I have met more than enough families throughout the district that depend on the government’s EBT/SNAP card deposits as their sole source for food security. I have encountered too many individuals and families that have depleted these lifesaving funds before the completion of the third week of the month, subjecting them to rely on food pantry distributions to ward off starvation. Yes, people – men, women, and children of District 29 – are starving. The price of food has consistently risen, and the government payments of the past are no longer adequate. As a Council Member, I will make it a priority to increase funding and further expand availability of the EBT/SNAP program. I will also work with food retailers to offer instant discounts for recipients of government funds. Such incentives may help extend the life of current deposit amounts. I will as well work to broaden the reach of EBT/SNAP funds to include areas outside of food to other essentials including, clothing shops and school supply outlets. I will additionally work with these new establishments to institute further discounts to benefit cardholders.
It is my vision to work with State and City agencies to design new rebate programs for those in a low-income bracket. Such legislation should include cultural and arts options for familial activities, namely complimentary admission, or greatly reduced pricing. The advantages for a parent(s) and their child(ren) to enjoy affordable visits to natural habitats like the zoo, botanical gardens, and educational venues like museums and hands-on learning centers is paramount to a successful upbringing. The City Council must work to expand supplemental benefits to include tens of other venues outside of the Intrepid Museum, the Noguchi Museum, and the ICP Photography Museum. New York City must be a leader in offering the low-income community practical and welcoming educational options for youth outside of schooling.