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District 8

Diana Ayala

Mott Haven-Port Morris, Melrose, Concourse-Concourse Village, Upper East Side-Carnegie Hill, Upper East Side-Yorkville, East Harlem (South), East Harlem (North), Randall's Island



The Story:

In 2014, the 125th Street Taskforce was established under the leadership of then-Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverto, with Diana Ayala serving as her Deputy Chief of Staff. The primary goal of this taskforce was to tackle a range of pressing issues plaguing the 125th Street Corridor. These challenges encompassed public safety concerns, homelessness, substance abuse, crime, sanitation issues, and quality of life problems.

Diana Ayala diligently collaborated with multiple city agencies, orchestrating a comprehensive, multi-agency strategy supported by financial investments. This approach led to the implementation of legislative initiatives specifically designed to address the community’s unique challenges. After Diana herself became an elected official in 2018, her commitment to the cause only grew. She continued to tirelessly lead the 125th Street Corridor Improvement Working Group, which has since been renamed the East Harlem Public Safety Working Group. This group now encompasses all troubled corridors and their surrounding areas in East Harlem.

Over the course of nine years since its inception, the taskforce has successfully executed a variety of strategies aimed at addressing the community’s concerns. These initiatives included the installation of Argus cameras, strategic placement of police mobile units, and an augmented law enforcement presence in the area. In tandem with intensified cleaning efforts and enhanced lighting throughout the region, notable improvements have emerged: reduced waste, decreased crime rates, and an enhanced sense of safety.

Nevertheless, it’s important to recognize that the 125th Street Corridor still confronts challenges that demand attention. The taskforce’s recent work has undoubtedly made a positive impact in addressing these community concerns. However, it remains crucial to acknowledge that sustained and ongoing efforts are essential to both maintain and build upon these hard-earned improvements.

To this end, the working group remains committed to advocating for additional resources, including an increased police presence to combat illicit drug distribution, the development of affordable housing options for our residents, and expanded access to mental health and homeless resources for those experiencing homelessness.


  • Elected Officials – Federal, City, State
  • Department of Homeless Services
  • 23rd, 25th Precincts & PSA 5
  • Department of Parks
  • Department of Sanitation
  • Uptown Grand Central
  • CUCS Outreach Team
  • CCB 11
  • EDC
  • Hope Community Inc
  • Lott Residence

Highlighted Investments

  • 1 Million Dollar Grates Project
  • Increased Lighting
  • Mobile Command Unit
  • Approx. 300K a year in
  • supplemental cleaning
  • Mental Health Services
  • Street Homeless Outreach
  • Collaboration with Developers
  • Manhattan North Team Created
  • Got city to invest in K2 public awareness campaign