As a candidate focused on racial equity, Micah will tackle issues facing Queens through an equity lens to promote inclusion, deter poverty, and uplift our community.
DESEGREGATE NYC PUBLIC SCHOOLS
Micah supports all original School Diversity Advisory Group (SDAG) recommendations and believes their implementation will help desegregate schools and promote outcomes for every student. All students in NYC deserve the right to a rigorous education to meet their maximum potential. Micah wants to create an equitable education system for everyone and reform Gifted and Talented programs. Every student should have a fair chance to take part in a rigorous education.
SAFE ROADS FOR ALL
District 26 bike lanes are the gateway to Manhattan and Brooklyn. We need more robust bike lanes not just in the district but throughout Queens that connected. Micah believes a cyclist should be able to ride safely on bike lanes without interruptions in service and supports protected bike lanes on all major thoroughfares throughout Queens and NYC, not just to protect bikers but car drivers as well.
We need to take stock of the office buildings in our district that are underused or empty and work with Housing Preservation and Development and the Housing Development Corporation to evaluate whether these units can be converted to affordable housing. The current dip in the rental market due to COVID-19 is an unusual opportunity for renters in our district. Current renters should benefit from this rare drop in housing costs without needing to move. This will help all residents, especially those financially affected by the pandemic, to retain their housing.
PIED A TERRE TAX
Micah is in support of a pied a terre tax, a mandated annual tax on second homes worth $5 million or more.
Micah supports legislation for more oversight of the NYPD. This includes increased required gun safety training, implicit bias training, and a full review of all policies from a racial equity lens. Safety is of the utmost of important, not just to the community but to officers who risk their lives. However, far too often a situation escalates too quickly ending in gunfire over a misunderstanding. Micah will push for a yearly review of all officers carrying firearms as well as safety training and motor skills with the eventual goal of cops not carrying firearms except under specific circumstances.
SHIFT IN BUDGET PRIORITIES
Micah believes our budget reflects our values. The budget allocated to the NYPD will be decreased to improve funding towards social workers and mental health staff who can help deescalate situations and help our community members facing trauma. We need to radically reimagine what policing is for our city, how it affects our community, and how to connect people with the appropriate service to reduce harm. We have to incentivize and authorize the appropriately trained agencies to handle situations the police are not trained to deal with.
Micah supports not only equality for all, but equity for all too. As a Black queer person, it is very important to him that disenfranchised groups are not only protected but given the rights of every group. New York state recently repealed the "walking while trans" law, but it doesn't go far enough to ensure the right of trans people who were disproportionately affected by this law. As City councilperson, Micah will push for a resolution to expunge the records of all trans people who were previously affected by this law. It's not enough to not act on this law; we must right the wrongs this law perpetuated.