Raised by a single mother and grandparents who believed that FDR & the labor union movement were the greatest achievements in American history, Thomas grew up understanding that workplace equality and discrimination were not abstract concepts. Strong beliefs in school integration & fighting racism led him to social justice & political campaigns. Protests against the death penalty, war, pollution fostered his belief that politics can be used to build governments that protect the weakest among us even if they look, talk, or act differently from others. He became a teacher, a computer programmer, a parent, then returned to teaching. He became active with the teachers' union, civic groups, and participated in local politics: President of the Staten Island Democratic Association, Democratic Party District Leader, organized delegates for Bernie Sanders and was elected as delegate to the national convention.
As President of the Staten Island Borough, he will focus on the following issues.
Rent. Both residential and commercial rent, is too high and getting worse. Government must stipulate that new real estate development provide affordable rent options for tenants. Landlords must be given incentives to keep existing tenants and not ask for exorbitant rent increases which leads to high vacancy rates.
Protecting the environment. Wetlands and woodlands must be protected from irresponsible development. Trees help keep our air clean, fresh water is a necessity for life. Destruction of these areas must be prevented.
Protecting the vulnerable. Undocumented workers must not be allowed to live in fear of deportation.