Every elected leader has a responsibility to help safeguard our City against the impacts of climate change. District 5 is particularly vulnerable to extreme weather and rising storm waters, as we border and are surrounded by the East River on Roosevelt Island. Tricia is dedicated to enacting a Green New Deal to guarantee a future for all New Yorkers.
From enacting Universal Childcare, expanding Paid Family Leave, and overhauling how we treat homeless New Yorkers, to addressing the Maternal Mortality crisis and defending reproductive justice, Tricia has a plan to address the needs of our families and protect women's rights.
Transportation should be efficient, reliable, affordable, accessible, and humane. Safety on our streets and sidewalks should be a top priority, and our community needs stronger enforcement of transportation rules related to cars, cyclists, delivery bikes, and any other motorized mode of transportation. Our public transportation system is the vital lifeblood of our city, and we have neglected this resource for far too long. Tricia will fight for a unified and diverse transportation network consisting of local and express buses, reliable subway service, and expanded ferry network. She will call for a complete overhaul of the City's parking placard system and the establishment of an enforcement unit to cut down on placard abuse. Tricia will also push for accessibility improvements and ensure that our public transportation serves all New Yorkers, regardless of ability level.
All New York families deserve a quality education that meets the needs of their children. As a former school social worker, Tricia understands the importance of providing enriching educational programming to our children at an early age and will work to enact universal childcare and expand 3k and Pre-K seats in our neighborhood. Tricia will also work to secure funding for programming serving children with unique learning and developmental needs, and additional services to help guide families through the process of high school and college applications. Tricia will also advocate for the expansion of the community school model to provide wrap around services for students and their families, including creating of a new community school in the district. Tricia will also work with students, teachers, parents, and alumni to reform our schools and increase diversity, and will advocate for the development of new civic engagement and environmental justice/climate change curriculum in elementary, middle, and high schools.
The COVID-19 pandemic will last the longest for our most vulnerable New Yorkers, including our senior citizens and aging adults. For months, many of our aging neighbors have been struggling with isolation, anxiety, food insecurity, while also postponing healthcare maintenance. Support is in dire need. We must be innovative in rethinking how we provide services to our seniors - from mobile clinics, library programs, and food banks, to empowering local organizations and community volunteers to continuously check in with our seniors and ensure their needs are met.
Tricia believes that aging adults deserve to age in place with dignity and is committed to supporting programs that make this possible. From investing in the care economy to pay home health care aides more to working to increase affordable housing for seniors and fighting eviction and harassment, Tricia will ensure every senior has the right to age with dignity and fight against ageism in our community and City at large.
Tricia believes that all New Yorkers have a right to safe, affordable and consistent housing. Affordable should stay affordable for good, and our neighborhood needs additional units at every income level to make truly diverse communities. Tricia will work to close affordable housing loopholes, increase the number of units at every income level, push for more community input and evaluation of potential development projects, and identify new programs that help residents stay in their homes.
As a City Council member, Tricia will fight to ensure an accessible city and include people with disabilities in the decision making process. From ensuring access to healthcare, housing, and education, to ending employment discrimination and subminimum wages and creating an Office of Disability Rights, Tricia is committed to achieving a city where all New Yorkers can thrive.
Tricia has spent nearly a decade fighting to preserve and enhance our parks and open spaces. From fighting for increased funding for the East River Esplanade, to calling for the redesign of and real investment in Ruppert Park, to identifying new areas to expand our public open space, Tricia will continue to champion this critical need for our community. As our Council Member, Tricia will fight to create a waterfront that is not only structurally sound, but also an esplanade that delights and engages visitors for generations to come. She will work to fill the sinkholes, get the broken lights fixed, repair the broken railings, and expand access to potable water, in addition to increasing educational and recreational programming on the waterfront. Tricia will reinvest in John Jay Park, increasing the amount of space available, and will fight to designate new official park space at the 72nd Street overlook. She will call for a dedicated funding stream for dog park maintenance, and increased green streets throughout the district. Tricia will work to fill our empty tree pits and identify a location within our district for a community garden (currently we have none). Tricia will also call for the expansion of public swimming throughout the summer months and will allocate funding for every parks conservancy in our district.
Each day, New York City is at risk of losing more of our sunlight, air quality, and affordability to luxury developers looking to build high and dense in our neighborhoods. Additionally, our small business owners who make invaluable contributions to the character of our community are finding it harder to keep their doors open, as they face steeper rents from greedy landlords. As a City Council Member, Tricia would introduce legislation to address dangerous flaws in the current zoning laws, including "hollow space" or "mechanical void" loophole, and work to create a commission to review the city's zoning resolution. Tricia would call for the passage of the Small Business Jobs Survival Act, and would also create a "Legacy Business Preservation" program that will support local businesses and offer protections against being pushed out of communities.
Roosevelt Island is a special and unique community within the 5th City Council District. Anchored by the Four Freedoms Park and the new Cornell Tech Campus, Roosevelt Island continues to receive an increasing number of visitors and interested individuals and families looking to move to the Island. It is imperative for elected officials to work together to preserve housing affordability and expand transportation options for Roosevelt Islanders. Tricia will fight on behalf of local residents and local businesses to make the Island affordable and accessible to all, including advocating for additional ferry routes connecting Roosevelt Island to other areas of New York City and establishing housing clinics to inform residents and businesses about their rights. She will push for the creation of a mobile food bank for Roosevelt Islanders and reinvest in senior programming on the Island. Additionally, Tricia will work to identify organizations to bring new educational programming to the Island, and will fight to make Roosevelt Island more storm resilient using native plants and other natural barriers. The loss of Amalgamated Bank is unacceptable and Tricia will work with Cornell Tech and local leaders to explore immediate solutions to the banking needs, including a mobile banking service or establishment of a credit union on the Island.
Our neighborhood needs a strong advocate who puts our community needs first - particularly those that affect our quality of life and the safety of our neighborhoods. Tricia will call for an immediate stop in operations of the Marine Transfer Station and will call for a study to consider the repurposing of the MTS to be used as an emergency response unit for both fire and police needs along the East River. She will invest in the creation of an online database for empty storefronts and push for the reinstatement of a Vendor Commission. She will call for an audit of the 3-1-1 system to better understand how community concerns are addressed and will work with neighborhood associations, tenant groups, community boards, and other stakeholders to find other meaningful legislative solutions that meet the needs of our community.
Over the course of the last year, our country has witnessed an unacceptable rise in violence and hate directed toward the Asian and Pacific Islander community in the United States. Advocacy groups have identified over 3800 incidents of hate nationwide in the last year, over 500 of which took place in New York, and 68% of which targeted women. To be clear: hate and bigotry against the Asian American community is nothing new. From the abuse and exploitation of Chinese immigrants to build the transcontinental railroad, to the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, to the internment of 120,000 Japanese Americans, our nation’s history and social systems are founded on anti-Asian and anti-immigrant sentiment. Today, despite comprising 14% of New York City’s total population, Asian American community organizations received only 1.4% of the total value of New York City’s social service contracts.
As a proud Japanese Puerto Rican woman, and a granddaughter of immigrants whose grandparents were held in Japanese internment camps, I stand in solidarity with the AAPI community and condemn these acts of hate. We must dismantle systems that have long devalued Asian American and immigrant voices. We must immediately fund resources for our Asian-American communities, invest in culturally-sensitive services, and demand stronger immigration protections. For those interested in making a difference, I urge you to consider looking at Anti-Hate Safety resources from the Asian American Federation.
The significance of our campaign to be the first Japanese American ever elected in New York State has weighed heavily on my heart, now more than ever. I’m grateful for your support, and solidarity as we continue to fight for a more just and equitable city for all New Yorkers.