SNAPSHOTS | Amanda Farías eyes transit, education improvements

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Amanda Farias talks to a family at a backpack giveaway she hosted in the district on Aug. 30.
Photo courtesy Office of Amanda Farias

Continuing our series of political “Snapshots,” the Bronx Times sat down with each of the Bronx’s recently elected officials for a discussion on their 2022 legislative agendas and issues of importance to their districts. 

Amanda Farías

Age: 32

Neighborhood: Parkchester

Political ideology: Progressive Democrat

Fun Fact: “I’m a huge sports fan and played basketball growing up in the community.”

City Councilwoman-elect Amanda Farías, who will be replacing Ruben Diaz Sr., will represent Soundview, Castle Hill, Parkchester, Clason Point and Harding Park beginning January 2022.

Her priorities for her first term are transit equity, affordable housing, holistic public school experiences, job training and fighting food insecurity.

Farías believes the district, which is scheduled to be part of the e-scooter pilot in 2022 and a new Metro-North station in Parkchester, needs various affordable and efficient transit options. She wants to ensure new transportation options are implemented properly alongside infrastructure designed for safe use, like bike lanes.

She also wants to improve ferry access. Currently, riders pay separate fares for the bus and ferry, but Farías believes there should be a free transfer swipe or shuttle to the ferry.

For affordable housing, Farías wants to ban privatization efforts of NYCHA developments and protect public funding for city housing. She also wants to explore affordable and senior housing opportunities while avoiding overdevelopment.

“There are people in my community that are doubled up (in housing), that are tripled up, that are homeless essentially,” she said.

As a councilwoman, Farías said she can look at rezoning and work with the local community board to find housing options, adding that there are vacant lots that could have small-story homes built on them.

“Being proactive is better than being reactive in this realm,” she added.

She also wants to advocate for fair long-term leases for small businesses, pointing to the impact of the pandemic.

Farías believes public schools should serve as holistic support systems for families, and wants to help more schools to become “community schools,” which offer healthcare services, enrichment programming and in some cases, tenant resources. She also wants schools to stay open on weekends and over the summer for family-wide recreational programming.

The councilwoman-elect thinks high schools should have job training opportunities, moving away from a “college for all” model and toward a “college or career for all” experience.

“We have retiring workforces, but we don’t actually have the apprentices or trainees to fill those jobs,” she said.

She believes the city’s workforce development money needs to be restructured and that there should be more unionized city trade job opportunities. She also wants to work with state partners to reform the Department of Labor civil service exam.

Farías said she has been working to address food insecurity throughout her campaign. She hopes to work with community partners to create food pantries and provide fresh produce to neighborhoods and senior centers.

If you haven’t already done so, read our previous Snapshot on Progressive Pierina Sanchez.

Reach Aliya Schneider at aschneider@schnepsmedia.com or (718) 260-4597. For more coverage, follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram @bronxtimes.

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