Rodrigo Camarena

Rodrigo Camarena

http://rodrigo4nyc.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Rodrigo4NYC Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/rodrigo4nyc/

Do you believe housing is a human right? Yes

What type of action have you taken in the past around issues of housing justice? (500 characters)

Housing justice core to my campaign for City Council and organizing work. As a founding member of the anti-displacement group #ProtectSunsetPark, I fought alongside my neighbors to take on and defeat the Industry City rezoning. I am the only candidate in the District 38 race that fought this rezoning for years and was on the ground organizing and bringing our community together to fight it.

3. What type of housing do you currently live in?             

Unregulated Rental Apt

4. Are you, or have you ever been, a landlord? No

4a. If yes, where & how many apts. did you own?

5. Does your campaign accept contributions from real estate developers (including related individuals), corporate lobbyists, organizations that participate in the carceral system, and/or landlords? No

6. Have you ever worked in, or had another affiliation with, the Real Estate industry?  No

7. Have any of your campaign or advisory staff held a position as a corporate lobbyist or an executive role with the Real Estate industry? No

6. & 7. If so, how can we be assured you will have tenants’ interests in mind?  (250 characters)

8. What do you think are the most pressing Housing issues & what action would you take to address them as a City Council Member?  (1000 characters)

We are the only campaign in District 38 race to have centered housing justice in our platform and put together a plan for achieving it. A few priorities from our plan include:

1.Overhaul our city’s land use process to allow for community-led planning that is long-term, grounded in economic and racial justice, and prioritizes the building of public and affordable housing.

2. Expand all forms of supportive housing programs with special consideration to support housing for vulnerable and at-risk communities and strengthen and expand the right to counsel program by expanding the eligibility requirements.

3. End the Private Warehousing of Vacant Properties and Seize Strategic Assets by passing the Warehousing Accountability Act and using eminent domain to reclaim underutilized land and real estate needed to house the homeless and respond to New York City’s housing crisis.

You can see the full plan at: https://rodrigo4nyc.com/housing

9. Do you believe that housing should be de-commodified?  We are the only campaign in District 38 race to have centered housing justice in our platform and put together a plan for achieving it. A few priorities from our plan include:

1.Overhaul our city’s land use process to allow for community-led planning that is long-term, grounded in economic and racial justice, and prioritizes the building of public and affordable housing.

2. Expand all forms of supportive housing programs with special consideration to support housing for vulnerable and at-risk communities and strengthen and expand the right to counsel program by expanding the eligibility requirements.

3. End the Private Warehousing of Vacant Properties and Seize Strategic Assets by passing the Warehousing Accountability Act and using eminent domain to reclaim underutilized land and real estate needed to house the homeless and respond to New York City’s housing crisis.

You can see the full plan at: https://rodrigo4nyc.com/housing

9a. What would you do as an elected representative to move that vision forward? (500 characters)

Yes

10. Do you support the move to legalize basement apts?  Yes

11. Do you support the concept of rent regulation and eviction protections? Yes

12. Do you believe in publicly owned and controlled housing? Yes

13. NYCHA has suffered from chronic underfunding, neglect and disrepair. What do you see as the best strategies to rectify these problems?

We need to repair and fully-fund NYCHA by passing a People’s Budget, reallocating funding from the NYPD and the construction of borough-based jails, taxing large corporations and the rich, and advocating for state and federal resources to retrofit and fully-fund public housing in New York City. NYCHA helped pave the way for public housing in the United States. It’s time to reclaim our leadership as public housing pioneers and usher in a new era for NYCHA.

14. Do you support the NYCHA 2.0 Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD)/ PACT program and other privatization schemes? No

15. Would you support an immediate moratorium on the sale or lease of all City-owned land and air rights to for-profit developers? Yes

16. Would you require that any housing built on public land be 100% permanently affordable to low- and extremely-low income New Yorkers? Yes

17. Would you aggressively use City programs and eminent domain to take ownership of distressed properties and transfer them to community control such as Community Land Trusts?      Yes

18. Would you end the custom of deferring to local council members on land use decisions? Yes

19. What standards would a rezoning need to meet for you to support it? (500 characters)

I believe we should enact a moratorium on all major rezonings until a Racial Impact Study is included in the City’s Environmental Quality Review (CEQR) process and we develop a Comprehensive Citywide Plan for housing and land justice.

20. What reforms to zoning would you propose to increase community input into development?  (500 characters)

I think we need to Create A Comprehensive Citywide Plan for Housing and Land Justice that is long-term, community-led, and grounded in racial, economic, and environmental justice. This plan must consider existing community visions (i.e. 197-A plans and plans designed by local community groups), undo racist inequities in land use, and be steered by communities and public agencies that are accountable to New Yorkers (and not private developers or our broken City Planning Commission).

21. Would you pass and enforce a true racial impact study as part of any rezoning?  Yes

Percentage of people who are below 200% of the poverty line 50% Percentage of Unhoused New Yorkers  50%

23. What is/has been the most important land use fight in your district and what position did you take on it?  (500 characters)

As mentioned, I am a founding member of the anti-displacement group #ProtectSunsetPark and fought tirelessly alongside my neighbors to stop the Industry City rezoning.  Displacement and fighting luxury development in District 38 is the central issue of our campaign and I am proud to be the only candidate in this race to have been a leader in this fight.

24. Would you support increased funding and oversight of NYC Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) and Mayor’s Tenant Protection Unit to educate tenants on their rights to organize in NYC rental buildings? YesYes

25. Will you support the City seeking injunctions against the landlords on the Right to Counsel’s “worst evictors list,” barring worst evictors from bringing eviction cases while under investigation, and implementing good cause evictions protections? Yes

26. Do you support expanding funding and oversight of the City’s emergency repair program to correct hazardous violations and send the owner the bill? Yes

27. How would you use your office to put pressure on landlords to make repairs and stop harassing tenants?  (500 characters)

Life i’ve done it time and time again. By fighting alongside tenants, shaming the city and landlords, and getting the press to cover repair and negligence issues.

28. Do you support the Small Business Jobs Survival Act (SBJSA—Int 0737-2018) and Commercial Rent Stabilization bill (Int 1796-2019) currently in committee in the City Council?Yes

29. Do you support converting hotel rooms into permanently affordable apts? Yes

30. Would you end the practice of police responding to people who are homeless?  Yes

31. Would you oppose homeless shelters being built in your district? No

31a. Why or why not?  (500 characters)

I believe we need true and permanent housing solutions for the unhoused. I would not oppose homeless shelters being built but would push for supportive housing and permanently affordable housing. District 38 has its fair share of homeless shelters and some of them are seriously lacking in services to get families and unhoused people the mental health, drug addiction or job training that is needed to get people back to stability.

32. Do you agree that all evictions are bad? Yes

32a. If no, why not?

33. Are you committed to making sure every tenant has free access to counsel in Housing Court? Yes

34. Would you support an eviction moratorium every winter (Heat Season Oct. 1-May 31)?  Yes

35. Do you believe that the Rent Guidelines Board should lower rents for rent stabilized tenants? Yes

35a. If yes, what will you do to influence the board to do so?  (500 characters)
Not only do I believe the Rent Guidelines Board should lower rents, I actually served on the RGB and fought to freeze and lower rents alongside tenant advocates. I’m the only candidate in the District 38 race with that experience and will use my knowledge of the RGB’s decision-making process to advocate for the lowering and rolling back of rent alongside MET council members and our allies in the fight for housing justice.

36. Have you ever testified on behalf of tenants at a public hearing of the RGB? Yes

37. Do you support restricting the ability of landlords to discriminate and surveil tenants through the use of technologies such as key fobs, smartphone apps, and facial recognition to gain entry into their apartment units and/or buildings? Yes

38. Will you commit to only vote for a budget that decreases funding to the NYPD? Yes