It’s a new term for local elected leaders and with issues like COVID-19 and climate change in our midst, there’s much to get done in 2022. While they all share the common goal of improving Brooklyn and the community’s quality of life, each elected official has their own list of what they want to achieve the most. Greenline asked what their priorities for this year are.
U.S. Representative Carolyn Maloney:
“My priorities include continuing to build on the good work I have done with community leaders like standing with SANE Energy to oppose the LNG Pipeline permit, working with St. Nicks Alliance to establish 500 affordable housing units, and continuing to monitor the expansion of Bushwick-Inlet Park by ensuring the City holds its promise by tearing down the CitiStorage unit.”
U.S. Representative Nydia Velazquez:
“As the COVID-19 pandemic has laid bare, the status quo is failing working families here in New York City and across America. That is why I’ve spent my career fighting and will continue to fight in 2022 for bold policies that put the interests of working families front and center. This year, I’m focused on passing my bill to invest $70 billion to repair NYCHA units, to secure funding from the bipartisan infrastructure law to complete more sustainable projects in our NYC environmental justice communities, and to finally passing the Build Back Better Act to expand social safety net programs. From every level of government, we must rise to meet the moment and to deliver for working families.”
NYS Senator Brian Kavanagh
“As we enter the 2022-2023 budget season, my priority, as always, is to fund programs and resources that meet the needs of my constituents in the 26th Senate District. I also carry the responsibility of leading our state’s housing policy agenda as the Chair of the Senate Committee on Housing, Construction, and Community Development,” said State Senator Brian Kavanagh. “This year, I am working hard to pass legislation to ensure that New Yorkers are able to remain securely housed, including a new Five-Year Capital Plan to fund public housing and other critical housing priorities, and the Housing Access Voucher Program, which would cover the rent of those who are homeless or in danger of losing their housing. I also continue to fight for federal and state and federal funding for the Emergency Rental Assistance Program to cover the rent of New Yorkers who faced financial hardships due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, I’ve been working to pass legislation and enact funding to address the climate crisis, including the All Electric Buildings Act, which I sponsor with Assemblymember Emily Gallagher, to stop constructing new buildings that burn gas and oil as soon as possible. I will continue to fight for the needs of my constituents and New Yorkers across the state so that everyone has access to the resources, programs, and representation they deserve–and I thank St. Nicks Alliance for being an important voice for our community.”
NYS Senator Julia Salazar:
“This year will be a pivotal year when it comes to legislation considering we’ve entered the third year of the pandemic and are now still in the tail end of the first wave of the Omicron variant. The pandemic highlighted many shortcomings the state and local governments have to address to bounce back better than before. There are tried and true issues that span from our district to across the state that need to be addressed, those issues are my priority. Here is the list of policy goals:
1. Addressing the housing crisis, including by passing both the Good Cause Eviction & the Community Protection Act.
2. Crime Victims, Crime and Corrections – Reforming Parole, Immigrant Justice, etc.
3. NY Healthcare for All
4. Climate change – Build Public Renewables Act.”
NYS Assembly Member Maritza Davila:
“This upcoming year, I’m looking forward to helping pass Good Cause Eviction to help protect our tenants and secure more funds for emergency rent arrears. Likewise, a goal of mine in the Assembly is passing a comprehensive, structured re-entry program for formerly incarcerated individuals. As the chair of the Puerto Rican Hispanic Task Force, I’ll be prioritizing the fight in Albany against predatory hedge funds that prey on vulnerable economies as seen in Puerto Rico. As always, I’ll continue to advance issues pertinent to the Latino community both within my district and across New York State.”
NYS Assembly Member Emily Gallagher:
1. Address the housing crisis
“With the end of the eviction moratorium, hundreds of thousands of tenants across the state are at risk of displacement. Meanwhile, Governor Hochul’s budget proposes to extend the 421a tax giveaway to corporate developers with only minor affordability tweaks. We need a whole new approach. I’m fighting to pass “Good Cause” eviction protections, giving tenants in unregulated apartments a new line of defense against unwarranted removal.”
2. Cheaper, greener energy for all
“What a lot of people don’t know is that [electricity] costs are skyrocketing precisely because of our dependence on fossil fuels, especially burning so-called “natural” gas for electricity. I’m a big supporter of the Build Public Renewables Act, which would empower the New York State Power Authority to scale up utility-grade wind and solar projects, drive down costs, and meet our urgent climate goals. I’m also the prime Assembly sponsor of the All-Electric Buildings Act, banning fossil fuels in new building construction after 2024.”
3. Safer streets
“We’re barely six weeks into 2022 and already at least 14 pedestrian crashes have been killed in traffic crashes around New York City. I proudly carry one of the bills in the Crash Victims Rights & Safety Act, a comprehensive package of legislation to holistically address traffic violence. Locally, I’m also very engaged in the ongoing process of improving safety on McGuinness Boulevard.”
Brooklyn Bourough President Antonio Reynoso:
“I am coming into office at a pivotal but challenging time in our borough’s history, challenges we’re fully prepared to tackle,” said Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso. “In year one of my term, I look forward in investing in our underserved communities and implementing policies and programs that proactively address the racial disparities in our borough that the COVID-19 pandemic has laid bare. In addition, I look forward to beginning to rebuild our borough in a way that’s resilient to climate change. Perhaps most importantly, we’ll continue to celebrate the diversity and creativity that makes this borough so dynamic.”
NYC Council Member Lincoln Restler:
“My top three priorities for the 33rd district are to take on the climate crisis, tackle the affordability crisis, and to be a real problem solver for my constituents on issues big and small.
The climate crisis is the existential challenge of our time. Our office is working hard to build a comprehensive plan for how our waterfront district can be a model for tackling it.
In the 33rd District, one 1 in 4 tenants is paying a majority of their income in rent. It’s not okay, and we need to ensure that new development is meeting the needs of longtime, middle income, working class tenants.
Finally, I’m committed to being a real problem solver for our community. Constituents can come to us with issues ranging from development in their neighborhood to how we keep our streets clean. We want every constituent to know that we are here to help and that is the energy and sense of purpose we are bringing to our office.”
NYC Council Member Jennifer Gutierrez:
• Creating and preserving more deeply affordable housing
• Supporting small businesses in their lease negotiations and creating an environment in which small businesses can thrive
• Ensuring safer streets for cyclists and pedestrians
• Expanding and funding the community school model for district schools to provide access to services for residents in District 34.