Leonardo Coello’s personal and professional experiences equips him with a unique perspective of the challenges faced by extremely underserved communities such as The Bronx’s District 16, where his family and friends have resided for nearly two decades. Only a person who has endured, survived, and attained success in an environment such as District 16, can truly know what it takes to overcome the struggle.
The best way to describe the educational approach needed for District 16 is, educational ecosystem. No matter where an educational idea comes from, it should be designed to positively affect all aspects of a child’s life. The proper education of a child should be felt throughout the family and throughout our community.
The educational ecosystem in District 16 will not be limited to those students who are motivated, supported and encouraged by a circle of loving well intentioned stakeholders. An even greater level of effort and focus will be made for the children who are unmotivated, least prepared and do not have the advantage of having vested stakeholders. This educational ecosystem approach will have the ability to transform lives, and communities for generations.
Owning a home or acquiring Affordable Housing has been the primary way working families have built wealth in this country, but for generations of residents in District 16, this dream has eluded them. Not because they didn’t possess the financial discipline or the fiscal knowledge it took, but because this government did not intend for them have such economic stability.
Until the 1960s, the Federal Government systematically denied African-Americans and other marginalized groups the ability to obtain mortgage credit, buy homes, and build wealth for their families while subsidizing the American dream for white families.
As the City Council Representative for District 16, I will push measures that will takes steps toward addressing the racial wealth gap by helping District 16 residents and descendants of individuals who were harmed by the housing discrimination and neglected by our government officials.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, in 2013, women who worked full time earned on average, only 78 cents for every dollar men earned. The figures are even worse for women of color. African-American women earned only approximately 64 cents and Latinas only 56 cents for each dollar earned by a white male. The wage gender gap within District 16 is squeezing families and making it tremendously difficult to survive.
It is critical to understand the factors that contribute to the gender wage gap in District 16 as it can serve as a blueprint to making legislative changes impacting all women. Closing the gap will require multifaceted solutions that take into account variables such as;
These policies changes and Initiatives are suggestions to be implemented by the New York Police Department intended to make a critical shift in the departments overall culture. Further details on each of the items below will be distributed in the near future.
· Implicit bias trainings for all levels of the police department
· Larger role for civilian oversight
· Larger expansion and diverse youth police programs lead by NCO
· Mandated workshops that educate officers on the role of policing in historical and present injustices and discrimination of the black/poor community
· Department surveys gathering data from new and low ranking officers explaining their thoughts on policing strategies, in terms of enhancing or hurting their ability to connect with the community
· Resident Officer Program – An Officer is provided rent support for 5 years while a member of the local New York Police Department and living in the community.
· A census like deployment of a survey to measure and track the level of trust in police by the community
· A review of police staffing models that offer varied work models. Flexible shifts can achieve better work life balance while attracting a variation of candidates to the profession.
· Programs focus on police relations with the immigrant community.
· An honest recognition of quotas and the elimination of any unwritten policy
· Improved transparency in NYPD hiring process
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