Truth, Inspiration, Hope.

Focusing on Education and Law Enforcement, Anna Belfore-Defaus Is Seeking to Represent District 47 on NY City Council

Published: June 14, 2023
Anna Belfore-Defaus, a Republican running for New York City Council, poses for a picture at the Brooklyn library on June 12 in New York City. (Image: Eva ZhangVision Times)

On June 12, Vision Times had the opportunity to sit down with Republican Anna Belfore-Defaus who is running for New York City Council to represent the Bay Ridge and Coney Island-based 47th Council District. She is on the ballot in the Republican primary on June 27 this year. If elected as the Republican nominee, she will be on the ballot for the general election slated for November 7. 

Belfore-Defaus is a wife, mother, NYC public school teacher and founder of the “Thank You NYPD” movement. 

She is running on a platform that prioritizes education, supporting small businesses and properly funding the New York Police Department (NYPD) which she says will help the city thrive and address rampant crime.

When asked what her priority would be should be successful in her election bid she didn’t hesitate and responded, “Education.”

“I think parents need to be aware of what’s happening behind the scenes with the public school system. A lot of the gifted and talented programs are being taken away and a lot of parents are upset over that but, [they] don’t know how to approach it,” she told Vision Times.

A veteran teacher, she said she knows how to organize people to get their voices heard and that more parents need to put more pressure on the City to “make sure the needs of the students are being met,” whether they are gifted and talented or whether they are special needs students. “I happen to be a special education teacher and I see that a lot of the money that is supposed to go to the students is not,” she said. 

“New York City spends almost … $35,000 per student but, by the time it gets to the student, I think the schools only see about five or six thousand dollars per student,” she said, adding that, “If we paid $35,000 a year tuition, our kids would all go to preparatory school.”

She points to this as evidence that the funds are being mismanaged and argues that administration and teachers should have more say in how that money is used, because “that money is not being spent properly and the schools are in bad shape.”

“We are putting a lot of our focus into people who are coming from outside agencies that don’t understand the public school system … It’s not helping at all, and we see that over the last 10, 20 years,” she added. 


Community safety and homelessness 

“I have three kids that I am raising in the city and they attend public school and for me what’s happening with the public school, the education system, and just basic safety when we leave the house is something that is alarming,” she told Vision Times.

According to the NYPD, in April this year, there was a total of 9,981 crimes reported; 32 murders, 118 rapes, 1220 robberies and thousands of felony assaults and reports of grand larceny, representing a 3.8 percent drop from April 2022 indicating there is still a long way to go in addressing crime in the Big Apple. 

“There are people in my race right now who actually helped defund the police. Now they are saying that they need the police,” she said, adding that, “It’s common sense. It should have never been that we should defund the police. There should be proper resources put back into the NYPD.”

“Forget what the media is saying. Forget what they are showing. Our city doesn’t function unless we have our law enforcement,” she added. 

Belfore-Defaus said the city needs to focus on getting homeless people off the streets, but argues that the current approach does not provide a permanent solution.

“We shouldn’t just be putting them into these massive housing shelters because, as we see, we are having a lot of  issues with these housing shelters. They are causing a lot of crime,” she argues.

She said one shelter in the city was the source of over 600 calls to 911 in a single month which she says indicates that there is something “missing” and “lacking” in the City’s approach which could be addressed by listening to communities and addressing their needs.

She also has concerns about a hotel being constructed across the street from a junior highschool in her district.

“The speculation is that that hotel will become a homeless shelter because there’s no use for a hotel in this particular part of Brooklyn,” she said, adding that, “To put a homeless shelter next to a junior highschool just sounds like chaos to me.”

She says that there is a “big mental health issue” in her community and that the wide availability of illegal drugs is helping fuel the crisis.

“When you have rampant drug use like you do right now, putting the drug use on top of people who are already suffering from depression and anxiety it’s just making it worse,” she argues. 

“Something along the way is not right,” she said, adding that the community needs to “connect the dots” and examine how resources are being used and work to ensure that these resources find their way to the people who need them the most.

More support for small businesses

“Small businesses are the heart of our city. Everywhere you turn the small businesses are what keeps us afloat,” she said.

She says that high rents, problems retaining workers and inflation are hammering small businesses and that people’s lack of work ethic is compounding the problem.

She said, “People don’t want to work. And the people that do come into work don’t have any work ethic and it’s scary,” adding that her generation was embedded with a high work ethic that was developed in school.

“You go to school, you get good grades. You leave school, you go to work and you perform well at your job,” she said.

“There’s a big retainment problem with holding people and keeping their jobs long-term. And, this is something that needs to be addressed because if you have constant turnover, you have people that don’t know the job that are not familiar with what they are doing, and it hurts businesses even further,” she said.  

She blames high rents, taxes and inflation for making things difficult for small business owners in the city and argues the city should provide incentives for small business owners so that they can stay afloat and compete.