Throughout this election season, I have talked to thousands of voters in my district. During our conversations, people almost always ask about my thoughts on the Kew Gardens jail. I oppose this project, not just because of its location, but because I don’t want new jails. Period. Any proposal that seeks to pour more money into our carceral system, rather than into our communities, is counter-productive. I have no doubt our city would be safer, healthier and more just if we invested the $8.2 …


On April 26th, Mayor De Blasio introduced the largest budget in NYC history totaling $98.6 billion, the vast majority of which will be kept in Wall Street banks. The same week, our City Council members debated a resolution calling on the state legislature to pass the NY Public Banking Act. If I were in City Council now, I would vote in favor of that resolution to pave the way for NYC to create a public bank.

Creating a public bank would advance climate, housing, racial, financial and worker justice. Currently, the majority of the 30 designated banks that keep our…


This Op-Ed was originally published in the Gotham Gazette on May 5, 2021.

On April 26, Mayor de Blasio presented his executive budget plan for the city’s next fiscal year, FY22, which begins July 1. In it, he included slight increases to the NYPD’s budget. This comes on the heels of the largest civil rights movement in a generation demanding reinvestments and the heartbreaking murders of Adam Toledo and Daunte Wright. If I were in the City Council now, I would fight for a right-sized police budget and deep investments into community care when the adopted budget is agreed upon…


This Op-Ed was originally published in the Forest Hills Post on April 22, 2021.

I worry now more than ever about my children growing up on an uninhabitable planet. The science is loud and clear that we need to act urgently.

If I were in City Council now, during these final months of budget negotiations, I would fight to restore and expand funding to municipal composting, and work to make composting mandatory.

New York City is one of the most wasteful cities in the world. generating nearly four million tons of trash each year — a third of which is…


I have lived in Kew Gardens for nearly two decades. I love it here. All the local store owners know my kids, and few things excite me more than the food in my district. Too often, I walk by a shop feeling heartbroken when they are forced to close. The pandemic has thrust our already vulnerable small business sector further into a state of crisis. The Partnership for NYC estimates that roughly one third of NYC’s 240,000 small businesses may not make it.

Even prior to the pandemic, over 1,000 small businesses were closing their doors each month in NYC…


This opinion piece was originally published in the Queens Chronicle on March 22, 2021.

Every year during Women’s History Month, I get tired of people paying lip service to women’s rights. Acknowledging gender inequity is important, yet words fall short when they’re not coupled with deep structural changes. If I have the honor of serving in City Council, I will fight for structural changes, such as universal childcare.

Universal childcare is deeply personal to me. After giving birth to my second of three, I left my job to take care of my children, because childcare costs were too high. I…


This Op-Ed was originally published in the Gotham Gazette on March 4, 2021.

On February 23, public hearings began for City Council Speaker Corey Johnson’s “Planning Together” legislation, which would institute a process for creating a comprehensive plan for New York City. I fully support city planning, but believe Planning Together’s top-down approach needs fundamental change.

New York City is virtually the only major city in this country that does not have a comprehensive city plan. …


This Op-Ed was published in the Queens Daily Eagle on February 21, 2021.

As we celebrate Black History Month, I am struck by the absurd notion that devoting one month to Black History is sufficient. The origin of Black History Month is noble — it was the brainchild of an early 20th century scholar named Carter Woodson, whose parents were enslaved — and its continuation is well-intentioned. Yet, by designating a month for Black History, we “other” it from “normal history.” Black History, not to mention Latinx, Asian, Native and Middle Eastern histories, all need to be represented in the…


As headlines of nursing home COVID casualties dominate local news, it is clear that we need leaders who partner with, and prioritize, our elders. There are simple, cost-effective, and ethical policy remedies that our campaign is fighting for to ensure our elders can age in their homes with dignity.

Our campaign is advocating for a city-wide program to fund and implement home-based safety modifications, such as ramps for wheelchair access and grab bars for bathrooms. Currently, over 80 percent of safety modifications are paid out-of-pocket. This means low-income seniors who can’t afford such improvements are at greater risk of injury…

Aleda Gagarin for NYC Council

Queer mom, activist, organizer, youth coach, nonprofit leader. NY WFP candidate for NYC Council to rep Forest Hills, Kew Gardens, Rego Park, Richmond Hill.

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