District 26 Candidate

Ebony Young

Campaign Website: YoungforQueens.com

NYC Campaign Finance Board – funds raised.

QUEENS POST QUESTIONNARIE

What Office/District are you running for and why? My life’s work has been rooted in service. I am a veteran of the work that so many are doing in the midst of our crisis.  I have a genuine passion for people, community, and leadership, which I would like to apply to help residents of District 26. My values reflect a real understanding of inclusion, innovation, and hope with a constant curiosity for advancing the life of the people that I serve. As a certified life coach, wellness instructor, progressive business operator in the for profit and non-profit sectors, board member ambassador and  advisor to local science, art, tech, sports, wellness facilities, and community organizations, youth organizer and mentor, small business owner and community builder I am highly qualified to make the right assessments necessary for progressive execution and elevation in our community. I am taking the position to run under the platform of  the advancement of Economic Empowerment (real jobs for all, small business recovery, tech & entrepreneurship)  Social Equity (Fair & Equal housing, education, immigrant services, and access to quality care), and Community Wellbeing (enhancing the transit experience, Mental & physical health, combating the social determinants of health  and reviewing local resiliency & sustainability concerns). This platform will allow us (the community) to partner with experts who can access the proper data it takes for us to make calculated, mature, objective focused decisions for all people who reside in District 26.
How long have you lived or worked in the District and how active are you in the community right now? I am a Ten year resident of Woodside and proud to be a part of such a diverse and inclusive community. I sit as an advisor to three arts organizations in Western Queens, two youth foundations in Western Queens, A health organization that serves our most vulnerable citizens, the board member of a local relief organization, and a board member to two ethnic/immigrant organizations. In addition I am working with several organizations giving away free access to the black entrepreneur initiatives that gives our black and brown residents the knowledge, tools, access, and resources to help grow and scale their own businesses. https://lonelyentrepreneur.com/bei/ Real change is rooted in economic empowerment. I am also very proud to be honored as one of New York’s Responsible 100.
What is your current occupation? I am the President of the Lonely Entrepreneur Nonprofit Division. Scaling the Black Entrepreneur Initiative project globally.
What were your thoughts on the Amazon HQ2 proposal in Long Island City? My father who just recently passed, made this very clear to me growing up: Any opportunities that are proposed to help advance your people, you find a way to make it work, a way for everyone to win, you are a leader!  I am a leader, I represent and have represented the people all of my life. Amazon was an opportunity for us to advance a community with careers that would have shifted lives, broke cycles, and advanced people. I am sad that this did not happen, that we did not find a way to train, educate, and advance the people, preparing them for $100k jobs!  I am not thrilled about HOW the opportunity was presented and WHO was involved from the infancy of this project. Better messaging, marketing, outreach, community engagement, and preparation could have advanced this project in a different way. People FIRST!
What is your view on the Phipps Houses rezoning proposal on Barnett Avenue in Sunnyside? Community board 2 has approved the project. I am in favor of their approval. However, promises alone won’t work. We need legally binding measures that keep them accountable to the agreement, keeping the people first, and making good on the promises presented. I don’t believe Phipps would be opposed to working through this with the people.
A rezoning application is likely to move forward on the private property surrounding the Anable Basin in Long Island City where Amazon was proposed to go. It is likely to involve thousands of residential units and hundreds of thousands of square feet of commercial space. Would you approve such a development? What would you be looking for? I am in favor of projects that engage and involve our local community stakeholders including: NYCHA residents, local artist, labor unions, Home owners, Renters, community leaders, advocates, Workforce Development leaders (including  local education institutions), Tech leaders, Entrepreneurial services, Economic strategists, and climate experts.

I envision a community hub that houses: Tech and Entrepreneurial training, workforce development, wellness space, outdoor space, artist space (all genres of art), agriculture, commercial retail, a safety officer & community healing space, and fair & safe housing.

Do you think the rezoning process (ULURP) is working? If not, how would you change it? I desire to build a more inclusive process dismantling racial inequities, with a real focus on affordable housing, climate resilient infrastructure, and economic recovery projects with long term sustainable resolution and jobs!
Do you believe in member deference when it comes to rezoning? No. I don’t believe in member deference. I believe it needs to be an all inclusive process that is open to community members. Not just those included in the ULURP process and not just the decision of the city council member.
Should the city council cut police funding? If so, by how much? I am in support of reforming police and reallocating funds. I don’t believe that planning of community safety should be an isolated event/decision. The safety enforcements and community organizations must demand a comprehensive planning process that incorporates both parties, working together and planning solutions that work for all people, not in isolation. If we are looking to change a crooked system we must do it together and embrace communal principles that work for the greater good. So funding should be proposed with these groups in participation and funds reallocated for the greater purpose of the plan.
Do you think non-citizens (including undocumented immigrants) should be able to vote in New York City elections? Yes, I believe everyone should have a voice and an opportunity to vote in New York City elections.
How would you select community board members and is the current system working? In order to advance the whole community voice we must rethink how we include all, how we rotate board members, and how we balance the voice. We have many people with many views in our community. If we want all voices to be heard then we must be intentional about including all voices on the community board. If we are truly about the greater good of our community, then we will find a way to put ego aside and work for sustainable greatness. A community task force and leaders  should be consulted in the choosing of community board members.
Are you an advocate for protected bicycle lanes in the district and, if so, where do you think they should go? Yes, I am an advocate of protecting bicycle lanes in the district. Skillman Ave, Queens Blvd, and the Queensboro Bridge are three of many critical spaces to advance bike lanes.
What is your view on the transportation network in Queens? What would you do to improve it? Our transportation network is over burdened. The real issue around this sits in the people’s experience and wellbeing when riding an over burdened system. I envision wellness and transportation experts thinking through a plan that primarily sits in our constituents experiences on the train. I believe that this will motivate different outcomes of how we fix our system. This may mean that we consider the seasons and how people move during various times of the year, how pollution plays a role in wellness & transportation, and how we motivate people to desire transportation advances that work for their commutes.