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Public advocate candidate out to make NYC more livable - Metro US

Public advocate candidate out to make NYC more livable

Brooklyn Councilman Rafael Espinal
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This sponsored post was paid for by Espinal for NYC.

It may be politics as usual on Capitol Hill, but Brooklyn Councilman Rafael Espinal is bringing a bold perspective and a refreshing approach to New York’s special election for public advocate. The East New York native is pushing for real change on issues affecting all New Yorkers, like an MTA overhaul, environmental sustainability, and affordable housing for all.

Revitalizing the city’s rundown subway system is a huge undertaking that has stumped lawmakers for years. The truth is that it will take tens of billions of dollars to repair and optimize our subways. The city’s public housing programs are also in dire need of funds and attention. Espinal has a novel, out-of-the-box solution for both—putting an end to a tax rebate that pads Wall Street wallets. The Stock Transfer Tax is something the state and city don’t collect. Instead, the rebate kicks back roughly $11 billion every year to stock purchasers.

In other words, it’s a cash-grab for day traders and brokers that only widens our city’s growing income inequality gap. Closing this loophole could generate billions over the next decade, unlocking enough funds to rehab our subway system and properly aid the NYCHA’s public housing efforts. The kicker? We wouldn’t have to raise taxes on the middle class or hike up already-high MTA fares.

It’s little wonder the Teamsters Joint Council 16, comprised of over 120,000 New York City workers, is behind Espinal. The Freelancers Union, which advocates for the self-employed, has also publicly endorsed him. They recognize that Espinal is a homegrown New Yorker who’s invested in making the city a more affordable place to live.

Espinal is also the only public advocate candidate standing strongly on environmental issues. He has his sights set on bringing the city into the 21st century and advancing robust green programs to increase sustainability. This includes everything from supporting urban gardening to installing solar roof panels on city buildings to doing away with single-use plastics. It’s time to make New York City a forward-thinking leader when it comes to preserving the environment and set an example for the rest of the country.

If Espinal gets elected, he’ll be the first Latino—and youngest candidate ever—to be voted into citywide office. He’s already proven himself as an effective city council member who isn’t afraid to stand up to the powers that be. When Mayor de Blasio sought to rezone Espinal’s district to create even more high-priced, market-rate housing, Espinal fought back. He mobilized his community to stand strong and push back on the proposal. Thanks to their efforts, the plan became centered on affordable housing and the community won funding to develop a new community center and school.

 Brooklyn Councilman Rafael Espinal

In a crowded field of candidates for the special election, Espinal’s diverse coalition of supporters—from labor unions and environmental activists to New York’s Dominican community and small businesspeople—puts him in a strong position to rise above the other 16 candidates on the ballot.

For Espinal, public advocate would not simply be a stepping stone to running for mayor. He has committed to serving the full term as public advocate, unlike many candidates. He’s already proven himself as a powerful local legislator. Now he’s ready to step up for the good of the whole city, especially for those who are fed up with feeling neglected or forgotten. 

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