New York, NY – Members of the Progressive Caucus have a long history of supporting the issuance of U visas, which protect undocumented people who are victims of certain crimes. The visas are a lifeline for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, or trafficking who come forward to report crime. According to the Department of Investigation’s Office of the Inspector General for the NYPD (OIG-NYPD) report released on July 27, 2017, the NYPD receives more U visa certification requests than any other city agency, but lacks necessary internal standards and procedures consistent with federal guidelines. Current NYPD practices result in needless denials of qualified applicants.
New York, NY – On August 9, 2017, the New York City Council passed legislation that will provide greater protection for tenants, especially in regards to the use of construction as harassment by landlords. The Stand for Tenant Safety (STS) legislation is a part of the Progressive Caucus’ ADVANCEMENT policy platform. Championed by Progressive Caucus Members and tenants and advocates in the Stand for Tenant Safety (STS) Coalition, eleven of the twelve bills in the STS legislative package will moved to passage to strengthen the ability of the NYC Department of Buildings (DOB) to protect tenants in regards to construction harassment. The STS Coalition is a citywide alliance of grassroots tenant organizations and legal service groups collaborating with the Progressive Caucus and the eleven City Council prime sponsors to push for the STS legislation.
“I am proud to Stand for Tenant Safety. This a victory for everyone- for the advocates who have been tirelessly working on the ground in our neighborhoods and for the tenants who are being driven out of their rent stabilized homes by unscrupulous landlords. The citywide coalition’s assistance with crafting the legislation has been paramount,” said Council Member Antonio Reynoso, co-Chair of the Progressive Caucus and lead sponsor of Intro 938, 939, and 940. “Today, the Department of Buildings will have a comprehensive package of reforms to work with for better enforcement. These bills strengthen and protect tenants’ rights to stay in their homes and not be harassed by construction to their unit or building. This is key legislation for my district of Williamsburg, Bushwick and Ridgewood where these tactics run rampant, and just as valuable for families throughout the City.”
On July 26, the Progressive Caucus of the New York City Council hosted a Career Day for Summer Youth Employment (SYEP) interns at New York City Council. The Progressive Caucus has continuously advocated for youth programming and additional funding for the SYEP program in particular. Youth jobs are one of the most important services we can provide as a city to prepare teens for their future careers.
Students had the opportunity to learn about the role of the City Council in policy making, and hear from staff members about their career trajectories. We want to especially thank Council Members Antonio Reynoso and Ben Kallos for their inspirational words!
In a letter to the Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, Mr. Ajit Pai, the Progressive Caucus wrote on behalf of New York City residents to promote and protect net neutrality.
Under the Obama administration, regulations were instituted to keep internet service providers from having the ability to offer faster internet speeds to those companies willing to pay more. The term “net neutrality” supports the idea that the internet should be treated as any other utility, and internet service providers should not be able to give preferential treatment to those companies and consumers that can pay more for it. The Trump administration plans to roll these regulations back.
“We as representatives of America’s largest city recommend maintaining strong net neutrality regulations to preserve what remains of an Open Internet with freely transmitted ideas. We recommend transparent information, preservation of the Internet free speech that has revolutionized our communications and necessary protections, and enforcement from the FCC.
“New York City has enormous diversity and we cannot risk leaving these diverse communities behind as corporations gain yet more power to manipulate the free flow of information and ideas. In order for New York City to remain a hub for innovative start-ups and individuals striving for their piece of the American dream, a Free, Open Internet is a necessity.”
New York, NY — On July 20, 2017, the New York City Council passed legislation that will provide legal counsel for low-income tenants who are subject to eviction, ejectment or foreclosure proceedings. The right to counsel legislation is a part of the Progressive Caucus’ ADVANCEMENT policy platform. Championed by Progressive Caucus Member Mark Levine, ensuring the right to counsel will allow more low-income New Yorkers to remain in affordable housing and stabilize communities across New York City. Unlike in criminal court, there is no right to counsel in housing court, leaving tenants without resources to fend for themselves. Today, only about 20% of those facing eviction are represented by an attorney–compared to nearly 100% of landlords. This groundbreaking legislation will level the uneven playing field that has historically been disastrous for tenants. In 2015 alone, nearly 22,000 New York City families were evicted, with thousands more forced from their homes mid-way through eviction proceedings.