June 12, 2024
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Sukhi Singh’s Bold Vision for NYC District 29: A Fight for Housing Security and Linguistic Inclusion

Sukhi Singh's Bold Vision for NYC District 29: A Fight for Housing Security and Linguistic Inclusion
Sourced Photo (Images internally provided)

As the New York City Council District 29 race approaches, candidate Sukhjinder Singh Nijjar, affectionately known as Sukhi Singh, has made it his life’s mission to elevate the voices of its less privileged and neglected members. Since migrating from Punjab, India, 31 years ago, he has embraced the vibrant melting pot of cultures in the district, transforming it from his adopted homeland to a place he passionately protects and nurtures.

At the heart of Singh’s campaign is his commitment to housing security, a burning issue that cuts across the varied demographics of Queens. As escalating rents and redevelopment pressures threaten to displace long-standing residents, Singh has been advocating for the community’s financial well-being by pushing for the expansion of rent stabilization laws to preserve the vibrancy that defines the community.

In New York, these laws apply only to buildings constructed before 1974 that have six or more units. Their key provisions include limits on rent increases, the right to lease renewal, regular maintenance services, and overcharge protection.

Singh is especially worried about the construction boom in Forest Hill, where an increasing number of high-rise buildings have caused multiple issues that should otherwise be covered by these laws.

Sukhi Singh's Bold Vision for NYC District 29: A Fight for Housing Security and Linguistic Inclusion
Sourced photo

“Our constituents are being pushed out of their homes due to rent and tax hikes, declining home values, or landlords selling buildings for redevelopment. This makes it difficult for them to find affordable housing,” he says. “As community leaders, we need to ensure that everyone, regardless of income level, can continue calling Queens their home.”

Singh’s mission is not only about maintaining the physical fabric of the community but also safeguarding the rich tapestry of the life it nurtures. He recognizes that New York’s strength lies in its diversity, yet the city’s language barrier issues persist.

In a place teeming with a myriad of languages and cultures, Singh believes that no one should be denied essential public services because of linguistic challenges. And so he aims to bridge this gap through the provision of full language access across major government and state-funded institutions such as hospitals, police stations, libraries, public transit, and schools.

“It’s not enough to say we’re diverse, so we need to actively demonstrate it through our actions. Full language access in all public offices is a necessity, not a luxury. Our immigrants, irrespective of their English proficiency, have a right to these services,” Singh emphasizes.

Sukhi Singh's Bold Vision for NYC District 29: A Fight for Housing Security and Linguistic Inclusion
Sourced photo

Singh’s full language access campaign is two-fold. One is that it covers essential services such as document translation, interpreter availability, and the presence of staff who can speak the languages widely used in the community. And two, Singh’s campaign is focused on quality education through the promotion of after-school programs and a variety of educational projects aimed at younger generations to ensure a secure future for them.

“Our children are our future, and we need to make sure that they have a brilliant life ahead of them,” Singh emphasizes. “Children of immigrants are a particularly vulnerable group in our society, and as leaders, we need to fight hard not just for their safety but also for an improved quality of life by creating more secure and more inclusive neighborhoods.”

Singh’s inclusive vision for Queens is not just the hallmark of a compelling political campaign but also a testament to the values that have shaped his journey. His campaign represents a bold step forward towards realizing a vision where Queens’ diverse populace is not just a statistic but a source of strength and unity.

“Queens is more than just a place. It’s a community, a family,” Singh asserts. “We need to stand together, protect one another, and work towards creating an environment where everyone can prosper.”

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