Vote June 22!Here's all the details

Pierina believes in our community’s capacity to get through the most difficult of challenges and still rise.

Our community has been one of the hardest hit by COVID-19. We have lost hundreds of our neighbors to the pandemic, and our rate of cases continues to be among the highest in the city. Despite the health risks, New York City streets have been full of passionate New Yorkers demanding dignity for Black lives. Together, we will rebuild toward a more just society. But, ensuring our community gets the support and resources we need will require vocal and effective leadership. With her extensive experience in public service and progressive policy, Pierina is the fighter we need for a just recovery.

Dismantle Structural Barriers through a Social Justice Framework

From racist policing to inequities in health and educational attainment, and gentrification and displacement – solving our most intractable problems requires a social justice framework. To accomplish a more equitable city, we must take steps to dismantle structural racism; uproot bias against our trans and queer neighbors; protect our immigrants; fight to increase wages for our workers in all policy making; and protect the earth and ensure the humane treatment of all life. As we stand together and support one another during these difficult times, we must fight for a just recovery that centers the most impacted and the most oppressed, and build a healthier and more equitable future.

Pierina’s platform was developed in conversation with thousands of her neighbors:

  • housing

    Housing is a Human Right

    Every one of us deserves to live in a stable and healthy home.

    One of my earliest memories is of tenant harassment, as strong women in my life – my mom and my tía – were harassed for daring to fight for their rights. This is why I have fought for housing as a human right in my urban planning research, activism, and leadership on Community Board 5.

    In our district, where 96% of our neighbors are renters, 70% of residents were one paycheck away from being late on the rent before COVID-19 hit. Our City’s affordability crisis keeps lower-income New Yorkers at constant and persistent risk of displacement. At a time where our lives can depend on our ability to stay safely in our homes, we must win the fight to #CancelRent during the pandemic, and the fights to support truly affordable housing, and save NYCHA, longterm.

    Our community has faced a lack of quality and affordable housing for decades. With her roots in this community, policy expertise, and a commitment to deeply affordable housing, Pierina is the candidate this community needs.John GarciaCommunity Resident & Affordable Housing Leader

    As a council member, I will draw on my personal and professional experience in housing injustice to fight for:

    • Homes we can afford: Get our homes out of the hands of speculators and investors. Use community control to ensure affordability. Stop subsidizing non-affordable "affordable housing."
    • Dignified living in our rental apartments: Funding for timely code enforcement.
    • Dignified living in NYCHA: Fully fund repair of all our public housing apartments - Every single one, no exceptions. Keep our public housing public. Improve campuses by empowering residents.
    • Building community wealth through homeownership: Invest in programs that help Bronx residents achieve homeownership. Stop tax lien sales that strip homeowners of their equity and displace them from their homes.
    • Community voice in the future of our community’s development: Strengthen our community’s role in planning - nothing about us without us. Enact a comprehensive citywide planning framework.
    • An end to homelessness: Create larger set-asides in affordable housing developments for our neighbors struggling to escape homelessness, particularly the most affected like LGBTQ youth. Increase the value and availability of our housing vouchers.
  • opportunity

    Economic Opportunity for All

    Economic opportunity should be universal.

    Growing up, my family grinded to get by. The relatives who were able to get good union jobs - cleaning hallways and porting buildings - were the ones who were not only able to provide for their families, but to serve as a safety net for the rest of us. This is why as senior advisor for labor in City Hall I worked hand in hand with labor unions and advocates to fight for good jobs in our community.

    Today, good jobs are scarcer than ever in our community: our 17% unemployment rate - which has nearly doubled during this crisis - and $21,000 median income were already some of the lowest in the city, and then COVID-19 hit. We are a resilient Bronx community, but our resilience must be met with investment and resources from city government. We must increase support to our small businesses, invest in our local entrepreneurs, and fight for good, union jobs for our neighbors.

    When COVID-19 hit, city government wasn’t here for us. But Pierina was. She has an unwavering commitment to providing small businesses with opportunity and protecting workers. Her policies for economic opportunity will help to transform our community for the better.Maribel WilsonCommunity Resident & Small Business Owner

    As a council member I will draw on my family’s strength, my community’s resilience, and my professional experience to fight for:

    • Good jobs with not just a living wage, but a thriving wage so that families are not just barely getting by, but rather building wealth.
    • Expanded worker rights, including better benefits through empowering labor organizing.
    • Support of the Small Business Jobs Survival Act, including commercial lease assistance to ensure our local small businesses can thrive and our neighborhoods can stay affordable.
    • Access to free and affordable financial services in our district like tax support and consumer advocacy.
    • Establishing a Public Bank that will make real investments in our small businesses and community infrastructure, and puts our city’s finances in the hands of the people rather than Wall Street.
    • Funding for worker cooperatives that allow workers to own and govern business enterprises, and benefit from the products of their labor.
  • education

    Education & Youth Justice

    Every child deserves access to a quality public education.

    As an ESL student, I had a mix of supportive and unsupportive educational environments growing up. But one thing is certain – because of the adults in my life that believed in me, and publicly-funded programs like Upward Bound at Bronx Community College that invested in me, I was able to excel to reach Harvard and Princeton, the White House and City Hall. This is why I have advocated for more resources as ambassador of the Upward Bound program, and pushed for education equity through working groups of South Bronx Rising Together.

    Today, only 17% of NYC public school children participate in after-school programs, leaving over 600,000 lower-income public school students citywide unable to access after-school/enrichment programming. And these opportunities for educational enrichment are even more rare in our Bronx community. This has never been more important than in this moment of at-home and hybrid learning. We must ensure schools are adequately resourced, with programming after school, on weekends, and over summers, and that students have access to a high-quality internet connection.

    When 12-year old Pierina began in our upward bound program, I knew she would one day care for our community. At a time when our children are receiving less support than ever, we need local representatives who will fight for their opportunities as Pierina always has. In office, she is going to advocate for the public education and programming our youth need for a bright future.Michelle F. Danvers FoustBronx Public Education Leader

    As a council member, I will draw on my personal and professional experience in public education to fight for:

    • Universal after-school, summer, enrichment, vocational, and college-readiness programs that help to support a K-16 pipeline rather than a school-prison pipeline.
    • A dramatic expansion of the number of community schools providing holistic services, including a healing-centered and strengths-based approach with broader definitions of success.
    • Removing police from schools and investing in robust school-based mental health programming, like increasing the number of mental health professionals and supporting anti-bullying programs that protect marginalized youth like LGBTQ+ and youth with disabilities.
    • Parental empowerment in education decision-making processes through expanded outreach and language services so that parents have a real say in schools governance.
    • An end to school segregation, partly through changes to admissions procedures, including eliminating screenings.
    • Access to high-quality, affordable, culturally competent childcare.
    • Expanded early childhood programs that support literacy and socioemotional development.
  • healthcare

    Dignified Healthcare

    Healthcare is a human right and access should be provided to all - no matter their immigration status, income, age, gender, ability or sexual identity.

    Like too many of our Bronx community, I have lost family and neighbors who had preexisting conditions to COVID-19. City investments in community health saves lives. This is why I have advocated for health equity on the boards of Union Community Health Center and Morris Heights Health Center Foundation, and advocated for PPE and protections for our healthcare workers inside City Hall alongside union and advocacy partners.

    Our Bronx neighbors have died from COVID-19 at double the rate as the rest of the city. Our risk for COVID-19 is connected to a long history of limited access to medical professionals, a lack of quality healthcare, and the highest rates of all New York counties in preexisting conditions like diabetes, heart disease, and obesity (#Not62). This pandemic has demonstrated that the current approach to healthcare in our community is broken and must be solved before more lives are lost. We must invest in preventive care, including housing and preventive medicine, and support our public hospitals to ensure that all have access to quality mental and physical healthcare.

    Housing is a Human Right
    Our healthcare workers and families need someone who can deliver when we are in need. Both before and after COVID-19 hit our Bronx community, Pierina has proven that she has the experience and acumen to support the health and wellbeing of our neighbors.Robert MercedesCommunity Healthcare Leader & Public School Principal

    As a council member, I will draw on my personal and professional experience in community health to fight for:

    • The expansion of NYC Care health insurance so more of our neighbors can get the quality healthcare they need, and passage of the New York Health Act at the state level and Medicare for All at the federal level.
    • The expansion of our network of Health & Hospitals Community Health Care Centers and Clinics that provide the full range of reproductive care, mental health, dental, vision, and primary care.
    • Investments in school-based healthcare for early intervention to prevent child health inequities like those in obesity, depression, and diabetes.
    • Deeper investments in labor and delivery in our public hospitals to ensure the highest quality staffing.
    • A holistic approach to healthcare, through improving the social determinants of health.
  • community

    Safe Communities through Opportunity

    Every family should feel safe in their neighborhood.

    My family, like so many others in our Bronx community, has felt the pain of violence, including brutal police violence and mass incarceration. This is why I have tutored young people in prisons, promoted effective violence interruption programs that build from community strength like CeaseFire, and advocated to close Rikers while in City Hall.

    Our approach to community safety simply does not work to protect us: Bronx families have loved ones incarcerated at higher rates than any other borough, yet up to 90% of our neighbors stopped and frisked by NYPD are innocent. And still our rates of violent crime are higher than any other borough. What causes spikes in crime is a lack of economic opportunities and social support structures, and unaddressed community needs. We must invest in safe communities where people have housing, food, education and jobs.

    Pierina is there for our community at every turn, whether it’s mutual aid or just helping our local organizations apply for grants. Those of us who know our Bronx community understand that opportunity prevents violence. Pierina is the candidate we need to invest our resources into empowering our people rather than policing them.Salim DrammehCommunity Resident, Bronx Public School Teacher, Mutual Aid Organizer, & Youth Empowerment Activist

    As council member, I will draw on my knowledge of our community’s struggle with the criminal justice system and professional experience to fight for:

    • A model of public safety that is rooted in peacekeeping, violence interruption, credible messengers and healing, and that reverses mass incarceration with a well-planned mass decarceration.
    • The reinvestment of a substantial proportion of the NYPD budget toward the root causes in the cycle of violence - inequality and lack of resources. Reinvestment in the social service infrastructure that reduces the likelihood of violence in the first place, including schools, housing, jobs, health care, mental health treatment, and after-school programs for young people.
    • The reassignment of nonviolent emergency response, the majority of NYPD emergency response that includes mental health crisis and homelessness calls, to mental health and human services professionals.
    • The repeal of policies that disproportionately target Black, Latinx, and LGBTQ+ communities, like stop-and-frisk and walking while trans policing.
    • Development of alternatives to prison that are survivor-centered, accountability-based, safety-drive, and racially-equitable.
    • Decriminalization of sex work, poverty, homelessness, and substance use.
    • Creation of diversion or rehabilitative programming, education, mental health treatment, jobs programs and drug treatment as an alternative to prison as punishment.
  • environment

    Environmental Justice and Accessible Transportation

    Our neighbors deserve to live in a clean environment that is healthy and resilient against current and future climate risks.

    When I was a kid, I would cross and play near the Cross Bronx Expressway to visit family and play in my favorite parks. Today, many of my family members suffer from asthma and respiratory illnesses. This is why I have centered environmental justice in urban planning activism and support our Bronx community gardens.

    We have some of the highest asthma and chronic health conditions in the world because of a history of environmental injustice that included placing highways next to our homes and greenspaces, and building Bronx-based peaker plants. Today, our Bronx community is on the frontline of the climate crisis both in terms of exposure to climate risk, and demand access to resources to recover from a climate disaster. We must fight against generations of environmental racism and disinvestment to build a brighter future.

    Ever since I met Pierina, she has brought her entire spirit to caring for our garden. Pierina cares deeply about protecting our green spaces in the Bronx. Her commitment to climate justice and protecting our community gardens will be so powerful for our people.Carrol CuthbertsonCommunity Resident & Community Garden President

    As a council member, I will draw on my roots in our greenspaces and professional experience to fight for:

    • A Green New Deal and climate policy designed within a reparations framework to right the injustices that frontline populations have faced for generations.
    • A Just Transition to transform our economy from an extractive economy propped up by fossil fuels to a green economy, including a Green Jobs Corps as part of the economic recovery from Covid-19.
    • Protecting and investing in Bronx community gardens.
    • No new fossil fuel infrastructure and a transition away from existing fossil fuel power plants in order to more rapidly move toward a renewable energy fueled NYC, and investments in energy efficiency for buildings in our community.
    • Holding landlords accountable for addressing health hazards in their buildings, without passing costs onto vulnerable tenants.
    • Expanded and resilient transit, especially prioritized, faster and more reliable bus service, expanded fair fares, and increased access to our rail services via freedom ticket.
    • Pedestrian and cyclist-centered street design that achieves Vision Zero, improves mobility, access, safety and resiliency, keeps people moving, and lowers GHG emissions.
    • A more inclusive, accessible transit network, one that is an avenue of opportunity for people with disabilities.

Animal Rights

The New York City Council should use its power to advance greater protections for animals.

read more

Housing as Reparations

We must understand just housing policy as a form of long-overdue reparations for our communities.

read more

The Value of Burnside

Any institution that truly believes in the commitment to economic and racial justice, that knows its mission is made manifest in its actions rather than words, does not leave a Black and Latinx community just when we need quality financial services and jobs on the ground the most.

read more