New York, NY — The New York Progressive Caucus brought together members, allies, and the public, to address and discuss their new adopted platform, “Resistance & Progress: 18 Progressive Policies for 2018.” Programming for the event centered around crucial campaigns and legislative priorities the Caucus has been and is invested in fighting for — especially under the current political climate and the regressive era of the Trump administration.

Sessions included:

  • Protecting & Creating Affordable Housing in Livable Neighborhoods
  • Building a More Equal Economy
  • Public Education to Give Every Child a Real Chance
  • Reforming Policing & the Criminal Justice System
  • Aggressively Combating Climate Change & Accessible Transportation for All

The Progressive Policy Convening provided much lively discussion and insight especially during this period of influx in the country. The Progressive Caucus will continue its work for New Yorkers as it fights for a more equal and just New York. Expect further events, meetings, and actions as we gear up with our allies as we continue to fight for resistance and progress. 

“Now more than ever, it is crucial for local progressive leadership in NYC to set the example for our country.  This event is a chance for us to highlight our victories during this term and delve into strategies for our 18 For 18 agenda, as well as to make connections between the advocates fighting for all kinds of progressive causes to explore ways that we can support each other,” said Council Member Antonio Reynoso, co-chair of the New York City Council’s Progressive Caucus (District 34, Brooklyn & Queens).

“In the age of a Trump administration, it is clear that the responsibilities of moving our country in the direction of progress will fall on  the shoulders of our cities,” said Council Member Donovan Richards, co-chair of the New York City Council’s Progressive Caucus (District 31, Queens). “Our new policy platform for 2018 is the Progressive Caucus’ pledge that we are up to the challenge. From the fight to protect and create affordable housing to protecting our environment through Climate Works for All, we are prepared to resist regressive federal policies and provide consistent progress for the years to come.”

“Over the last three years, the City Council has made tremendous headway expanding the values important to the Progressive Caucus,” said Council Member Ben Kallos, Vice Chair for Policy of the Progressive Caucus (District 5, Manhattan). “With the election of a progressive Speaker we have uplifted workers and are fighting for a more equitable City. However, the new challenges we face require maintaining a strong resistance while we fight for more progress. I look forward to continuing the resistance and pushing for the bold reforms of “18 for 18″ with the Progressive Caucus.”

“In these incredibly challenging times for our country, it is essential that New York City be a beacon for progressivism. We must focus on truly progressive policies that promote a more equitable economy, increase affordable housing, reform civilian-police relationships, address our climate crisis, provide excellent education for all children, and protect our most vulnerable. I’m proud to have joined my colleagues on the Progressive Caucus in crafting a comprehensive policy platform that resolutely affirms dignity for all,” said Council Member Helen Rosenthal, Vice-Chair for Budget Advocacy (District 6, Manhattan).

“Over the course of 20 years, two mayors pushed trickle-down economic policies that divided our city into two separate and unequal parts. One New York spawned, for example, ultra-luxury housing that doesn’t house anyone because the owners are foreign corporations. The other New York was beaten down by wage stagnation, unaffordable housing and struggling schools. We believe that the platform put forth by the Progressive Caucus helps level the playing field and addresses the staggering inequality that now jeopardizes the future of our city,” said Henry Garrido, Executive Director, District Council 37, AFSCME.    

“Now, more than ever, we as Progressives need to make progress on our agenda to make our city fairer, more equitable and just,” said Council Member Margaret S. Chin, a co-founder of the Progressive Caucus (District 1, Manhattan). “In this age of Trump, it is critical that we press on with our ambitious goals, as well as defend the gains made on behalf of New Yorkers – like a living wage, affordable health care and empowering people of color.”  

“‘Progressive’ is often a term bandied about by those with many political leanings, especially in New York, but on May 23rd, we’re going to set the record straight on what policies progressives truly support,” said Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez (District 10, Manhattan). “Standing up for the disenfranchised and downtrodden; ending the school to prison pipeline; affirming that affordable housing is a right; building a true sanctuary city; and expanding transit access to more communities; on all these issues we’ll highlight their importance and how we can get them done.”

“I applaud the Progressive Caucus for getting a jump start on laying out its policy agenda for 2018 and for including passage of the Move NY Fair Plan as one of its central planks,” said Alex Matthiessen, Move NY’s founder and campaign director. “New York City’s transit system and streets are a mess and we’re not getting the leadership from Albany we need to address these interrelated problems. The Move NY coalition looks forward to working with the progressive caucus, the City Council and Mayor to help secure passage of Move NY, or a similar plan.”

“The Trump administration along with Republican officials in Congress have made clear their intent to pull the rug out from under our country’s most vulnerable communities. It’s up to cities and states to stand up for progressive values, and the Resistance and Progress Policy Convening will be a great space to further explore solutions to national trends that acutely affect New Yorkers. Together we will show the country how government can be a force for good – a safety net for the poor, a beacon of hope for immigrants, and vehicle for advancement through education,” said Council Member Ritchie Torres (District 15, Bronx).

“The human services sector is integral to delivering essential services so that New York can continue to serve as a sanctuary city,” said Allison Sesso, Executive Director of the Human Services Council. “The City Council Progressive Caucus is a champion for New Yorkers and we commend their platform for recognizing that there needs to be an investment in human services. Their call for a comprehensive review of human services contracts will allow these organizations to continue providing opportunity for all communities.”

“The Progressive Caucus and the progressive cause draw in an incredible diversity of communities and perspectives,” said Council Member Stephen Levin (District 33, Brooklyn). “Though everyone contributes a unique point of view, the common thread is a commitment to upholding the values of justice, fairness, and inclusion. This conference is an opportunity to bring these voices together and make our city a fairer and more equitable place.”

“The City Council Progressive Caucus has always championed policies that address head-on the most glaring inequalities in our city,” said Seymour W. James Jr., Attorney-In-Chief of The Legal Aid Society. “From investing in public housing, to closing Rikers Island, and ensuring a right to counsel for immigrants entangled in removal proceedings, this is how New York pushes back against systemic racism, cycles of poverty and other injustices. In the face of reactionary policies from the Trump White House, we must stand united behind progressive policies that defend our city’s most vulnerable.”

“Today’s political world requires determined resistance to unjust federal actions; it also demands advancement of local progressive reforms. The “18 for 18” Progressive Caucus policies show how we will make a safer, more just, and equitable City. Our work to end Broken Windows, protect workers and tenants, promote the economy, and build a Sanctuary City will require extraordinary cooperation in the coming year. The “Resistance & Progress” policy convening is an opportunity to reinforce our priorities, set our agenda and get to work,” said Council Member Carlos Menchaca (District 38, Brooklyn).  

“The #CLOSErikers campaign is proud to have the support of the City Council’s Progressive Caucus, and look forward to working with Councilmembers on closing Rikers Island’s jails as soon as possible and reimagining our criminal justice system,” said Janos Marton, JustLeadershipUSA & #CLOSErikers campaign.

“The Progressive Policy Convening is an important time to not only celebrate our achievements, but to come together with our allies across the city, to continue to work for both fierce resistance and insistent progress,” said Council Member Brad Lander, the Council’s Deputy Leader for Policy (District 39, Brooklyn). “Together, we’ll continue to support the values that undergird our resistance – justice, equality, and inclusive democracy – also point the way to the future we want to build for New York City.”

“In the era of Trump, it’s more critical than ever for progressives to stand together—not only to resist, but also to demonstrate the values and the alternative vision for which we stand. This convening offers the space for precisely this conversation. We are proud to join with our community, labor, and elected official allies to chart the course for a more progressive future for our beloved city,” said José López, Co-Director of Organizing of Make the Road New York.

“With a focus on equity and social and economic justice, the Progressive Caucus’ priorities promote a more equitable city with pathways to stability and permanency for all homeless New Yorkers. Homeless Services United is proud to partner with the Caucus as we work to help improve the shelter system and provide meaningful pathways to permanent housing for all homeless New Yorkers,” said Catherine Trapani, Executive Director, Homeless Services United.

“The legislative priorities representative in this Caucus is one that pushes forward policies that will lead to a City where vulnerable populations are given the attention and resources needed to truly thrive in this City they call home. In this era of making America great again, we must unite and push a shared  vision of a more equitable and just society. Today’s conference is an excellent opportunity for New York to see how this Caucus is actively fighting to defend workers’ rights, expand democracy, and improve police-community relations,” said Council Member Jumaane D. Williams, Deputy Leader (District 45, Brooklyn).

“FPWA applauds the leadership of City Council’s Progressive Caucus in advancing policies that create a safer and more equitable city for all New Yorkers,” said Emily Miles, Chief Program and Policy Officer at FPWA. “The conference today was a necessary forum for dialogue and collaboration between community advocates and our elected officials. These spaces allow us to ensure that New York becomes a true sanctuary city, one where all New Yorkers have equitable access to safety and economic prosperity. We look forward to continued collaboration with the Progressive Caucus.”

“New York City has always been a leader, and today we are committed more than ever to serve as an example to cities across the nation. As a founding member of the Progressive Caucus, I am proud to be a part of this conference and move forward a policy agenda that includes eliminating the gender pay gap, respecting the rights of immigrants and workers, and investing in quality education for all our children. We will work together to continue to be a city that provides opportunity to all residents,” said Council Member Deborah Rose (District 49, Staten Island)

“It is urgent that cities such as New York take leadership on issues like climate and jobs, especially at a time when the Trump administration is unleashing a devastating roll-back of environmental protections and posing direct threats to workers, particularly low-income people, people of color and immigrants,” said Maritza Silva-Farrell, executive director of ALIGN. “The Progressive Caucus’ 18 for 18 platform demonstrates the way forward.  We look forward to working with the Caucus to win bold policies for a just and sustainable city.”

“The Progressive Caucus platform provides New Yorkers with a truly visionary way forward for those facing systemic marginalization, including homeless youth. This platform focuses attention on providing access to permanent housing resources for runaway and homeless youth before they become chronically homeless older adults. By doing so, this platform urges our city to take the decisive steps needed to end youth homelessness,” said Jamie Powlovich, Executive Director, Coalition for Homeless Youth.

“Access to public transportation is not only about getting to work and college courses.  It’s about being able to pull yourself out of poverty. It’s about advocating for your community through political activism. Now, more than ever, New York City must step up to ensure that our most vulnerable residents can get around. New York City can step up by advocating for better bus service and providing half-priced MetroCards for low-income riders. After all, we can’t fight if we can’t get to the fight,” said Rebecca Bailin, campaign manager at the Riders Alliance.

“Community Food Advocates applauds the Progressive Caucus for its steadfast commitment to advancing equity and justice for all New Yorkers, particularly in our current political moment when so many of our communities are under threat.  By translating this vision into concrete policies and programs – including food and income policies and programs – the Caucus is ensuring that this promise becomes a reality for all New Yorkers.  We look forward to continuing to partner with the Progressive Caucus in making New York City a place where all New Yorkers can thrive,” said Liz Accles, Executive Director, Community Food Advocates.

“The New York City Council Progressive Caucus’s 18 for 18 policy platform include critical priorities for protecting and supporting New York City’s diverse and productive immigrant communities,” said Steve Choi, executive director of the New York Immigration Coalition. “The Caucus’s priorities of sanctuary city policies, a culturally responsive education system, a more equal economy, livable housing, and just and accountable criminal justice system address many of the top challenges facing immigrant New Yorkers. We applaud the Caucus’s leadership, and look forward to working with its members to win success on this ambitious and relevant agenda.”

The program included NYC Council Progressive Caucus members: Co-Chairs Donovan Richards and Antonio Reynoso, Vice-Chairs Helen Rosenthal and Ben Kallos, Majority Leader Jimmy Van Bramer and Council Members I. Daneek Miller, Brad Lander, Jumaane D. Williams, Debi Rose, Daniel Dromm, Ritchie Torres, Margaret Chin, Carlos Menchaca, Ydanis Rodriguez, Julissa Ferreras-Copeland, Corey Johnson, Mark Levine, Stephen Levin. Thank you to our allies Make the Road NY, Local Progress, Working Families Organization, SEIU 32BJ, Communities United for Police Reform, Just Leadership USA, and especially event sponsor DC 37.

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