Carlos Sierra, a decade-long Bronx community advocate, announced his second candidacy for the 16th City Council District on Saturday. The district encompasses High Bridge, Morrisania, Concourse Village and Morris Heights. In District 16 Sierra received 40 percent of the vote in 2009.
Sierra announced his candidacy with his family and supporters in front of P.S. 64, one of three schools in District 16 targeted for closure. Sierra opposes any closure of schools, and calls for additional resources. “Rather than closing a school, the question is where should we build our next three?!” Sierra said. A graduate of the City University of New York, Sierra plans to bring resources to improve student readiness for college.
Sierra opposes cuts to youth, senior citizen and immigration services. “We are living in a time and environment where targeting the poor has become an unacceptable norm,” Sierra said.
Sierra will work with the New York Police Department (NYPD) to reduce crime and improve community-police relations. Sierra also wants to create more living wage jobs, to serve as a deterrent to crime and a stepping-stone to upward mobility for the many low-income families of District 16.
For these families, a clean neighborhood with affordable, decent housing is crucial. Sierra stated he would fight to protect Mitchell Lama and Section 8 programs as well as “improve the conditions of our public housing.” Sierra wants to work to ensure that District 16′s families are able to remain in current housing accommodations.
Just as crucial as housing is healthcare. Sierra wants to tackle three health concerns that are prevalent in District 16 – asthma, diabetes and HIV/AIDS – by preventing cuts to healthcare and improving access to health facilities, such as clinics and hospitals.
“Garbage, rats, a general environment of waste. If it’s not acceptable in Midtown, it should not be acceptable here.” Sierra noted that garbage cans are often nowhere to be seen and vowed to place them on every corner when elected.
When elected, Sierra will fight to prevent cuts to crucial resources that are needed for the residents of District 16 to succeed.