State Senate District 31 has it all: parks, the best museums, from the downtown waterfronts to the hills of Inwood, this enclave is home to significant immigrant populations and filled with small businesses that are among the characters in New York’s fables.
Residents boast that this community feels like a real neighborhood, that when you come to New York, it’s places like this that represent the best of the city. This mix of socio-economic residences means that circumstances vary from block to block, many who are well off live beside pockets of poverty, and though the neighborhood prides itself on being liberal, inequality runs rampant. With all the difficulties that come with living with a limited income, what are the biggest problems facing District 31?
Issue #1: Immigration
Many Latin-American immigrants make their way to upper Manhattan to call home, giving the neighborhood its unique meld of cultures and traditions. But in an era that is increasingly inhospitable to perceived outsiders, protecting immigrants--both documented and undocumented—is imperative to preserve the city’s humanity. It’s important to amplify services available to assist immigrants in their transition and to protect them in their vulnerable state.
Issue #2: Affordable Housing
Uptown Manhattan is becoming a hot real estate commodity, though this does not bode well for the community’s working-class roots. While luxury condos are regulated to provide affordable housing units, it’s not enough to stop residents and small businesses from being uprooted. While the neighborhood is amongst the most affluent in the city, like all of NYC, the Upper West Side is home to public housing that receives little attention and funding. Working-class residents have expressed dangers and health hazards due to neglect, and one of the sole sources of affordable housing in the city is becoming increasingly more expensive.
Issue #3: Preserving Parks
Riverside and Central Parks are two of the most luscious green spaces in the city. Always an oasis from the city’s hustle and bustle, residents and tourists alike enjoy the secret gardens that are hidden within. But parks require as much maintenance as any city monument and acquiring an adequate budget to do so has always been a struggle.
One of the most diverse districts in the whole city, residents struggle between the tug of war of having and not having. Will the State Senate District 31 representative address the growing needs of this community? Learn more about Democratic candidates Marisol Alcantara, Robert Jackson, Thomas Leon and Tirso Santiago Piña and get informed about 2018’s New York State elections at racetorepresent.com.