Dear Residents of Roosevelt Island,
My name is Gus Christensen and I would be honored to represent you in Albany. I am a proud progressive with a concrete vision for making New York into a city where middle class families and seniors can live comfortably and securely. I will fight for affordable housing, for good jobs, and for investment in our local public schools and in our mass transit systems. I will also fight to insure that Roosevelt Island gets the representation and respect that it deserves from Albany. I have been endorsed by the New York Times and the Daily news. I hope that you and your fellow voters will choose me on September 9th.
I am a lifelong New Yorker and a passionate advocate for our community. I serve as President of the Lenox Hill Democratic Club and as a director on several non-profit boards, including the New York Landmarks Conservancy, which has been integrally involved in the preservation of historic structures on Roosevelt Island such as the Chapel of the Good Shepherd.
I have spent two decades working in finance, helping businesses grow and create jobs. I want to put my real world budget and finance experience to work for middle class families and seniors. As an accounting and budgeting expert, I will increase affordable housing and strengthen rent regulations, get our schools their fair share and protect senior services. I will stand up for Roosevelt Island and the Upper East Side and make sure our communities receive the services they need. I am 100% pro-choice and a strong supporter of a woman’s right to choose. I will vote to pass Governor Cuomo’s Women’s Equality Act that protects a woman’s right to choose and make her own reproductive health care decisions.
The residents of Roosevelt Island deserve a greater say in their governance. RIOC should not be operating with a board whose terms have expired while the community stands ready to provide democratically elected directors. The island’s elected officials need to work closely with the Governor’s office to make sure that fair-minded, diligent, community-focused and representative members are appointed to full terms on the RIOC Board. Furthermore, if I were elected to represent the island, I would do everything that I could to calm the waters at RIRA, because all islanders are being hurt by the discord there, not just the Common Council members who have to endure it personally.
We need to fight to keep Roosevelt Island an affordable bastion for the middle class. Albany needs to get more actively and productively involved in dealing with the exodus of island buildings from the Mitchell-Lama program, focusing on the interests of residents as well as the preservation of as much affordable housing as possible. Given the island’s small size and limited commercial business community, RIOC needs to be more financially supportive of local community activities, such as the arts and athletics. Roosevelt Island needs better transportation links, such as ferry service and improved bus links with Queens. And we need to work closely with Cornell-Technion to manage the growth of their new campus to benefit the entire community.
I believe my background and my abilities uniquely prepare me to overcome the hurdles we face. Together, we can achieve better jobs for working New Yorkers, we can preserve and create more affordable housing, and we can build a better New York, where seniors, working families and the middle class can all live with dignity, and where all of our children have the same opportunity to succeed.
I hope to have your vote this fall and to earn the honor of representing you in Albany.