Gjonaj on Transportation ‘Deserts’ and More

Mark Gjonaj (Photo by Laura Stone via Bronx Times)

Mark Gjonaj, the City Council’s first Albanian-American member, was sworn into his position at a community ceremony at the Herbert H. Lehman Educational Campus on Sunday, Jan. 21, reports Patrick Rocchio in Bronx Times. (He had earlier been sworn in at the council on Jan. 3.)

The former New York State Assembly member took the opportunity to address his well-wishers and talk about some of his plans in his new role.

The councilman, a successful real estate broker, who was elected to the assembly in 2012 in the 80th District, pledged to stand up and address issues including the rising cost of living, opioid crisis, and virtual transportation ‘deserts.’

“These and other challenges are real and serious. They require that we work together to meet them head on, but meet them we will,” said Gjonaj to the crowd. “It starts with making sure the Bronx gets its fair share.”

Gjonaj said he wanted to work for “common sense solutions” to ease traffic and make commutes easier for Bronxites, saying it is often easier for someone in Newark, NJ to commute to Wall Street than for his constituents to make the same commute.

He proposed expanding ferry service into the 13th District, putting a two percent cap on real estate tax increases and curbing “out of control” water and sewer rates.

Go to Bronx Times for details on how Gjonaj thinks the opioid crisis should be addressed, and to read what an array of speakers at the event, from state Sen. Jeff Klein to Public Advocate Letitia James, had to say about the new council member.

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