Public Safety will be Al’s top priority. Crime is up all over our city and state. We must remain proactive to ensure that we commit proper resources to our safety agencies to ensure our community is safe.
Al will lead the charge by partnering with our local cities agencies to ensure that our cities have the resources to help true police reform through diversity and transparency. Al will not cave in to buzz words like “Defund,” “Bail Reform,” and others; it is time for a commonsense approach that will not let the criminals out on the streets the next day after they have committed a crime. Al will help everyday New Yorkers feel safe being on the streets enjoying their daily activities and making the criminals feel uncomfortable being on the streets.
School Safety is going to be another priority. School violence is up in our schools city-wide. We must take a proactive approach because things could worsen if we allow these things to continue.
Our School Safety Agents are our first line of defense for our schools; they are the only line in most cases. To think that we can dismantle vital security in our school is just insane. Our children’s safety should be our number 1 priority; if a child feels safe, learning becomes more accessible. Children have enough to deal with by just being a kid. Let’s allow our children to be children. Al is committed to keeping School Safety Agents on the job and expanding the agency by finding the resources to support the officers on the job. Many of the agents on the job are minorities and single mothers; we would be looking at thousands out of work. To think that they want to “defund the police” and put thousands of school agents out of work is just insanity and who will suffer the most? Our children, the children in school, and the mothers who lose their jobs and cannot take care of their children at home. It is just a vicious cycle that we cannot afford to continue.
New Yorkers have struggled over the past year and a half due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This pandemic has exposed our flawed health care system. Quality health care is a human right, and all New Yorkers should have access to good, quality, accessible care no matter their circumstances. Within our district, we have "food desert" in which there are only unhealthy food options. Consequently, this plays a factor in why diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, and obesity, plague our community.
Access to health care isn’t enough. It must also be affordable, and people shouldn’t have to decide between paying their rent and food or paying for medicine. Al Quattlebaum is committed to fighting for state-funded universal health care that is affordable and easily accessible. Whether through our unions, government, companies, or individuals, we must continue working to build a more vibrant and competitive private health insurance market that meets our people’s needs when they choose to use it. We must also have a public health care option for those who need it.
While COVID-19 has shaken our communities to the core, we must not forget that diseases like hypertension and diabetes and conditions like obesity and mental illness devastate our communities. Al Quattlebaum will partner with our state, city, and federal legislators to declare these conditions pandemic.
It’s a known fact that New York City is facing a housing shortage for its residents; this is especially true in The Bronx. Although the government has made some effort to increase its affordable housing stock, unfortunately, some Bronxites may find that affordable housing isn’t truly affordable. This is especially true for our seniors who are fighting to stay on top of their ever-increasing rent, either on a fixed income or a drop in their household income due to the death of a spouse. With this dilemma of struggling to live in affordable housing, some seniors are packing it up literally and moving to other states with lower cost-of-living such as Florida, taking their tax revenue out of our great state. Al wants to keep our seniors HERE in our state, especially in the 82nd Assembly District. This is why Al will fight to raise the SCRIE/DRIE eligibility criteria.
Al will also work and partner with others to stop the up zoning attempted in our district. It is time to have someone who will fight on the front line for our community; Al Quattlebaum will be that person that will fight to keep low density a reality.
As a New York State Assemblymember, Al Quattlebaum will work to persuade our legislature to revisit New York State’s disastrous bail reform law. Agenda-driven activists rushed through this law with almost no input from prosecutors, judges, or moderate voices. As predicted, the results were devastating. The extremists that forced this law through the legislature were more concerned with their agenda than the people. They resisted calls to include a public safety provision to balance the new law’s liberalization of bail standards. The result has been a catch and release system, where judges are forced to release repeat offenders with violent records back into our communities, even when they pose a real threat. Often, the most underserved communities and most vulnerable victims suffer consequences, such as domestic violence victims whose assailants are being released only to re-terrorize them. Small businesses struggle to survive the pandemic while repeat offenders repeatedly burglarize them. While common sense bail reforms address economic disparities and reduce the judicial system’s reliance on cash bail for non-violent offenders are warranted, the current reforms are anything but sensible and put all law-abiding New Yorkers at risk.
Small Businesses are the backbone of every community, and here is the 82nd that is a huge reality. From City Island’s outstanding seafood to the mall at Bay Plaza, you will find the entrepreneurs fighting to carve out their stake of the American Dream. However, the last two years have been anything other than a dream; for some, it has been a nightmare, and for those who have survived, it has not been an easy road back to some normalcy. Al Quattlebaum was a small business owner before COVID-19 and lost it like others due to the pandemic.
Al Quattlebaum is the only candidate with real-world experience. He understands the struggles and sacrifices that everyday business owners make each and every day. We must do more for the small businesses in our community, and Al Quattlebaum has a plan to help the entrepreneurs of this community. For our communities to survive, we have to ensure the future of the community's small businesses.
As your next Assembly member, Al Quattlebaum will be a friend to our small businesses and help ensure their survival. Small businesses provide jobs for people in the community. They invest in the community in which they do business, so we will help those who help our communities in return. 21st-century jobs are coming. Are we ready? We will help those businesses and those interested in starting a business get trained or retrained in the 21st-century skills that are going to be needed.
We have to reimagine what our district looks likes. Al Quattlebaum sees a united district, helping one another move into a brighter future, creating new jobs and new business opportunities—making way for our community to RISE ABOVE IT.
Al Quattlebaum believes that school choice is an option all parents should have in order to properly provide for their children's educations.
School choice is born out of opposition to the broken system of school zoning. In this system, children are assigned to attend schools based solely on where they live. As parents and citizens, we want to send students to the best schools that we can while encouraging competition among public schools to better their own programming.
The system of school zoning is ineffective for student success for many reasons. Most pressing are the concerns for special education students and students from disadvantaged backgrounds. When a child with a disability is zoned into a school district without a strong support system for their special needs, they are not given an equal chance at a quality education like their fellow classmates. However, if a student is allowed to choose to attend a school more equipped for their needs in a different zone, they have a far greater chance of success.
Similarly, a student may be assigned to an underperforming school because their parents cannot afford to live in the zip code confines of a better school district. Because of the economic status of the family, the student is disadvantaged. However, if they are able to choose to attend a high-performing school outside of their zip code, they have a greater opportunity for quality education. On top of the increased benefit for the student, when underperforming schools are not guaranteed enrollees based on locality, they are more motivated to improve their programs to entice higher enrollment, and with it receive higher amounts of public funding.
Al Quattlebaum calls for public audits of school finances, curriculum, and personnel. Not only should the financial audits that are already a common annual practice for most school boards be publicly available, but parents should be able to request an audit should they be concerned about the conduct of school operations.
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