Chris's vision for NYCHA
Last night, I joined Reverend Al Sharpton and my fellow mayoral candidates at the New York City Housing Authority Abraham Lincoln Houses in East Harlem to raise awareness about the injustice NYCHA residents face everyday.
Spending the night with the Diakite family was a moving experience. Like my grandparents, and so many fellow New Yorkers, Mariam Diakite came to this country 19 years ago hoping for a better life. She taught herself English and tomorrow she starts classes to become a home healthcare worker. Mariam's husband works an overnight shift driving a delivery truck for a bakery and last night, like many nights, drove all the way to Philadelphia and back.
Mariam and her husband have four children, from a toddler to a senior in high school, who attend public school, practice karate, and teach tennis. Their 12 year old son competes in chess and their oldest daughter hopes to study criminal justice next year at college.
The Diakite family lives in an apartment with severe black mold throughout their bathroom. A previous water leak failed to be repaired correctly causing stagnant water to build up in their living room and kitchen walls. Nights when their father is at work, Mariam and her children are so concerned about their safety they place a chair to block the front door.
A new vision for the New York City Housing Authority means a better life for thousands of NYCHA residents like Mariam and her family. As Mayor, I'll make sure NYCHA's number 1 priority is to address the needs of its residents. That starts with putting more than $100 million a year back into NYCHA where it belongs. It means allowing the agency to focus on residents by transferring responsibilities like housing vouchers to other agencies that are better qualified to manage them and ensuring that the repair backlog is eliminated and never comes back.
It means hiring a Board Chair with real housing experience who understands the needs of residents and who will work to make their lives better.
I am incredibly grateful to the Diakite family for opening up their apartment to me. Against remarkable odds, Mariam and her family have made a lovely home. They work together every day towards a better future, and as Mayor i'll make sure we're working right along side with them.