Congressional District 10 stretches from Brooklyn, hopping through Governor’s Island, and crossing into Manhattan’s uptown Morningside Heights neighborhood. In these communities, even strangers enjoy each others’ camaraderie because of this friendly, community feel.
Home to waterfronts, the brand-new Oculus, the Museum of Natural History and Columbia University, there is space for all types as residents and visitors enjoy lush parks, outdoor festivals and concerts in this inviting environment. While diversity is this district’s strong suit, difference outside of what is considered mainstream is not always welcome, as marginalized residents face discrimination and infringements upon their human rights. In addition, the city’s public school students struggle to get a leg up in a system that does not cater to those who need the most resources. What are the biggest issues District 10’s Congressional leader must tackle in office?
Issue #1: Protecting Street Vendors
Street food is a way of life in New York City. Without these carts and trucks filled with delicious and diverse cuisines, our streets would seem empty. But elected officials are collaborating with New York’s Police Department to create legislation that will ban street vendors from serving their wares near the World Trade Center, which poses a threat to these small business owners who are believed to be targeted because of Islamophobia. These vendors deserve to make a living as anyone else does, and with NYPD’s post-9/11 history of surveillance on the city’s Muslim populations, activists and human rights organizations are sounding the call against discrimination and rallying for justice.
Issue #2: Equal Educational Opportunities
It’s not easy growing up in NYC. Intensive application processes are required at each stage of schooling, from pre-K up to high school, that much resembles the rigorous college application process. Parents must research which school best suits their students and endure painstaking means to ensure their kids get the best education they can, and schools require certain scores on standardized testing just to be considered for entry. Officials now posit if the current methods are best serving the public, and if the process is excluding talented students from low-income families who don’t have the resources as their more affluent counterparts. Once students are enrolled in schools, greater efforts must be exacted to ensure that children are able to thrive in higher education once they graduate high school, giving them the educational and emotional tools to succeed.
Issue #3: Fighting For Human Rights
New York City feels the political tumult of Washington, as dangerous immigration policies and deadly rhetoric singling out marginalized populations lead to fear and the rise of hate crimes. The city has always been a hub for social justice, and social movements have bloomed, demanding rights and protections for vulnerable citizens. As diverse as we are, NYC is not immune to racism, and grassroots organizers are fighting back, taking their battles to the streets, to the communities, and to those in power as they implore change.
Will the Congressional District 10 representative address the needs and protect this community? Learn more about Democratic candidate Jerrold Nadler and Republican candidate Naomi Levin and get informed about 2018’s New York State elections at racetorepresent.com.