by Lou Cespedes – Christian, Homeowner & Candidate to the 45th Council District
I am not different from anyone else in my community. I’m happily married to my wife of 15 years, I am a homeowner, I have a three-year-old daughter, and a full-time job. I want what everyone seeks for their own family, safety, opportunity and prosperity. One thing that makes me unique is that I am a very good problem solver. I am an engineer by profession, and in my line of work, when I solve a problem, I cannot afford failure. My work must be correct, on time, and on budget.
We have many shared problems to solve in 45th City Council District which consists of Flatbush, East Flatbush, Midwood, Marine Park, Flatlands and Kensington. Among them, failing schools and businesses, housing insecurity, gun-violence, and economic disenfranchisement. These problems affect both you and I in real and frightening ways. We must provide solutions to these problems, and we cannot afford failure.
I am not a career politician. I am not an “activist”. I don’t protest or yell out of bullhorns on street corners about our misfortune. I am a businessman. I prefer to work quietly to correct inequity. For example, I provide pro-bono guidance to homeowners to defend against developers. I helped create the first E. Flatbush Pod for toddlers during the pandemic. I led the research for a Pilot Program in E. New York, which will now be approved by the State of New York, to legalize basement and cellar apartments. I’m a mentor to teens, and I am Christian. My faith teaches me that G-d’s promises to us must be redeemed through our individual action. I will make you no promises because you don’t need my promises. If I stand on G-d’s promise, that is how you will know I am working for your benefit. Are your current leaders making your life better? “You will know them by their fruits”. (Matthew 7 v.15-20)
In psychology, Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs says, for humans to achieve fulfillment they first need security, shelter, food, and rest. Our community has none of these things.
We face only one critical issue in Flatbush: Land Use! All other ailments in our district – homelessness, unemployment, poor education, taxes, business closures, healthcare, transportation, poverty, policing, gun violence, and economic insecurity, stem from the value of our property. We are “house rich and cash poor”. We are over-taxed on our property. I am a builder, and I know that accelerated development and unchecked gentrification is the root cause of displacement and financial insecurity in our community. Our current council member is selling our community out from under us to developers. If you don’t believe me, just look around your neighborhood!
If elected to the city council, I vow to stop the Rezoning of E. Flatbush and work tirelessly to have our homeowner and business base retain their wealth and remain stakeholders in our community.
We do not need legislation to achieve this. We can overcome our challenges with creativity, unity of purpose, and with our own ingenuity and resources. In my first 45 days in office, I will change outcomes for our community by focusing on employment and entrepreneurship to serve our seniors and most vulnerable citizens. I will implement after school vocational and mentoring programs to train youth on career opportunities, and give adults continuing education. We will address our homeless and mentally ill population by creating work and healthcare options to get them on a path to securing supportive housing. I will set out to implement free or low-cost childcare alternatives for working parents. Most importantly, I will start-up our own neighborhood housing development corporationnamed “E-Flat NDC”, and its mission will be to secure existing housing, expand homeownership opportunities, and procure our own new developments. We must remain owners of our land and homes, and we must create the banking and professional networks to allow us to build in our own community as stakeholders.
I believe in economic self-reliance and self-determination. We must safeguard our patrimony and our children’s financial future.
I am running because I am prepared to bring these immediate solutions to our community. We do not need the Mayor or the Governor to achieve them. I offer the skill, wisdom, and experience our current Councilmember and other candidates in this race cannot offer. We have the resources, and with the right leadership we have no reason to fail. We do not need to be led by crisis surfers or reactionary personalities. Instead, I offer leadership that is goal oriented, based on fairness, common sense, proven performance, and success.
I ask for you to rank me first – Lou Cespedes – when you vote in the Primary on June 22nd. FLATBUSH DESERVES BETTER!
Twitter: @louforflatbush #NoFlatbushRezoning