Julio Pabon – City Council District 17
Invest in our Future, invest in our Youth
Invest in High Quality Public Education
The 17th district has been severely neglected for many decades. We need to invest in our Public Education system. We must end the schools to prison pipeline. We cannot have over-crowded classrooms, or outdated technology or books. We need to prepare our young people to be active citizens; the hallmark of a thriving democracy.
Free State issued IDs for Youth
Our youth are being stopped and frisked and are being arrested for loitering in their own buildings and neighborhoods. Without proper Identification, young people are unable to provide law enforcement adequate proof of residence. Lack of ID escalates non-offenses or minor infractions into misdemeanors that then leads to criminal records. We want students who are eligible for free and low-cost school lunch to able to obtain a fee waiver for State ID.
Science and Technology Center
We believe one of the ways our community has the opportunity to escape from poverty and environmental degradation in the 21st century is through an understanding and growth in applied critical thinking. Technological reality and globalization have removed the traditional options for unskilled and technically illiterate persons. Education in science, math, and technology is the new global currency. Implications of globalization on education and employment are immense to children as well as for our young adults.
Expand Youth Employment
Summer Youth programs are incredibly effective training programs for our young people, providing them with on-the-job professional development opportunities. It also provides them with income and an alternative from a life of crime.
Free tutoring for Asthmatic Youth
The South Bronx houses industrial sites and congested freeways. The air quality is unhealthy and the direct cause of many health problems including asthma and lung diseases. Students suffering from asthma miss many days in school resulting in an education gap. We want the expansion of tutoring programs that already exist in the community to service all students, especially those affected by asthma. We want Saturday tutoring programs.
Greater Funding of Libraries
Libraries are a tremendous resource for communities in the South Bronx. Library use in the Bronx has doubled over the last decade yet funding for Libraries has declined. We must enhance our libraries with improved technologies.
Family and Disability friendly Public Infrastructure Development
Elevators in all major subway transit stops
Hundreds of families and residents who suffer from disabilities use the 149 street train stop so they may attend appointments at Lincoln Hospital, attend classes at Hostos Community College, or go to the post-office. The lack of an elevator makes this stop extremely difficult for families and disabled residents. This is only an issue because it’s the South Bronx. Most public construction takes this into account but not for the poor and disabled people of the South Bronx.
Lack of access to the internet has created an educational and opportunity gap for our students and residents. Establishing a free community Wi-Fi service would allow our students to advance their education and help residents gain skills and access opportunities that require internet access. Our residents must be assisted to transition to the changing world of advancing technologies.
Exercise is a Right
Utilize our Public School gyms after-hours and turn them into community sports centers for youth and families. Obesity is a huge problem in the South Bronx. We also need exercise opportunities for disabled residents. We must utilize resources that already exist but are not being used effectively.
Empower our communities
Community Board Professional Development Institute
We want to empower our community members to take greater control over the development of their communities. We want to establish a professional development institute that will train community members on variety of areas including public land use policies, understand and develop budgets and learn our local electoral system.
Community Cultural Competency trainings for all public sector workers
Many public employees lack a good understanding of the community members they serve. These gaps in understanding often lead to ineffective delivery of services. We strongly believe that while good programs and services do exist in our wonderful city, these programs are not effectively administered due to a lack of cultural compentency.
Housing for All
Homelessness is increasing rapidly. High-rises are going up all over New York City yet homelessness is rising. We need to re-invest in public housing. We need city-led home ownership programs. We need banks to restructure home loans to prevent and reverse foreclosures. We need to increase opportunities for increasing low-income home ownership.
Small Business Public Fund for paid sick leave
Small businesses have very small margins and many owners want to provide better benefits to their employees but can’t afford it. Ensuring employees do not spread germs and disease is a public health matter that affects us all. A fund should be developed for small businesses with 7 or less employees. Employers worker’s compensation insurance funds could be drawn with a city-matching fund to ensure paid sick-leave up to 5 days for every employee.
Raise the minimum wage in NYC to $15 hour
No family should be in poverty if they have a full-time job! Cost of living in NYC is amongst the highest in the world. This has forced families into cramped apartments even though every adult in the household has a full-time job. In the South Bronx fires in these illegally modified apartments have led to many tragic deaths. While increasing inspections may be necessary , ensuring living-wages would end these practices by eliminating the need for these squalor living conditions.
Save our post-office, save our United States Postal Service
The post-office is still an extremely important resource for poor communities and immigrant communities. The post office is still tremendously cheaper than private carriers. The people support raising the price of stamps to ensure keeping open post-offices in the South Bronx and around the country. People also want Saturday delivery and the restoration of good-paying, middle-class jobs.
Ethics and Accountability inquiries into all incumbent council members
Ensuring public integrity into our city’s electoral political system is a value that we all share. The South Bronx has seen countless elected officials involved in embezzlement, cronyism and nepotism. Voters lack of participation in our democracy is in part due to the lack of public trust of elected officials and their inability to stand-up for the interests of the communities they have been hired to serve.
Fair Share of resources for District 17
We want greater allocation of resources to districts with greatest need. Many reports have indicated that discretionary funds are not allocated based on objective formula but rather along political relationships. This creates disadvantages for non-profit organizations that have little political clout and the communities that they represent. We want an objective need-based formula to ensure equitable distribution of public resources.