Francesca Castellanos

Democrat for City Council District 10                                                      Washington Heights * Inwood*  Marble Hill

Because we deserve better.    We deserve someone who will work for our community.

New York City Charter

The New York City Charter needs to be revised to reflect the needs of our city and communities.  City Charter should empower and support New York City Residents By giving communities a voice into the changes they want in their districts.

  • Rezoning: each district should have an active participation in the planning of land use within its borders. 
  •  Invest in Community Land Trust.
  • Allow the city council to have an input into who is appointed to executives offices such as  boards, and as commissioner: 
  • Police Commissioner.
  • HPD Commissioner.
  • NYC Chancellor.
  • Animal Care and Control Director.
  • Create a non partisan board that will ensure that the city is complying with its ordinance and laws.
  • Allow the Recall of all elected officials from judges, the mayor and district leaders. This will assure transparency and accountability from our elected officials.

Animal Rights and Advocacy

As  a pet parent and animal lover I want to implement laws where our fur babies are protected and treated humanely. I will be their voice as they cannot speak for themselves. 

  • Allow Pet parents to have their pets living with them without fearing being evicted or harrasssed by their landlords. Create pet friendly housing.
  • Teach Humane Education in our schools. 
  • End the unnecessary euthanization of healthy animals by declaring N YC a no Kill animal shelter.  This will be accomplished by funding TNR Rescue Groups and increasing the Funding to Free/Low Cost  Spay and Neuter programs.
  • Ban the sale of  Dogs at petstore to end Puppy mills.
  • Ban horse carriage in New York City.
  • Allow business to have “Working Pets” must be  spayed/neutered and up to date with their immunization. Also need to be registered with the NYC Department of Health animal control unit.

Housing Insecurities

"Housing is a Human Right"
Unfortunately too many of our elected officials are deaf to the cries of our citizens. This is reflective in the policies and laws they implement. Since too many of our elected official's are in the pockets of developers and landlords. As your city council representative I will make housing a priority. *End Warehousing of Apartments. This will increase the market of available apartments.
*Preserve existing housing by having HPD inspectors inspect apartments and correctly classify violations. *Assuring that landlords make repairs and that HPD enforce the correction of violations.

*Permit HPD to make repairs in situations where the violations are hazardous and endanger the life of tenants
*Housing court fine and have city collect monies from landlords who fail to make repairs.
*Enforce and supervise the enactment of tenant harassment and discrimination laws. * Housing Lottery Program needs to be reflective of the income from each district in order to be effective as a program for low to moderate New Yorkers. *Reform the shelter system homeless New Yorkers should transition to permanent housing as soon as possible.

*Allow pets in shelters with their pet parent.

“Food Insecurities – EBT/SNAP”

 For too many New Yorkers putting food on the table for themselves and their families is a daily task. This became very evident during the pandemic yet our local legislatures have been unwilling to address this. As your city council person I will advocate for those Vulnerable New Yorkers who rely on EBT/Snap Benefits to barely survive by:
1) I will work with the State and Federal elected officials and will fight for more money to be allocated to the EBT/Snap card per month, as many families run out of money /food in the third week of each , and essentially starve until the next EBT/SNAP deposit, which is unacceptable in 2021. Food prices are so high that the monthly amount of money simply doesn’t go far.
2) I will advocate for all Supermarkets/Food Outlets/Farmers Markets to offer a specific discount at the check out registers when the EBT/SNAP card is presented as payment, and thus allowing the EBT/SNAP monies to last out a little longer. I will ask that the City offer financial incentives to the supermarket owners to allow such discounts to be in place.
3) I will advocate for the EBT/SNAP card to be used to purchase hot food/take out food, as many low income residents do not have a stove oven to cook, and in the harsh winter months, this is harmful to the low income community especially to the young children. Plus often it is far cheaper to get a hot take out meal than to go to the market to purchase all the ingredients.
4) I will advocate that many businesses offer to EBT/SNAP card recipients the ability to purchase other necessary items such as diapers, clothes/shoes/ school supplies for their children, pet food offering significant discounts for purchases. I will also ask that these businesses offer discounts and that the City offer financial incentives for this proposal to take place.
5) I will co-sponsor legislation that would allow EBT/SNAP cardholders and up to 3 family members to enter all city controlled cultural institutions for free.

Private cultural institutions will also be asked to offer free entry, or alternatively to offer  a max of $3. per family unit (this policy exists in many cities across the US – Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia , Pittsburg, etc.). So then why not have this policy all across NYC so that the poor can take their children to the finest Science Museums, Fine Arts Museums, Botanical Gardens and Zoos..

 

Disabled  Community

We need to protect our disabled community residents and I will fight to do this by:
1) Assuring that all residential buildings in District 10 be fully accessible, along with all businesses and the MTA.
2) Have the City, State and Federal offer financial incentives to allow all residential buildings and businesses in district 10 to become fully accessible by 2030 and comply with the Federal ADA code.
3) No disabled individual will be paid a salary less than their able colleagues.
4) Offer financial incentives to employers who hire disabled employees.
5) The disabled children in District 10 will be given the best education possible, with specialized schools and qualified special needs teachers.
 6) Families with disabled children to be fully supported so that not one disabled child will be left behind, or allowed to because the family lack adequate finances.
7) All schools in the District shall be fully accessible in accordance to the Federal ADA law. As currently well over half do not allow physical access for wheelchairs.
8) No disabled individual in District 10 should be without quality healthcare, or if required, a qualified caregiver to provide support must be made available.
9) Healthcare must be also provided to the caregiver.
10) Strengthen the laws so that no disabled individual shall ever be evicted until a city crisis team is sent to evaluate the situation, and to rectify the matters so that the person in actuality never becomes homeless, desperate or suicidal.
11)  Offer financial incentives to landlords who offer their apartments to disabled tenants with fully functioning accessible that are in compliance with the Federal ADA code.
12) All 34 city controlled cultural institutions to offer free/pay as you can entry to disabled visitors ( care giver free)
13) All private cultural institutions and businesses to offer discounted memberships to disabled visitors at the lowest price point available ( caregiver free). These policies must be conspicuously posted at box offices and websites.
 

New York City Government

In order for us to have a city that works for all of us we need to address and change systematic racism and inequalities in our agencies and in the operation of our government. 

  •  We need to prioritize municipal budget to fund programs desperately needed in our communities  like: Social service and mental health.
  • Invest in Job Training for adults of all ages to better prepare our work force for decent paying jobs; IT, social media , nursing, green jobs.
  • Create a peoples bank

New York City Employees

During this pandemic it became evident how essential we are to the city we serve. Because  of  systematic racism and bad decisions on behalf of our elected officials too many of our fellow city employees lost their lives. As the city starts to recover and rebuild we need to look at the  failed policies which allowed the loss of hundreds of city employees. Such policies as:

  • Time and leave regulations which need to be revised. 
  • Better health care system to include coverage and more public hospitals to care and treat every New Yorker needing medical attention.
  • Our Hospital need to be equipped with the latest  equipment and supplies.
  • Unions need to be taken into account during crisis. As they are the voice of their members and the voice of the city employee.

New York City Green New Deal

New York City must create public Policy to address climate change.   

  • We need to expand our current composting and recycling programs.
  • New york city needs to expand its GrowNYC Program.
  • We need to end the practice of allowing corporations  to throw away  goods which can be donated.
  • We need to continue planting trees.
  • We need to build green buildings.
  • We need to protect our parks and green space from developers.