Throughout his 15-year career as a public interest lawyer and community activist, Tony has built a strong and extensive record of accomplishments along with a reputation for building coalitions and standing up to special interests and political bosses.
FIGHTING OVER-DEVELOPMENT – Tony was instrumental in getting the city to enact a set of zoning changes beginning in 2004 to protect large parts of Kingsbridge, Kingsbridge Heights and Riverdale from over-development. Known as contextual zoning districts, they ensure that future development fits the existing scale of buildings in the neighborhood. He testified many times before the Board of Standards and Appeals to oppose inappropriate development, and helped defeat two out-of-scale construction projects on Giles Place and Cannon Place in Kingsbridge Heights.
PRESERVING NATURE – Tony was a leader in persuading the city to revise the Special Natural Area District rules in 2005 that safeguard natural features in Riverdale's greenbelt, one of only two such districts in our city. The old rules were poorly written and failed to include most of the homes that are in the greenbelt. The new rules correct this problem by tightening the conservation requirements and expanding the protected area.
PROTECTING LANDMARKS -- He was an outspoken advocate for creating the Fieldston Historic District, which gives landmark protection to the 257 homes in that historically significant neighborhood in 2006. Tony worked closely with the Landmarks Preservation Commission on the changes, participated in community hearings, and testified before the Landmarks Commission and the City Council.
IMPROVING PARKING -- He led a special committee that produced a plan adopted by the City to cut alternate-side parking from four days a week to two. Tony also created an initiative along with the 50th Precinct to get cars off the street that have either been abandoned or illegally warehoused on public streets.
SUPPORTING EDUCATION -- He created the Coalition of Riverdale/Kingsbridge Schools, which enables more than a dozen local public and private schools to share resources and enrich their classroom and after-school environments. This unique coalition includes P.S. 24, P.S. 81, P.S./M.S. 37, M.S./H.S. 141, M.S./H.S. 368, Fieldston School, Horace Mann School, Riverdale Country School, Manhattan College and the College of Mount St. Vincent.
Tony also served as Principal for a Day at both P.S. 81 and P.S. 24 in three separate years.
SCHOOL SAFETY -- Tony worked closely with numerous local schools to address traffic-safety issues around their buildings. In 2005, he helped the Fieldston School to reconfigure the parking lot in front of the school to improve safety and provide additional spaces for local residents. In 2007, he helped create a one-way street in front of P.S. 24 in response to safety concerns by parents.
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT – Tony has been a leader in the effort to create a large-scale commercial hub at a municipal parking lot at 230th St. and Broadway. He chaired a special committee of Community Board 8 that made recommendations on the use of the site and worked with the city in the process of selecting a developer. Tony also served on the task force charged with developing the Kingsbridge Armory, which is now slated to be developed into a major retail and entertainment center.
ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION -- As a member of the Croton Filtration Monitoring Committee, Tony advocated for Bronx jobs, better air quality, and financial accountability at the massive water-filtration plant being built in Van Cortlandt Park. In fact, Community Board 8 was the first community organization to call for an independent investigation into the cost overruns at the plant.
BUILDING PARKS -- He advocated for the renovation of the ball fields at Seton and Vinmont Parks, and worked on the creation of a waterfront park along the Hudson at 254th Street.
FIGHTING CORRUPTION – In response to the scandal over pork-barrel spending in the City Council, Tony authored one of the toughest reform-spending plans. His plan calls for stringent reforms to stop the distribution of taxpayer dollars based on political loyalty to the Council Speaker, and it would eliminate conflicts of interest by lawmakers in their spending allocations.
Tony also uncovered the story of illegal ticketing by a rogue traffic agent in Riverdale.
POLITICAL REFORM – Tony founded the Northwest Bronx Democratic Alliance (NBDA) in 2001 to provide greater opportunities for local residents to get involved in the political process. The NBDA has supported strong leaders like Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrion, Jr., NY Senate Minority Leader Jeffrey Klein, and, in 2005, was the first of the few Democratic political clubs to endorse Mayor Mike Bloomberg for reelection.
- The Riverdale Press, 10/20/2005
- The New York Times, 5/1/05
Tony on Over-Development:
"Developers will find ways to build something. We just want them to respect what's there."
- The New York Times, 12/17/06