Lower Manhattan and western Brooklyn have some of the strongest cultural identities in the city. Home to Chinatown, the city’s Chinese-American population have built strong ties in community and as entrepreneurs, creating small businesses and making their marks as property owners.
This bustling neighborhood is known for its diversity in spirit and economic backgrounds, and its popularity attracts tourists and would-be residents looking to make this community their home. But many dwellers living in NYCHA’s public housing complexes complain about the lack of maintenance that is a danger to tenants, the lack of space in schools for the growing pool of children, a population in poverty, and needed coastal protections against natural disasters in the wake of Superstorm Sandy to alleviate fears of a submerged city. What are the biggest issues within Congressional District 7 that its leader must face?
Issue #1: No Space For Students
As the neighborhood becomes more populated, schools become more overcrowded, allowing for less individual care for each student and can lead to lower test scores. Kids with special needs tend to fall through the cracks of school systems when educators cannot devote enough attention to them. In addition, District 7’s expansion has meant that as more high-rise residential buildings sprout, there is less space for children to play safely, both in and out of schools.
Issue #2: Funding For NYCHA
Lower Manhattan and Brooklyn are in the midst of a real estate boom, with skyscrapers and luxury apartments growing up at lightning speed. But the lack of rent stabilization is detrimental to middle- and lower-class residents who can’t afford the ever-growing increase in rents because of the neighborhood’s population. In addition, the city’s affordable housing association, NYCHA, continues to suffer with lack of adequate funds, leading to neglected buildings with mold, leaks, and poor sewage infrastructures— inhospitable living spaces. More affordable housing is necessary to accommodate rising rents and stagnant salaries.
Issue #3: Waterfront Resiliency
Every year, thousands flock to the waterfront to find solace in the peaceful views, but after the destruction wrought by Hurricane Sandy, which incapacitated subway infrastructure and left homes and businesses uninhabitable, many fear the next environmental event that could have even more devastating consequences. Protecting the resiliency of New York’s coastal areas is a priority as the threat of climate change continues to grow, and citizens want to be prepared and know they will be safe if crisis hits.
Can the integrity of this neighborhood's culture and small businesses be preserved, with residents having a say in what happens in their community? Will the Congressional District 7 representative address the growing needs of this community? Learn more about Democratic candidate Nydia Velazquez and get informed about 2018’s New York State elections at racetorepresent.com.