Local Government Goals for 2023

Our local elected officials are preparing to make this new year a productive one. Greenline asked each leader to share their top to-do list goals for 2023. Here are some of the efforts you can expect:

NYS Assembly Member Emily Gallagher — District 50

While the Governor’s election in November was too close for comfort, I am proud that New Yorkers once again voted for a Democratic supermajority in both the NYS Assembly and NYS State Senate with a mandate to tackle affordability and the housing crisis, the existential challenge of climate change, and pursue a holistic approach to true public safety. As I embark on my second term representing the people of Greenpoint and Williamsburg, here are my top areas of focus:

I have laid out even more of my legislative priorities at my Instagram page (@EmilyAssembly). None of them are easy to pass; nearly all have powerful industries, lobbyists, and centers of concentrated power that oppose them. But with enough public pressure, I believe they can begin to address the intersecting crises of inequality, affordability, sustainability and safety that damage the lives of New Yorkers.

  1. Housing
    Rents are skyrocketing, and after a two-year moratorium, so are evictions. My office hears almost every week from constituents facing 50%, 75% or even greater rent increases—and if they don’t live in a stabilized apartment, there are basically no legal options to remain in their home. That’s why passing Good Cause Eviction legislation is one of my absolute top priorities. It would provide tenants with a baseline “right to remain” by prohibiting non-renewals and no-fault evictions unless a landlord proves good cause, like non-payment of rent. Simply wanting to price gouge isn’t good enough: landlords would have to justify rent increases greater than 3 percent or 1.5 times the Consumer Price Index (CPI), whichever is higher. I’m also seeking to dramatically expand the role of the public sector in constructing new affordable homes through the “social housing” model. More on that soon!

  2. Climate and Environment
    Representing waterfront communities still trying to clean up multiple toxic waste sites, addressing the climate crisis and protecting our precious environment is a major focus of mine. As New Yorkers suffer through another winter of crushing gas bills and extreme weather, we can save money, create great jobs and meet our legally-mandated climate goals by passing the All-Electric Buildings Act, legislation I proudly carry in the Assembly to prohibit the use of fossil fuels in new building construction statewide. Fossil fuel heating is dirty, polluting and crushingly expensive, fueling international conflict abroad and poor health at home. We can chart a different, better path!

  3. Anti-Corruption and Transparency
    Too much in our politics and economy exists behind a veil of secrecy, creating ample opportunities for corruption and shady business practices. I’m the author of the LLC Transparency Act, legislation to shine a light into the murky world of New York’s limited liability companies (LLCs) by requiring them to disclose the names and addresses of their actual investors and owners to New York State officials. Money laundering, tax avoidance, evasion of sanctions, and systemic code violations have been protected for too long in New York by LLC anonymity. Sometimes tenants don’t even know who their landlord actually is! Relatedly, I also carry legislation to mandate a full, comprehensive audit of the 421-a tax program, a huge public subsidy to developers in exchange for creating some moderately affordable housing but which is often abused.

NYS Assembly Member Maritza Davila — District 53

  1. Pass Elder Parole Legislation (number pending) 

  2. Fully fund and expand Re-entry Planning Services for those leaving our prisons through the Comprehensive Discharge Planning, (number pending)

  3. Fund and implement Climate, Jobs & Justice Package, to expedite the transition away from fossil fuels and clean and protect our environment.

  4. Create a real plan and fund creation of True Affordable Housing and supportive housing.

  5. Create steady programs for our homeless population.

NYS Senator Julia Salazar — District 18

This legislative session, I am continuing to move forward policies that empower and support our communities in North Brooklyn and Ridgewood, including:

  1. The Good Cause Eviction bill (S305)

  2. The End Predatory Court Fees Act (S313) to address the criminalization of poverty in our court system

  3. The All Electric Buildings Act (S562) to transition to renewable energy in new construction

  4. The Informed Consent Bill (S320) to improve medical care for pregnant and postpartum parents

  5. The Protect Our Homes & Communities, Stop Predatory Housing Speculation Act (S1569), which seeks to bring stability to local homeowners and residents by deterring predatory real estate practices

NYS Senator Kristen Gonzalez — District 59

We are in the midst of multiple intersecting crises, and in this legislative session, we have the opportunity to materially improve the lives of working-class New Yorkers. We need to pass Good Cause Eviction to ensure landlords cannot evict tenants without legal reason. We need to pass the Build Public Renewables Act to rapidly expand our publicly-owned, union-built renewable energy through the New York Power Authority. Finally, as chair of the Internet and Technology committee, I am committed to reducing the use of mass surveillance technology, which has historically been used to criminalize marginalized communities.

Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso

Growing up in South Williamsburg fostered in me a deep love for North Brooklyn, but it also showed me the incredible challenges facing our communities,” said Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso. “I have many priorities for the new year – from environmental justice to affordable housing – but there are a few top-of-mind goals I have specifically for Williamsburg, Greenpoint, and Bushwick. First of all, I want to make sure that any plan to fix the BQE includes improvements to the section in North Brooklyn. For too long, our communities have had to deal with the fallout of this racist, environmentally destructive design and we must do better. Second, my office is working hard to ensure that every single one of our community boards has members as young as 16 to 18 years old so that the youth voice is better represented in the changes that come to their neighborhoods. Finally, I want to continue working with DOT to make our streets safer and more friendly to bikers and pedestrians. Areas like McGuinness Boulevard, for example, are long overdue for an overhaul that puts people first.

NYC Council Member Lincoln Restler — District 33

In 2024, our number one goal is to continue being 24/7 problem solvers for our community on issues big and small. From helping tenants facing eviction, to reducing traffic congestion, to getting trash off our streets, we’re committed to being as responsive as possible and helping make our neighborhoods even better. We’re also laser-focused on advancing our Climate Action Roadmap with more street trees, more bike lanes, more volunteer opportunities, and more comprehensive efforts to reduce emissions across our District. And third, we’re working hard to fulfill the broken promises of the Greenpoint and Williamsburg rezonings by bringing a new school for the neighborhood and realizing much needed park spaces at Box Street Park and Bushwick Inlet Park. There’s so much more we’re focused on achieving this year, and we’re excited to keep engaging neighbors as we work together to make it all happen.

NYC Council Member Jennifer Gutierrez — District 34

  1. Universal Childcare
    [She sponsored INT 0242 which was enacted on 11/09/2022. As it establishes the creation of a Marshall Plan for Moms Task Force to study and develop recommendations regarding how to support working mothers, other parents, and caregivers, based on a consideration of data from the previous five years, this task force’s work will be conducted in 2023. Such task force would be required to convene its first meeting within 30 days after the last member has been appointed, meet at least once each quarter, and hold at least one public hearing. The task force would be required to submit a report with its recommendations within one year of the task force’s first meeting.]

  2. Housing Reform and Investment
    [She has long been an advocate of housing reform and investment. In November 2022 she published her Land Use Policy, which protects affordable housing, small businesses, and long-term industrial business residing in the district.]

  3. Increasing worker protections
    [One example is her co-sponsorship of Int 0521 which provides protections for certain employees who have been laid off due to the economic and health crises caused by the COVID-19 disaster emergency by bestowing a right to return to their previous jobs once their former employers are able to restart or scale up operations. This bill has been referred to committee.]

Author: Kassondra Gonzalez

Communications Associate and Contributor of the Greenline.

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