Issues

SMALL BUSINESSES
Small businesses are the economic engine and foundation of a thriving economy for New York City. They create the urban landscape that makes “New York, New York!” They are why millions choose to live here and why millions choose to visit here. Small businesses and entrepreneurship represent the essence of the American Dream.
Regardless of where or into what economic status you were born, with hard work and determination, you have limitless opportunities to go higher, to fulfill your potential, to achieve your goals and dreams, and even to own or run your own business.
I will work to ensure that all federal legislation is favorable to small business.  I am committed to doing everything possible to foster and support small businesses in my district. I will listen to their unique needs and concerns, work with state and city officials – across functions and across levels to provide sound solutions that will foster an environment where small business can thrive. In my own neighborhood in lower Manhattan, small businesses are “closing up shop” by the day. There’s a place for large chain stores and restaurants, but they shouldn’t be all that’s open! We need to focus our efforts on removing the barriers at every level that are strangling the life out of our small businesses and put NYC back in business! Keeping alive our spirit of entrepreneurship and keeping New York City residents in NYC!
CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORM

Criminal Justice Reform is a critical issue in NYC. We need fairness in sentencing and we need to reduce our incarceration rate in the U.S. which is among the highest in the world. At the same time, we need to ensure that all New Yorkers have the constitutional right to live in a safe environment for home, school, work, recreation, commuting, etc. We must focus our resources on identifying and addressing root issues of crime and recidivism, while at the same time holding residents fully accountable for their negative behaviors. Consequences for unlawful behavior is fundamental for a civil and safe environment. Without negative consequences, there is of course increased crime, and ultimately chaos leading to government intervention and control. 

With the recent bail reforms, we have swung to the other extreme without regard for the fairness, safety and constitutional rights of our non-criminal non-offender population. Unfortunately this approach fails to punish those who have committed crimes, actually incentivizing them and others to commit more crimes, and all at an exorbitant cost and danger to taxpayers.  Additionally, somehow there is the belief that simply moving prisoners to another location will improve the quality and fairness of prison conditions. In reality, it will do nothing more than move the problems to a new location, and spend an exorbitant amount of taxpayer dollars doing so.

Clearly there is an opportunity within criminal justice reform to work together to find an approach that will actually address the problems, and value the rights of ALL, without incentivizing crime. Also, using gifts to motivate criminals to meet obligations is terribly ineffective and will only send the message that crime is not taken seriously, consequences are not enforced, and that crime is actually rewarded in NYC! Our end goals must be fair and caring for ALL involved, by first addressing the root issues of the problem. This would also include addressing the need to increase federal funds for the treatment of mental health diseases. Then without decriminalizing crime, we must create opportunities for offenders to develop their potential, use their gifts, and feel valuable, and productive. This is a fair and caring approach, whereas removing consequences and incentivizing repeat criminal behavior is fair and caring for no one.

ANTI-SEMITISM

The number of hate crimes targeted at Jewish people in NYC increased 50% in 2019 compared to the previous year, culminating in 15 anti-semitic acts during the week of Hanukkah 2019. This continually increasing rate of occurrence for anti-semitic acts must stop, and it must stop NOW! It is completely unacceptable for this to be taking place in this country and in NYC, which is home to more Jewish people than anywhere else outside of Israel.

I strongly support ZERO tolerance for anti-Semitism through a multi-faceted approach including increased security, zero tolerance in the courts and strict punishment that would be severe enough to stop others from even contemplating an act of anti-Semitism. Another critical area that must be addressed is education – from elementary through college. There can be no place in our education system or curriculum for the re-writing of history, and/or presenting information in a way that would result in anti-semitic thoughts, beliefs, attitudes or actions. This multi-faceted approach must be must be sustained, reinforced and supported at all levels of government – federal, state and local.

HOMELESSNESS

The homeless situation in our nation and especially in our major cities is atrocious, it is unacceptable and inhumane. Continuing to provide policies and services that keep homeless on the streets, and encourages them to lawlessly overrun the streets is a form of inhumane control that keeps them in bondage to and increases their drug addiction, mental illness, criminal behaviors, as well sense of victimization and hopelessness. Each and every person has immeasurable God-given worth, and deserves to be given the opportunity to thrive, work, produce, contribute to society to have a sense of purpose and worth – all of which are essential for mental health.

We need to work together to develop a multifaceted approach that removes incentives for staying on the streets, that provides alternatives for rehabilitation and job re-entry, and that provides appropriate treatment for drug addiction and mental illness. It is imperative that our approaches are constitutionally fair and caring for ALL, not just for the homeless but also for citizens who work and live in the city. They have the right to live their lives in freedom, not in fear of walking down the street! The rights established in the constitution apply to ALL citizens, not just to the homeless or to criminals. We have clear evidence on the streets of San Francisco that catering to the homeless while ignoring the rights of residents, only leads to inhumane, unsafe, unsanitary, criminal, unmanageable, hopeless conditions. Our homeless and our residents both deserve better than this! They both have the right to live in an environment that provides the opportunity for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness!

SCHOOL CHOICE

No child should be trapped in a failing school because of where he or she lives. Parents know best their child’s unique needs, and parents should be the ones determining which school best meets those needs. My daughter had special needs when she was young, and if it had not been for my ability to choose the best school for her unique needs, starting with pre-school, she would have never made it to where she is now – college! I strongly support school choice as well as the provision of vouchers for those who choose to send their children to private or religious schools. We must recognize that each child has unique needs as well as unique gifts. This includes ensuring that each student is educated in a manner that is consistent with his/her family and religious values. Each and every child should be provided with the best opportunity for success so they can fulfill their potential and lead happy, successful, and flourishing lives.