Xamayla Rose Brings Solid Experience & Ideas To City Council Race

Although it’s hard to hear 45th City Council District Candidate Xamayla Rose above the Sunday afternoon din at Panino Rustico, 5801 Avenue N in Mill Basin when she speaks it is direct and to the point.

Rose was born in the district at SUNY Downstate, and spent almost her entire life in the district, which includes Flatbush, East Flatbush, Flatlands, Midwood and Canarsie. Knowing the district intrinsically, and having a wealth of experience in government, Rose feels, will serve her well if successful in succeeding former City Council Member Jumaane Williams, who was recently elected New York City Public Advocate setting up the special city council election.

“I got started in politics as a community organizer in 2005 when my brother was murdered at 15-years-old by a local gang for his Ipod. At the time my family were entrepreneurs. We had a private health care company and a construction company. We closed one of those businesses to open a non-profit (The Christopher Rose Community Empowerment Campaign – named for her late brother) and I began  organizing with the non-profit, working on antiviolence efforts, marches and NYPD in schools. That’s how I got started and I never looked back,” said Rose.

City Council Candidate Xamayla Rose.

After organizing in the community for about three years while former City Council Member Kendall Stewart was in the council, Rose felt the non-profit wasn’t getting the kind of support it needed, but was offered an opportunity to work in former Borough President Marty Markowitz‘s office to combat youth violence and help develop youth programs across the borough.

When Williams was elected to replace Stewart,  Rose returned to the district where she had a chance to help Williams launch his Shirley Chisholm Community Center project while also becoming an active member of Community Board 17.

Among the main issues in the district, Rose said one of the complaints she hears most often are from the many one-and two-family homeowners in the district who feel there is a strong need to contextualize the zoning.

A lot of developers are coming in and constructing larger buildings between single and two-family homes. The community  board has also received a number of complaints about this construction damaging the foundations of neighboring homes, she said.

Rose also noted the need for more affordable housing, particularly senior housing. As such, she supports Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams‘ initiative where government is helping finance some senior housing through the local clergy and non-profits.

“Senior housing is a real big concern. We’re in a NORC (Naturally Occurring Retirement Community) district where more than 30 percent of our residents are over 55,” she said.

In regard to supporting the mayor and governor’s plan to create congestion pricing fees for motorists entering parts of Manhattan to help pay for MTA upgrades, Rose said she wasn’t sure on the plan.

“Whenever we talk about raising money for the MTA it always falls back on the people,” said Rose. “There’s never any transparency with the MTA. Now its about opening up the books, figuring out why they [MTA] are hemorrhaging money and then find a way so it doesn’t always fall back on the people. That’s my take on it.”

Other issues that Rose sees in the district include finding more safe spaces for young people and ensuring local schools are resourced properly.

Rose would also like to see continued small business development, particularly along some of the main business thoroughfares of the district like at the Flatbush/Nostrand Junction and along Church Avenue. She said she would like to see more shared office space like the Brooklyn Commons in Prospect Lefferts Gardens, and wants to assist young entrepreneurs find access to capital and financing for business ideas.

The date and logistics for the upcoming special election to replace Williams at post time can sound confusing.

According to a Board of Elections spokepserson, the BOE certifed Williams as the public advocate election winner today, but as of post time he did not resign his city council seat yet.

Once he does resign his seat, as per the city charter, Mayor Bill de Blasio has three days to call a special city council election to fill Williams seat. The special election will then be followed by a primary and a general election. The winner will serve through 2021.

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