This working-class area comprised of immigrant populations in State Assembly District 72’s Inwood makes up the backbone of our city’s economy and culture.
Many come to New York to pursue their American Dreams of ownership, and the wealth of small businesses throughout this community serves its hard-working and close-knit population. Families who have inhabited Manhattan’s northernmost tip have existed there for generations, and suddenly find themselves pushed out of the community they helped build because of high rents. In addition, public services like mental healthcare are not easily accessible for marginalized populations. A representative for this area must understand the needs of its people and engage them in making decisions for this neighborhood’s future. What are the biggest issues facing State Assembly D-72?
Issue #1: Mental Health Services
Being an immigrant in America is extremely stressful as these populations are Other-ed and villainized as the onus of our country’s social and political ills, and in turn, is causing undue depression and anxiety throughout these victimized populations. As individuals and organizations stand up for the rights of the undocumented who are the backbone of our city and curators of our culture, we must provide quality and affordable mental health and other public healthcare services within a community where mental illness is stigmatized. As much as these populations have contributed to our society, we must give back in return by ensuring a high quality of life.
Issue #2: Police Encounters
Violent encounters leaving citizens dead or injured at the hands of law enforcement have become regular news. Residents in vulnerable neighborhoods worry if simple interactions with police will turn deadly. De-escalating violence between the state and its citizens is necessary, as law enforcement harming with impunity is just one arm of systemic violence faced by people of color. Striking a balance where residents live free from brutality is literally of life and death priority.
Issue #3: Gentrification and Affordable Housing
The migration of young, middle-class residents to the neighborhood has prompted a domino effect of gentrification, where unique cultural landmarks that were thought irreplaceable are being pushed out by the wealthy and large chain stores that have little interest in investing back into the community. A neighborhood that was once filled with artists and diversity is slowly being driven out because high rents are making it impossible to take root here. Gaps in socioeconomic equality have made themselves blatant and many residents want legal protections to prevent long-time inhabitants from being displaced.
Will the State Assembly 72 representative address the growing needs of this community? Learn more about Democratic candidates Carmen de la Rosa, Sosa Jimenez and Yomaris Smith and get informed about 2018’s New York State elections at racetorepresent.com.