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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)
My first housing action was as part of a tactical team for an action during OWS, where organizations moved a family into a foreclosed ENY home. I was part of actions against banks during 2012 and 2013, including an action moving furniture into a bank lobby, and shutting down an Bank of America bank in response to the foreclosure crisis. I was supportive of a short-lived Derecho a Techo tenant organizing project out of Mayday Space in 2014. I have attended dozens of tenant led actions.
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)
Homelessness, housing insecurity, illegal evictions, unsafe dwelling conditions, lead paint on walls, not enough funding for legal counsel for tenants, not enough funding small homeowners, the tax lien sale, the effectiveness of HPD, disrepair in NYCHA, and much more.
9. Do you believe that housing should be de-commodified? Homelessness, housing insecurity, illegal evictions, unsafe dwelling conditions, lead paint on walls, not enough funding for legal counsel for tenants, not enough funding small homeowners, the tax lien sale, the effectiveness of HPD, disrepair in NYCHA, and much more.
9a. What would you do as an elected representative to move that vision forward? (500 characters)
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?
I plan to work with the State and Federal law makers that I have earned the support of and that are housing champions in my district to fight for the adequate funding for NYCHA at the municipal, state, and federal levels. I will support NYCHA through my own discretionary funding as well.
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 would want to see stipulations for prevailing wage/union contractors in new development construction and in the facilities maintenance phase – in particular on public land. I want our community boards to have more than an advisory role in ULURP processes. A rezoning that includes a residential component must include
20. What reforms to zoning would you propose to increase community input into development? (500 characters)
I plan to support the effort to include a Racial Impact Study in the ULURP process. I want to see stipulations for prevailing wage/union contractors in new developments – in particular any that happen on public land. I want our community boards to have more than an advisory role in ULURP processes. I want to see an end to public land being sold off at fire sale prices to private developers.
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 30% Percentage of Unhoused New Yorkers 30%
23. What is/has been the most important land use fight in your district and what position did you take on it? (500 characters)
Holding the East NY Rezoning plan and process accountable is an ongoing thing we will need to be focused on and tracking. The Bushwick Community Plan will also be a contentious debate in 2022. These will be two major land use fights that will require a lot of energy, organizing, and regularly monitoring.
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)
I would lean into my background as a direct action organizer and work with local tenant advocacy and housing justice groups to stage rallies, press releases, and support bird dogging campaigns to put on the pressure. I would work with HPD where possible to demand they intervene.
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)
There will always be a need for short term transition housing, not just for the homeless, but for folks coming home from prison, for people who are fleeing violent households, and other unexpected situations that arise in our lives. We have a number of hotels under DHS contract currently, that I would support being converted into permanent low-income housing. I would prioritize those funds for permanent housing, but understand there are needs for temporary emergency housing often.
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)
The RGB needs to be reformed so that the City Council has more of a say in who is on this board. We cannot keep allowing the Mayor to appoint people undemocratically who consistently reject the recommendations of tenant advocacy groups.
36. Have you ever testified on behalf of tenants at a public hearing of the RGB? No
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