Making sure that New Yorkers can afford to stay in their homes, and creating new, appropriate affordable housing may be the greatest challenge confronting our city. We need to save the affordable housing we have, while finding ways to leverage current development into new affordable housing. By strengthening our rent laws, preserving affordable units, combating predatory lending, and helping small landlords maintain below-market rents, we can keep the economic diversity and opportunity that makes New York great.
We live in the cultural capital of the world. And, as you know, that artistic expression is not confined to Manhattan. Our neighborhoods are populated with exciting authors, artists, actors, and other creative professionals. We need to support these members of our community that bring beauty into our world, and encourage each other to express ourselves artistically.
New York City needs job policies that makes work pay for New Yorkers, and build a fair economy for all of us. By guaranteeing paid sick leave for all workers, supporting the rights of independent and low-wage workers, retaining good jobs that are pathways to the middle class like manufacturing, and reforming low-road economic development subsidies so they create living wage jobs, New York can regain its place as the largest engine of economic mobility for the United States.
Keeping our neighborhoods and communities safe, clean and engaged takes participation from all of us. Working together with area schools, local police precincts, civic and neighborhood groups, and local merchants and businesses we can ensure that all the neighborhoods of the 39th district remain friendly, safe and great places to live.
Effective public education, in elementary, middle and high school, is essential to preparing our children for success. The schools of the 39th Council District have some of the city's best teachers, principals and parent leaders, and we need to do everything we can to make sure they are supported in the crucial work that they do.
The 39th District is lucky to have the officers of the 66th, 72nd, 76th, and 78th Precincts keeping us safe. Working with law enforcement and citizen groups, we can make sure that all of us feel safe on the streets and in our homes.
A more robust, efficient and fully-funded public transportation system is key to sustainable growth for our community, and for the city and region as a whole. At the same time, there are simple things we can do to make our city's streets safe for pedestrians, bikers and drivers alike. With more frequent subway and bus service, with safer and more better-planned streets, we can have both a metropolis that really works, and neighborhoods that are more livable day-to-day.
Whenever one group is treated differently or denied protection under our laws, it undermines the foundation on which our country was built. Discrimination, whether against two people who love each other and want to marry, against a family whose only transgression is wanting to make a better life for their children in American, or against a religious institution seeking to locate near one of the most contested sites in the city, is patently un-American. The City Council should act as force against hate and intolerance, as well as fighting to bring those who live in the shadows more fully into our society.
The importance of thinking globally and acting locally has never been more apparent. New York City and each of our communities must help lead the way on climate change, and toward a more sustainable way of living. At the community level, creating new parks and greenways, supporting the cause of environmental justice, promoting better transit and alternative modes of transportation, and greening our homes and businesses are just some of the ways we can help make New York one of the most sustainable cities in the world.
What does your neighborhood need? An improved park? Safer streets? New school technology? In participatory budgeting, you give your ideas and City Councilmember Brad Lander has set aside $1 million to fund them. And your votes will decide which projects get funded.