BED-STUY, BROOKLYN — Voters in New York City’s 36th Council District — which extends over Bed-Stuy and Crown Heights — will see five names on their ballots when they vote in the June 22 primary election.
One of those names will be Tahirah A. Moore, a former Brooklyn borough director for the Mayor’s Community Affairs Unit and an adviser in the Mayor’s Intergovernmental Affairs Unit.
Patch reached out to all candidates in the election to create these profiles. Moore’s responses are below:
Neighborhood of residence
Does anyone in your family work in politics or government?
Head-Start program in Marcy Houses, P.S. 297, and I.S. 33. Graduated from Norman Thomas High School and Liberty University.
Candidate for the 36th Council District
Previous or Current Elected or Appointed Office
I have not held public office but I have served as a Legislative/Budget Assistant and Constituent Services Director at the New York City Council, as Brooklyn Borough Director in the NYC Mayor’s Community Affairs Unit, and Senior Advisor in the Mayor’s Intergovernmental Affairs Unit.
Why are you seeking elective office?
I was proudly born and raised in Marcy Houses. I know first-hand what the neglect of Black and brown New Yorkers looks like. I am touched by the very social justice issues Black and brown people are fighting for today. I am running to serve those who deserve the best, but too often get the least. I have worked on both sides of the aisle while forging a path informed by examples of service, in spite of struggle. My vision and values of co-governance come from this very community. I am running to shift the paradigm in the 36th District—and all of NYC–from neglect and indifference to thriving and prosperity.
The single most pressing issue facing our (board, district, etc.) is _______, and this is what I intend to do about it.
There are many issues that face the 36th Council District–healthcare, education, public safety, housing–and they are all connected in a system that devalues Black and brown lives but most pressing for me is gun violence. I have lost 36 friends and family members to gun violence.
My intention is to greatly expand the Crisis Management System and turn it into it’s own public safety agency. CMS is based on the public health model “Cure Violence.” It brings credible messengers to the community to mitigate violence. It is an effective program that has been underfunded, in no small part, because of an over-funded police budget. As a staffer in City Hall, I secured 10 million dollars for Cure Violence in Bed-Stuy.
What are the critical differences between you and the other candidates seeking this post?
Other than my time in college, I have lived in City Council District 36 my entire life. I have deep connections with other organizers in this community. I know who is doing the real work of ensuring the well-being of all community members–across faiths, across incomes, across languages. I have spent my entire career serving the people of this district, not just the few. My time in city government has taught me how to cut through red tape and deliver the resources that our community needs.
How do you think local officials performed in responding to the coronavirus? What if anything would you have done differently?
When it came to coronavirus it was more of the same–neglecting Black and brown communities. We had one of the highest rates of infection yet there were inadequate testing sites in the 36th District. I identified available spaces in the community to ensure that the people of this district could get tested and receive appropriate healthcare.
Describe the other issues that define your campaign platform.
My top priorities are healthcare, education, truly affordable housing, responsibly reducing the NYPD budget and supporting our small businesses.
I want to expand NYC Cares through public partnership with private hospitals and bring a woman’s health facility to my district. We have terrifying maternal mortality rates for black women in this city and need to increase access to good reproductive healthcare.
I was part of the group that moved PS 297 to a Community School model to better address the specific needs of its students, especially those experiencing homelessness. NYC can and should be providing a high-quality education to all of its children.
Due to gentrification, housing is a real issue in my district. I will fight privatization of NYCHA and for triple investment (city, state and federal) in public housing so that buildings can be repaired and updated. I want to move us toward using real income to determine affordability rather than AMI because housing is a human right. I have fought deed theft and stand against illegal evictions. I am also very concerned about the rising homelessness rate among seniors.
The NYPD budget is robbing us of important resources that we need in our community. We need to refund our schools, our social security programs and increase access to high-quality medical care for all. We need to take the money that is spent criminalizing and incarcerating our Black and brown youth and create supportive community-based programming that honors their God-given talents and aptitudes. That is the reason I fought so hard for the Marcy Houses community center. It took me 20 years but now kids have a place to go and be nurtured.
By every measure Covid hit the small businesses in the 36th district hard. As we build back I want to make sure we build back with Minority/Women Business Enterprises. M/WBEs have been central to our business community. I want to make sure they have the Money, Marketing and Mentorship they need to push past surviving and become thriving businesses. We have some great resources in New York from BE NYC, WE NYC to Chamber on the Go. I will make sure our small business owners are connected to those services.
What accomplishments in your past would you cite as evidence you can handle this job?
When the Marcy Houses Community Center was closed, I was a teenager and was directly impacted. I worked for 20 years to get that Community Center built and oversaw the project. In the midst of the pandemic, I kept work moving and we cut the ribbon on November 6, 2021.
I have secured $3.1M for medical services in the Bed-Stuy DOHMH building. I prevented the closing of Seniors programming in the 36th district. I worked to establish the K2 task force. I brought extended hours to the community centers in District 36.
I was instrumental in school yard renovations at PS 297 and it’s conversion to a community school better able to meet the needs of it’s many homeless students. I got the audible alarms bill signed into law.
I secured $10M for the Crisis Management System. I was instrumental in getting the original bill to stop the use of chokeholds by the NYPD signed into law.
I got $100M in funding to repair the roofs at Albany Houses. I got sidewalks repaired at NYCHA’s Marcy, Tompkins and Sumner Houses. I worked to fight deed theft in our district.
I was able to fix the pool and get other renovations done at the St. John rec center and fixed the amphitheater in Von King Park. I was part of the group that got Weeksville Heritage Center designated as a Cultural Institution Group. I was instrumental in helping 227 Duffield Street, which is tied to the abolitionist movement, achieve landmark status. I also brought Brooklyn Pride Center to Restoration Plaza.
The best advice ever shared with me was:
“Those closest to the problem are closest to the solution” has become my guiding principle. I’ve been touched by many, many of the issues that face Bed-Stuy residents and I believe we have the answers we need to build a thriving community. This perspective has made me dedicated to Co-governing with the people of this District.
What else would you like voters to know about yourself and your positions?
I am a daughter of the 36th District. When I had unstable housing as a teenager it was the people of this community who always made sure I had a place to sleep. They had my back and I will always, always have yours.