BRIGHTON BEACH/MIDWOOD – Amber Adler, 36, is running to represent District 48, which includes Brighton Beach, Manhattan Beach, Sheepshead Bay, Homecrest, Trump Village, Luna Park, Brightwater Towers, and Midwood, currently represented by Chaim Deutsch who is term-limited who has served the community since 2013. Adler has been giving back to her community for as long as she can remember, and now, she’s hoping to do it in City Council and make a bigger impact.
“I’m running to give back to the community that has given to me,” she told us over the phone this afternoon. “A lot of things have been leading up to this moment in both what’s been going on in the city and my own personal experience. Simultaneously, they both matched and have me a very unique outlet and capability that I bring to the table.”
We wrote about Adler back in May on her community work during the coronavirus. The single mom of two from Homecrest rather than isolating during the pandemic, has been out and about lending her hand to whoever needs it. She has sponsored and distributed masks, worked to provide dinner for essential workers, and gave out bags of school supplies and hand sanitizers to children. She brings her two young boys wherever she goes. And she isn’t planning on stopping.
If Adler is elected, she would expand on the work Deutsch has done in the district. District 48 is very diverse. Adler believes that as much as there are differences, people have much more in common.
“You focus on common denominators,” she said. “One thing I have learned and have seen over and over again is that while this district has a lot of different backgrounds, people have the same common denominators and approaches to life. How they value education and family. People are far more similar than they are different.”
Adler is an orthodox Jewish woman. What would it mean to her if she wins?
“I think it’s really special. It’s meaningful and it’s something that is long overdue,” she said. “Not just being a woman at the table, but being an orthodox Jewish woman at the table.”
There are a lot of things that are important to Adler; things she will make a priority – like recovery from the pandemic, expanding free childcare and universal pre-k.
“I want to prioritize public health. For both public and private schools, I want to make sure there’s a nurse available for kids since a lot of schools don’t have one,” she said. “I really believe a lot in childcare. We need to make sure that no matter what, our essential workers can get to work and their kids are able to have somewhere to go for childcare. And when that system isn’t there, a lot is missing as both a recovery method and sustainability for the future.”
Addressing hate crimes is also something she wants to prioritize. According to the NYPD, the number of reported hate crimes increased by more than 19% in 2019 compared to 2018, attributed to a rise in reported anti-Semitic crimes.
Adler believes there are two parts to addressing such crimes. One is fighting hate and bigotry by education – educating students and getting people to be aware of what’s going on, debunking propaganda and breaking stereotypes. The other is preventive actions – pushing for unity and building bridges, connecting people, she said.
Other issues that are near and dear to her heart include disability access, immigration, the environment, healthcare, jobs, safe streets, seniors, special needs services, veterans, women’s rights, small businesses, and affordable housing.
“Both property owners and renters are being priced out. Homeowners face rising property taxes which are often passed on to renters. Families who have lived in Southern Brooklyn for generations are forced to choose between leaving their families and neighbors or paying unsustainable housing costs,” she said. “For renters, I will continue to advocate for tenant rights. I will also fight to ensure that building residents are given the right to expand as they grow their family. This could mean as they have children or as a relative, such as a parent, needs to move in to be taken care of.”
“For homeowners, I will expand the reach of the current property tax workshops which have successfully saved many people money in the area. I will also fight for the ability to deduct a portion of the costs for security upgrades such as lighting and security cameras. This benefits both the homeowner and their neighbors as well.”
Right now, people are calling on the defunding of the police. Many argue that those funds should be allocated to other services and neighborhoods throughout the city. Today, the NYC Council will be voting on a $1 million budget cut to the NYPD.
“If you were Council Member right now, how would you vote?” we asked.
“I am very concerned about public safety,” she said, “and I personally always believe in supporting best measures to keep systems working properly, so I would’ve voted with that in mind.”
For right now though, Adler is getting ready to begin her campaign. And she’s doing it with her kids by her side.
“They’re always saying they’re so proud of me, which is funny because I tell them I’m proud of them,” she laughed. “They like helping people. And they know this time for us as a family means we’re a team and they will be out with me on the trail. And they’ll see what goes on when you make a difference.”