I decided to run for the City Council district representing the West Village, Chelsea and Hell’s Kitchen because after a career in public service and advocacy, I feel it’s a role that will better allow me to protect and support our community. I believe in forward thinking politics and will be a truly progressive voice in the City Council who won’t compromise our values or back down to special interests.
My activism began at an early age, when as captain of my high school football team, I came out in the national media. From there, I have worked to advance equality for the LGBT community every day, and have taken on – and won – the tough fights that have moved us forward. I’m proud of what we’ve achieved, but I always knew that I wanted to do more. I was elected Chair of Community Board 4 and I have made it my mission to protect our community for the diverse interests and people who call the West Side home.
West Side families are facing a conundrum. The quality of life that we cherish is threatened by those pushing for reckless growth and undermining the foundation of our community. As the Chair of Community Board 4, I’ve stood firm to protect local residents while looking for better and smarter ways to move our community forward. By encouraging community-friendly development, I’ve been able to preserve the unique character that makes our neighborhoods shine. In the City Council, I’ll continue to champion smart growth that focuses on smart planning and neighborhood preservation.
Even as our communities develop, however, we leave behind the families and seniors that make our communities vibrant. Part of community-friendly development is focusing on retaining the people who make it shine. Too often, we are seeing affordable housing eliminated in favor of luxury high rises, forcing long time residents to leave. I will work with the Office of Housing Preservation and Development to incentivize the creation of new affordable housing through community-appropriate means. I believe that we can have it both ways: encouraging appropriate new developments, but ensuring that apartments that are attainable for everyday New Yorkers.
Community preservation and housing are two of my passions, but I will consistently fight for progressive policies to move our city forward. I will aggressively fight budget cuts to critical services for everyday New Yorkers and I will defend critical spending on schools, homeless services, senior centers, day care and programs for the most needy. Furthermore, I strongly support both the living wage and paid sick leave bills currently in the City Council, because every working New Yorker deserves basic protections.
I’m running for City Council because I believe that my progressive, goal-oriented values are the right match for our neighborhoods. I have a passion for public service that drives me and I never back down from the fights that matter. West Side families deserve a truly progressive advocate who will reflect the values of our community and will bring forward thinking leadership to the City Council.