We need criminal justice reform and the end to systemic racism that disproportionately incarcerates people of color. We need to stop looking at cages as an answer. Restorative justice practices must be holistic. We need to end cash bail, abolish private prisons, revamp the probation system and put an end to mandatory minimums.
While this district struggles with the implementation of the borough based jail plan we must stay committed to closing Rikers and any other facility that symbolizes the dehumanization of our peers. We must demand significant community investments, and make sure that those are distributed in a way that ensures future generations are free to achieve what many of our parents couldn’t.
This district has placed last in every marker too many times. When I joined Bronx River Houses I could not have foreseen the challenges my students face daily. We have become a safe space for them, and their families. As a child living in the suburbs of Philadelphia, I experienced what it is to have a good education. Where you live should not determine the quality of education you are receiving. This is why our public education system needs to change.
Curriculum and institutions must adapt to ensure our high school graduation rate increase. We must also equip schools with the tools necessary to ensure they can serve our children holistically. Upon graduation our teens should have multiple options! Trade schools are as important as college because both can lead to careers. We have to make the options desirable to our teens, and create the infrastructure necessary to make sure they can thrive.
For 30 years Public Housing has seen disinvestment. 90% of families living in the district are renting their homes. Our district suffers because of this concentration. As congressman for the 15th Congressional District I will work to ensure investment in public housing is restored to numbers that will make public housing a springboard for its residents. We must create a pipeline from public housing to home ownership!