Summarize relevant background and qualifications *
I’m a first generation American of Caribbean descent and lifelong resident of East Flatbush, and I’m running to be a vital voice for the people in our community. As an activist and community organizer, I’ve been doing the work of a council member for the past decade when I partnered with Council Member Williams in his office then as a nonprofit executive providing many of the services his office utilized to address many issues are community faced, such as gun violence, mental health services, affordable housing programs and more. As the district’s next Council Member, I will continue to build on the foundation that Council Member Williams laid in this community by improving the lives of working families across district. I had the pleasure of working closely with Jumaane in a number of capacities, first as a staff member in his office, then as a community organizer and activist in our community by servings as CEO of East Flatbush Village, a nonprofit that helps combat violence within the community by providing children with recreational activities and educational tools. Our programs enable youth to express themselves in creative and positive ways while building self esteem through football, swimming, soccer, dance, cheerleading and other recreational activities. These activities provide youth with resources they need to learn and grow in a safe environment with mentors, coaches and teachers who are willing to guide them along the way, building them with a strong foundation that will carry them into adulthood. I’ve been proud of the work we’ve done to improve our community and combat violence, and would be honored to continue this work as the district’s next NYC Council Member.
What engagement, if any, have you had with the LGBTQ community? *
Growing up with a family member who identifies as an LGBTQ individual allowed me to learn and engage with the community as an ally at an early age. In at the Tilden HS, I was proud to help launch a club for LGBTQ individuals and allies to have a productive, inclusive space to discuss issues impacting their lives. As an adult, I’ve become an activist for our community, fighting for justice and equity for all, especially our youth. As the founder of East Flatbush Village, Inc., I ensured that our programing was inclusive and supportive of our LGBTQ youth so they all our children have a space to learn and grow.
As a Councilmember, how will you increase funding that benefits the LGBTQ Community? *
Each year I will dedicate funding from the office’s annual budget to LGBTQ organizations that work closely with the community, like the Brooklyn Community Pride Center, which directly benefits our Brooklyn residents. One of my top priorities is addressing our affordable housing crisis, so as Council Member, I will designate funding that specifically goes toward housing organizations that focus on preserving housing for disenfranchised New Yorkers, including those with HIV/ AIDS.