On the Issues
Ischia Bravo is someone who can make our community proud! Throughout her years of service to The Bronx, she has shown the passion, dedication and leadership to represent our neighborhoods in Albany with pride and honor.
When she was chairperson of the Housing Committee of Community Board #7, Ischia Bravo saw firsthand how desperately the Bronx needs affordable housing. Rent is rising all across the borough while wages stagnate, and working families need relief before they get priced out of their own homes. Ischia will push for funding to build new affordable housing for seniors and working families throughout our community so they have more options for where to live that allow them to remain in the community. She will also begin efforts to perform badly-needed repairs on current public housing so that those who already have housing don’t have to live in cracked and crumbling buildings.
But Ischia recognizes that it’s not enough just to build and repair housing. We must also strengthen protections for tenants so they are not preyed upon and exploited by unscrupulous landlords. She will fight for a rent freeze for working families to provide relief from the immediate threat of being forced out of their homes. And she will press for federal legislation to change the way that Area Median Income is calculated to end the absurdity of building â€œaffordableâ€ housing that most members of our community cannot actually afford. All of these are important steps to making sure that no one will be forced to make the choice between paying exorbitant rents and leaving the community they call home.
With over 8% unemployment, more Bronxites are out of work than in any other borough in the city. This is unacceptable. The people of the Bronx deserve leadership that will work tirelessly to bring good jobs to our borough and put everyone back to work. In the Assembly, Ischia Bravo will pass legislation requiring developers to use locally based laborers for construction projects whenever possible. That way new developments won’t just boost our economy when they’re completed but at every stage of the process. She will also meet with local small businesses and make sure they’re receiving all the state and federal support that they deserve so they have the best possible chance of succeeding. She considers it especially important to support our minority and women-owned businesses and ensure that they are being fairly represented in state contracts.
As a mother of two young boys, Ischia knows how it feels to want the best education for your children. Unfortunately, our schools are currently being held hostage by a system that punishes the schools most in need of help. Performance-based funding sees most of the money flowing to the wealthiest districts in the state while struggling schools are left out in the cold. Our schools will never improve while we lavish money on those who need it least. Ischia will fight to change how the state funds public education so that the schools and districts that are falling behind will have the money they need to begin providing the quality education our children deserve.
Meanwhile, our state universities face threats of budget cuts and tuition hikes at a time when affordable college is more vital than ever. We cannot afford to let CUNY and SUNY fall apart and leave students with no quality public colleges. Ischia vows to protect their funding and stop unnecessary tuition hikes so the burden of budget shortfalls will never fall on the students.
Law-abiding citizens of the Bronx should not have to be afraid to walk their own streets, but sadly this situation has become all too common. Gun violence and crime plagues our community, and something must be done about it. In the short term, Ischia supports efforts by the NYPD and the legislature to curb gun ownership through buyback programs and tough restrictions. She is proud to live in a state with some of the toughest gun control laws in the country, but there is still more we can do to keep guns out of the hands of criminals. That’s why she will push for bills like one mandating microstamped ID numbers that would allow police to trace bullet ownership the same way they currently trace gun ownership.
In the long term, however, we need to address the problems that lead to this unending cycle of gun violence if we ever hope to solve it. Ischia will work through the New York Youth Works program, which gives tax incentives to businesses that hire at-risk youth, to help young people take advantage of better opportunities before they fall into the cycle. She will also push for community policing programs that will teach police how to engage with and become a part of the community instead of simply enforcing the law.
Ethics and Transparency
Amid a campaign finance system dominated by wealthy donors and special interests, partisan districting methods tailor-made to keep politicians in office, and widespread corruption, it is no wonder that people are losing faith in government. We need strong leadership that can fight back and restore government controlled by the people. Ischia Bravo is the right person for the job. She will fight for Governor Cuomo’s proposal to limit state legislators’ outside income so they can no longer enrich themselves through backroom deals. She’ll also work towards instituting a non-partisan redistricting system that will make sure all citizens have an equal voice in their government instead of stuffing the legislature with their own party. And she will seek to institute a system of robust public financing of elections so that everyone, not just the wealthy and their friends, can run for office.
Ischia knows that it’s vital that we support our small businesses if we want our community to prosper. With over 60 cents of every dollar that a small business makes staying in the community, there is no better way to promote growth and bring jobs to the Bronx than helping small businesses. Her door will always be open to our small business owners so she can make sure they are receiving all the state support and tax breaks that they deserve. She will also seek to bring in developers to revitalize key parts of our district, provided that their proposals provide a substantial benefit to the community and not just their own pockets. With the right tax incentives and development zones, we can make the Bronx a thriving business center without sacrificing the essential character of our community.
Advocating for Our Seniors
Our seniors worked hard to provide for their families for decades, and they deserve to be able to retire with dignity. And yet it seems like their right to a worry-free retirement is under constant attack. Ischia will end the assault against our seniors in the Assembly and protect the vital programs that ease their burdens. Programs like the Senior Citizen Rent Increase Exemption, which freezes rent for low-income seniors, and the Elderly Pharmaceutical Insurance Coverage, which supplements out-of-pocket drug costs through Medicare, will be safe under her watch. And she will push for increased funding for senior centers in our community so that our seniors will always have a place to spend their time and get access to the information and resources they need.
As a working mother, Ischia has faced the same challenges and obstacles that working mothers all across our community face every day. She knows what it means to try to make it in a world where women, particularly minority women, are paid less than men for the same work, where they’re faced with sexism and harassment in the workplace, where they live under threat of domestic violence and sexual assault. And she knows that we must confront these issues if we wish to achieve true equality for women in our community and across the country. The passage of Governor Cuomo’s Women’s Equality Act was a good start, but there is more we can do to bring about equality for women.
In the Assembly, Ischia would push for tougher legislation to close the wage gap and make sure that women get equal pay for equal work. She will work with our public and private colleges to create systems for processing sexual assault accusations that treats victims with respect instead of sweeping their trauma under the rug. She will fight for more funding for women’s shelters in our community so that the victims of domestic violence have somewhere to turn to escape the cycle of abuse they’re trapped in. And she will bring her perspective to the Assembly, a perspective she shares with all the working mothers of the Bronx, which will allow her to speak on and advocate for the issues affecting women in our community that the legislature overlooks.
As someone who was born and raised in public housing in the district, Ischia has seen firsthand the effects our broken, bias, and unfair criminal justice system has had on forever destroying lives rather than fixing lives. I strongly believe that we need to raise the age crimes for juvenile offenders and work towards creating a judicial system that includes speedy and transparent trial information so that those kept in jails awaiting trial do not wait years for a hearing when they could be out on reasonable bail.
Ischia also believes that the Governor should use his executive power and grant clemency to rehabilitated prisoners who demonstrate they deserve a second chance at life and an opportunity enter back into society.