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PRIORITIZING LGBTQ+ ISSUES

Recognition and respect are revealed in commitments to equity and real material improvements to the lives of the marginalized, as well as invitations to participate in leadership and the direction of our city. We must put words into action to ensure that our city’s promise of equality is realized in measurable equity. 

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EXPANDING HOUSING AS A HUMAN RIGHT

Housing is a human right. In order to properly protect that right we must end Mandatory Inclusionary Housing and provide truly affordable housing for all our residents, ensure that our Area Median Income level is calculated for NYC zip codes and invest in the public provision of housing development. That means that all housing built on city-owned land be fully and permanently affordable, that land use and planning reforms are comprehensive and community oriented, that fair housing laws are fully and frequently enforced, and that City funds go to Community Land Trusts and HDFCs and not to developers that fail to keep their promises to build and maintain affordable housing.

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CREATING AN INCLUSIVE CITY FOR ALL

Our city must be a place where everyone, regardless of race, gender identity, or sexual orientation, can live openly and freely, free of discrimination and violence. And city government is where this promise is realized, through acts of legislation for trans people, devotion of resources to investigations of workplace harassment and diversity requirements for companies contracting with our city. Our focus must be on programs that allow all New Yorkers to flourish.

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SUPPORTING OUR VETERANS

Our service members are examples of what committed public service looks like. They put the collective ahead of themselves and understand that we are stronger together than apart. We need to match their level of commitment and ensure that city government does right by them, particularly veterans of color.  Roughly 45% of all homeless veterans are African American or Hispanic, and we need proactive government outreach to match them, and all New Yorkers, to the services and resources available.

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DESEGREGATING SCHOOLS AND GUARANTEEING A QUALITY EDUCATION

Over one million students attend New York City public schools, and hundreds of thousands more are enrolled in CUNY and other publicly funded education programs. We must ensure that our education system is one that combats segregation, equalizes access to opportunity, and promotes social mobility and integration. Comprehensive public school redistricting and making CUNY tuition free are examples of my commitment to using education policy to advance social progress. 

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RECOVERING FROM COVID-19

COVID-19 has profoundly impacted every corner of our lives and communities. To rebuild, we need to rebalance the priorities of our budgets to address the historical inequities plaguing our city. We need to put a moratorium on arrests for low level matters, keep ICE out of our hospitals, house all of our residents, and make COVID-19 treatment free for all New Yorkers.

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BUILDING A FAIRER ECONOMY

Now more than ever, ensuring economic justice has never mattered more. We must build an economy that works for workers and not just the wealthy and powerful. That means protecting gig workers as employees, increasing the minimum wage, and supporting card check neutrality. We must address the inequalities in our city by ending unpaid internships, providing universal access to broadband, expanding manufacturing opportunities and union apprenticeships. We can ensure that New York lives up to its promise by founding a public bank, passing the Small Business Jobs Survival Act, investigating wage theft and enacting a commercial vacancy tax to keep big box stores out and diverse local businesses alive.

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DEMOCRATIZING OUR CITY

All people deserve to be heard and a part of our city’s civic life. Only when we recognize all our members will our community be whole. In order to do so, a Council member must be their district’s organizer in chief. Only then can we end the underrepresentation of Latinx, LGBTQ+, and disabled communities on local community boards. We must prioritize constituent services, provide a universal right to vote, and pass a full civil right to counsel so all voices can be heard when determining the City’s future.

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ENDING OVERPOLICING AND REFUNDING COMMUNITIES

Every single day, a failing institution, the NYPD,  is sent out to do a job it’s not built to do, to increase community safety. It is past time that we recognize that much of what the NYPD is tasked with doing is better handled by agencies that don’t carry guns. Over decades, this has caused tremendous harm-- we must end the harmful carceral status quo, and move towards a model of community safety built on respect, social services, and public investment.

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INVESTING IN HEALTHIER COMMUNITIES

Our commitment to our community is clearly visible in the public health services we provide and the manner in which we make those resources available to all our residents. Free access to reproductive care and safe injection sites and keeping ICE out of hospitals embody the kind of city I want to live in, one where all New Yorkers have access to needed care and public health is a shared priority.

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PROTECTING IMMIGRANTS

Immigrants are members of our families and our communities. The city must include and welcome them, and protect them from deportation. Increasing language access, extending voting rights to all residents, and funding universally accessible social services are both good policy and the right things to do. A community is only as healthy as its most vulnerable members and New York must always be a safe haven and place of opportunity for all.

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FIGHTING FOR A SUSTAINABLE FUTURE FOR ALL NEW YORKERS

To prevent the worst impacts of the climate emergency, we must start taking action now. And as we prepare for the future, we must build a city that is sustainable and tends to  the needs of all of our residents. One that provides affordable and widely available public transportation and equitable commuting options. Retrofitting our city’s housing stock is an opportunity to train our workforce and address historical inequities. We need a City Council that shrinks the government’s carbon footprint and spends City funds on public infrastructure and public spaces.

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CREATING AN INCLUSIVE TRANSPORTATION SYSTEM

A vital part of a functional city is safe and efficient streets and sidewalks. We must enforce the rules we have and build out a city that serves all forms of transportation needs. We must refund bus and train service, particularly to historically underserved communities and neighborhoods. And because police officer-based enforcement is less effective than infrastructural alternatives, like street redesigns and automated enforcement, and puts people of color at risk, we have an excellent opportunity to truly build an equitable and safe city.

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Do you have a policy idea we have missed or input on our platform? Email the Policy Team at policy@orteganyc.com

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We believe that a political campaign should do the work of serving the community. Join us in taking care of our neighbors. We have opportunities to participate in outreach to our senior community, wellness checks, and government oversight in public housing. We look forward to meeting all of you.

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