Christopher Marte

for City Council District 1

Transparency: It is past time to rid Lower Manhattan of its tradition of corruption. Christopher will provide transparency not only in the decisions he will make as Councilman, but will advocate for greater accountability for all who are employed by the City and State. He will pass legislation that will actively fight against both District and City-wide corruption and political machines.

Rivington House: The closing of Rivington house was a wake-up call. Christopher will be vigilant in assuring such cornerstones of our community are never again exploited and dismantled.

Campaign Finance: Christopher’s campaign is run on a platform of complete transparency in order to assure his future constituents that they will always be able to hold him accountable. If anyone wants more detailed information on his funding and where it comes from, he and his staff will gladly provide the data.

Technology: Christopher will utilize technology and public information to create databases that compile useful information for his constituents. Whether it's finding under-utilized city-owned spaces that can be used for non-profits or the arts, or searching for the fair market value of a storefront, there needs to be greater transparency in access to information.

 

Land Use and Preservation: Christopher will help to preserve the community through protecting our landmarks, and enacting zoning that has the backing of the neighborhood. Christopher will work alongside community organizations and activists that have been fighting to save Lower Manhattan.

Chinatown Working Group Plan: Christopher supports the CWG plan in its entirety. Implementing this plan quickly is a sure path to preserving the integrity of our neighborhood.

Little Italy & Soho: Christopher will protect the special district of Little Italy, and work with community leaders and small business owners in Soho to keep its identity and enforce the current zoning laws.

Landmarks & historic districts: Christopher will be an advocate for landmarking the unique and iconic buildings and structures that define Lower Manhattan and New York City. He will defend existing historic and cultural districts, while working to create new ones.

Liveable District: Christopher supports the Human Scale initiative. He believes in the protection of green spaces, and improving the quality of life for all New Yorkers.

 

Education: Strengthening the community begins with the education of its children. Christopher will prioritize the resources and services our schools need to help our children thrive.

Overcrowding: The shortage of Middle Schools in parts of Lower Manhattan has become a crisis-level issue. Having classrooms overflowing with students impedes their access and relationship with their teachers, and harbors a chaotic learning environment. Christopher will be unyielding in his support for opening more schools in order to solve this issue before it harms yet another generation of students.

Integration: As a student of Community Education Council District 1, Christopher knows first hand its systematic challenges. He will work with parents, administrators, and CECD1 to address open enrollment and increase the diversity of public schools.

Afterschool programs: Christopher does not think education should end with a school bell. Afterschool programs offer students opportunities to stay active, healthy, engaged, and invested in their own development, regardless of their learning level or socio-economic background. Christopher will strongly support programs that focus on the arts, as they are an integral part of a child's development.

 

Quality of Life: Maintaining the health of our public spaces and parks goes hand in hand with maintaining the health of our community. Christopher has been a dedicated advocate for the Elizabeth Street Garden, and has additionally created 2 other community gardens. He will work diligently to protect these valuable open spaces, while implementing sustainable solutions to counteract toxic emissions.

Elizabeth St Garden: In an area severely lacking public space, Elizabeth Street Garden acts as an important sanctuary. As a dedicated volunteer, Christopher has been a staunch defender of the Garden and will advocate for it to become a park.

Noise pollution and Traffic: Christopher will work with Community Boards, the Department of Transportation, and City planning to design a smarter system to monitor and facilitate traffic. Air and noise pollution harm many of our District’s residents from the Financial District, to Chinatown, to Soho. Diverting traffic to alternate routes will reduce the high asthma rates, while protecting pedestrians from crowded streets and residents from disruptive honking.

Resilience: The community cannot withstand another Hurricane Sandy. Christopher is a strong supporter of the East Side Coastal Resiliency project, and sees it as a powerful opportunity to strengthen the waterfront against storms and flooding.

Liquor Licenses: The overabundance of liquor licenses in the Lower East Side has created a chaotic environment for residents of the neighborhood. The consequences of this range from dirtier sidewalks to increased street harassment, and Christopher will work to better regulate license distribution and enforce SLA rules. 

 

Housing: Protecting and expanding affordable housing has never been more important. Christopher will tackle the systematic abuse corrupt landlords and large real estate developers inflict upon tenants and neighborhoods.

Displacement: Affordable housing should be accurately labelled so that it reflects the incomes of residents. The system currently in place using the AMI exaggerates how much real individuals and families of the district earn, and prices them out of housing that is meant to serve them. Christopher supports creating affordable housing that is priced at a percentage of the AMI, so that it more realistically estimates the accessibility of the units.

Tenants’ Rights: Christopher will close loopholes that allow landlords to mistreat and harass their tenants. 

Affordable Housing: Christopher will protect rent regulation and programs such as SCRIE and DRIE. He will work to reform funding for NYCHA, and allocate more discretionary funds for the units in the District. 

HDFC Housing: Christopher believes in honoring HDFC contracts as they were originally written. He believes the HDFC Coalition should have a voice in any changes that are being considered for the program.

 

Employment and Economic Development: Lower Manhattan is filled with small businesses that define the character of the community. Christopher will be a strong advocate in making sure these businesses keep their doors open, and the rights of low-income workers are respected and improved.

Small Business: Christopher supports the Small Business Jobs Survival Act (SBJSA), and will be a voice for small businesses in the Council. He will work to address the high amount of vacant storefronts, and defend the rights of commercial tenants against landlords who inflate the value of their property unfairly.

Fight for 15: As the cost of living climbs in New York, a higher minimum wage becomes not just important, but required in order to improve quality of life for Lower Manhattan residents.

Business Engagement: Christopher will work with business owners to create a greater sense of community and coalition. This unified voice can then better express their ideas about how to preserve the uniqueness of industry in the District.

 

Culture and Arts: Performers, musicians, architects, and painters have always found community in this District. Christopher will work to ensure these artists are given not only affordable spaces to live, but affordable spaces to create works that define the culture of our community and our City. 

Accessibility: Christopher supports having accessible spaces and searchable databases for under-utilized city-owned spaces. These spaces can then be used for non-profit or arts events that serve the community.

Petrosino Square: Christopher supports the initiative to return Petrosino Square to a space where people can enjoy the performing arts. He will work with other community initiatives to find more spaces for workshops that foster community and participation in the arts.

Preserve and Promote: Christopher will work to protect the theaters and artistic communities that are already in the District, and will extend the presence of the arts throughout Lower Manhattan.

 

Community Engagement: There are many long-time residents of Lower Manhattan whose ideas about bettering their community have consistently been put aside or ignored. Christopher already works closely with many local groups and organizations, and will continue to have an open-door policy to respond and listen to activists on the ground.

 

Transportation: Shortages and delays in public transportation affect the commute and travel of every resident of Lower Manhattan. Christopher will advocate for better efficiency and increased handicap access so that public transit can better serve its public. Population increases that will result from new developments should be accounted for before the new residents move in. Public transportation must not just be improved to serve the existing community, but plan ahead to serve the future of our neighborhood as well. 

 

Immigration: Christopher believes in strengthening language, health, residency and citizenship programs that improve the lives of Lower Manhattan’s large immigrant community. Access to these programs is essential to personal, educational, and professional success and happiness.

 

Healthcare: Healthcare is a universal right. Access to healthcare and hospitals should not have to be a concern when somebody is sick. The number of hospital closures across Manhattan must be addressed and put to an end. A feasible and efficient plan to support the remaining hospitals with the funds they need to offer full service to patients is essential.

 

Civil Rights: Christopher is a long-time advocate and supporter of equality for all religions, genders, ages, and sexual orientations. Ensuring LGBTQ, minority and disabled members of our community are included and protected will be a top priority.