Daniella May Runs for City Council in District 31 Race

 Daniella May Runs for City Council in District 31 Race

By Katie McFadden

Early voting begins this Saturday, October 28 leading into Election Day on Tuesday, November 7, and those in District 31, covering Arverne to Far Rockaway, will have a choice in their City Council race. Democrat Councilwoman Selvena Brooks-Powers has been serving District 31 since winning a special election in early 2021, but this election season, she has a challenger with Republican Daniella May on the ballot.

Daniella May, of Rosedale in District 31, has spent her career as a nurse, initially working in the operating room for plastic surgeries, but when elective surgeries were put on hold during the Covid pandemic, she switched gears to respond to the emergency on the frontlines. May became active in administering Covid tests and vaccinations in public schools, NYCHA buildings and other facilities, and then switched gears to working with migrants and those facing monkeypox. Working under these circumstances gave her the ability to work shifts across the borough, allowing her to meet a variety of people. And through that experience, she learned the folks in these various communities were dealing with similar issues.

“I got to pick which neighborhoods to work in and I got to see what’s going on in each place and neighbors would be talking about things going on in their neighborhoods and I kept hearing the same complaints about how much money is spent on things, yet these places were still deteriorating,” May said. So she decided to step up to be the change that people are hoping for.

May decided to run for city council in her district as a republican. “As I looked at my core values and what I believe in, I learned that I align more with the republican party. I always thought that democrats are for the people but when I got down to it and looked into what each party stands for, I started agreeing more with republicans and I felt I could run as a republican and be honest about it,” May said.

Although she has no experience in politics, May believes her experience working as a nurse since 2013, will make her a good fit for the position. “Being a nurse, you need to have that passion, empathy and understanding of what the everyday person is going through,” she said. May also has experience going above and beyond for people beyond her career. In 2020, she launched a still-developing nonprofit, Agenda 700, to help people learn how to build good credit, providing people with the tools to know which credit cards to pursue, what items to purchase to build credit and how to manage it, after teaching herself how to do the same. “Credit is a game and if you use it the right way, you can prosper. Not everyone knows how to do that,” she said.

Among the issues most important to May is education, improving infrastructure, reducing crime and especially for Far Rockaway, bringing a trauma hospital to the peninsula. “Education is something that I think is overlooked. In a recent study, kids are performing at six to seven percent in math and reading. Kids in the third grade are reading at a kindergarten level. There’s also a cap on charter schools, which I think are a great resource to provide parents with options. We also need more after school programs to help kids with homework and more college prep courses. Plus, we really need to start teaching things like financial literacy, civics and things that impact your day to day lives. We’re seeing a lot more entrepreneurs, but kids don’t know how to write grants. We need to help provide these lessons for them,” May said on education.

After seeing constant flooding in Far Rockaway and in her own neighborhood of Rosedale, May sees a major need for infrastructure upgrades. “This isn’t just over the last two years. This has been a 30-year problem. Just look at what happened with it rained for three days a few weekends ago. Our infrastructure has serious problems,” she said.

On crime, May said, “Over the last few weeks, I’ve been to a lot of community meetings and NYPD community council meetings, where they’re all saying crime is down, and everyone looks around in shock and awe. We want to figure out where that’s coming from to say crime is down because that’s not what we see. We need to build better bridges between police and the neighborhood, rather than create a divide. I’d like for police to work more closely with neighbors and nonprofits. When I went to Martin Van Buren High School, there was always an officer that knew us and if he saw we weren’t in school, he’d tell us to go back. Where is that? It’s not there anymore.”

While these issues impact the entire district, May’s major focus for Far Rockaway is bringing a trauma center to the area. “Coming as a nurse, having a trauma hospital is really important. I’ve seen how time matters in certain instances, when it comes to stopping bleeding or treating a heart attack and there’s a lot of elderly in Far Rockaway with many senior centers and assisted livings. Where are they going and how quickly are they getting there? It takes, on average, half an hour to get to Jamaica Hospital,” she said. Her opponent, Councilwoman Brooks-Powers, has been working on this issue, establishing a Trauma Center Task Force to research and develop ways to bring a trauma hospital to Rockaway, but May believes there needs to be quicker, direct action. “She has a task force, which is okay, but we don’t need $25 million for more research and development. We’ve researched it, now let’s develop it,” she said. May adds that if there is no space to build a trauma center, helicopter transportation should be considered to quickly transport trauma patients.

Although she doesn’t live in Rockaway, May says she has done home health care in the area and has friends in the area. Over the last few months on the campaign trail, May has been making efforts to attend community meetings and events to get her name out there, and she’s been engaging in some good ol’ fashioned door knocking to introduce herself to potential voters, which she’ll continue to do through Election Day.

But May says it’s up to the voters to decide on trying something different. “We get such low voter turnout, but this is an important election not only for city council, and Queens District Attorney, but there are two important ballot proposals. We need people to vote. And I want them to know to not be afraid to vote different and understand that maybe it’s time we elect someone who isn’t a career politician. We’ve had politicians running the place for a long time and how’s that going? What do you have to lose by voting different?”

For more information on Daniella May, check out: www.daniellaforny.com and follow Mayforthecity on Instagram.

Related post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *