These are seemingly unrelated issues, but the truth is that bad decision making is the single most dangerous attribute of our government right now, and voters need to make the 2021 Primary a referendum on good governance! We can’t afford to keep electing candidates who don’t have the courage and integrity to do decide what’s best for everyone.
Governor’s Island Development Moves Ahead!
The City Council overwhelmingly approved a project to develop one of the remaining unadulterated spaces in NYC, with plans for multiple buildings, and 200 parking spaces. Both Mark Levine and Ben Kallos voted yes (note that Kallos left the session to attend a Battery Park rally to eliminate pesticides – the irony is striking). I support MAGIC, the Metro Area Governors Island Coalition and its opposition to this proposal because the consequences of upzoning GI will lead to overdevelopment and corporatization of one of the last unadulterated green-spaces in NYC. As I learn more about the next steps in our fight, I will let you know, but hopefully legal action and postponement can lead to a deeper review and different direction soon. Read more here.
School Nurses are No Where Close to Solution!
The DOE recently sent a letter to parents about the full reopening of schools this fall, with a total LIE embedded in it about nurses. We do NOT have a nurse in every school, and no decision makers seem ready to support our essential workers by ensuring that equal wages for nurses are part of the 2022 budget. I testified last week to the City Council Finance Committee, as did nurse Mary Lawson, and nurses published an open letter to electeds in the Gotham Gazette, so please join them in their fight by signing the petition if you haven’t, and forwarding the article on social media and to your electeds.
My Grievance Against State Senator Hoylman
On May 14th during a Boro Pres campaign engagement, State Senator Hoylman awarded a $25,000 grant to a Harlem advocacy group. While the group is well deserving of the funds (I’d even argue that they need a far larger grant to make an impact), an elected official cannot use her/his current position or tax-payer money for personal gain. I have filed a grievance with both the city and state about this incident but it could be months before it’s resolved. I was present as this gift was given out, and in deciding to file the complaint, I spoke to five attendees from different entities in order to affirm the perceived intent behind the award. I am deeply disturbed by this behavior and by the callousness with which many people respond that this is just the way that politics works.
What do these seemingly unrelated issues have to do with each other? They show how flagrant bad behavior is exhibited without consequences by politicians. Our government is filled with elected officials and decision makers who live by one set of rules for themselves and their interests, yet another set of rules for the rest of us.
June 2021 is our chance for sweeping change, and we must take it seriously if we are to escape the severity of problems that have been magnified by COVID19 and New York’s response to it.
I have spent six years fighting for progress in New York City’s most segregated school district, and I know how to navigate the hurdles of polarization and disharmony. I haven’t made every single parent happy, because forward momentum means developing honesty around the harm that we inflict on the majority of our residents. I can, however, always be trusted to do the work, to show up and listen, and learn from my mistakes. I am the kind of leader we need right now!