Top Issues Affecting Downtown Manhattan, Congressional District 10
- Fighting Attacks on Choice and Women’s Rights
- Taking on the Gun Manufacturers; Crime in the Subway and on the Street
- Combating Rise in Discrimination and Bigotry of All Kinds, Protecting Gay Marriage
- Fighting Threats to the Environment and Climate
- Expanding Affordable Housing
My Plans to Tackle These Issues
I will harness my expertise gained in Congress, as the first woman Brooklyn District Attorney and as the first and only woman NYC Comptroller, to find new ways to combat rising threats to women’s rights and public safety. I will take on women haters, gun manufacturers and crime, and find innovative ways to fight discrimination and bigotry of all kinds, including anti-Semitism, anti-Asian and anti-LGBTQ+ hate, discrimination against immigrants and refugees, and Trump-inspired attacks on our democracy. I will find innovative solutions to protect the environment, confront the effects of climate change, take on the big polluters and big oil and gas, and expedite expanding supply and access to renewable energy sources. We need to expand affordable housing and combat income inequality, fight price gougers, and expand Medicare.
Recent Supreme Court rulings threaten women’s lives, endanger access to contraceptives and gay marriage, and jeopardize the safety of New Yorkers and all Americans. This is appalling, wrong, and dangerous. I am unafraid to take on the right wing. I took on President Nixon, voting for his impeachment during Watergate. I brought a landmark suit to stop the illegal bombing of Cambodia. I exposed the presence of Nazi war criminals in the US and wrote a law and set up an administrative structure that expelled more than 100 of them.
I will fight to ensure appropriate federal funding and legal protection to guarantee the fundamental right to choose and to have control of our own bodies. I will also press the President to take steps to ensure to the maximum extent of his power that women’s rights are not restricted, including ensuring that women and girls have full access to abortion pills.
I will work to ban sales of assault weapons and high-capacity magazines and limit the prevalence of handguns in the US by legislation or by getting the federal government to use its purchasing power to achieve the same result. I have taken on the gun lobby before. A bill I introduced as Comptroller, later signed into law by Mayor Bloomberg, held gun manufacturers liable for negligence in selling assault rifles and other automatic or semiautomatic firearms and other weapons. I will fight in Congress to allow this approach.
Combating the epidemic of guns is a key to reducing street violence, as is protecting victims and witnesses who can make the important cases. We secured state legislation to help deal with this problem, and my office also developed innovative programs to support victims.
I have worked to treat victims of domestic violence and rape with dignity and fairness when they were being blamed for the crimes against them. For example, I authored the federal Rape Privacy Act, and through litigation I ended the exemption for marital rape in New York State. I helped rewrite New York State’s rape laws. And I led a statewide campaign to change the laws on sexual abuse of children, which had severely limited prosecutions. My other reforms included creating the first DA unit in New York City to deal with misuse of force by police officers and the first DA unit in the State for the prosecution of environmental crimes.
As a law student, I worked in the South during the civil rights movement. What I saw impelled me to fight against bigotry at every opportunity. I was the only DA in America to call for ending racial discrimination in jury selection using peremptory challenges, and my position was upheld by the Supreme Court. I was proud that the Supreme Court acknowledged the work of my office. In Congress, I wrote legislation stopping insurance companies from redlining urban areas, blocking the repair or development of affordable housing in communities of color.
In Congress, I was one of only six Representatives to sponsor the very first bill outlawing sexual orientation discrimination. As DA, I hired the first openly gay person in a DA’s office in New York City. I also appointed the first minorities and women to top positions in the office. As Comptroller, I opened opportunities for the first time ever to women and minority firms to manage pension fund monies and to handle the sale of NYC bonds.
The pandemic exposed how our country’s inadequate healthcare system shortchanges racial minorities. I will fight to correct these inequities, expand Medicare coverage for mental health as well as dental care, hearing aids, eyeglasses, and other health needs. Decent healthcare should be a universal right. My robust record shows that I am not afraid to take on the insurance industry and big pharma, which have opposed healthcare reform. As Comptroller, for example, I forced the City to provide screening mammograms in municipal hospitals; afterward, I worked with a member of Congress to get screening mammograms covered by Medicare. As a member of the House Budget Committee, my examination of federal agency budgets led me to pioneer the so-called transfer amendment. This innovation would have taken funds from the bloated military budget and transferred them to fund urgent needs for healthcare, jobs, housing, and social services.
Faced with the catastrophe of climate change, I will work to limit fossil fuel projects, robustly expand sources of renewable energy, and develop the technology for efficiently storing and transmitting it. I will fight for investment of federal funds in alternative energy infrastructure and scientific research that will lead to efficient, low-cost energy generation using solar, wind, biomass, and other alternative energy sources. This investment will help combat climate change and strengthen national security.
These efforts will not only protect the environment and health, but also create good jobs. I will work to block environmentally harmful projects as I did as Comptroller when the City had made plans to build a vast array of new incinerators. Working with environmental groups, I led the effort to reject the new incinerator plan. In the end, we defeated the plan, which ultimately led the City to shut down all existing incinerators as well.
For too long, the federal government has starved needed housing programs. I will use my expertise to create more affordable housing. As Comptroller, I created ways to use the City’s pension funds to finance the building of tens of thousands of units of affordable housing for City residents. I will explore opportunities to expand that groundbreaking program.
New ideas and innovative solutions may come through listening to constituents’ problems and concerns. The problems of one constituent, for instance, led to my introducing the first law to encourage the development of drugs for rare diseases. My bill became law. Hundreds of new drugs have been developed and tens of thousands of people helped.
That’s the kind of Congresswoman I will be again – someone who learns the problems ordinary people face and develops solutions.