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It Starts At Home… a Conversation with Council Member Antonio Reynoso

Rosangel and Ruthie have a conversation with Council Member Antonio Reynoso about some of the issues affecting the community he serves which include gentrification, the need for affordable housing, the rapid displacement of Elders, and more.  We also talk about the impact of community working together locally to co create healthier communities.  It starts at home and it starts with us.  We invite you to listen here.

About | Antonio Reynoso

As the Council member representing the 34th district, Antonio wants to create an environment conducive to a better quality of life for residents of Bushwick and Williamsburg in Brooklyn and Ridgewood in Queens. He understands that success in his district starts with strong schools, the fundamental access to affordable housing, and economic growth. As Chair of the Committee on Sanitation, he continues to focus on creating waste equity in New York City. In addition to serving as Chair of the Committee on Sanitation, Antonio is a member of significant Council Committees, including Committees on Education, Land Use, Governmental Operations, Transportation, State-Federal Law and Zoning and Franchises. He is also the Co-Chair of the Council’s Progressive Caucus and a member of the Black, Latino, and Asian Caucus.

Antonio Reynoso was born and raised in the Southside of Williamsburg, Los Sures, to immigrant parents from the Dominican Republic. At a young age, Antonio’s parents instilled in him the importance of hard work, education, and community service. These lessons have undoubtedly influenced his core philosophy and remain with him today.

Antonio attended local community schools such as P.S. 19 and J.H.S. 50 before attending La Salle Academy in Manhattan. He graduated from LeMoyne College with a bachelor’s degree in political science. As a Community Organizer for NYC A.C.O.R.N., Antonio led a comprehensive coalition to improve the professional lives of child-care providers by legitimizing the profession through Union incorporation.

Since 2007, Antonio has worked relentlessly for the neighborhoods throughout the 34th Council District improving the quality of life for the residents of Brooklyn and Queens.  First, being hired as a Ridgewood representative where he empowered constituencies by fostering relationships with building and small business owners and facilitating the processes of city government.  In 2009, Antonio became Council member Reyna’s Chief of Staff, where he oversaw and advanced progressive policies and legislative reforms for affordable housing, economic development, job creation, education, and public safety.

On January 1st, 2014 Antonio assumed office as the Council Member for the 34th District.  During his first term, Antonio has proactively tackled the most pressing issue affecting his constituency by developing housing task forces in North Brooklyn and Ridgewood. His implementation of the Housing Task Forces brings tenant organizers together with City agencies to address buildings where residents are threatened with displacement. With this he hopes to expedite necessary repairs and discourage landlords from displacing tenants, ensuring units pass inspections, and therefore preserving what affordable housing stock we have left.

Antonio has long been a champion for transparency and democratic participation and that’s why he did not hesitate at the opportunity to introduce members of the 34th district to Participatory Budgeting. This process encourages all community members to gather ideas on how to spend public funds on community improvements. Since the process began in 2014, over $2.5m have gone towards improving our public schools, public housing, parks, transportation, and senior centers in Williamsburg, Bushwick, and Ridgewood.

As a lifelong resident, Antonio truly understands the value of preserving the character of our district and unapologetically demands the investment of necessary services to our communities.   In 2015 the Nuestros Niños Day Care Center, a staple of the Southside neighborhood was threatened with eviction. Reynoso collaborated with the City, hundreds of family members, community based organizations, and neighboring daycare centers to demand a sensible negotiation of a long term lease. These efforts including a rally resulted in his arrest but also resulted in Nuestros Niños avoiding eviction as the City reaches the final stages in a long-term lease negotiation.

He continues to fight for justice, access, and transparency by pushing for legislation like the Right to Know Act and the Waste Capacity Reduction bill which empower communities to know their protections when facing the police and demanding equity across the entire city when we processing our waste.

Antonio is an experienced leader who knows how to cultivate diverse coalitions and is focused on delivering and maximizing the necessary programs and services to the diverse populations in the 34th District.

 

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