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District 8

Diana Ayala

El Barrio/East Harlem, Mott Haven, Highbridge, Concourse, Longwood, Port Morris

The Councilmember remains grateful to the community, essential workers and partners for working tirelessly in providing pandemic resources and for their resiliency in facing a difficult and challenging year.  The pandemic amplified so many of the inequalities communities like ours face, and the fragility of our systems were on full display.  To recover from this challenging moment the Councilmember will continue to fight for rent relief, small business assistance, food security and the needs of our students. Here are some of the things Councilmember Ayala has been doing since the beginning of the Pandemic:

  • Small Business
    • To alleviate some of the economic devastation brought on by this pandemic Councilmember Ayala created the Small Business Grant from the proceeds available through the sale of the Pathmark Supermarket previously located at 125th Street.  These grants assisted over 300 small businesses in keeping their doors open during the pandemic.
  • Councilmember Ayala proudly co-sponsored the City Council’s Small Business package.  This package of bills provided relief to small businesses and restaurants impacted by COVID-19, capping third-party fees and protections against commercial tenant harassment. 
  • Food Insecurity
    • The Councilmember secured thousands of meals for vulnerable residents in District 8, from Millbrook Houses in Mott Haven to Franklin Plaza in East Harlem and working with New York Common Pantry and other local non-profits ensuring that those who have been severely impacted by the pandemic have access to a consistent flow of meals.
  • PPE
    • Councilmember Ayala advocated with the Mayor’s office for a distribution site in her district when it had the highest rate of COVID-19 in all of New York City. Through these efforts residents were able to receive PPE within their community to keep their families safe. 
  • Fighting for Students
    • As students grappled with the uncertainty of the school year, Councilmember Ayala remained steadfast alongside her colleagues in giving the needs of students her highest priority, advocating to ensure students receive the necessary technology and capacity for the highest level of remote learning, and demanding the DOE provide a safe and healthy environment.  As well Councilmember Ayala co-sponsored Intro. 2057, a local bill to prevent food insecurities involving school shutdowns.