We are the world’s largest and freest economy, yet we are doing our youth and ourselves a major disservice by not giving them the best shot at success, especially coming out of high school. Investments in education should complement this country's long-term economic goals. The best legacy we can leave behind for our future leaders, is making available a greater variety of educational opportunities- such as trade schools, to give students the skills necessary to run the technical industries of today and tomorrow, without the underlying debt from a traditional university. It should be the norm for our nation’s public high schools to offer the option of learning a trade as part of a curriculum. The money is already being spent, so why not spend it a little more wisely by offering programs that will provide every child in America access to a skill-set. We should give them a chance to graduate not only with a diploma, but with the real world training to become a licensed electrician or a software engineer, etc. This is how you build a safety net right into your child's high school education. This plan alone can uplift underprivileged communities out of financial hardship in less than one decade. To change our outcomes, we must first change our thinking process. If a young adult at age 17 can qualify to join the military, they surely should have the ability to choose a career-path or start a business at 18 years old. "It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men." Frederick Douglass
Affordable Housing & Infrastructure
Housing in New York City is among the most expensive in the country. Just 10 years ago, you were able to rent a studio apartment for a reasonable price. Today, rent costs have gone up so high that people are forced to find a room, or a bed to rent if they are lucky. Many end up in shelters some even on the streets. Homelessness has no age, gender or race it can happen to anyone. Much of the housing crisis can be solved if our government had the courage to tackle it head-on, using good project management, creative financing, and technology.
Being a licensed New York City Contractor for over 10 years, I will be the first to tell you that government red tape is 70% of the housing problem. The other 30% can be attributed to the lack of adequate mass transportation. It takes way too long for projects to be approved, and even longer to build. Further, we should be taking advantage of modular technology to speed up the construction process, and to lower the cost per unit.
Any experienced New York City realtor will tell you to “Follow The Trains because that is where the next trendy neighborhood will be”. But what happens when we get to the last stop, and rents become unaffordable.
The housing crisis is the enormous elephant in the room that our leaders don’t talk about because they don't have the solution for it. This is the single largest threat to working families, but worst off are the younger generations who have yet to step out into the real world. This is why we must start working on the solution right now by expanding our transportation infrastructure.
As our elected representatives go at each other's throats in Washington DC, competing countries like China, along with parts of Europe, The Middle East, and Africa are building some of the most advanced infrastructure projects known to mankind. Our private sector is biting at the bit to start investing billions into high-speed transportation like the Hyperloop. A system that can take you from New York to DC in 29 minutes. That's the same amount of time it takes the Q Train to travel from Atlantic Ave to the Sheepshead Bay station. Such projects are already well on their way in other places like Baltimore MD, where plans to install a Hyperloop line that connects to Washington DC has already been started. I'm not trying to sell you on The Hyperloop, but I am trying to get you to see that this is the kind of fresh, forward thinking we need in our representatives to solve this impending crisis. I will be that innovative voice in Congress, continuing to work tirelessly to eliminate the government red tape that stands in the way of innovation. Our children's future depends on it.
The driving force of our city's diverse economy is small-business, but our government fails us time and time again passing crippling regulations, making it impossible to start, let alone run a business in this city. Whenever the government needs to raise funds, instead of facilitating more opportunities to create jobs and tax revenue it issues summonses that can financially paralyze a local business. Now, add the overwhelming costs of rent it's easy to see why our neighborhoods are now littered with empty storefronts. Every closed business you walk past on a daily basis is the defeat of that families' American Dream. Plus lost jobs, and tax revenue. The best help to small business the government can provide is to get out of the way. Common sense safety and environmental regulations should always come first, but there is no reason it should take two years to open a restaurant in our city due to local regulations, and have to close down after the first 6 months because of federal regulations that prevent you from borrowing the capital necessary to operate. We need people in office who get it. I am a small business owner and I will fight for common sense regulations that put entrepreneurs and working families in the position for success.
40% of healthcare costs go to waste due to inefficient industry practices that are extremely costly and time-consuming. For example, it takes a sick patient anywhere from several hours to an entire day just to get through triage. Healthcare providers just like in any other industry, have employees that must be paid, drugs and equipment that must be financed. Additionally, physicians have student loans to pay off, so the costs are already through the roof before the doctor even sees the first patient. Washington cannot fix this problem by repealing Obamacare and replacing it with another healthcare act because the cost of healthcare is still the same at the service level. We must first stop the bleeding by having a laser-like focus on where the money is going to waste and fix it once and for all. We should work with healthcare providers to establish standards that will get a sick patient out of triage in minutes rather than hours. We also have to lobby to do something about the outrageous cost of prescription drugs. Quality healthcare should not be a luxury in our great city- it should be a standard.
- My parents moved to the US from Haiti in the mid 60's. My father attended Brooklyn College, then worked for the Board of Education for nearly 20 years. My mother earned her license as a beautician and opened up her first of three beauty salons in 1975. I am the direct product of good immigration policy. Our country should be open to those who want to immigrate to the United States and contribute to our society. However, the process should be more efficient, streamlined, and fair. We only have so many resources to allocate to our schools, our healthcare, and social safety systems, so a comprehensive immigration plan that I would support should give DACA recipients, and refugees the opportunity to remain out of the shadows, with a path to citizenship for those who contribute to our society along with a plan to secure our ports and borders.
Personal Rights and Freedoms
In 2018, we should not have a government at odds with the will of the people. How you love, or what a woman chooses for herself and her family should not be up for debate in the public square. For far too long, politicians have used these issues to force a wedge between us- still, further, nothing gets done. Our district is among the most diverse in the country, and I will stand on the right side of history when it comes to protecting everyone's civil liberties regardless of their skin color, gender, or sexual orientation.
Military spending is always a difficult issue for our country, but it's necessary. Although we strive to live in peace with all nations around the world, the reality of the situation today in 2018, is that many countries who do not have our best interests at heart are developing some of the most advanced weapon systems and capabilities. As your representative, I will not allow for our children to live under the threat of a nuclear North Korea or a nuclear Iran. Contrary to Representative Yvette Clark's actions, I would never have supported the Iran Deal, giving 150 Billion dollars back to Iran, who in turn is using the money to build more weapons to point at Israel, Europe, and the United States. I would stand firm, in providing our service men and women with the funding necessary in order to respond to these very real threats, notwithstanding military contractors being held accountable for waste and fraud.