My life’s mission is to fight for justice.
Who am I?
I am just a kid, who grew up in Bushwick, Brooklyn. I went to St. Brigid’s School and John Jay High School. I played baseball for the Brooklyn Bonnies. I graduated from NYU, and then … the work of my life took on a new meaning.
I started working with East Brooklyn Congregations (“EBC”), organizing public school parents and tenants in Bushwick.
Later, I became the second, local community activist (Monsignor John Powis was the first) that began to work with the founders of Make the Road By Walking, when they were a start-up and came to Bushwick to launch, and I stood by their side for that first critical year in the life of all startups and we launched the Language Access campaign.
To serve the needs of our community, I founded the Bushwick Housing Independence Project to organize tenants in Bushwick and create tenant-controlled housing (18 buildings) to combat the monopoly on everything housing that the Vito Lopez machine held. In the process, we also chased Joseph Paradelo out of Bushwick — a notorious, large-scale mortgage fraud operator in Bushwick, who was fraudulently collecting rents on 70 multifamily buildings. Bushwick tenants know who he is.
I then joined with the founder of CHANGER to organize homeowners, who were victims of predatory lending throughout New York City. In the hardest hit areas, like East New York and Cypress Hills, we held outreach and community education sessions when nobody knew what was going on, for hundreds of at-risk homeowners.
My experience includes having worked very, very hard to elect Jumaane Williams to the New York City Council — and, well, you know how that turned out.
I also worked to try and get Diana Richardson elected…the first time.
My experienced allowed me to go to work at at the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (“HPD”), where I began reorganizing and reviving Tenant Associations around the city in 120 city-owned Tenant Interim Lease program (“TIL properties”). Ended up becoming a whistleblower because HPD is, well, plagued by administrative dysfunction, negligence, and degrees of corruption. I refused to join them in chronically failing to serve the tenants of New York City.
I am now running for New York City Council in Bushwick, East New York, Cypress Hills — as by far the most-experienced, affordable housing activist, advocate, organizer, manager, and leader in this race.