Our Voice for a Better Northeast Queens
COVID Economic Recovery
Thinking BIG for Small Business Recovery.
Support small businesses through a long-term sales tax holiday. Establish a long-term Sales Tax Holiday for small businesses with fewer than 25 employees, to encourage consumers to shop locally and infuse more cash into small businesses struggling due to COVID, while also eliminating a regressive tax on working family consumers.
Establish a zero interest bridge loan payment program for NYC workers who have lost income to COVID. Make up the difference between pre-COVID and current income, or bridge the gap between unemployment benefits and previous salary, through the sale of new municipal bonds.
"HireNYC" tax credits for local businesses hiring workers who lost jobs to COVID. Provide payroll tax credits to local businesses for hiring unemployed workers that have lost their jobs due to COVID.
Keep small businesses in business through a commercial rent stabilization. Pass commercial rent stabilization on the city level and push for state legislation to allow mortgage adjustments to eliminate minimum rent requirements during times of financial crisis and/or when a property has been vacant for an extended period of time.
Establish an NYC Small Business Portal for businesses to purchase equipment/goods from the City to lower costs. Use the city's massive purchasing power to leverage economies of scale.
The Purge: Graduated phase-out of fees, fines and license requirements under the review of a newly created Small Business Task Force. Evaluate which fees, fines and licenses should be kept and continued, with a five-year sunset and review built into their extension to ensure that the city is regularly re-assessing and reforming its regulatory regime.
Read more: Small Business Agenda
Protect Workers & Fight for Pay Equity.
Eliminate "at will" employment and protect workers from arbitrary termination by mandating that workers can only be fired for cause-based reasons following adequate warning and due process.
Establish labor neutrality agreements that all employers must agree to, tied to development rights, requests for zoning changes, contracts or concessions with the city and as a precondition of receiving city-based subsidies, where the employer must allow its workers to have unobstructed ability and unimpeded access free of harassment and financial or other intimidation the ability to organize and join a union.
Fight for pay equity and reduce the gender pay gap with an incentive/penalty based system that would force businesses to even the playing field and create greater economic opportunities and upward mobility for the female workforce.
Housing Affordability & Neighborhood Protection
Pass a 2% property tax cap for one and two family homes, including income based adjustments for seniors on fixed incomes and working families who've seen their taxes skyrocket while wages remain flat or have gone down.
Property tax assessment reforms, and assistance for co-op and condo owners, including new classifications, assessment standards and relief from unfunded mandates to ease the tax burden.
Oppose the citywide elimination of one family zoning, and push to ensure any zoning changes are done on a district by district basis.
Fight against overdevelopment that is out of context with the character of our communities and undermines the quality of life of our neighborhoods, including proposing a new type of "conservation" district to help address the problem of overdevelopment in residential areas that have been unable to attain landmark status.
Ensure community members have a greater say in the development that defines our communities, by supporting a citywide special permit requirement for all new hotel development to revoke "as of right" development privileges.
Community Quality of Life.
Restore funding for Parks & Recreation programs and services including ensuing every public playground has a trash receptacle and is maintained regularly.
Continue to fight against noise pollution and neighborhood disruption from misguided flight patterns at LaGuardia.
Ban unoccupied residential housing properties from being used for short-term rentals that have resulted in dangerous party houses, public safety threats, consumer scams, a reduction in available and affordable housing stock, and a disruption of quality of life in residential neighborhoods.
Education & Early Childhood Development
Universal Daycare, expanding 3K/Pre-K to all districts. Establish a citywide (all districts) program of universal cost-free daycare and early childhood education.
Extended school year. Move to a full year schooling model, with a two separate two-week Summer Breaks. Current teachers/administrators and all school staff will receive time-and-a-half bonus for all additional days.
Extended school day. Post-traditional school day vocational and physical fitness training with real world experts. Two hours of practical world experience lectures and physical fitness training set inside/outside of the classroom. Arts, music, writing, science, math and new technology immersion.
Reform mayoral control. The current system of mayoral control needs substantial school governance reforms that do a far better job of taking into account the needs of parents, children and educators.
Modernize school construction and planning. Ten-year plan that requires each district to have enough K-12 school seats to cover the anticipated number of students a district will have by 2032.
Read more: Education Agenda
Fight for a greater share of school funding. Make the Fair Student Funding (FSF) Formula "red-lined" in the city budget ensuring it retains a baseline level of funding.
Restore the Teacher's Choice Program funding to ensure educators don't have to pay out of pocket for our children to get the supplies they need to learn. Solidify Teachers Choice as a permanent budget program with a guaranteed baseline level of funding set to increase at least by the same amount as the rate of inflation on an annual basis.
Reduce class sizes. Class size matters, where less is always more. Introduce legislation to amend the City Charter to set a limit on class sizes of no more than 20 students. And work with state lawmakers to ensure that federal stimulus funds are used as a supplement - not to supplant - state money intended to fully fund the Contract for Excellence lawsuit to meet reduced class size mandates.
Stop cars from illegally and dangerously passing school buses during drop off and pick up. Pass legislation to mandate stop arm cameras be equipped on every school bus to record, identify and fine the thousands of motorists that illegally pass stopped school buses and put our children in mortal danger.
Senior Services & Support
Full-time, full service, no cost senior transportation. Establish a car shuttle service to provide cost-free, full-service transportation for seniors anywhere they want to go in Queens anytime. This would cover seniors on fixed incomes and those who are mobility-impaired but don't qualify for Access-A-Ride.
Increase senior service funding, and index its growth to inflation to provide a more stable and reliable source of funding for senior programs and service providers, including senior centers, adult health care centers, and high-quality home health care, to help older adults avoid nursing homes and stay in their homes..
Home repair assistance. Expand loan assistance for seniors in need of home repairs by increasing funding and easing eligibility requirements for the Senior Citizen Homeowner Assistance Program (SCHAP) to ensure that older New Yorkers get the proper financial assistance through low or zero interest loans to make necessary home repairs.
Adult Day Care Corp. In exchange for tuition and student loan forgiveness, CUNY students and graduates can apply to volunteer to provide senior services (transportation, social, language access) with each hour of work being credited toward tuition and student loan payments.
Community needs neighborhood survey. Engage senior service experts and urban planning professions to assess and make recommendations on how to improve the age-friendliness of our community. This group of stakeholders will survey areas and record their observations on public safety, access and ease of use for transportation services, traffic patterns, and accessibility to commercial and community services to be compiled into a public report on the "age-friendliness" of the district to guide our work with attendant city agencies to implement the identified improvement objectives in areas in of need.
Read more: Senior Services Agenda
Environmental Protection & Progress
Here comes the sun. Bring solar panels to every school and public building within 10 years. Give home owners a tax rebate for installing solar panels. Require developers to include solar panels on any construction projects that need NYC zoning changes or approval.
Go retro. Offer property tax credits and zero interest loans to residential property owners that upgrade their properties with clean energy repairs and emission reduction retrofits.
Waterfront Return & Restoration. Require the city to clean up city-owned waterfront property and make it publicly accessible, starting with a district-wide survey. Plant Eelgrass and Oysters in-district to create natural barriers to waterfront erosion, and have the city enter into leaseholder agreements with local environmental groups to care for the property.
Invest in parks. Increase funding for Parks Department services with a focus on clean-up, maintenance, and restoration of all playgrounds and open spaces. Offer tax credits to local businesses that agree to "adopt-a-park" and cover the costs of maintenance and improvements.
Doing the electric slide. Transition NYC to a zero emission fleet by 2040. To do so, replace city cars with electric vehicles, first through incentives, and then within 10 years as a requirement. Any business that has a contract or concession agreement with the city that includes the transportation of good/services must switch to zero emission vehicles as a condition of their application approval or renewal. Last, require all commercial shopping centers to include spaces for electric vehicle charging.
Reproductive Health, Rights, & Justice
Dedicated funding, equal access and safe admittance to reproductive health services. Given the attacks on women's reproductive rights that we have seen on the federal level and through changes to the Supreme Court, we need NYC to ensure that regardless of what's happening in Congress or the Court, there will always be dedicated funding, equal access, and safe admittance to reproductive health services.
Address barriers to reproductive justice — poverty, homelessness, education, racial disparities. We must address the root causes of reproductive rights inequities, such as poverty, homelessness and housing affordability, and educational gaps and racial disparities to ensure that ANYONE that can give birth has equal and unfettered access to reproductive health services.
Choice for all. Every New Yorker should have equal, affordable and safe access to reproductive health services regardless of immigration status. NYC should be a sanctuary for reproductive rights for all New Yorkers, including undocumented immigrants.
Science beats stigmas. NYC should expand sex education programs, through school and community center programs, related to reproductive health services and access, contraception, STD and HIV/AIDS prevention, and personal wellness. Greater availability of and resources for scientifically based education programs will help remove the stigmas that still serve as an obstacle to adolescents understanding their reproductive rights and available health services.
Address racial and LGBTQ disparities in access. Through an investment in community outreach, education and public awareness programs, NYC must ensure equal rights for communities of color and all LGBTQ+ people that have historically suffered from disparities in access to reproductive health services and gender expression discrimination.