Helen is proud to have participated in and support the 2016 historic public school rezoning and school re-siting in School District 3 to significantly address overcrowding and diversity issues. School District 3 rezoned portions of the district after years of community meetings, school meetings and public hearings, laying the groundwork for integration and alleviating overcrowding. She supported the rezoning plan as did so many education leaders in the district and throughout the city as well as local school parent leaders. It also received the support of the New YorkTimes and the NY Daily News.
When Helen started in the Council, there were only 44 women in the FDNY -- comprising less than one half of a percent of the 10,500 member workforce. Nationwide, women comprise 4% of all firefighters, and in cities like San Francisco and Minneapolis, women comprise 10-15% of all firefighters. Helen wanted to keep the FDNY accountable for their low recruitment of women firefighters, so she teamed up with Council Member Elizabeth Crowley to introduce legislation that would require the New York City Fire Department (FDNY) to post an annual report online detailing the racial and gender demographics of people undergoing the often years-long application process to become a New York City firefighter. The Council passed their bill, Local Law 49 of 2015. Now there are 58 women serving as firefighters in the FDNY, an increase of 32 percent.