As the son of Jamaican immigrants, I am blessed to achieve my own American dream. Every day, I remember the sacrifice my family made so that I can be here today. My appreciation of the challenges my community endured is what drives me to public service: so that together we can overcome challenges that will allow future immigrant generations to thrive; generations that will be distinctly American.
I currently represent tens of thousands of immigrants as the Assembly Member for the 79th District. I understand how critical immigrants are to the vitality of New York City. Our city is one of the most diverse cities in the nation, and I am proud to represent one of the most diverse areas in the country. Our diversity and acceptance of outsiders is what makes New York City the greatest city in the world. Our immigrant communities drive our local economy by starting new businesses and deepening our cultural heritage.
I am proud to have co-sponsored A3909 in the Assembly which codifies the New York State DREAM Act, advancing educational support for the children of immigrants. I am also a strong advocate for expanded language access, so that all New Yorkers know what benefits and services are available to them. But there is always more work to be done. Notwithstanding of a persons ethnicity, background, or place of birth, all New Yorkers should have the same access to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
As Public Advocate, I will:
Fight to protect New Yorkers against the Trump Administration’s Immigration Policies:
Immigration should unite us, not divide us, but the rhetoric we hear today does not feed this belief. As Public Advocate, I will continue to oppose the Trump Administration’s recent proposed rule change on Inadmissibility of Public Charge and do everything in my power to make immigrants feel safe and at home in New York City. I will ensure that the melting pot that is NYC continues to thrive, because diversity is our strength.
Establish an Anonymous Hotline for Victims of Discrimination:
Working closely with the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs, I will continue to support Tish James’ plan to establish an anonymous hotline for victims of discrimination based on immigration status. This hotline will provide a vital lifeline to those who are the victims of landlords who use intimidation tactics to frighten and exploit families.
Protect Immigrant New Yorker’s Information and Data:
Data can be incredibly valuable: knowing where to expand language access, educational, health care needs, and mapping the cultural vibrancy of the city can’t be done without information. However, that same information has historically been used for malevolent purposes for things like red-lining and school closures.
The IDNYC program was a great way to unite our city, but the 2016 election and the subsequent policies of the Trump Administration put the identities of thousands of immigrant New Yorkers at risk. As Public Advocate, I will ensure that information collected by the City of New York remains confidential and inaccessible to all third-party entities - including the Federal government.