For the past four plus years, I have been blessed to be a member of the New Rochelle City Council. During this time, I am grateful to have made many new friends as I have worked tirelessly on behalf of my district and my city. Although much has been accomplished thus far, there is still much to get done. Accordingly, it is with tremendous joy that I announce my intention of seeking another term as the New Rochelle City Council representative of District 3.
In my tenure, much progress has been made in my district on the development front. Phase One of the Heritage Homes Development was successfully completed; we are now in the middle of Phase Two wherein several families are being moved from the Hartley Houses into brand new townhome style housing units. And with respect to North Avenue, I supported new zoning laws that allowed for Iona College to refocus its student housing needs along that corridor instead of in residential neighborhoods. In addition to newly planned student housing and a renovated historic church, along North Avenue, we are expected to gain a supermarket, and new luxury rental housing.
This last December, I voted for a Master Development Agreement with the company RDRXR to develop our downtown. This ambitious development proposal is projected to bring in mixed use development in a transit oriented downtown fashion. What is exciting about this project is that we are welcoming the public to fully participate. With “Crowdsourced Placemaking”, New Rochelle residents are invited to contribute towards this process as we look to add retail, hotel rooms, new housing options, and commercial space in our downtown.
With public safety being one of the main functions of our city government, I have worked hard to enhance community policing in New Rochelle. Recently, I have spearheaded the formation of a Committee on Community Policing that will be co-chaired by faculty from Iona College and Monroe College. The goal of this forward looking committee is to provide recommendations to our City Council regarding ways for New Rochelle to be a national model in community policing. This area is critical towards our growth as a city.
Most recently, New Rochelle accepted President Obama’s White House initiative, the “My Brother’s Keeper Community Challenge”. This “cradle to career” approach intended to eliminate opportunity gaps, barriers, and challenges facing youth in our community, primarily boys and young men of color, is exactly what is needed in New Rochelle to allow all people to reach their potential. What is particularly exciting about this process is that the City of New Rochelle and the City School District of New Rochelle have entered into a historic partnership regarding “My Brother’s Keeper”. On June 11, 2015, a My Brother’s Keeper Local Action Summit will be held at New Rochelle High School for all stakeholder to attend.
Additionally, I am proud of my advocacy for job training programs in the construction and green job sectors. Both of these programs have seen unemployed individuals gain the necessary skills to obtain gainful employment. Also, I made sure that homeowners in the Halcyon neighborhood received flood mitigation grant money, and that our parks, namely Lincoln Park and the newly renamed Ruby Dee Park at Library Green received the attention they deserved. It was an honor for me to chair a committee for Ms. Dee that paid tribute to the legacy of this internationally acclaimed New Rochelle resident. This committee is planning a ceremony to formally rename the Library Green as the Ruby Dee Park at Library Green later this year.
This work has not been easy, but with the support of thousands of New Rochelle residents, it has been made possible. As all of these initiatives and projects are interrelated, they serve to maintain property values and offer quality of life benefits. By passing responsible budgets and keeping property taxes in check, New Rochelle residents can feel confident knowing that their government is working hard on their behalf, especially in District Three.
As a true citizen legislator with a law practice in New Rochelle started by my parents, a wife whom I first met at New Rochelle High School, and children being raised in the city that raised me, I could not be happier to be in this position. Thank you for your past support, and hopefully, I can continue to count on your support in the future.