Take a look at some of Rafael’s press releases:


Statement on Public Advocate election result 

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Public Advocate candidate Rafael Espinal issued the following statement:

"Congratulations to Jumaane. I look forward to continuing to work with you in City Hall."

"I’d like to thank all my supporters, my team, and my family and friends. I’m proud of the campaign we ran across across New York city."

"People across the five boroughs are talking about the issues we raised and how to make New York a more livable city. I’m not stopping – our work to green every rooftop, to see healthy food in every school, and to make every bus in NYC clean, electric, and on-time has only just begun."

"I’m especially pleased that we were able to raise the conversation about environmental issues. With the city falling behind on many of its environmental goals, now more than ever the next Public Advocate needs to scrutinize that. Our natural environment sustains us and climate change is putting that under threat."

"Tomorrow, I will be focused on representing my constituents in the City Council, like I have been for the last five years. I’m looking forward to getting back to work tomorrow morning, holding a hearing about ensuring justice for minority communities through marijuana legalization."

"The reality is that NYCHA and the MTA are falling apart, the city needs to be greener, and our children deserve better education and wellness support in schools. As a City Council Member, I will keep fighting for those issues."


Espinal criticizes Mayor and Governor’s Weed for Rails plan

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Brooklyn, NY: Rafael Espinal, candidate for Public Advocate, has blasted the plan announced today by Governor Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio that would use some of the revenue generated by legalizing marijuana to help fund the MTA.

“100 percent of any revenue from legalizing marijuana must be invested straight back into the communities who have been targeted by unjust drug law enforcement for generations. That revenue has the potential to create transformational economic and community development opportunities, but not if it’s siphoned off to help fund transportation in other parts of New York City. Let’s be clear – a sensible and fair approach to marijuana legalization means we have to recognize the historic injustices around drug law enforcement and reform,” said Rafael Espinal.

“When the Governor and the Mayor say there’s no alternative, they’re wrong. There is $11 billion on the table that right now they choose to refund to Wall Street every year through Stock Transfer Tax rebates. That money should be used to fix the MTA, so Wall Street stops getting a free ride.”

“The reality is that marijuana revenue is just a drop in the bucket compared to what the MTA needs. The Governor himself says it will only raise about $300 million a year, and only $83 million in the first year, when the MTA needs $40-60 billion over the next decade just for essential repairs and maintenance. We need a properly transformative approach to funding our city’s crumbling transportation infrastructure. And we need a just approach to marijuana legalization,” said Rafael Espinal.


Espinal welcomes endorsement from Lance Bass 

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Brooklyn, NY: Rafael Espinal, candidate for NYC Public Advocate, is excited to welcome the endorsement of Lance Bass of *NSYNC.

Lance Bass said: “I’m supporting Rafael for many reasons. He’s a friend of the LGBTQ community and a big supporter of music and culture. As the person who repealed the historically homophobic Cabaret Law, Rafael is responsible for legalizing dancing in New York City. And he’s the greenest candidate with a real plan for fighting climate change.”

Rafael Espinal said: “I’m excited to be endorsed by Lance. Music and culture are such an important part of what makes New York City great. I will always be a strong voice in City Hall for our city's performers and entertainers.”


Public Advocate debate shows need for new vision

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Brooklyn, NY: Tonight’s final televised Public Advocate candidates debate showed why New York City needs fresh, bold ideas to drive it forward, Rafael Espinal said.

“New York is a city being driven by crisis, when what we need is someone to advocate for bold ideas to make this more livable. As other candidates struggled tonight to reconcile their past and present positions on important issues, my priorities have always been clear - which is why I addressed the important questions head on in tonight's debate. I have always put our local small businesses ahead of giant corporations, I have always advocated to protect our environment, and I have always worked to make New York a more affordable place to live,” said Rafael Espinal.

“The next Public Advocate has to be the planet’s advocate too. We have to green our city from top to bottom, from green rooftops to our community gardens, to fight climate change. Secondly, we have to make our city more affordable for everyone. I will fight for rent control and lower property taxes for everyone, and always support locally owned small businesses over big corporations.”

“And we have to find innovative ways to give our students the resources they need to get a better education. That is why I am advocating for healthy school lunches across the city and to implement meditation in the classroom, to give the next generation of New Yorkers the tools they need to focus and succeed.”

“Most importantly, we have to get our tax dollars back from Wall Street. Every year, the City and State puts $11 billion of tax rebates back into the pockets of Wall Street traders, when that money should be invested in fixing the MTA and NYCHA housing. It’s time to stop giving Wall Street a free ride.”

“From now until the polls close on election day, I and my team will be out talking to voters across the five boroughs. It’s crunch time for New York City and we know that our bold ideas alongside our committed face to face campaigning will make a real difference.”


Espinal calls for action on environment and clean energy

Saturday, February 15, 2019

Brooklyn, NY: Rafael Espinal, candidate for NYC Public Advocate, has committed to creating a dedicated team in the Public Advocate’s office for environmental and clean energy issues.

On Friday, February 15, Council Member Espinal met with clean energy advocates and industry members to discuss how the next Public Advocate could help accelerate clean and resilient energy technology, to fight climate change and protect New Yorkers against power outages in extreme weather events.

“The future of powering New York is clean and local energy – with solar on rooftops and batteries in buildings to store that energy. But we’re not moving fast enough and there are still too many regulatory hurdles to jump. I have heard from the industry that permitting takes too long. As Public Advocate, I will push the City and the Fire Department to speed up the work they’re doing to enable more solar, battery storage, and microgrids across New York City,” said Rafael Espinal.

“As a City Council Member, I have introduced legislation that would require solar, wind, or ‘green roof’ gardens on our city’s buildings, and I have campaigned for a faster transition to 100% electric buses to clean our air. As Public Advocate, I would build on this work and establish a team in my office dedicated to environmental issues. Their job would be to hold the City accountable on environmental issues to make sure we are on track to meet our goals, and to put forward new ideas to fight climate change and protect the environment. The Public Advocate shouldn’t only advocate for the people of New York City, but also for the environment that sustains us.”

“We saw in Superstorm Sandy that power got knocked out to households, businesses, and hospitals because our grid is vulnerable. If we had more local energy generation and battery storage, we would reduce the risk of people going without power. There are some excellent projects happening already like the Brooklyn Microgrid and the Marcus Garvey Houses solar system, but we need more and we need them faster. When it comes to taking action on climate change, there is no time to waste.”

“The cost of solar panels and batteries is falling every year so the only thing standing in the way of embracing more clean, local energy production is rules and regulations. In-home and local batteries are becoming common around the world and New York should be working faster to bring more of them here,” Rafael Espinal said.

Background:
While some pilot local energy storage projects are already happening in New York, a final version of the Standard for the Installation of Stationary Energy Storage Systems that would allow widespread installation of solar and battery systems is not expected until at least 2020.
 
The 2018 New York Energy Storage Roadmap includes a target of 1,500 megawatts by 2025.


City’s budget shortfall must not cost middle class New Yorkers

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Brooklyn, NY: Following Mayor Bill de Blasio’s announcement today that he expects New York City agencies to cut costs with a Plan to Eliminate the Gap (PEG) program to make up for a shortfall in the City’s budget, Public Advocate candidate Rafael Espinal released the following statement:

“Middle class New Yorkers must not be asked to pick up the bill for the shortfall in the City’s budget. New Yorkers need a strong public advocate to fight for them in City Hall to make sure this budget shortfall doesn’t result in cuts to public services or higher income taxes. Ending rebates of the Stock Transfer Tax to Wall Street, as I have proposed, would provide an additional $11 billion of revenue every year without costing everyday New Yorkers a single cent.”

“With the State proposing $600 million in cuts and cost shifts that will put the squeeze on New York City, it’s clear the people of New York City need a Public Advocate with experience in both city and state politics to make sure our city is getting a fair deal. As my history on the City Council and in the State Assembly has shown, I will always stand up for the communities I represent.”

“I am sure there are legitimate savings to be found from increasing efficiencies in our city agencies but we should not accept any suggestion of cuts to public services or job losses. One area we should target is energy and fuel efficiency. More efficient use of energy and fuel will save our city money, as well as helping the environment by reducing carbon emissions and air pollution. It’s a win-win.”


Espinal demands answers about L train smell

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Brooklyn, NY: Rafael Espinal, candidate for Public Advocate, is demanding answers from the MTA about potentially toxic fumes on the L train.

"L train riders and MTA staff deserve answers and they deserve action to clean up the potentially toxic fumes that have been plaguing them. No one should have to risk getting sick to get to work. The MTA needs to be held accountable. Installing fans to air out the tunnel, while not knowing what is causing the smell, is not good enough," Rafael Espinal said.

"This is yet another example of how the MTA desperately needs better funding for maintenance and repairs. My plan to stop giving Wall Street a free ride and redirect $11 billion of tax rebates into fixing the MTA and NYCHA would give the MTA the resources it needs to stop potentially dangerous problems like this from happening."


Statement on NY1 Public Advocate Candidates Debate 

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Brooklyn, NY: Following tonight’s NY1 debate, Public Advocate candidate Rafael Espinal released the following statement:

“Tonight we saw a lot of bickering but I was the only candidate who laid out a clear plan to actually fix New York’s big problems, like how to fund New York’s crumbling NYCHA housing and broken transportation system. We should be taxing Wall Street to fund the MTA because while Wall Street is getting a free ride, New Yorkers are seeing their fares go up.”

“New York needs a Public Advocate who is ready to take on the tough questions and answer them directly. Dodging questions and dodging crises led us to where we are today as a city, and New York deserves a fresh, honest approach.”

“As one of the only contenders in the debate who didn’t personally invite Amazon to New York, I was proud to stand up for the working people and small businesses of Queens and the whole city tonight.”


NYCHA Needs Money, Not a Monitor

Thursday, January 31, 2019

Queens, NY: The New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) urgently needs billions of dollars to make vital repairs and upgrades, not another bureaucrat issuing reports, said Rafael Espinal, candidate for NYC Public Advocate.

“The Mayor and the Federal Government are shuffling the deckchairs while thousands of people shiver through the winter without heat or hot water. NYCHA residents don’t care which bureaucracy is failing them, they care about their buildings being fixed,” said Rafael Espinal.

“We have the money. New York is a wealthy city. If we stopped refunding Wall Street the Stock Transfer Tax they already pay, we could raise billions of dollars to fix NYCHA immediately.”

“More than five thousand people across 27 buildings had no heat this morning, on the coldest day of the year. The time for arguing over whose fault it is has passed. Now it’s time to invest in actually fixing the problems,” Rafael Espinal said.


Statement on Public Advocate campaign finance issues

Thursday, January 31, 2019

Rafael Espinal issued the following statement on news that some candidates for Public Advocate have not followed campaign finance laws:

“I’m shocked at the news that some candidates have ignored campaign finance laws. This violates the spirit of this election, which is about representing the people of New York. The same candidate who criticized the new matching funds system that helps level the playing field against the influence of big money, now turns out to be the candidate who disregarded the finance rules to spend tens of thousands of dollars. We have these rules for a good reason, and that's because transparency is important for democracy and big money shouldn't be able to buy political success."
 
“The Public Advocate’s job is to make sure the law and the government are working for the people for New York. If someone can’t even follow campaign finance laws themselves, they’re not fit to be Public Advocate. New Yorkers cannot trust someone to hold the City accountable when that same person is failing to follow campaign finance laws. It’s time for establishment politicians who think they’re above the law to step aside, for the good of our city’s democracy.”


Snakey behavior by Board of Elections

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Rafael Espinal, candidate for NYC Public Advocate, today called into question the Board of Elections’ decision on snake-like ballot placing for the February 26 special election. Espinal's campaign team appeared before the Board to argue against the proposed ballot order.

Rafael Espinal said: “It looks to me like the Board of Elections, which includes people who were actually appointed to their jobs by one of the Public Advocate candidates, have made some very strange decisions that aren’t based on any obvious logic. The first row of candidates goes left to right in the order candidates filed petitions to get on the ballot, but the second row goes right to left, then the third row goes left to right again. The ballot positions snake down the page instead of being listed in a logical order. It makes no sense.”

“We have an absurd outcome where the most prominent and advantageous ballot positions go to the candidates who filed first, second, eleventh, and twelfth. The Board of Elections may say they've done this before, but that's not a good reason to keep doing it when it's obviously not a good idea.”

"The Board of Elections seemed to admit today that it was a strange outcome, but they said they couldn't fix it because military ballots had already been printed. But today potential candidates were formally removed from the ballot, so the military ballots would be inaccurate anyway!"

“This continues the farcical process around petitioning to get on the ballot, where candidates with big money can afford to collect signatures quickest to get prime ballot placing, and people line up outside the Board of Elections in the middle of the night to get in the doors first. New York should move to randomized ballot placements in special elections like this one, to give everyone an equal chance and remove the advantage of big money.”


MTA fare increase not needed

Thursday, 24 January, 2019

Queens, NY: Rafael Espinal, candidate for NYC Public Advocate, says the fare increases the MTA Board will vote on today would not be needed if New York stopped rebating the Stock Transfer Tax and instead invested the revenue into transportation.

“We don’t need to raise fares for hardworking New Yorkers. If we simply stop rebating the existing tax on stock transfers, we could raise $11 billion a year to fix the subway and other transportation infrastructure without raising fares a cent,” Mr. Espinal said.

“New York is becoming a harder and harder place to live. We need a Public Advocate who will stand up against decisions that raise the cost of living, especially when there are clear alternatives like ending tax rebates for Wall Street traders.”

“We already have a Stock Transfer Tax in New York, but 100% of it gets rebated back to stock traders. It used to go to the City, so I’m proposing the City gets that vital revenue again. Within a few years, our subway system would once again be the essential infrastructure that underpins New York’s economic success, reduces the city’s traffic congestion, and lowers dangerous carbon emissions,” said Mr. Espinal.

Background Information
New York has had a Stock Transfer Tax on the books since 1906, with revenue split between New York City and the State. In the 1960s, all the revenue went to the City. But since 1981, 100% of the revenue collected has been rebated back to stock traders. For the last 10 years, this has averaged $11.5 billion annually. See https://www.tax.ny.gov/bus/stock/stktridx.htm 


End Wall Street tax rebates to fund the MTA and NYCHA

Monday, January 21, 2019

New York, NY: Rafael Espinal today announced that as Public Advocate, he would push the State to stop rebating New York’s existing Stock Transfer Tax and instead use the $11 billion of annual revenue to fix the subway and NYCHA housing.

Rafael Espinal said: “Every day, millions of New Yorkers battle with delayed trains, slow buses, and congested roads coughing out pollution into our air. Half a million of us shiver through winter in NYCHA housing with broken heating. But it doesn’t have to be like this. Ending rebates of the Stock Transfer Tax would raise $11 billion a year that we could immediately invest in the MTA and NYCHA without congestion pricing, raising subway fares, or relying on the revenue from marijuana legalization.”

“The Stock Transfer Tax already exists, but 100% of it gets rebated back to stock traders! It used to go to the City, so I’m proposing the City gets that vital revenue again. Within a few years, our subway system would once again be the essential infrastructure that underpins New York’s economic success, reduces the city’s traffic congestion, and lowers dangerous carbon emissions. NYCHA would become a model for public housing, instead of a moral failure riddled with poisonous lead and broken heating like it is now. And New York would be a more livable city.”

“The Public Advocate’s job is to work on behalf of the people of New York City to investigate problems and propose solutions. We don’t need any investigations to know that the subway is broken and NYCHA housing is falling apart - we can see it with our own eyes every day. What I am proposing today is the only solution that will actually work to raise enough revenue to fix the MTA and NYCHA, without costing everyday people.”

“What’s more, infrastructure investment would create thousands of jobs putting New Yorkers to work fixing up the subway system and NYCHA housing.”

“For too long, our transportation and housing infrastructure have been starved of the investment they need. No other Public Advocate candidate has come up with a plan that would actually provide the level of investment we need to fix the subway and NYCHA housing to make New York a more livable city.”


Rafael Espinal endorsed by major labor union for NYC Public Advocate

Friday, January 18, 2019

Brooklyn, NY: Rafael Espinal, candidate for NYC Public Advocate, is honored to accept the endorsement of International Brotherhood of Teamsters Joint Council 16, which represents 120,000 workers and 27 local unions in and around New York City.

George Miranda, President of Joint Council 16, said: “Rafael Espinal has stood up for working people when their jobs were under threat many times and now, we are standing up for him. Rafael was the first elected official to stand with the Teamsters when 350 jobs were in jeopardy in a major confrontation with the mayor. He took on Charter/Spectrum and introduced legislation to ensure building workers are paid a prevailing wage. He has had our back as we push for higher wages and safe jobs for private sanitation workers. Rafael knows the importance of protecting and creating good jobs for New Yorkers. We firmly believe that Rafael understands that working people make New York a great city and he will continue to be a strong advocate for us.”

Rafael Espinal said: "I’m honored to be endorsed by the Teamsters, representing 120,000 working people in the New York City area. Our shared vision for a more livable city will ensure that all working people will be represented in City Hall. Throughout my career, on the picket line and in City Hall, I’ve fought for good jobs and fair pay. I’m committed to making New York a more affordable city for working people by fighting for better wages, stronger housing laws, and fixing our transportation system so working people can get home quickly to spend time with their families. My Right to Disconnect legislation will help restore working people’s right to uninterrupted time off with their families and friends. As NYC Public Advocate, I promise to continue to advocate at the highest levels for secure jobs, fair pay, and a more livable city for working New Yorkers.”

The Teamsters' Joint Council 16 represents workers in a wide range of industries, including transportation, food and beverage, sanitation, warehousing, manufacturing, construction, energy, film, parking, and government.


Rafael Espinal’s statement on Liberal Party endorsement

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

New York, NY: Rafael Espinal, candidate for NYC Public Advocate, issued the following statement today after he was endorsed by the Liberal Party of New York:

“I’m pleased to be endorsed by the Liberal Party of New York. To me liberalism is about looking forward not backward, embracing new ideas to make life better for all New Yorkers, and making New York a more livable city. The Public Advocate is the voice of the people, with oversight over all the actions of the City government. I will make sure our city’s leaders always act in the interests of New Yorkers, not special interests.”

“New York is a proudly liberal city that stands against prejudiced and narrow-minded politics. There are forces in America today that seek to divide us and take our country backwards, but in New York we are implementing liberal and progressive policies that improve people’s lives and defend the environment that sustains us. As Public Advocate I will push for more affordable housing, a transportation system that actually works, and solar energy to combat climate change. I will always be on the side of the working people and small businesses who are the backbone of our city’s economy.”

“My record shows that I have delivered liberal changes for our city. I strengthened the civil liberties of our city’s historically marginalized groups by repealing the Cabaret Law. I secured $250 million of investment in affordable housing, homeowner relief, and rebuilt infrastructure for my district. I fought gender disparity by requiring diaper changing stations in all restrooms. I led the call in City Hall to protect our environment from single use plastics. I’ve stood shoulder to shoulder with working people and unions. And I’ve spoken out against corporate handouts like the Amazon deal, since day one. As Public Advocate, I will advocate for all New Yorkers.”

“I am a liberal, a progressive, a Democrat, and an environmentalist. I’m proud to be all these things. When I look at the founding principles of the Liberal Party – from affordable healthcare, to civil rights, to rent control, to protecting the environment – these are exactly the kind of forward-thinking values that New York needs.”


Espinal submits Public Advocate ballot petition signatures from every Assembly district in New York City

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

New York, NY: Rafael Espinal, candidate for NYC Public Advocate, has submitted ballot petition signatures from people living in every Assembly and Council district in New York City.

Rafael Espinal said: “I’m going to be the Public Advocate for all New Yorkers, no matter where they live. We’re running a truly citywide campaign to make New York a more livable city by talking with voters and opening up campaign offices across the city. We’ve got organizers in every county.”

“Our final signature count is over 10,000. Not only do we have two-and-a-half times the necessary number of signatures to get on the ballot, we’ve collected these signatures from New Yorkers in every single Assembly district.”

“We have raised $175,000 so far to support our campaign to make New York a more livable city. We have met the fundraising thresholds for matching funds, giving us the resources to talk with every New Yorker.”

“Across the city, there are communities and neighborhoods who have been ignored and left out of the political conversation. NYCHA residents are shivering in the cold in Brooklyn. People in Harlem are having their community gardens bulldozed. Families in Staten Island are struggling with the cost of living in New York. These New Yorkers need a new Public Advocate with a record of getting things done to make the city more livable.”

“Thank you to all the volunteers and supporters who have worked so hard to get me on the ballot.”


Statement on Mayor de Blasio's State of the City address from NYC Public Advocate candidate Rafael Espinal

Thursday, January 10, 2019

New York, NY: Rafael Espinal, candidate for NYC Public Advocate, issued the following statement:

“I welcome Mayor Bill de Blasio’s commitments to protecting New Yorkers who rent a home, getting working people a fair deal, fixing our bus system and expanding ferry services, and making our city more environmentally sustainable – these are good steps forward but there's more work to do. New York can be a much more livable city but we need bolder and faster changes to make that happen.”

“We need to fix NYCHA so all New Yorkers can live in an affordable, warm, secure home. Urgent action is needed on the dangerous lead issues and to make sure heating works. As the only City Council Member who got a NYCHA heating boiler replaced before the old one broke, my record shows I will stand up for the 400,000 New Yorkers who live in NYCHA housing.”

“New Yorkers are not convinced Amazon’s takeover of Long Island City will make their city a better place to live. As the only City Council Member not to sign a letter inviting Amazon to New York, I will fight to hold our civic leaders and Amazon itself accountable.”

“New York needs a Public Advocate who will push for much faster action to divest public pension funds from fossil fuels. The truth is the City only recently started looking for a consultant to actually do the work. Climate change is an urgent environmental problem and we have have a moral obligation to act faster. Fossil fuels are last century’s fuels and the smart money is in clean energy.”


Espinal Proposes Green Jobs for New Yorkers

Tuesday, January 8th, 2019

New York, NY - Rafael Espinal, candidate for New York City Public Advocate, has today launched a Green New City plan for New York to clean up air quality, combat climate change, create new jobs, and make New York a more livable city. If elected Public Advocate, Espinal will push for expanded funding to develop jobs and skills installing solar panels, roof gardens, and urban agriculture, paid for by working with the New York State to end fossil fuel subsidies.

“A livable city is a sustainable city, where we leave a clean environment for the next generations of New Yorkers. I am absolutely committed to fighting climate change, creating green jobs, and cleaning up our city. New York subsidizes fossil fuels by over a billion dollars every year, and in the age of climate change we must make the choice to spend that money on clean jobs instead,” said Rafael Espinal.

“Climate change is the greatest environmental challenge we face as a city and as Planet Earth, but meeting that challenge is also a huge economic opportunity for New Yorkers. We can create thousands of well paying jobs installing solar panels, in urban agriculture, and switching to more efficient and clean forms of energy and transportation.

“As Public Advocate, I will promote and expand programs that train our city’s young people to install solar panels and build and maintain rooftop gardens - starting with people who live in NYCHA housing being trained and employed to transform their own buildings. I will work with the City, the State, and the solar industry to expand existing Clean Energy Workforce Development programs and develop new programs that empower people to get skills and find work in urban agriculture as well.

“This builds on the legislation I have already introduced to the City Council that would require rooftops in New York to have solar panels generating clean energy or a garden growing healthy food for the people who live in that building. My existing green roofs legislation will create jobs by increasing the demand for green roofs, but today I’m proposing a practical way we can ensure thousands of young New Yorkers are learning the right skills to take up those jobs.

“Cutting fossil fuel subsidies to fund investments in clean jobs instead is an obvious solution to the problem of climate change. I’m looking forward to working with the State Senators and Assembly members who introduced State legislation back in 2017 that would see fossil fuel subsidies reported on and reduced. It’s time for their idea to move forward. Climate change is an issue that needs all levels of New York’s government working together, especially with the White House missing in action.

“As Public Advocate I will not take no for an answer when it comes to fighting climate change. We can’t afford to wait another twenty years to achieve 100% renewable energy like some politicians want to. If the world waits that long then our friends and neighbors in Southern Brooklyn, Long Island City, and even parts of Manhattan are going to have the rising sea at their doorsteps.

“We’ve got to be rolling out electric car chargers across the city, and enabling small business owners to install them on sidewalks. We should be saying yes when someone comes up with a new clean transport technology that can reduce pollution, instead of arguing about regulations and slowing down the uptake of e-bikes and e-scooters.

“As Public Advocate I won’t just advocate for the people of New York, I’ll fight to clean the air and protect our environment. That’s an important part of what makes a livable city,” said Rafael Espinal.

Rafael Espinal’s full platform of environmental commitments is:

  1. Require every rooftop in New York City to be green with agricultural, solar, or wind energy output.

  2. Expand training and employment programs for young people in the clean energy and urban agriculture industries.

  3. Work with the City and State governments to end fossil fuel subsidies.

  4. Ensure city regulations promote urban agriculture.

  5. Introduce legislation that allows small business owners to install electric vehicle charging stations on sidewalks.

  6. Introduce legislation to ensure all new cars sold in New York by 2030 are electric.

  7. Accelerate the transition to a 100% electric bus fleet for the MTA.

  8. Work with bike share operators to expand into all communities.

  9. Ensure electric bicycles and scooters are legalized.

  10. Introduce legislation to phase out the sale and use of single-use plastic products.


Rafael Espinal Submits Petitions for Public Advocate Candidacy, Calls for Random Ballot Order

Monday, January 7, 2019.

New York, NY: Rafael Espinal has submitted petitions to the New York City Board of Elections to get his name on the ballot for the Public Advocate special election on February 26, and called for changes to the chaotic ballot placement process to make ballot positions random in future special elections.

“This morning, I submitted over 6,000 signatures from New Yorkers across the city, who support my candidacy, to be able to compete and win the election for Public Advocate,” said Rafael Espinal.

“I’m happy with my ballot position but the chaotic first-in-first-served process needs to be fixed. Democracy shouldn’t be like trying to get a cheap TV on Black Friday. It’s madness. Ballot positions should be random. We need reform for future special elections. With the recent reform of campaign finance rules, this special election continues to show how broken the system is. The current ballot process allows big money to benefit candidates.”

“Every day my campaign on the Livable City party line is growing in support and momentum. We’re looking forward to continuing to talk with all New Yorkers about how we can make New York a more livable city. I want to thank all of my friends and volunteers who have collected and are still collecting petition signatures." 

“I’m getting really positive feedback from New Yorkers who want the next Public Advocate to hold the city accountable and put forward a vision for the future of our city. As Public Advocate, I will empower the people of New York to take our city back from those who make it too expensive to live in, disregard our environment, and dismiss our voices,” said Rafael Espinal.


Espinal: MetroCard discount delay shows why Public Advocate should be on MTA Board

Thursday, January 3, 2019

New York, NY: Unexplained delays to the discounted MetroCards that were supposed to become available on January 1 for low income New Yorkers show why the Public Advocate should be on the MTA Board, Rafael Espinal said today.

“As Public Advocate, when our city leaders say they’re going to do something that will benefit thousands of New Yorkers, I will make sure they actually do it,” said Rafael Espinal.

"The MTA is a huge part of people's everyday lives and so the Public Advocate should have a direct line of influence to make sure our transportation networks are serving New Yorkers.

"The funding is there for discounted MetroCards and the city has had six months to work out how to introduce discounted MetroCards. New Yorkers deserve an explanation about why the discounted MetroCards they were promised aren’t available yet.

“For New York to be a truly livable city, everyone should be able to get around easily and affordably - whether that’s to work, to school, or to enjoy everything else our city has to offer.

“Every day it gets harder and more expensive to live in New York and delays to discounted MetroCards only make it worse. It’s time to stop delaying the good ideas that will make New York a livable city,” Rafael Espinal said.


L Train alternative DOT / MTA plans should still go ahead

Thursday, January 3, 2019

New York, NY - The alternative plans to improve transportation in Brooklyn and Manhattan should still go ahead, despite the news that a full shut-down of the L Train will be avoided, Public Advocate candidate Rafael Espinal said today.

“This is a part of our city that already has huge pressure on its transportation system. The City should go ahead with its plans to ease that pressure even if the L Train won’t be completely shut down,” said Rafael Espinal.

“Things like expanding the network of bus and bike lanes and extending CitiBike further into Brooklyn are good proposals and still necessary so the City should push ahead with them.

“Of course I’m relieved on behalf of the 400,000 people who rely on the L Train every day that the full shutdown has been avoided. But that’s no excuse to go back to the status quo which is more traffic, slow buses, and crowded trains. With all the good planning that’s been done, we should follow through on making it easier to get around.

“Making New York a livable city means serious investments in transport infrastructure to make it easier for New Yorkers to get around and reduce pollution. Trains and buses are simply a much more efficient and affordable way to move people around a city the size of New York,” Rafael Espinal said.


Rafael Espinal Ready To Run For Public Advocate

WEDNESDAY JANUARY 2, 2019

New York, NY: City Council Member Rafael Espinal has announced his campaign is ready to begin collecting the signatures of 4,000 New Yorkers needed to get on the ballot in the special election for New York City Public Advocate.

Mayor Bill De Blasio today confirmed the special election will be held on February 26.

“My team is ready to go and tonight we’ll be hitting the streets talking to New Yorkers about why we need a Public Advocate with bold ideas to make our city an even better place to live. At midnight tonight, we’ll begin collecting signatures to get my name on the ballot,” said Rafael Espinal.

“As the creator of the Night Mayor and Office of Nightlife, I recognize the many New Yorkers who work nights and I’m here to listen to them and represent them.

“I’ll be running on the Livable City party line. A livable city is about making sure every New Yorker can enjoy quality of life, with affordable housing, clean air, and good jobs. We shouldn’t have to advocate for the basics of cleaner streets, functioning transportation systems, and safer communities - these should just be normal things.

“This election is about taking back our city from the people who make it expensive to live in and hard to get around, who pollute the air we breathe, and who ignore us when we raise our voices. As Public Advocate, I want to empower New Yorkers to hold their elected officials accountable.

“As Public Advocate, I will continue the work I’ve been doing on the City Council making New York a more livable city for everyone who calls it home. That includes fixing the NYCHA to provide the warm, affordable homes that everyone deserves and insisting that if the Amazon development goes ahead, Amazon has to seriously invest and partner with our communities so that New Yorkers see the benefits.

“This campaign is about bold new ideas for the future of our city. I’m excited to talk with New Yorkers from all corners of the city about the changes they want to see happen.”

Media contact: Robin Campbell, (929) 319 6497, press@rafaelespinal.nyc