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Gun violence is a far too prevalent issue in our city and in our district. I am in favor of strong gun legislation and common sense firearm laws. Being a direct victim of gun violence I understand how important this issue is. I have a balanced stance which protects American’s gun rights, while also reducing senseless gun violence. I am an advocate of common sense firearm laws, like universal background checks and encouraging the collection and studying of information about trends in gun violence. I know it is important to work with local, state, and federal law enforcement to effectively track and trace the illicit trade of guns and ammunition. I’ll fight to keep and increase funding to programs that engage the community and educate people on violence prevention (such as groups that use the Cure Violence methods). I believe we need to have an open dialogue with police departments and community officers to understand the needs of the community. Recognizing the importance of NGO's, non profits, and community input and facilitating communication and cooperation between organizations, community members, and law enforcement are also key.


     Every worker deserves to live with dignity and respect. We must protect workers with strong unions, protect residents from overpriced housing and compassionless landlords, and produce good well-paying jobs for the community. The North Shore has perhaps the worst income disparity compared to the rest of New York City. No other district has this high a share of residents living in both poor households and higher income households. Across the community and within neighborhoods there are huge differences in average income. Although the rate of poverty has been declining throughout the City, within the North Shore it has been on the rise. This means an ever growing gap between high income and low income residents. Which ultimately means worse living conditions for residents, worse schools for our children, worse transportation, and so on.  Those that live on a low income do not just operate with a lower cost of living but in turn face harder challenges with less resources. This means people who already may not own a vehicle also have less access to adequate public transportation. This also means less access to other resources like banks and libraries. We must also address the fact that due to the recent pandemic America as a whole is facing a jobs crisis and a housing crisis. Considering all of these factors I feel confident that we can combat income inequality and ultimately make life better for everyone in the North Shore.

     I will expand job opportunities and job training for residents of the North Shore. I will work with commercial properties and housing developments as well as promote minority and women-owned small businesses. Increasing job training would mean giving people access to jobs that pay a livable wage. This would also mean giving people access to child care services, job readiness resources, and access to ESL courses to make it easier for non-English speaking residents to join the workforce. I am proud of the fact that Staten Island is one of the City’s biggest contributors to the blue collar workforce. I believe we can lower income inequality by promoting good paying, unionized, blue collar jobs. I would encourage residents to join the workforce by promoting job apprenticeships, trade schools, trainings, and by ensuring residents of the community are prioritized when new construction begins. 


     I believe housing is a human right. I also believe that a working person should be able to afford a roof over their head. 

 I will work to protect current residents. I will work with developers to set aside areas for affordable housing, not just for low-income, but middle income families as well. I plan on fighting for property tax relief such as increasing eligibility for homeowner exemptions, especially for seniors, disabled persons, and veterans.

     I feel that housing and income inequality go hand in hand. When it comes to the North Shore we must address housing affordability and new developments. One major problem is the current mindset. One of the biggest complaints many residents, and I myself, have is that attention is usually only paid to the St. George and “Downtown Staten Island” area. Not only is this unfair when the 49th district is so vast in both size and demographics, but the focus in these areas is usually bad for the whole of the North Shore as well. I disagree with the notion that housing should be geared towards young professionals who do not contribute to the local economy, people who work and spend much of their time in Manhattan. I also oppose the idea that new developments should cater solely to tourism. We have all seen the effects of this mindset - look no further than the abandoned New York Wheel project or the rise in rents and housing costs.


     I believe that America and New York City in particular is a great melting pot where any person can come to pursue the American dream. As such I believe that any law abiding person should have the right to work, live, and enjoy time with family without the fear of being torn away from loved ones and deported. I believe that we should make it easier, not harder, for people to become legal American Citizens. That means at a city level encouraging the immigrant population to seek legal representation and for elected officials to make the naturalization process as simple and straightforward as possible. Bridging the gap between the immigrant population and their neighbors is mutually beneficial. I know that foreign born peoples would love to settle down, have a good job, and contribute to our community. This requires us encouraging immigrants to seek safe and legitimate work, find ESL services, and also feel safe going to local authorities when they are victims of crime. 

     In today’s politics certain people try to demonize immigrants and create an “us vs them" mentality. I know that those beliefs are not true, I know that our differences are our strength. I know this as a native New Yorker, where we see people from all over the world come to pursue the American Dream, and I know this as a young person growing up in this district. Attending Curtis High School, I saw not just a diversity of race but also a diversity of nationality, with many students and friends coming from an immigrant background.


     I believe that there should no longer be a debate on climate change; it is an irrefutable fact that climate change is real and that the actions of humans have an impact on the environment. This isn’t just a concern for the future, we can see the effects in our own community here and now. As New Yorkers we know how devastating natural disasters are, look at the impact of Hurricane Sandy on our great Island. Climate change also means more than sudden, destructive, and violent disasters. It means we need to protect and preserve the natural environment we have. I have always taken great pride in Staten Island and part of that pride comes from our beautiful wildlife. Whether it be the forests of the Greenbelt, the wetlands of Graniteville, or the Freshkills marsh, the beauty of our island is undeniable. There is a reason why we are called the “Borough of Parks.” My love for the environment started when I was younger and learned about nature in High Rock Park. I only became more passionate about preserving our natural resources in high school when I often volunteered at the Serpentine Commons and worked the land with my hands. Unfortunately however, some people don’t share the same love for our community’s natural beauty as you and I. Land developers continue to try to snatch up precious areas and build new additions to our community that are largely unnecessary and destructive. As you read this there’s an active effort to destroy much of the wetlands in Graniteville.

     I believe that our natural resources cannot be replaced or have a price tag put on them. There are many rare species of animals and plant life throughout our parks. We also have the luxury of having access to the health benefits of the parks. The trails provide a break from the hustle and bustle of city life in other boroughs and the trees and other wildlife provide clean air for us. Many of our parks also provide obvious protections from natural disasters, saving us from massive floods and other dangers. Despite these facts, developers continue to force new plans on our community. 

     On top of the reasons related to climate change we also face the economic results of these decisions. To make matters worse, these plans to destroy our local natural environment are almost never economically feasible. Job numbers are often inflated and ultimately never meet the promised projections. The placement of new developments aren’t conducive to the local economy. New developments most often include exclusively big chain retail stores, making it even harder for local small businesses to survive. As a Council Member I intend to protect the interests of my constituents and of wildlife that cannot speak for itself by opposing overdevelopment and supporting initiatives to protect our parks for future generations to enjoy.


     I will always be an ally to the LGBTQIA+ community. I acknowledge that big steps forward still need to be taken to support the community. A firm stance must be taken to oppose efforts to infringe on LGBTQIA+ rights

I will work to prohibit all forms of discrimination against the LGBTQIA+ community. I will ensure that members of the LGBTQIA+ community cannot be discriminated against in the workplace or by healthcare providers.  We must also work to make young people in the community feel accepted. This means working to fight bullying, harassment, and also address suicide, self-harm, and mental health. I support more inclusive legislation, like the move to include a nonbinary gender option on state issued identification, and will work with other representatives on more progressive legislation


     I will always fight for gender equality and combat any person or legislation that aims to discriminate against, marginalize, or belittle women. I know we are lucky enough to live in a great and progressive city but I also know that the fight for gender equality is an ongoing battle. I will keep and protect laws and rules that provide and promote gender equality and oppose any new legislation or changes to existing legislation that would aim to create an inequality based on gender. We have to acknowledge all of the various ways in which gender equality is relevant whether it be in the workplace, in the legal system, or in everyday life.


- More information to be added soon -

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