New York, NY – On Tuesday, December 19, 2017, the New York City Council passed several bills endorsed by the Progressive Caucus in its current session policy platform. Including the bills passed today, the Caucus and its members have sponsored and advocated for the passage of nearly 50 bills representing crucial advancements in progressive issues including tenant safety, workers’ rights, affordable housing, and community safety.
The bills passed today endorsed through the Progressive Caucus’ Current Session ‘Advancement Agenda’ include: (1) Community Land Trusts (I. 1269), which amends the administrative code of NYC as it relates to creation of regulatory agreements with community land trusts; (2) Asthma Allergens (I. 385), which calls to regulate indoor asthma allergen hazards in residential dwelling and pest management; (3) Right to Request Flexible Schedule (I. 1399), which protects employees who seek temporary changes to their work schedule for personal events and certain scheduling changes; (4) Right to Know Act, a legislative package that aims to protect the civil rights of New Yorkers while promoting communication, transparency and accountability for everyday interactions between NYPD and the public; and (5) Automatic Benefits (I. 855), which would support a study regarding the feasibility and cost of utilizing City administrative data to determine individuals who are likely eligible for public assistance and to provide electronic notices of eligibility. The nearly 50 passed bills endorsed by the Caucus are listed at the end of the release.
“Every New Yorker should have the right to know about their protections under the law when dealing with law enforcement. Most importantly, they should have assurance that their rights will be respected and upheld by police officers. ‘Consent to Search’ (Intro. 541) will ensure that our city’s residents are informed of their right to consent to a search when that search has no legal basis. This Right to Know bill will improve safety in New York City by enhancing trust between police and communities they serve. I thank all my colleagues in the Progressive Caucus for supporting and championing this legislation,” said Council Member Antonio Reynoso, Co-Chair of the Progressive Caucus.
“Community Land Trusts take the power away from speculation and puts it in the hands of local communities and the nonprofits who serve them,” said Council Member Donovan Richards, Co-Chair of the Progressive Caucus. “With the passage of Intro. 1269, we are paving a true path toward affordable homeownership in New York City. I’d like to thank the Coalition for Affordable Homes and the New York City Community Land Initiative for their partnership on this legislation and for their dedication to preserving and creating affordable housing.”
“No one should go hungry, lose their home, or go without healthcare in one of the wealthiest cities in the world, especially when assistance programs have been created to help those in need,” said Council Member Ben Kallos, Vice-Chair of Policy for the Progressive Caucus. “When this study through Intro. 855 is completed I look forward to seeing HRA and the City implement what we know can be done and help low and middle-income New Yorkers. Next year, we’ll have the information we need to eliminate the bureaucracy, paperwork, and unnecessary hurdles that prevent our poorest from accessing and keeping the assistance they need to be lifted from poverty. Thank you to all the Members of the Progressive Caucus and their offices for supporting the legislation.”
“Emergencies happen to all people in all walks of life. While many New Yorkers are fortunate to have employers who understand this and make reasonable accommodations, a 2015 survey of New Yorkers revealed that 45 percent of respondents have no access to flexible work arrangements,” said Council Member Debi Rose, member of the Progressive Caucus. “Intro. 1399 would give all employees working in New York City the right to a temporary change in schedule twice a year to attend to certain specific personal needs. I believe strongly that no one should lose their livelihood for asking for an unpaid day to tend to an emergency—and that is what this bill ensures.”
“Mold abatement and integrated pest management will be codified after 10 years of diligently working with advocates on the passage of the Asthma Free Housing Act, Intro. 385C,” said Council Member Rosie Mendez, the bill’s prime sponsor. “After what appeared to be endless negotiations with several mayoral administrations, we passed this crucial bill that will go a long way to eradicating mold, as well as taking preventative measures to address mold and asthma triggers. Asthma has a debilitating effect on an individual’s’ quality of life and, in New York City, there are approximately one million individuals who have been diagnosed with asthma. This legislation will have a direct benefit for tenants and their health and enables the City to recapture funds expended through its Emergency Repair Program, if the agency determines that such work is necessary. I am proud that my partnership with the advocates will result in ground breaking legislation and I am hopeful that other big cities will follow in our footsteps.”
The nearly 50 bills passed this term which were endorsed by the Caucus are listed below: