District 74 stretches from Delancey Street in the Lower East Side up to 47th Street in Midtown, encompassing a variety of communities with different cultures, environments and economies.
Residents love the Old New York feel of these neighborhoods, but a changing city means that many longtime residents are finding themselves unable to keep up with rising rents. What are the biggest priorities for the incoming District 74 State Assembly Leader?
1. Affordable Rents
Mom and pop shops have long been the crux that has grown NYC’s economy. The American Dream of starting their own business was a goal for many of the city’s immigrant population, a sign of success and independence. But rents have risen due to gentrification, and instead of creating more affordable housing to balance, public housing has seen disinvestment and many residents and small business owners are unable to afford neighborhoods wherein they’ve invested and grown up. Chain stores deplete the character of the region, and luxury housing is out of reach for many, widening gaps in economic inequality. District 74’s leader must address that displacing lower-income communities exacerbates the city’s economic and racial divide, and sacrifices the soul of NYC’s cultural character.
2. Improving Mass Transit
Declining public transportation has tangible effects; increased delays determine if and how commuters get to work, and take time away from our families and personal obligations. With the looming L train shutdown that affects both Brooklyn- and Manhattanites, many are realizing that without a way to get around, qualities of life are deeply at risk. How will District 74’s leader not only keep our transportation systems maintained, but work to make them run better, and offer more accessible alternatives to our current options?
New York City is still working towards a full recovery from 2012’s Hurricane Sandy, which saw damaging winds and floods wreak havoc on our city’s infrastructure, and ravaging homes, businesses and public lands in its wrath. There is still much work to be done to protect our waterfronts from the next environmental crises, and confronting these problems now will save taxpayers economic headaches in the future if we are active in protecting ourselves against climate change. Will District 74’s new leader take a stance and protect the nearly 40,000 residents and businesses?