Key Issues

Nomiki Konst has the experience, background, and knowledge we New Yorkers need.

Click on the icons below to see Nomiki’s Action Plan.

NEW YORK RECOVERS

Guarantee healthcare for all New Yorkers, curb spending and costs, stop the spread of Covid-19 now, and help protect all of us for the future.

PUBLIC EDUCATION IS A PROMISE

Deliver on the promise of public education for all New Yorkers, expand resources, protect students and teachers, and have our curriculum teach the truth.

SOLIDARITY WITH PUERTO RICO

Boricuas in New York know Nomiki has a proven track record of work in and solidarity with Puerto Rico the Puerto Rican Diaspora community, and the work continues.

NEW YORKERS HAVE THE RIGHT TO HOUSING

Make safe, affordable housing a state-wide priority, repair public housing, build new affordable family homes, and put a stop unfair evictions and speculation so every New Yorker can live with dignity.

SUPPORTING THE LGBTQIA+ COMMUNITY

Nomiki Konst is a staunch and long-time ally to the LGBTQIA+ community.

ECONOMIC BILL OF RIGHTS

Deliver on the promise of public education for all New Yorkers, expand resources, protect students and teachers, and have our curriculum teach the truth.

PROTECTING OUR ENVIRONMENT

Ensure that we preserve and protect our environment so there’s a future for our planet and for all New Yorkers.

The COVID-19 pandemic is not over. Almost 70,000 New Yorkers have lost their lives so far. Those losses have not been felt evenly. Working class communities, particularly working class communities of color, have been hit hardest.

With case levels high in our state once again, even people who have been vaccinated and boosted are getting hit with COVID, forcing them to miss work and/or risk infecting others.

At the federal and state level, our leaders have failed to prioritize human life over corporate profits and politics. Their attempts to move beyond the crisis without adapting to it is a form of denial that comes at an enormous cost — both human and economic.

We have got to get this right. This pandemic is a dress rehearsal for what climate change promises in our future. We need to put systems in place today. That is why I propose a new public health roadmap I’m calling NY Recovers, which prioritizes health, disability, economic, and racial justice while also combatting the virus.

My plan aims to streamline state administration, empower workers, protect the vulnerable, help small businesses, and guarantee health care to every New Yorker while also stopping the spread. Here’s how we do it:

Streamlining Administration:

  • Create a comprehensive New York OSHA that covers all workplaces to protect against COVID and other similar viruses. Currently, New York’s OSHA-approved state plan only covers state and local government workplaces.

  • Create a New York Works Progress Administration to directly hire and put job-seeking New Yorkers to work.

Empowering Workers

  • Reinstate COVID-19’s designation as an airborne infectious disease that presents a serious risk of harm to the public health under the NY HERO Act.

  • Guarantee hazard pay to workers who do not work remotely.

  • Advocate the passage of the PRO Act; Codify the ABC test to determine independent contractor status by passing S1999.

  • Raise the minimum wage to $30 an hour.*

  • Expand New York’s paid time off to cover every worker; guarantee at least two weeks. Create a separate COVID leave that guarantees paid time off until a negative test is achieved.

  • Codify and make permanent the $600 enhanced unemployment assistance provided under the original CARES Act.

Protecting the Vulnerable

  • Adopt enforceable COVID safety standards, including heightened air quality standards, for all workplaces, nursing homes, and schools and provide for a private cause of action for violations.

  • Immediately impose an emergency statewide eviction ban to remain in effect for the duration of the public health crisis.

  • Pass Good Cause to prevent unjustified rent hikes and evictions.

  • Implement a housing-first approach to homelessness, putting unhoused individuals up in hotels and empty apartments immediately.

  • Pass the Housing Access Voucher Program to establish a fund to subsidize rent for struggling New Yorkers.

  • Rent forgiveness for New Yorkers who have accrued rent they cannot pay back.

  • Extend state disability benefits to immunocompromised individuals and those suffering from long COVID.

  • Invest in pandemic-ravaged communities with public works projects.

  • Expand mental health and addiction treatment services statewide.

  • Designate a state fund for research into long COVID.

Safeguarding Schools

  • Establish clear, enforceable guidelines for the addition and removal of school mitigation measures, including virtual learning.

  • Install CO2 meters and distribute masks in every classroom.

  • Fully fund our public schools to enable them to provide optional virtual learning.

  • Establish a free public broadband option to ensure no home is without an internet connection.

  • Start spring semesters later to avoid peak viral season.

Helping Small Business

  • Create a tax credit for businesses to operate remotely.

  • Subsidize installation of ventilation upgrades, UVGI technology, and air filtration in private workplaces.

  • Create a fund to help struggling small businesses pay their expenses.

Eliminating All Cost Barriers to Care, Including Mental Health Care

  • Pass the New York Health Act, which will finally realize single-payer in the state. Among the earliest recommendations from the United Nations for dealing with COVID was for countries to remove cost barriers to care. No New Yorker should be without health care coverage or face the threat of bankruptcy for being sick — especially in a pandemic.

Stopping the Spread:

  • Utilize federal funds to send high-quality N95/KN95/KF94 masks and in-home COVID tests to every New Yorker as well as systematically upgrade ventilation systems in all public buildings in the state — especially schools and public housing.

  • Expand free walk-up COVID testing with antigen, PCR, and rapid tests. Require job site testing.

  • Scale up contact tracing to track outbreaks and vaccination outreach, particularly in lower-income areas, setting up clinics that take into account work hours and public transportation routes.

  • Launch a public messaging campaign about the dangers and unknowns of the virus, the importance of vaccines, and facts about airborne transmission.

  • Provide and require masks on public transportation and in public indoor spaces.

Public education is perhaps the single greatest accomplishment in American history, but it is under attack by the right and capital. Around the country, Republicans like Donald Trump are trying to whitewash American history, scaremongering about the alleged teaching of critical race theory in public schools, and using masking to prevent COVID transmission as a means of riling up parents against public schools.

New York is one of the most Democratic states in the country. We have a responsibility to lead the fight to protect and expand public education. Here’s what we need to do:

Expand School Resources

  • Expand free school meals programs to include dinner for any student who wants it.

  • Ensure more funding for after-school programs so that financial status is not a hurdle to attendance.

  • Combat cyberbullying through hiring additional social workers for schools and empathy training for teachers.

Protecting Children and Teachers

  • Adopt heightened air quality standards for public schools.

  • Systematically upgrade ventilation in public school buildings with money already available from the federal government.

Protect History Programs

  • Overhaul the state’s social studies framework to ensure our students learn the most accurate, inclusive version of history we can teach — one that more accurately reflects our country’s past transgressions as well as the contributions of previously unsung Americans.

  • Add LGBTQIIA+ history to the curriculum including the Stonewall Riots.

  • Pass a state law to stop local school boards from passing their own versions of a “Don’t Say Gay Bill.”

Nomiki has a proven track record of work in and solidarity with Puerto Rico and the Puerto Rican Diaspora community. Boricuas in New York know that Nomiki has fought with them, investigated abuse by the federal government after Hurricane Maria, and has kept raising the alarm over the crypto-crooks and other tax avoiders moving to do to Puerto Rico what many of these shady financial interests do to us here in New York – gentrify and displace local communities.

What happens in San Juan is intrinsically tied to policies that affect Astoria, Long Island City, and other parts of NY59. Our solidarity with Puerto Ricans in our district extends to Puerto Rico. In fact, Albany has a special policy-making role because it sets the rules for many of the world’s largest financial firms, many of whom own much of Puerto Rico’s debt and are regulated by our State Government.

Once Nomiki is elected Senator for New York’s 59th State Senate District, she will fight for:

  • Holding accountable hedge funds and other New York-based bondholders that own Puerto Rico’s debt.

  • Support legislation authored by Senators. Gustavo Rivera and Maritza Dávila to crack down on hedge funds’ sovereign debt tactics to avoid the pitfalls of Puerto Rico’s financial crisis from affecting other places in the world.

  • As a reporter, Nomiki covered the Center for Popular Democracy’s (CPD) advocacy supporting New York state legislation that affects Puerto Rico and sovereign debt jurisdictions and cracks down on abusive financial practices, and she supports their efforts.

  • As a state senator, Nomiki will use her voice to advocate for federal policies that affect Puerto Ricans in NY59 and on the island. That’s why as senator Nomiki will continue to push for many of the priorities in Power 4 Puerto Rico’s #ShowUsYourPRPolicy agenda, such as: a just recovery and green reconstruction, self-determination, restitution and environmental restoration in the former military practice ranges on the Puerto Rican islands of Vieques and Culebra- including building a proper hospital in Vieques- holding the Financial Control Board or Junta accountable for its crippling austerity and pro-Wall Street debt deals, among other priorities for the island and the Diaspora.

  • During her work in Puerto Rico, Nomiki saw how the pandemic can provoke the right community responses. The island’s people by and large responded responsibly during the worst moments of the pandemic by wearing masks, socially distancing and holding each other and outsiders to the rules. We can also learn a thing or two about how their vaccination rates were the highest per capita in the US. Nomiki’s public health plan would protect Puerto Ricans and all residents of New York by following the science and implementing tried and proven common-sense policies to protect workers, help small businesses, and ensure the health and safety we all deserve.

To learn more about Nomiki’s record on Puerto Rico and why she has the best policies for Puerto Ricans, check out this English language version of Nomiki’s Op-Ed for El Nuevo Día.

Housing is a human right, but you’d never know it looking at New York. We have more empty apartments than we do unhoused people. That is an indictment of our priorities.

Our shelters are inadequate — they are overcrowded, often dangerous, and serve people on a first-come-first-serve basis. Many unhoused individuals choose to brave the streets where they face harsh weather, the constant threat of harassment, and daily indignities. Meanwhile, our public housing is also in a state of disrepair. I have seen firsthand through my reporting work how families are dealing with lead paint chips, leaky roofs, and infestations of pests and vermin. I am proposing a new roadmap to ensure that every New Yorker is able to live a dignified life. This is what that looks like:

Housing First

  • Adopt a housing-first approach where unhoused individuals are immediately placed in both vacant apartments and hotel rooms — without requiring them to jump through bureaucratic hoops.

Stop Evictions Immediately

  • Freeze evictions statewide for the duration of the pandemic.

  • Pass the Housing Access Voucher Program to establish a fund to subsidize rent for struggling New Yorkers.

  • Pass Good Cause to stop unjust rent hikes and evictions.

Combat Speculation

  • Impose a pied-a-terre tax to disincentivize speculative purchasing of housing stock.

  • Repeal 421-a, which effectively subsidizes gentrification, encouraging luxury development in what were once affordable neighborhoods.

Expand Public Housing

  • Fund the New York Housing Authority (NYCHA). This will allow us to revamp existing public housing to address hazardous conditions, disrepair, and spatial inequality. It will also allow us to expand public housing development.

  • Fund ventilation upgrades in all existing public housing and subsidize the purchase air filtration units to combat the spread of COVID-19 and other airborne pathogens.

  • Fund energy efficiency upgrades for all public housing.

  • Firmly oppose all privatization efforts of our public housing.

Combat Discrimination

  • Ban discrimination in home appraisals.

  • Support rezoning efforts to undo redlining.

Nomiki Konst is a staunch and long-time ally to the LGBTQIA+ community, going all the way to fighting against Prop 8 in California. As head of Matriarch—an organization dedicated to electing working-class women to office—she ensured 50% openly LGBTQIA+ board membership, including trans members. This continues as she runs for office, having most of her senior staff as members of the LGBTQIA+ community.

Nomiki’s LGBTQIA+ platform focuses on a broad scope of issues:

  • Supporting and sponsoring the bill to add LGBTQIA+ history to the curriculum across the entire state (A817/S01729).
  • To additionally ensure that this happens, writing, sponsoring, and passing legislation to explicitly prevent all school boards from passing a local version of the “Don’t Say Gay Bill” so as to protect our student.
  • From working with organizations and leaders in the LGBTQIA+ we want to make sure there are specific requirements for schools in regards to LGBTQIA+ Students, you could call it in contrast: “May Say Gay Bill”:
    • Giving schools and high schools an additional guidance counselor for the explicit purpose of supporting students who are questioning their sexuality as well those who have come to terms with being LGBTQIA+, but need help dealing with the bigotry in the world as well as their home life.
    • Ensuring all teachers have a professional development day that will include sensitivity training as well as skills development for how to support a student who comes out to them.
    • Giving protection of reporting to students, meaning that guidance counselors and teachers cannot tell the parents of the student unless the student wishes them to assist with talking to their parents or give them permission to do so.
  • Writing legislation that focuses on giving financial support to HIV/AIDS patients who were affected by the bigotry and hate during the AIDS epidemic.
  • Decent, safe, affordable housing for all.
  • Nomiki would work with the local council members to discuss where would be best to construct a runaway youth homeless shelter in the district for the good of the community.
  • In addition, Nomiki supports the current legislation below:
    • A7238/S4834B, which would prohibit using possession of condoms or other sexual health devices as evidence in a trial.
    • A840/S369, which would require the board of education and the trustees or sole trustee of every school district to establish policies and procedures regarding the treatment of transgender or gender non-conforming students.
    • A6616/S02584A, which would require comprehensive sexuality instruction for students in grades K-12 to address age- and developmentally-appropriate physical, mental, emotional and social dimensions of human sexuality.
    • A7807/S85, which would establish the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender long-term care facility residents’ bill of rights.
    • A849/S03075, the Stop Violence in the Sex Trades Act.

Our new 59th New York Senate District sits right across the river from Roosevelt Island and the FDR Four Freedoms Park. That park honors the memory and progressive vision of Franklin D. Roosevelt, the greatest Governor of New York, and the greatest President of the Twentieth Century.

The time has come for Roosevelt’s own New York to take the lead in finally realizing his vision of the Four Freedoms: Freedom of Speech and Expression, Freedom of Religion, Freedom from Want, and Freedom from Fear.

The time has come to secure—as FDR himself proposed in 1944—a second Bill of Rights for the 21st Century; an Economic Bill of Rights for all New Yorkers.

As Senator from our new District, Nomiki will work to advance that vision for New York as a model for America.

This Economic Bill of Rights includes the right to:

  1. A dignified job that pays a living wage.
  2. A voice in the workplace through a union and collective bargaining.
  3. Comprehensive quality health care for all.
  4. Complete cost-free public education and access to broadband internet.
  5. Decent, safe, affordable housing for all.
  6. A clean environment and a healthy planet.
  7. A meaningful endowment of resources at birth, and a secure retirement.
  8. Sound banking, financial education, and financial services for all.
  9. An equitable and economically fair justice system.
  10. Recreation and participation in civic and democratic life.

Nomiki is committed to protecting and preserving our environment so that there’s a future for our planet and for all New Yorkers.

Nomiki wants to clean up the Greenpoint Superfunds Sites, including New Town Creek. To start, she wants to pass statewide legislation that mandates that realtors and landlords must disclose to future residents and current residents of their proximity to any state or federal superfund sites. It is criminal that not every resident is aware of the dangers in their neighborhood, just because no one told them in the first place.

Nomiki also wants to require an environmental assessment on all new developments to make sure that future residential disasters are avoided. New York needs to make its own funding for Superfund sites ourselves.

We need to end the Stock Transfer Tax on all stock trades on fossil fuel stock—the companies who did the damage here need to pay for the billions it will take to fix.

We need to do an environmental impact study by zip code so that people know the dangers of the environment they are living in. During hurricane Ida, people died in Senate District 59 because they weren’t told they lived in flooding zones. Everyone, it is criminal negligence to not notify people. The state has the responsibility to do an environment study that includes the threats of storms and toxicity.

The biggest way to combat climate change is to convert to clean renewable energy. There are many ways we can do that, starting with green roofing and solarizing all public schools, all NYC Housing Authority buildings, and all government buildings, as well as creating a path for all homeowners to be able to do the same. This is just one aspect of clean energy the state can accomplish easily, if we have the will to do so.

Alongside this, we can also use geothermal energy such as geothermal boilers to replace the current boiler and heating systems with ones that will use the natural heat of the earth to make sure the system used to keep us cool or warm are able to do so long term. This must be done for all NYC Housing Authority buildings to make sure we are providing a future for the residents.

The final aspect is using our energy efficiently. That is by firstly banning crypto mining in the state of New York. Crypto has many issues, but the one that threatens this planet is the amount of heat and energy generated by mining crypto currency. Crypto mining uses 50 times the average household in the country, it is a danger to the grid and being able to make sure we have the energy we need.

While we are making sure we are regulating our energy, we need to do right by upstate and downstate at the same time. Farms and land upstate that was going to be used for fracking should be looked at as sites for wind energy generation; that way there is more energy being generated and helping people that is also renewable energy.

To make this help all New Yorkers, we need to integrate the energy grid of downstate New York and Upstate New York so we can ensure we are able to most effectively use our energy. This could be done tomorrow by having NYSAG and Con-Ed connect their systems, because serving New Yorkers and saving the environment needs big changes if we are going to do both.

Change Takes All of Us

THE FIGHT FOR OUR PROGRESSIVE FUTURE STARTS AT HOME