SD 23 Staten Island/Brooklyn

 District 23—Staten Island/Brooklyn (North Staten Island-Coney Island)

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

 


Diane Savino, incumbent—Democrat/IDC, Women's Equality, Independence, Reform

Jasmine Robinson—Democrat, Working Families

Brandon Stradford (Democrat) and David Krainert (Republican, Reform) did not respond. 


Diane Savino, incumbent—Democrat/IDC, Women's Equality, Independence, Reform

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?

One of the communities that has been hit the hardest by the skyrocketing rent increases has been seniors. I have fought to ensure that this community has protections against the increases. This is why I introduced S.4748. This bill expanded the number of seniors that are eligible for the SCRIE program. I also introduced S.5336 to help provide more rental assistance to low-income seniors. These pieces of legislation will help seniors remain in their homes.

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

NYCHA has devolved into a crisis comparable to of that in Flint, Michigan. Parents live in fear everyday that their children have been exposed to lead paint. The root of this problem is a lack of accountability. That is why I worked to establish an independent monitor of NYCHA. This independent monitor would serve as an advocate for the people living in NYCHA housing to ensure that the agency is accountable to them.

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?

Working people are continuously spending a larger and larger percentage of their income in this state on rent. No one who works 40 hours a week should be struggling to keep a roof over their head. I will fight to incentivize building affordable housing units. We need to hold landlords and developers accountable. A community should be able to afford the economic development of the community they grew up in.

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

Homelessness is an issue that persists to get worse as time goes by. The city has failed to put forward a plan on how to combat this crisis. It has reverted to placing people in hotels, which places them in unsanitary conditions. I support the creation of the Home Stability Support program. This would create a rent supplement for homeless individuals to find an affordable place to live, rather than reside in a shelter.

What is your position regarding campaign-finance reform?  

I am open to a number of proposals that look to remake the way campaigns are financed. I helped put forth a comprehensive plan back in 2013 that would have overhauled the system in New York, some of those reforms being a public matching program and closing the LLC loophole. I am willing to work with my colleagues in the Senate to work on enacting these reforms and creating a more transparent campaign-finance system.


Jasmine Robinson—Democrat, Working Families

http://votejasirobinson.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?

My mother battled for years against Freddie Mac while in the Bronx. It is was natural for me to fight for the rights of tenants in all the boroughs. I support rent regulation because tenants should not have not endure the greed of landlords. If elected, I will support legislation that will protect tenants, especially in working-class neighborhoods. Most of our elected officials are beholden to the landlords and not tenants.

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

The biggest issue facing NYCHA is the mold situation. The quick solution of bleach and repainting does not work! It is putting a Band-Aid on a wound. I do support providing funds to properly remove mold from the apartments. This is a health crisis, and the city and state need to work together to help the NYCHA residents.

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?

I would support the Mitchell-Lama reform bill. This bill would authorize the local legislative bodies to declare a housing emergency and extend the protections of rent regulations to buildings that were formerly Mitchell-Lama rentals or HUD-subsidized housing and were privatized. Additionally, it would authorize local legislative bodies to declare a housing emergency and extend the protections of rent regulations to current Mitchell-Lama rentals or HUD-subsidized housing developments that privatize in the future.

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

Homelessness is a crisis in New York State. Some homeless individuals suffer from mental illness and substance abuse. They need to be removed from the streets into a facility that can properly diagnose and treat their illness. We need to aggressively enforce the source-of-income anti-discrimination law. I would expedite the process of housing homeless individuals and families. The process of finding a home is quite tedious and discriminatory, which needs to end.

What is your position regarding campaign-finance reform?  

Campaign-finance reform is needed very badly. Corporate donors are able to fund their candidates with an excessive amount of donations through multiple LLCs and loopholes. A first-time or grass-roots candidate does not have the funds to properly manage a campaign, which puts them at an unfair disadvantage.