Push to Pass Plastic Bag Reduction Bill by Earth Day

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A coalition of elected officials, community organizations, civic groups, environmental justice advocates, and students rallied today to pass Intro 209 by April 22.  Speakers cited the harmful effects that plastic bag pollution has on the city’s waterways, storm drains, recycling plants, and wildlife, the millions of dollars the City spends each year to send plastic bag waste to landfills, growing islands of plastic waste in the oceans, and the disproportionate impact of bag waste on low-income communities. Continue reading

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Progressive Caucus Lobbies for Public Education

IMG_0767 Progressive Caucus members from the New York City Council went to Albany to lobby the state Senate and Assembly in opposition of Governor Cuomo’s education agenda.  His agenda will funnel more money to charter schools and provide a tax break for billionaires, which is supported by Senate Republicans.  He also wants to administer high-stakes tests and raise the cap on charter schools.

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Progressive Caucus calls on Governor for Special Prosecutor

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New York City council members, the surviving family members of New Yorkers killed by police, and community members called for Governor Cuomo to drop his proposal to appoint a “monitor” and instead immediately issue an executive order for a special prosecutor in killings by police. The Progressive Caucus sent a letter to Governor Cuomo urging him to take immediate action on the special prosecutor.  Continue reading

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NYC Council Members Announce $2M Bugdet Plan to Strengthen Enforcement Of Illegal Hotels

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As the NYC Council holds its first preliminary budget hearing on illegal hotels, NYC Council Members announced a comprehensive plan to strengthen the Mayor’s Office of Special Enforcement (OSE), including a significant increase in funding to two million dollars, and operational reforms for a more proactive and strategic approach to enforcement.

Even though illegal hotel companies have grown at an alarming pace, OSE’s budget and staff has significantly decreased since its creation in 2006. It has gone from nearly one million to less than $100,000 allocated in the FY 2016 preliminary budget, and staffing levels has also dropped during that time period. Continue reading

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Progressives Pass Bill to Support Worker Co-operatives

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Wayne Ho, FPWA with Prime Sponsors CMs Rosenthal and Menchaca

Intro. 423 was voted on by the Council today and will require the city to report on the number of city contracts awarded to worker cooperatives and the number of worker cooperatives that received assistance from the Department of Small Business Services (SBS). Worker cooperatives are owned and managed democratically by their employees — in other words, every employee owns an equal share of the business and plays an equal role in the business’ decision-making. Worker cooperatives tend to provide higher wages, better hours, and more job security to workers than other small businesses. Continue reading

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