Are you OK with how things are? Well, I’m not


What kind of New York City do we want to live in? That’s the question we all need to answer on June 22. Will we work for true progress for all of us, or accept the failed policies of the past?

If you’re an essential worker, a person of color, or living below the poverty line, you were more likely to have to go to work with COVID-19, more likely to get sick, and more likely to die. You are more likely to be behind on rent, have trouble putting food on the table, and have kids who weren’t able to participate in remote learning.

Middle class Bronxites are falling behind, too, as everything gets more and more expensive, especially housing. And there is less opportunity for our kids coming out of college.

There’s a growing movement for change, to build a New York City for all of us. Our aim is to protect tenants, build affordable housing, provide child care, ensure access to health care, guarantee living wage jobs with paid sick leave, make every school excellent, protect our environment, create green jobs, and fix the criminal justice system so all of us are actually safe.

Here in the northwest Bronx, we’ve made major contributions to that movement: Electing state Sen. Alessandra Biaggi to replace Jeff Klein, the leader of the Independent Democratic Conference, the group of fake Democrats who helped block vital legislation in the state senate. And we worked just as hard to elect Jamaal Bowman to Congress.

Both have endorsed me in this race.

As your councilwoman, I will remain part of this movement. I’ll join the council’s growing Progressive Caucus, and work with others to strengthen the fight for justice for all.

While many of us were suffering during the pandemic, Jeff Dinowitz was focused on doing everything in his power to see that our city council seat would be held by his son, Eric Dinowitz.

Are you OK with this? I’m not.

We can’t expect the same people who helped cause these problems to fix them. And we certainly can’t afford to hand over this council district to one family. That’s not a healthy democracy.

I’m running to represent all of us on the city council. I’m a Dominican mother, an immigrant who came here at 19 years old, worked minimum-wage jobs with no health insurance, and out of nothing, built an arts non-profit that organizes tenants, senior citizens and children. When my family was priced out of Washington Heights, I moved to the Bronx.

It’s a familiar story: immigration and hard work. For some of us, it goes back 100 years or more. For others, it’s a more recent experience. We are the Bronx, and sharing our borough means seeing one another as equals — none more entitled to success than others.

It’s much easier to vote now, thanks to laws passed by the new Democratic state senate. Early voting already started, and runs through June 20. Election Day is Tuesday, June 22.

There are only two possible winners here: Me, supported by the Working Families Party, Sen. Biaggi, Ruth Messinger, Councilman Brad Lander, and The Jewish Vote. Or the son of our 20-year incumbent Assemblyman, who is supported by real estate money, and will maintain the harmful status quo. When other candidates try to tear me down with baseless lies, they only help him.

So the choice on your ballot is clear. The question is who will benefit: All of us in the Bronx? Or just the wealthy special interests?

I’m committed to fighting for change that serves everyone. And I will ask that you rank me as your first choice.

The author is a city council candidate in the June 22 primary.

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