I have been rooted in Queens all my life. My parents arrived in the early 60’s with their permanent residency from Colombia (since then they both became US citizens), they divorced when I was two years old.
The Coronavirus pandemic was extremely detrimental to Black, Hispanic, and Asian communities in the City of New York but in particular here in Queens. Because of systematic poverty Black, Hispanic, and Asian demographics here in Queens we were hard hit. Two of the main reasons this happened was because of the lack of health care and economic opportunities. In order to reduce poverty in Black, Latino and Asian communities we need to have a systematic improvement in education, health care, and job opportunities. For education, I will focus on making sure we have more after school and tutoring programs especially in poorer districts that will also include students who are learning remotely every day throughout the whole borough. We need to have a financial investment in the economies of tomorrow whether it be gaming, health care, green education, law, and STEM programs. We need to also make a financial commitment to increase the number of hospital beds in all of Queens. Nearly 10 years ago we saw a drastic reduction of hospital beds within Queens. More hospital beds also mean we can treat more patients in the wake of a possible future pandemic but also provide more educational opportunities for new colleges that can provide health care education and also preventative health care for Queens’ residents. The Queens Borough President’s office has been steadfast in doing plenty of job forums. Through the pandemic job forums have done incredible marketing to educate Queens’ residents on job opportunities. However, we can do more. We need to provide grant opportunities for all of Queens for startup business capital in social entrepreneurship. In particular, in communities of color where immigration and systematic racism has created a barrier, we can focus on opportunities in business development and business education in those communities through nonprofits and well-targeted and well-funded programs.
As the only Latina running for Queens Borough President, this is an important topic for me. For starters, there needs to be a strong emphasis and public support from the Queens Borough President’s office to engage domestic violence victims and their families. I plan to create an RFP process for participating non-profits to create programs throughout Queens specifically addressing domestic abuse and how to help them. I will partner with Queens Economic Development organizations and Chambers of Commerce to have women-centered forums as well as engage venture capitalists to fund companies specifically run by women in Queens County in the form of grants for start-ups and companies currently owned by women. I will create universal basic income grants for single mothers who are living in shelters so they are able to leave and get affordable housing for themselves and their families. I will also create more job training initiatives for women. Queens has an unacceptable influx of human trafficking within its immigrant communities. The rights of these women are being violated every day under our noses and it must be stopped. I will provide a form of engagement to work with social services organizations to connect with these women who are on the streets soliciting and being human trafficked to provide them a safe haven away from their John’s.
The Queens Borough President’s office will fund majorly to LGBTQIA+ centers across Queens; these centers can be through existing nonprofits that provide safe havens and places of communication for the LGBTQIA+ communities. These centers will offer counseling services to those who need them (transgender, mental health and/or education). It’s interesting to note (according to the ACLU) New York State is NOT one of the 12 states (California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Nevada, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Vermont and Wisconsin) that has laws against discrimination towards the LGBTQIA+ community. As your Borough President I will research through these established laws to make sure we in Queens County adopt our own anti-discrimination laws so our LGBTQIA+ do not continue to suffer from situations in housing, jobs, inheriting personal/real estate property, making decisions of critical medical importance, etc.
While ICE as it is colloquially known as is still using the word “alien” anywhere in their literature and/or website there needs to be sensibility training given to be able to work with any immigrant that is walking through our streets documented or otherwise. What also has to change is how ICE has loopholes they can go through when they are going to arrest people in what they call “sensitive locations”.
No PACs—just people. Our campaign doesn’t take a dime from PACs or special interest groups, so your donations really do matter.
If you paid any attention to this election, or the last one, or the one before that, you can be forgiven for thinking that our problems are insurmountable, that there’s just nothing we agree on enough to get it done.
But that’s not true.
There’s more that unites us than divides us. And while elections focus on the divide, I want to focus on what we share. Because — yes — there’s sacred ground. But for each of us, I believe, there’s also common ground.
And that’s the ground we need to cultivate.
My name is Diana Sanchez and I will be proud to be the leader that will usher in the best of the Borough of Queens. The change we need, the people’s change, not misguided change…looking forward to working with you all.
My first 100 days as Queens Borough President will be comprised of a few key issues; I also plan to visit the neighborhoods in Queens to access the needs of the people. The first initiative will be creating a host of progressive stakeholders and make sure they are all a part of my transition team. We have to create a comprehensive vision of progressive priorities that could be put together in a transition team. In the past we’ve seen the lack of progressive stakeholders at the table who established false progressive priorities that would hurt the future of families in Queens County. After two months of conversations and creating working groups within this transition committee we will create task force and budget priorities for the upcoming year. It’s important that the task force and priorities for the office is initiated as soon as possible including a strong communications team that will work to create a comprehensive vision from day one to constituents so they understand where our budget priorities will be. I will connect with our government stakeholders to create partnerships for all of our budget priorities. Together with a strong transition team in addition to a budget priorities and a great communications message along with government partners we should be able to start our 100 days in the right direction.