This corner of the Bronx has given so much to me and my family.
I was born and raised here, and it’s where my wife and I are now raising our twin boys.
Right after college, I became a special education teacher at the John F. Kennedy campus, right in the very neighborhood in which I was raised. For nearly 14 years, I taught in our public schools — including through the pandemic — and every day, I saw that the needs of my students extended far beyond the walls of my classroom.
And while I helped my students who struggled with homelessness, hunger, mental health needs and more, what they also needed was a city that supported them inside and outside the classroom.
Our city’s government and its faceless bureaucracy overlooks the northwest Bronx — not just our schools, but also our small businesses, public transit and affordable housing.
I am running for city council to be an advocate for all of us, and will fight as tirelessly for you as I did in the classroom for each and every one of my students. Throughout my career, I have seen problems and sought to address them.
Time and again, I saw friends and neighbors work hard in the city they love, but in return not be provided with what they needed to thrive. It became clear to me that the struggles our teachers face are the same struggles faced by working families across our city — fighting for fair treatment and livable wages.
I joined Community Board 8 and looked out for the interests of our senior citizens by chairing the aging committee, and saw a city not doing enough to address their needs so that they can remain safe and independent. As your elected Democratic district leader, I fought cuts for our bus service and supported people with disabilities by forming a coalition to bring transportation access to one of our local train stations.
I worked to make voting easier and accessible to all New Yorkers. And I continually stood up to extremists like Donald Trump on behalf of our shared progressive values.
My work, rooted in our community, has been to ensure that your voice is heard. And I have delivered results. These experiences have prepared me to fight for systemic changes to address issues facing our students, seniors, working families, and people with disabilities, and stand up for the quality of life we deserve from our city.
I will fight for a fair recovery for the northwest Bronx. That includes ensuring that the vaccine gets to our community and is distributed in a fair way that adequately reaches our seniors and communities of color. I will be a champion for our small businesses that have been ravaged by the pandemic and are struggling to survive.
I have a plan to rein in rents, lower fines, and bring dedicated city liaisons to our small business community. I will empower our students by moving away from high-stakes testing and incorporating social-emotional learning into our schools. I will address these systemic issues while improving our quality of life.
I have dedicated my life to serving our community, and will never stop fighting to ensure we have livable and thriving neighborhoods that every person in this district can be proud to call home. I am running to be a fighter, to make your voice heard in city hall.
I am so proud to have earned the endorsements from unions representing hundreds of thousands of essential workers, including the United Federation of Teachers, 32BJ and DC37.
Also from U.S. Reps. Adriano Espaillat and Ritchie Torres, Bronx borough president Ruben Diaz Jr., state Sen. Jamaal Bailey, and dozens of progressive leaders and elected officials.
Through my work, I have put you first. And now I humbly ask that you rank me first in this election on March 23. And visit my website at EricDinowitz.com.
The author is a candidate for city council in the March 23 special election.