/A8532): We will tax the exorbitantly rich to house the poor.
I pledge as a candidate to #NYHomesGuarantee and believe in and learn from Housing Justice for All‘s platform.
The city council has voted to sink 11 billion dollars into the construction of four new borough-based jails without committing to the closure of Rikers Island. Prisons do not “keep the citizenry safe.” The prison-industrial complex is not only a vestige of slavery, it enslaves. As a prison abolitionist, I vehemently oppose the building of new state and local prisons in New York, and firmly believe in the mission of No New Jails. Prisons kill.
- The Vernon C. Bain Prison Barge on the coast of Hunts Point is an abomination. I will fight to close this modern day slave ship.
- Ban on renewed state and local contracts with private prisons and private transport in the state and local prison system.
- End cash bail system.
- Invest in prison diversion programs and early release, and mutual-aid programs for QTPOC and gender normative youth.
New York City boasts an army of over 35,000 NYPD officers. Why? Thanks to its goliath budget, the NYPD arrests over 160,000 people each year on low-level misdemeanor charges (80% total arrests), half of which are eventually dismissed, further wasting taxpayer resources. Communities of color continue to be the targets of increased policing, who are used by municipal governments to extract fees (wealth) and occupy the time of people of color. We must end civil asset forfeiture as a practice of taxing the poor. Additionally, NYC paid out a staggering $302,000,000 for police misconduct in 2017 alone.
In 2017, there were over 12,000 allegations of excessive force against the NYPD. I support authorizing and funding state Attorney General’s office to investigate police departments for unconstitutional policing. I support repealing 50-A Police Secrecy Law, which will allow the public, defense attorneys, people convicted based on the words of crooked cops, prosecutors and judges are currently blocked with limited exception, from knowing the disciplinary and conduct history of the police, enabling crookedness.I support a ban the use of predictive policing algorithms, which have human bias built into them and are used to create data along those biases. This false data creates a perceived need for increased policing. I believe we must fund a Racial and Economic Impact Analyses of All Charges Filed Across the State.
- “Weedy Reparations” & the Legalization of Recreational Marijuana
I believe in the freedom to smoke marijuana and smoke weed freely myself. It is absurd that we still, in any sense, think to criminalize usage of a plant that has time and time again proven medically essential for many. I will fight for the legalization of recreational marijuana. Retroactive application of marijuana legalization, automatic clearing of marijuana convictions, and afford time-served and business opportunities for those detained by state for possession. Communities policed and most affected by the war on drugs should receive priority in regards to receive small business loans so that they can open dispensaries, cafes, restaurants and other green business. Revenue from taxes on these businesses would go directly toward community needs, educational programs, after school, trade, and skill-share programs, urban farming initiatives, advocacy groups, libraries, community centers etc.
- Decriminalization of Sex Work
I support sex workers, and support reforms to sex trafficking legislation S6419/A8230, loitering and prostitution laws to the effect of completely decriminalizing sex work. I stand with sex workers; they too should have the freedom to cooperatively-own and unionize their business.
To Protect Fusion Voting, Reform Campaign Finance Laws
Our representatives in Albany have the power to curb corporate influence in politics. But they refuse, because they themselves are intoxicated by the promise of money. Look around you, we bear the consequences, the weight of that standard. That is what we are here to talk about today: setting a standard for campaign finance laws that denies corporate greed across New York State.
The Public Campaign Financing Commission has a mission to create a system that levels the proverbial playing field, to amplify the purchase power of the people. Instead, Governor Cuomo, Speaker Heastie, and Leader Stewart-Cousins seem to have outsourced to them the work of political retribution targeting specifically the Working Families Party, but harming us all as collateral. Fusion voting is a way for parties to participate in political life of the state. We must protect fusion voting from any ban. It is essential to fighting corruption and constructing a diverse and healthy field of candidates and ideas.
I am an Adjunct lecturer and poet running for State Assembly on principle. I raise $3000 from 70 contributors all working people, that’s the equivalent of one check from a developer, or an insurance company or some fossil energy monster. I, on principle, refuse that money taken at the cost of our people and our displacement. As far as I can tell, the current campaign finance system, with its loopholes, might as well be legalized bribery. How are regular people, taken by such spirit to mouthpiece on behalf of their communities, supposed to fight such staggering odds? Our campaign demands that New York State model the highest standard of campaign finance policy including a robust state-matching program and eliminating loopholes that allow for dark money to dictate the flow of policy-making. We want decreased contribution limits, closing loopholes that allow unlimited donations to housekeeping accounts, restoration and protection of voting rights to the formerly incarcerated and the extension of the right to vote to all residents in local and statewide elections.
Tuition-Free Public Colleges and Universities
As a CUNY and SUNY employee, I believe our higher public education should be free as it was up until 1976, when the student body began to see a demographic shift. There’s money in the budgets for prisons and police, I am done entertaining the same tired argument that there is no money for our state’s students. In the first year of the Governor’s ill-conceived Excelsior Scholarship, nearly 70% of students who applied were rejected. CUNY and SUNY suffer under the Governor’s austerity budget. Enough is enough, let’s invest in our students and schools not our prisons, luxury developments and the further militarization of the police. The vast majority of CUNY’s teaching force, 11,000 adjunct educators, make poverty wages. These conditions are unacceptable for our students and teachers.
Repeal the Taylor Law
The anti-strike clause in the Taylor Law renders striking illegal for public employees, including educators, transportation workers and many others. The Taylor Law enables abusive work conditions by limiting union’s freedom to strike. Until the Taylor Law is repealed, we will continue to see abuse of our transit workers and public school educators at every level of schooling.
Environmental and Economic Justice
As a candidate, I pledge to the Public Power Coalition’s vision for a greener New York State.
- Bill calls for all generation and transmission to only be of renewable energy for State and Municipal Owned Properties.
- The act takes effect two years after passage which allows NY State to demonstrate a plan for how to achieve this goal.
- Follows the SUNY clean energy roadmap template, which gave campuses a year and a half to demonstrate a plan for how they would get to 100% renewable energy by the end of 2020 for implementation by 2030.
- This bill accelerates that process and calls for New York Power Authority (NYPA) to be the sole generation source and transmission source for all State Owned Properties by 2025.
NYPA Right of First Offer and Refusal Bill (A8937, S7243)
- NYPA expanded to own generation
- All generation must be renewable
- NYPA now able to sell energy directly to customers through usage of any utility’s transmission or distribution infrastructure
- NYPA allowed to have first offer as well as later match the purchase price of any new renewable energy project, if NYPA chooses to match the price, it will then own that project.
- Goes for any new renewable energy facility, project, or any renewable energy created by a new facility or project.
- Bans all for profit ESCOs
- Not-for-profit ESCOs, CCA’s, and community energy projects continue
Downstate Power Authority Bill (A8887, S7273)
- Creation of Downstate Power Authority
- Service Area will include all areas serviced by Con Ed, Central Hudson Gas and Electric, and National Grid Gas service including all of NYC, and the parts of Westchester, Rockland, Orange, Putnam, Dutchess, Ulster, Columbia, Greene and Albany counties serviced by them
- Service may be extended to additional territory by trustees, PSC hearings and public testimony if this happens
- Democratically elected board of 9 trustees elected from service area
- Under jurisdiction of PSC
- Either through purchase of or exercise of eminent domain to take over Con Ed, National Grid, and Central Hudson G&E
- Guarantee rates lower than Con Ed, National Grid, and Central Hudson G&E
- Progressive Rates
- Prevailing Wage
Fare-Free & Accessible Public Transit
New York State is WEALTHY. I am sick of seeing the same four plainclothes police officers harassing my neighbors at the local train station over fare evasion, when the design of the station encourages it. I’m sick of the bars and checkpoints we have to pass through daily just to get to work to make someone else rich off of our labor. The architecture of the subways evinces the normalization of carcereal culture in New York. In lieu of taxing the rich, the city taxes the poor with fares and fare evasion schemes. The fares system serves to further criminalize poverty and Blackness. It is 2020. It is time to tax the rich and put it in the budget, the billionaires of New York can afford it.
One strategy toward ensuring fare-free public transit could include, say, a tax on corporate stock buybacks, or open-market share repurchases, a method companies employ to return “excess” wealth to coffers of shareholders, fluffing their financial portfolios. This practice was formerly illegal, but now, companies can essentially pull stock from the public, generating exorbitant wealth that goes untaxed. It is obscene. Fare-free public transit will decrease carbon emissions, foster economic growth in communities since people will have more money on hand, facilitate decarceration and much more. New York is an international city and state that has siphoned much of the world’s wealth. How long are we going to complain about the rising fares and dilapidation of services?
ICE recently deployed a war machine to our streets to terrorize residents of our district. This is unacceptable. I believe ICE poses a danger to our communities and democracy at-large. It is atrocious to me their activities be allowed across New York State. ICE raids result in children not attending local schools because they are too afraid or have lost a caretaker or parent. ICE raids, break apart families and disrupt the meticulously-woven fabric of our society. I believe the state should extend state citizenship to its undocumented residents to protect families from deportation and galvanize political enfranchisement with the extension of the right to vote in local and state elections. Too many have died for the immigrant to live under terror in New York State.
Immigrant’s Suffrage and the Right to Vote
I commit to removing barriers to citizenship and immigrants’ suffrage. New Yorkers should have the right to vote in local and state elections regardless of immigration status. Our elders are literally dying to vote. Our ancestors didn’t perish so that we could squander a right denied others. If you live and love here, you deserve the right to vote. Enfranchising our residents only favors democracy and principle. If you believe in democracy, but believe a document entitles you to a right denied others, than you are a hypocrite.