On the first day of early voting in New York City, Brooklyn Borough Presidential candidate Trisha Ocona released an instructional video for Ranked Choice Voting.
Since ballots can often seem overwhelming, Ocona said she wants to make sure that instructions are clear and that everyone in Brooklyn understands how to cast their ballot correctly.
“There are already so many obstacles to voting,” said Ocona, a community strategist and educator with over 20 years of experience in the housing industry.
“Confusion over a new style of ballot should not be one of them,” she added. “I want to make sure everyone in Brooklyn understands ranked choice voting, so that they make their vote count.
“As Brooklyn Borough President, I strive to increase transparency, collaboration and education when it comes to leadership,” Ocona continued.
Ocona, whose mother is Jamaican and her father Venezuelans, told Caribbean Life that she was “prompted by the need for representation and advocacy for all Brooklynites and having the experience to fight for the people.”
Ocana, a registered Democrat, said her team comprises “a council of professional and community experts.”
“As a Brooklyn girl, I want to preserve Brooklyn’s brand as one of the greatest cities in the world,” she said. “Many people are leaving Brooklyn due to gentrification, high rent, crime, loss of jobs, poor housing. The success of Brooklyn is as important to my family and me as so many others.”
Ocona said she has dedicated her life to improving others’ lives, adding that she is using what she has learned over the years from the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce and knowledge gained, with over a decade of experience on the Community Board.
She said her main agenda is combating predatory housing practices.
Ocona said she has already created “councils” within her cabinet to address issues ranging from clergy to mental health, the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) and the pandemic, to the aging, prison reform and racial equity.
Ocona said she grew up in Brooklyn in a multicultural household, and that, as a mother to school-aged children, with senior citizen parents, she understands “the importance of amplifying the underserved voices.”
As one of the youngest people on the Community Board, when she started, Ocona said she established “real connections early in life.”
She said she leads “with compassion” and helps by sharing available resources.
In addition to her tenure on Brooklyn Community Board 17, she also served as chairwoman for the Housing Committee and committee member for Land Use and Youth.
Ocona said the Brooklyn Borough president role positions her “to address problems and create actionable change.”
With her experience working with city agencies and nonprofit organizations, paired with the ability to influence diverse representation on appointed community boards, Ocona said she is “well equipped to navigate neighborhood-level projects and initiatives.”
“This year, there is a new voting system called Ranked Choice Voting,” she said. “Instead of choosing just one candidate that they want to win, voters have to pick their first, second, etc. candidate of choice. Vote Trisha Ocona Jun. 22nd as 1st Choice, #teamocona].”