Wil on the Issues
I BELIEVE IN creating a safer East Harlem by curbing gun violence and by supporting community-led initiatives and funding services that create stability in our neighborhood.
WE ALL DESERVE safe neighborhoods for our families, safe parks for our children, and safe streets for our small businesses.
East Harlem is my home and where I want to raise my family. I want them and every resident to live here without fear of violence or crime. I will work to bring the resources East Harlem deserves and invest them in community-led initiatives that will make our neighborhood safe for all.
Housing & NYCHA
I BELIEVE that housing is a Human Right.
WE ALL DESERVE safe, affordable, and stable housing.
I am a life-long tenant who has experience taking on bad landlords here in East Harlem. I know first-hand the perils that come with owing back rent and facing potential eviction. My neighbors and I organized a tenant association and started a rent strike when our building’s gas was shut off by an unscrupulous slumlord during the pandemic. We were only able to take this action because of the eviction moratorium. That gave us the courage to take this action, and it worked! I will support legislation and policies that protect tenants’ rights and create, protect, and expand truly affordable housing.
I BELIEVE that everyone is entitled to good healthcare; it is a human right.
WE ALL DESERVE access to quality healthcare. The COVID-19 pandemic has shown the importance of receiving good treatment. My district had two of the most affected zip codes during this pandemic and many uninsured or underinsured residents.
Too often, residents in my district must choose between receiving vital services or paying the rent. I have also experienced what it is like to have loved ones suffer due to inadequate healthcare, both my parents had severe health issues and were underinsured. My wife and I have also been affected by inadequate coverage. We are currently on our 8th cycle of IVF. After running out of insurance coverage, we are now paying out of pocket for our family building journey and sacrificing what we can for the opportunity to be parents. No one should have to make the difficult choice of receiving treatment or paying for other necessities.
I BELIEVE IN every worker’s right to unionize.
WE ALL DESERVE good pay for good jobs. We should not have to work multiple jobs just to have money to live a comfortable life. We all deserve to be protected against abuse and exploitation at work.
Working at the New York City Council, I saw colleagues being harassed and exploited, so I joined with my colleagues to form a union, the largest municipal employees union in the nation. We fought against the establishment and managed to win recognition.
Job Creation & Workers' Rights
I BELIEVE IN providing a well-rounded education for our children, complete with arts, music, computer science, and financial literacy.
WE ALL DESERVE well-funded schools for our children.
Growing up, my parents sacrificed to send me to a parochial school because the local schools did not offer a bi-lingual education and were not well resourced. I was lucky to receive scholarships to offset the costs and allow me to receive a great education. Every child deserves the opportunity to receive a quality education, regardless of their zip code, our schools should be the best resourced in the country.
I BELIEVE IN that our seniors deserve to enjoy life with dignity and with the care they deserve.
WE ALL DESERVE the right to age without fear of losing our quality of life.
I saw what aging without adequate resources did to my parents. My mother and father fell into poverty as the cost of living went up and the value of their pension and Social Security payments went down. They could not afford the level of care they deserved and it fell on me and my siblings to help supplement. We were honored to do so, but we should not have to, we work all of our lives and save what we can for retirement with no security that we will be able to retire comfortably. We must fight for cost of living increases for our seniors and ensure they can remain in their homes and not be burdened more and more as the years pass.
Energy, Climate, & Environment
I BELIEVE IN: We are in a climate crisis, we must act now if we want to leave a livable New York for our children and grandchildren.
WE ALL DESERVE: Clean air, clean water, and a safe waterfront.
We are one super-storm away from losing our part of the East River Esplanade, which will impact residents on First and Second Avenue, as well as, Metropolitan Hospital. Our Children suffer from one of the highest asthma rates in the state. We must invest in creating a resilient water front and working to improve the air quality by increasing green space in our district.
Criminal Justice Reform
I BELIEVE IN an equitable criminal legal system that allows for justice to be served regardless of race, color, gender, or economic background.
WE ALL DESERVE a criminal legal system that works to protect everyone, including those who are justice-involved.
After law school, I went to work at a progressive DA's office because I thought I could do some good. The office spoke about decriminalizing poverty and lifting communities of color, but yet I saw systemic racism that permeates the criminal legal system that created barriers to progress. I left and decided to focus on changing the policies that continue to plague the system.
Arts & Innovation
I BELIEVE IN the importance of art in the development of strong communities.
WE ALL DESERVE access to art education and art space, that includes music, theater, and emerging mediums.
I was fortunate enough to receive a scholarship to a well-resourced parochial high school where I was exposed to art and music. Taking a theater class allowed me to work through the anxiety I had due to having a speech impediment. Access to art changed my life.
I BELIEVE THAT small businesses are important to building stronger, more resilient communities.
WE ALL DESERVE the freedom and resources to start a business and invest in our communities.
My parents owned a bodega when I was growing up. They lost the business due to rising costs and lack of access to resources to help. We must invest in our small businesses, especially when they are owned and operated by members of our community.
I BELIEVE IN that if you serve your country, then your country must serve you.
WE ALL DESERVE: Veterans should have more access to truly affordable housing, education, and social services. It is unconscionable for any veteran in New York to be suffering from homelessness or other issues. They deserve our care.
My father and two brothers served proudly in the military. This is personal for me. I want our veterans to have access to every resource they deserve so that they can thrive.