As the first in my family born in the United States, I grew up explaining the American system to my immigrant single mom. While attending St. John’s Law School on scholarship, I had to push my mom’s car to the mechanic shop around the corner, where I met my future husband. Yes, I married my mechanic. We became a modern-day Brady Bunch set on 90th Street, his two daughters came from Ecuador and we had three children of our own, they are 50% Irish, 50% Ecuadorian and 100% Queens.
While my daughter Nuala started Pre-K, her sisters, Paty & Tefy received their green cards. Within eight hours of landing at JFK they enrolled at Newcomer’s HS. Thankfully, Newcomers adeptly guided my immigrant family through the trauma of family separation, learning English and teenage angst while still making sure my daughters passed all their Regents exam.
With five kids, I spent years advocating at PS 222, PS 149, IS 145, IS 230, Newcomer’s HS and now I am serving my third term on the the Community Education Council for District 30.
Standing up to the system in those thousands of hours of meetings, transformed me into an effective education advocate. I brought real change to our local public schools. I am most proud of our newest school – PS 398 and for increasing parental involvement in all of our great local public schools.
I brought real change to our local public schools.
I believe in building community—making spaces and places for people to come together. In almost two decades of work and as president of the JHBG, we brought live music and events to Travers Park and Diversity Plaza. With the help of scores of volunteers we planted tens of thousands of tulips, daffodils and sunflowers in the neighborhood. I get things done. I have sought out people with a passion who want to make a better neighborhood and I helped them make their dreams come true: creating over 20 garden spaces, building tree surrounds, starting a compost center and an orchestra, hosting the Halloween parade, town halls and countless community events.
Whether it is crossing the street during the day or walking home from the subway at night, safe streets are paramount to building a thriving community. I became acutely aware of how important safe streets are after three children too many were killed on Northern Blvd. My kids walk, bike and take buses and trains. Reliable and secure public transportation became paramount to their gaining independence. As a former prosecutor, safe street and public transportation activist, I have years of experience fighting for safe streets and safe and reliable public transportation.
Knowledge is power. For over a decade, I have kept the community informed about local issues hosting forums and posting initially on JH Life, JH Families and now on Facebook and Twitter. Recently, when the MTA announced a “redesign” of our bus service, eliminating or cutting 4 of our busiest bus lines, I got to work. With a team of local activists, we hit the streets and the buses, handing out over 15,000 flyers inforhming riders about the proposed cuts and inviting them to participate in the process. We won’t stop until the MTA listens.
Making the streets safe to cross during the day and safe to walk at night
I love our community and in my decades long fight for our schools, our green spaces, our parks, and our streets, I have hit a wall. The wall is entrenched special interests, machine politics and the status quo. I need to take our fight to Albany where the funding is, where the laws are made and where our community needs a real voice.
I have always been an independent voice with a documented history of rolling up my sleeves and getting the job done. I need your help. The machine and the machine backup will have candidates to fight for the status quo. They will fight to keep their behind the scenes power. I am building a community powered campaign to truly represent us and I want to do this together.
I would love your support and your vote. All of our voices must be heard in Albany.