This week, on April 11, marked my first 100 days in office as your council member.
In November, we started off our term representing the community’s voice in City Hall with commitments to get stuff done within our first 100 days in office. The way to counter years of divestment was to start off with the understanding that District 18 deserves transit justice, a brighter, cleaner community, to have a say in where their tax dollars go, and to create more opportunities to keep our residents here at home.
I committed to a list of goals for my first 100 days and I wanted to share them with you again to summarize the work my office has been focusing on in our first three months in office. We’re working to:
● Advocate to extend transit services.
● Launch participatory budgeting.
● Push to expand sanitation services to keep our community clean.
● Work to advance a Municipal Jobs Guarantee.
Advocating for extended transit services in our community where transit is changing, I have published two op-eds about the need for more transit options for Bronxites, one around “Transit Equity Starts in the Bronx” and the second “NYC Must Commit Funding to Expand CitiBike.” In both of these opinion pieces, I made clear that District 18 needs more transit options because our local infrastructure is growing to meet the needs of an adapting city post-pandemic. That is why I am excited to announce that the DOT e-scooter pilot program will be coming to our neighborhoods in the spring for the first time. This e-scooter pilot has been on the calendar from the previous administration, and is on its way to help all of us get where we want, when we want, in both a healthy and sustainable way.
The people’s budget has been underway. Yesterday, we wrapped up our first-ever participatory budgeting vote week. Thank you to our community partners Castle Hill Library, Castle Hill YMCA, Clason Point Library, Comp Sci High, Linden Tree Elementary, Parkchester Library, Sonia Sotomayor Community Center and the Stevenson Campus, and our amazing budget delegates who organized their local communities around the people’s budget. We had more than 700 people share their budget priorities with our office, and I want you to know that I hear you loud and clear. We will be counting the votes all week and will share the results via all social media platforms and our e-newsletter.
The NYC Council announced our budget response to the mayor’s FY23 preliminary budget proposal. In the council’s response, I fought to include increasing sanitation services as one of our major priorities to keep and restore within our city’s preliminary budget. In the council, my colleagues and I are urging the mayor to restore that baseline reduction, as well as increase the budget with an additional $18.2 million in funding to bring back the sanitation services our communities deserve.
I am also calling on the administration to do more to restore any baseline programs that will ensure we are responding adequately to cleaning needs citywide. I proposed $3.6 million for e-waste collection; $3.4 million for illegal dumping enforcement operations; $2.2 million for lot cleaning; $2 million for more street sweeping; and $864,000 for increased highway ramp cleaning programs.
Last, but certainly not least, we need a plan to get people back to work and create more job opportunities to ensure we get to stay, live and raise our families in our communities. A Municipal Jobs Guarantee is in the works. You can read more about first steps on a new, big and bold idea in my interview with the Daily News. I may have some work cut out for me, but when it comes to fighting for New Yorkers to have safe and good paying city jobs, I will happily jump in the ring.