SD 13 Queens (Jackson Heights-Elmhurst-Corona)

 District 13—Queens (Jackson Heights-Elmhurst-Corona)

Published: 
August 2018

Welcome to this special election issue of Tenant/Inquilino.

Many crucial issues about New York City housing are determined at the state level, from the strength of our rent-regulation laws to funding for public housing. Therefore, we have taken the step of sending questionnaires to all candidates for governor, lieutenant governor, and for the state Senate in the 20 districts with the highest numbers of rent-regulated tenants.

The primaries will be held on Thursday, Sept. 13, and the general election Tuesday, Nov. 6.
Find your polling place here: https://nyc.pollsitelocator.com/search

 


Jessica Ramos—Democrat, Working Families

Incumbent Democrat/IDC Sen. Jose Peralta did not respond.


Jessica Ramos—Democrat, Working Families

https://www.ramosforstatesenate.com/

What is your position on rent regulation, what work have you done in the past to further that position, and if elected, what would you do in 2019?

I will reform the Major Capital Improvements (MCI) law, and get rid of the preferential rent scam. I will repeal vacancy decontrol—so rents stay affordable even after a rent-stabilized tenant moves out. I will advocate against vacancy bonuses that give landlords a 20 percent increase in rent each time an apartment turns over, rewarding landlords for harassing and evicting long-term tenants. I have been organizing tenants for over a decade to fight against predatory developers.

What do you believe is the biggest issue facing the New York City Housing Authority, and how would you address it?

NYCHA housing, like the Woodside Houses in my district, is badly in need of new radiators and heating systems; 20 buildings in the Woodside complex were forced to deal with freezing temperatures during a blizzard in 2017 because of sheer negligence. Recently, lead was found in hundreds of NYCHA buildings, and NYCHA officials purposefully misled federal inspectors, endangering hundreds of residents. This is why NYCHA should be subject to stricter oversight and should agree to complete transparency.

Do you believe that there is a need for more affordable housing in New York, and if so, what would you do to meet that need?

Yes; we are living in an affordability crisis, and as such I support increasing the number of affordable housing units available throughout the city. As stated above, I support amending and outrightly discontinuing legislation which prioritizes landlords over tenants. I support giving New York City the decision making power in its own rent laws, so that city-specific issues can be dealt with in the quickest and most productive way to meet affordable-housing needs.

What would you do to address the homelessness in New York State?

I’ve participated in organizing tenants since 2006, when Vantage Properties, a predatory landlord, began displacing many of my neighbors in Jackson Heights and Elmhurst. Since then, I’ve been a vocal opponent of vacancy decontrol, MCIs, preferential rent, and more. I believe that preserving our affordable housing stock is the best way to pre-empt homelessness.

What is your position regarding campaign-finance reform?  

We have to get money out of politics. Closing the LLC loophole and implementing campaign finance reform will level the playing field for candidates and ensure elected officials are only beholden to voters.