Secure, Affordable Housing
What we’ve won: When I replaced a member of the IDC in 2019, the NY State Senate was able to pass historic tenant protections. When the pandemic hit, the State Legislature fought to keep people safe and in their homes while the worst of the pandemic raged on.
What we’re fighting for: New York is an amazing city because it is a city of working people. We keep it that way by building on our rent laws and passing Good Cause Eviction. We’re going to ensure everyone has access to safe, affordable housing by legalizing basement apartments, securing a Green New Deal for Public Housing, and increasing our affordable housing stock without turning to privatization.
21st Century Transit & Infrastructure
What we’ve won: When the former Governor pushed the $2 billion LaGuardia Airtrain through, I rallied elected officials across Queens, community leaders, and environmental groups to demand that this vanity project be stopped. Queens is a historic transit desert, and those most impacted by this boondoggle were not considered in those plans. We stopped the AirTrain, and are continuing the fight to bring public transit that Queens can be proud of.
What we’re fighting for: New York State is getting $9.8 billion over the next ten years from the federal government for infrastructure upgrades, and I have plans for Queens. It’s time to go bold - extending existing service and building new lines on existing freight lines to connect communities across the Bronx, Queens, and Brooklyn. We need to build protected bike lanes that create safe routes for pedestrians, bikers, e-bikes, and cargo bikes, and cars. The pandemic changed how people move around our city, and I want to help lead the effort to undue generations of environmental and planning harm done by Robert Moses’s legacy.
Excluded No More
What we’ve won: In 2021, I championed a $2.1 billion dollar relief fund for excluded workers in the NY Senate. Essential workers kept New York moving through the worst of the pandemic, but many of them were denied pandemic relief, stimulus checks, or unemployment insurance because of their employment classification or immigration status. This fund pumped money into every corner of the state, providing meaningful relief that allowed New Yorkers to put food on the table, pay their rent and medical debts, invest in their local economies, and leave abusive and exploitative relationships.
What we’re fighting for: Over 99% of recipients of Excluded Workers Fund recipients paid taxes in New York State in 2019, 2020, 2021. This tells us that there are fundamental issues with our safety net and unemployment insurance systems. We’re going to fight for another $3 billion to cover anyone who wasn’t able to access funds in the first round, then look for structural fixes to ensure that no worker is denied access to the relief that their taxes fund.
A Green New Deal for New York
What we’ve won:
Queens organized to stop the Astoria NRG Plant in its tracks. Growing up, I witnessed the inequity of the climate crisis in a neighborhood with high asthma rates caused by the fossil fuel plant in Astoria. Fossil fuels are ruining the air we breathe and causing high rates of health issues, disproportionately affecting working class communities of color where plants are often built. I fought against the NRG peaker plant in Astoria and for the Climate & Community Protection Act to protect our air and make sure we address climate racism.
What we’re fighting for:
In 2022, I’ll be fighting in Albany to pass my bill, the Clean Futures Act. This bill recognizes that fossil fuels cannot play a role in our shared future, and bans the construction of any new fossil fuel plants in New York State. Hurricane Ida made abundantly clear what we already know in Queens: we need a Green New Deal to bring good union jobs, life-saving resilience infrastructure, and smart, climate conscious upgrades to people at the front lines of the climate crisis.
Championing Working Families
What we’ve won: During my time at City Hall, I was part of the team that brought Universal PreK to New York City - a program my own children benefited from. It inspired me to introduce NYC Under 3 in the New York Senate, a program that would expand UPK to cover those critical first years - both for the enrichment and investment of children, and to give parents the security of knowing they had a safe and enriching place to leave their child, should they need to return to work, to take care of elder family members, or even just to take care of themselves.
With the goal of understanding where policy can improve outcomes for children, I passed the Child Poverty Reduction Act, which will develop a targeted policy agenda to cut child poverty in half by 2032.
What we’re fighting for: I am on a mission to bring Universal Child Care to New York State. There’s no such thing as someone else’s child. After touring the state, visiting child care providers in every type of child care setting imaginable, I know we can do better for our children. That’s why I’ve introduced the Early Learning Childcare Act, which would quickly cover 93% of families in our state, all while raising wages and investing in the child care workforce.
School-aged children have had a tough time during the pandemic. In 2021, we were able to finally win the full $4 billion in foundation aid owed to our schools. Now, we need to ensure that money is going to lift up students and schools that have been left underfunded. Finally, when I’m in Albany, I’m fighting for my district. We need to pass my legislation to provide halal and kosher meals in public schools, so no child goes hungry through a school day.
A Strong Labor Agenda
What we’ve won: Farm Labor Fair Practices Act, Taxi Medallion Relief
What we’re fighting for:
End to captive audience meetings
Worker misclassification & organizing for hire drivers
Pay transparency, minimum wage