John Heyer for City Council   Contact John
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Making our neighborhoods livable and affordable for working people and middle-class families

The 39th District is blessed with some of New York's most beautiful, historic, and diverse neighborhoods. I am committed to responsible, appropriate development, securing our future while preserving the unique character of our neighborhoods. Mom-and-pop businesses have always been the cornerstone of our communities, and I will support them through progressive, responsible tax policy. I believe that anyone who wants to stay in our neighborhoods should be able to do so. I'll make it happen by preserving all existing rent-regulated housing, and making sure real-estate developers serve our needs first - by making new "affordable" housing truly and permanently affordable.

Fiscal responsibility

Before the City reduces services or raises taxes, we must act to eliminate waste in government. If City agencies waste just 1% of their budgets a year, that’s $600 million of our tax dollars. John will fight to bring accountability to City government, demanding budget transparency and ensuring funding for the services we need to keep our neighborhoods afloat: safe streets, open firehouses, good schools, clean parks, and public transportation.

City government must be accountable to the people

I will fight to reform the City Charter to create a City Council that is on equal footing with the Mayor. Our federal government is based on a series of checks and balances that does not exist in our city government. The Mayor appoints and removes the heads of important departments - such as the NYPD, the Department of Buildings, and the Department of Education. Now, the City Council can only hold hearings to investigate and review the activities of city agencies. It's time for a more equitable balance of power. The City Council truly represents the interests of the people. In tough times, I think voters need more of a say in City policy - not less.

Setting our public schools up for success

I'm a proud product of our local public and Catholic schools. My wife, Maria, is a school teacher. I will engage the real experts – our teachers – in a new, open discussion of what’s going to work in order to set our schools up to succeed. Testing students and grading schools are not substitutes for real evaluation. We keep hearing about expensive new initiatives to rank our schools rather than improve them. These priorities are out of whack. I think it’s time to drop what’s easy and do what’s right: fund our schools properly, and make our educational leadership refocus on building successful student-teacher relationships.

The MTA serves us - not the other way around

It’s galling that the MTA seeks to balance its budget on the backs of riders without offering any concrete proposals for the Authority to save some of the taxpayers’ money on their end. It's unacceptable to be threatened with fare hikes and service cuts, all during a recession of historic proportions. I will be a strong voice on the Council for reforming MTA operations and making their accounting structure open and transparent. I understand that Brooklynites need more service from public transportation, not less - and now more than ever.


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John Heyer for City Council District 39
Democratic Primary: September 15, 2009