City Council Progressive Caucus Stands with Student Advocates Demanding Action

New York, NY – On February 14, 2018, seventeen people were killed by gun violence at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. In the wake of the tragedy, many student survivors have organized, led protests, rallies and demonstrations, and have called for action. In partnership with countless survivors, advocates and allies, students at Marjory Stoneman have said “never again” and demanded legislative action that would prevent similar tragedies from happening again. The Progressive Caucus of the New York City Council is proud to stand in solidarity with these students, and so many others, by participating in the March for Our Lives march on Saturday, March 24. We recognize that gun violence disproportionately impacts students of color, and so we march for student safety not only inside of classrooms, but within our greater communities. Young people have led countless movements for change here in New York City and across the country, and as progressive elected officials, we pledge our commitment to uplifting the voices of student advocates and fighting for their safety.

“I am inspired to witness the determination and courage displayed by our youth as they take a stand against the NRA and their affiliates,” said Council Member Diana Ayala, Co-Chair of the Progressive Caucus. “Gun violence has plagued our communities for decades and we must continue to support all efforts to eradicate it. As elected officials, it is our duty to amplify the voices of these young, valiant activists in their journey to catalyze comprehensive gun reform.”

“A week ago, I joined middle school students from my district in a massive march where they remembered the Parkland shooting victims and demanded improvements in school safety policies and tougher gun control laws,” said Council Member Carlos Menchaca, Vice-Chair of the Progressive Caucus. “An inspiring demonstration that showed our community that our kids are ready to lead this fight. I’m happy to join our City’s youth once again this Saturday to ensure our voices are heard in Washington. Parkland survivors initiated a movement that will not be stopped until meaningful legislation is passed in Washington to protect our children.”

“Students are taking matters into their own hands when it comes to school safety. I was proud to join students from Hunter College High School, located in my district, for the national school walkouts. Now the movement continues with a march. As a result of the tragic event at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida, students across the nation are joining their peers to stand against gun violence and call for control. I am inspired to have some of my youngest constituents participate in this national movement. I encourage them to stay engaged, and pledge to support common-sense legislation in New York City,” said Council Member Keith Powers, Vice-Chair of the Progressive Caucus.

“It is truly inspiring to see this generation rising up in protest, taking action on this issue that affects them directly. When they speak, our leaders must listen,” said Council Member Jumaane Williams, member of the Progressive Caucus. “All across the country, these students are saying with one loud, clear voice that enough is enough. Elected officials have a moral responsibility to respond by standing up to the NRA and others who oppose progress in the areas of gun safety, just as these bold students have. From the mass shootings that shake our nation to the tragic, daily gun violence that plagues our streets from Florida to Brooklyn, we must all stand together to affect change. I thank this new generation of leaders for pushing the conversation forward and demanding action.”

“So many social movements have been driven by our youth, and I am deeply inspired to see so many young people speaking out against our absurdly lax gun laws. I will be following their lead in fighting against the scourge of gun violence in our society. The federal government has abdicated its responsibility on this issue, so it will fall to grassroots organizing and local elected officials to deliver the change these young people are crying out for,” said Council Member Antonio Reynoso, member of the Progressive Caucus.

 “These bold, determined, young scholars are the inspiration for this watershed moment in our ongoing fight to enact gun-control legislation,” said Council Member I. Daneek Miller, member of the Progressive Caucus. “They will succeed where government has thus far failed to curb mass shootings and other acts of gun violence, as well as hold accountable those who have enabled and profited from the sale of lethal firearms at the expense of countless lives. We pledge to go the last mile of the way with them until senseless killings like the kind witnessed last month in Parkland – and routinely in communities of color on the streets of Chicago – become a thing of the past.”

 “Students today understand that their government has failed them when it comes to keeping them safe from gun violence and they are taking matters into their own hands,” said Council Member Justin Brannan, member of the Progressive Caucus. “The youth speaking out and walking out don’t just deserve our respect and admiration but they deserve our undivided attention. They get it. But the time for listening has passed. It’s time for ACTION.”

“We must listen to the next generation of leaders and activists who have lived through so many unnecessary tragedies and yet still continue to fight for real and expansive gun control laws. I am proud to be marching this weekend for all the New Yorkers and Americans who have been harmed by our inadequate and senseless gun laws,” said Council Member Carlina Rivera, member of the Progressive Caucus.

“I am proud to stand with every student advocate who are demonstrating this week across the country, calling for immediate action to reduce gun violence. Their leadership and activism is inspiring and we, as elected officials, must do our part to support their efforts to affect change,” said Council Member Helen Rosenthal, member of the Progressive Caucus.

 “Across the country, including right here at home, young people are rising up for gun reform and school safety, and I am proud to stand in solidarity with these fearless leaders,” said Council Member Margaret S. Chin, member of the Progressive Caucus. “While officials in Washington shamelessly reject anything close to gun control, these brave students are stepping up in the fight to protect us all from gun violence. To every student who has told their story, demanded action and made their voice heard, the world is listening and your power is growing.”

“The shooting in Parkland has activated young people to advocate for their safety and for gun control,” said Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer, member of the Progressive Caucus. “It’s really inspiring to see students across the city and across the nation organizing, getting involved and demanding more from their government. I am proud to stand with this new generation of activists and feel that it is our job as elected officials to shine a light on their efforts and fight for their continued success. They have worked hard to keep this issue in the headlines and in doing so have reshaped the national conversation about gun violence. They make me hopeful for the future and they will change the world.”

“While leaders in Washington have failed to act to prevent gun violence, students have created a movement across this nation that cannot be ignored. I commend all of the young people who have stood up to say “never again,” and all those going to Washington and their hometowns this weekend to March for our Lives. We have a tradition in this nation of positive change through peaceful protest, and today, these students join that long and proud tradition,” said Council Member Debi Rose, member of the Progressive Caucus.

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Progressive Caucus Files Amicus Brief in Support of Immigrant Rights Leaders

New York, NY – The New York City Council Progressive Caucus announces its legal filing of an amicus brief to support immigrant rights leaders from a vicious crackdown by ICE, which is using the threat of detention and deportation to silence these leaders’ first amendment rights.

In partnership with the law firm of Covington & Burling, LLP, the Caucus filed an amicus brief along with Congressional, state, and local officials in support of the plaintiffs. The brief argues that (1) the targeting of immigrant rights activists has a significantly alarming effect on public debate over immigration reform during this critical time and in this political environment, and (2) protecting immigrant rights leaders from these unlawful practices is in the public interest.

Members of the Council’s Progressive Caucus unite under the charge to create a more just and equal city for all New Yorkers, regardless of religion, race, ethnicity, or documentation status. As champions of progressive values in New York City and advocates for New York City’s communities of color, our Members are often on the front lines against institutional racism and other discriminatory practices—especially those threatening constitutional protections such as the right to free speech. We are alarmed and outraged at ICE’s retaliatory efforts to silence leaders in immigrant communities across the country. We unequivocally rebuke ICE’s actions under the Trump presidency, and continue to stand in solidarity with immigrant communities to ensure that we live in a city that is a sanctuary for all New Yorkers.

The Caucus’ amicus filing is in support of immigrant rights leader in the case Ragbir et al. v. Homan et al. In this case, nationally recognized immigrant rights leader Ravi Ragbir, along with the New Sanctuary Coalition, CASA, Detention Watch Network, National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild, and the New York Immigration Coalition, are challenging the unlawful targeting of immigrant rights activists nationwide in violation of the First Amendment.

“Immigrant activists play a fundamental role in protecting our immigrant communities by calling to attention the injustices present in our broken immigration system. As Co-Chair of the Progressive Caucus, I am proud to join my progressive colleagues in filing this amicus brief to ensure that activists, such as Ravi Ragbir, are able to exercise their free speech rights in a system that prevents them from voting and expressing their views in the electoral process. Citizens and noncitizens alike deserve to be heard by the political system that governs their everyday lives,” said Council Member Ayala, Co-Chair of the Progressive Caucus.

“Ravi Ragbir has been living in the U.S. for 27 years. During that time he has become a leader in his community and a powerful voice for immigrant rights,” said Council Member Ben Kallos, Co-Chair of the Progressive Caucus. “If the Trump administration is successful in deporting him, it would mean separating him from his wife and daughter who are both American citizens. It is obvious Ravi is being targeted by ICE because he has dedicated his life’s work to fighting for immigrants. This targeted approach aimed deporting law-abiding community leaders is unjust and cruel.”

“As a city committed to providing sanctuary for every New Yorker, we proudly stand up in defense of immigrant rights activists. Leaders of the sanctuary movement protect our communities by exposing injustices immigrants face due to Trump’s xenophobic policies. As Chair of the Committee on Immigration and Vice-Chair of the Progressive Caucus, I am proud to sign this amicus briefing, in an effort to support Ravi Ragbir. Our City, which is woven by our neighborhoods of immigrant families, will unite, resist and protect each other,” said Council Member Carlos Menchaca, Vice-Chair for Civic Engagement of the Progressive Caucus.

“In a time when immigrant communities are increasingly under attack across the United States, I stand with the Progressive Caucus in support of this Amicus Brief. We need to keep New York as a place where all people are welcome,” said Council Member Keith Powers, Vice-Chair for Budget of the Progressive Caucus.

“I stand with Ravi, and I am glad to have the Progressive Caucus stand alongside him as well,” said Council Member Jumaane Williams, member of the Progressive Caucus. “As Donald Trump and ICE aggressively target immigrants for immoral deportation, we in New York have a moral obligation to stand against this xenophobia– not just for Ravi Ragbir, but for the thousands of immigrants under threat who lack the widespread support that Ravi has rightly received. Attacking immigrant rights leaders appears to be this administration’s strategy to create fear and disunity, and we must combat this head-on.”

“Through an ICE crackdown, the Trump administration may try to intimidate and silence Immigrant rights activists like Ravi Ragbir, but all those who stand for justice know that they cannot deport a movement,” said Council Member Brad Lander, member of the Progressive Caucus. “I along with the Progressive Caucus will continue to support and tirelessly defend the free speech and human rights of NYC’s immigrants against this administration and any other that attempts to undermine our ideals of equality, inclusion and justice for all.”

Council Member Margaret S. Chin, member of the Progressive Caucus, said, “ICE’s treatment of immigrant-rights advocates like Ravi Ragbir is disturbingly reminiscent of the darkest days of our country’s history, when civil rights leaders were targeted for speaking truth to power. I am proud to stand with Ravi and immigrant-rights advocates across the City to challenge the campaign of terror that the federal government has waged on immigrants, and I will continue to work with my colleagues to protect the promise of inclusion that our City has made to every community— regardless of class, gender, race or immigration status.”

“As a nation of immigrants and refugees, we must denounce the xenophobic and hateful actions of the Trump administration in the strongest terms possible. I proudly join my Progressive Caucus colleagues in standing with our immigrant communities and human rights leaders like Ravi Ragbir. ICE’s attempts to terrorize immigrants and refugees will be unsuccessful in the long term. New York City, and communities across the country, have decisively chosen to not turn their backs on our immigrant brothers and sisters. Our country’s best interests will never be served by policies of hatred and exclusion,” said Council Member Helen Rosenthal, member of the Progressive Caucus.

“We refuse to be intimidated by the threats coming out of the Trump administration. The reputation of the United States as a beacon of hope is directly correlated to our openness in accepting people from across the globe facing terrible circumstances. As a first-generation son of immigrant parents, I want to make sure that everyone, regardless of where they come from, has the same opportunity I was given. I will continue to fight alongside my Council colleagues to preserve NYC’s status as a sanctuary city. Our strength comes from our diversity, our focus must remain on what unites us, not what divides us,” said Council Member Antonio Reynoso, member of the Progressive Caucus.

“Immigrants are an essential part of the American story and they, like all Americans, have a right to free speech,” said Council Member Donovan Richards, member of the Progressive Caucus. “In today’s political and social climate, it is more important than ever that people speak out about discrimination and intolerance without fear. Thus, ICE’s persecution of immigrant activists is particularly troubling and disheartening. I support immigrant leaders in their right to speak freely without fear of being targeted for deportation or detention.”

“For generations, America has been a beacon of hope for people across the world, but this White House has only contempt for that symbolism,” said Council Member I. Daneek Miller, member of the Progressive Caucus. “Using ICE as an instrument to instill fear against its opponents, the Administration is waging a sinister crackdown against advocates who have mobilized the public against its bigoted immigration policies; abusing its enforcement authority. I stand alongside my fellow Progressive Caucus members in calling on the Court to shield these leaders, like Mr. Ragbir, from government sanctioned acts of intimidation.”

“Silencing free speech is un-American and unacceptable,” said Council Member Stephen Levin, member of the Progressive Caucus. “These tactics being used by the federal government to silence people speaking up against injustice and inequality cannot be permissible by our courts. Our nation was founded on the values of liberty and freedom – especially freedom of speech. I, along with the Progressive Caucus, stand with immigrant leaders like Ravi Ragbir against the intimidation tactics of ICE and the Trump administration.”

“Ravi Ragbir- a husband, father and immigration activist, has made countless invaluable contributions to this city and country by standing at the forefront for immigrant rights. However, his foes have attempted to tarnish his otherwise impeccable record of service by recalling a financial crime from over a decade ago and for which he has paid his debt to society. It is with great fervor that I support Ravi remain in the United States to continue being in the lives of his wife and kids as well as to continue his service and fight on behalf of immigrants,” said Council Member Alicka Ampry-Samuel, member of the Progressive Caucus.

“We’re grateful to City Council’s Progressive Caucus for its support for Ravi and other immigrant-rights leaders who use their voices to participate in the democratic process and make our cities, states, and the nation greater and more inclusive,” said Cody Cutting, a member of Ragbir’s legal team.

Represented by attorneys at Arnold & Porter and the NYU Immigrant Rights Clinic, the Plaintiffs in Ragbir et al. v. Homan et al. have filed a motion for a preliminary injunction, which seeks an order (1) staying Mr. Ragbir’s removal pending adjudication of the case, and (2) restraining federal immigration officials from taking any adverse immigration enforcement action against any noncitizen on the basis of protected speech or expressive conduct, or, in the alternative, preliminarily enjoining federal immigration officials from opening an investigation into, surveilling, accelerating proceedings against, detaining, or altering the provisions of any order against any noncitizen on the basis of protected speech or expressive conduct. The Caucus supports the Plaintiffs in their motion.

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City Council Progressive Caucus Welcomes New Leadership

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New York, NY – The New York City Council Progressive Caucus is welcoming new Co-Chairs and Vice-Chairs to lead the Progressive Caucus for the 2018-2021 term: Council Members Diana Ayala, Ben Kallos, Keith Powers, and Carlos Menchaca.

The Caucus, with the new energy and ideas of its new executive board and new members, and with the leadership of Council Speaker Corey Johnson, hopes to build on last term’s accomplishments, further its 2018 policy platform, and continue to work towards a more just and equitable New York City. For a number of years, the Progressive Caucus has been a political and budget advocacy powerhouse within the city’s legislative body, with its members passing nearly 50 bills through the Progressive Caucus’ policy platform last term. The Caucus also advocated for millions in budget allocations for initiatives and organizations working for the wellbeing of the most vulnerable New Yorkers. Last year, the Progressive Caucus launched their Resistance & Progress: 18 Policies for 2018 platform at a policy conference attended by more than 200 elected officials, advocates, and community members. The exciting 18-point campaign document outlines the Caucus’ policy priorities for the 2018-2021 New York City Council Term.

“I am so pleased to have been chosen to be Co-Chair by the members of the Progressive Caucus. This pioneering body has worked tirelessly for years advocating for and endorsing numerous bills and progressive issues that have improved the lives of so many individuals. I look forward to working with my colleagues in identifying and promoting issues that are central to this body’s dynamic mission,” said Council Member Diana Ayala, Co-Chair of the Progressive Caucus.

“Over the last several years, the City Council has made tremendous headway in upholding the values important to the Progressive Caucus,” said Council Member Ben Kallos, Co-Chair of the Progressive Caucus. “With the election of our new Speaker Corey Johnson, we look forward to working together to ensure policies that push for a more fair and equitable City and maintain a strong resistance to regressive federal politics. I look forward to continuing the resistance and pushing for the bold reforms of “18 for 18″ with the members of the Progressive Caucus.”

“I am proud to join the leadership of the Progressive Caucus to make sure that New York City remains committed to its progressive ideals,” said Council Member Keith Powers, Vice-Chair of Budget for the Progressive Caucus. “The Caucus has led the charge on issues like immigration, worker protections, women’s rights, and upholding our democratic values. As the Vice-Chair of Budget, I look forward to working with my colleagues to ensure that we promote a fair and equitable budget for New York City in the coming years.”

“Today’s political world requires determined resistance to unjust federal actions; it also demands advancement of local progressive reforms. I am excited to be in the leadership of a Caucus that advocates for policies that will lead to 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 from all of our partners in the coming year. I am excited to join our new Co-Chairs and Vice-chair for this opportunity to reinforce our priorities, set our agenda and get to work,” said Council Member Carlos Menchaca, Vice-Chair of Civic Engagement.

“It has been an immense honor serving as a Co-Chair of the Progressive Caucus along with Council Member Donovan Richards and the rest of the leadership team. In the last term, the Caucus made tremendous strides in realizing an agenda that promotes equity for New Yorkers. I look forward to working with our new leadership to continue to fight for a more just and fair New York City,” said Council Member Antonio Reynoso, former co-chair of the New York City Council Progressive Caucus.

“It’s an honor to welcome this new leadership who will help bring a fresh perspective to the Progressive Caucus,” said Council Member Donovan Richards, former Co-Chair of the Progressive Caucus. “While the Caucus has made great strides to make our City more equitable over these past few years, we have a lot more work to do and I am confident that our new leadership will help move us forward to better serve New Yorkers and put forward innovative progressive policy.”

“I have been proud to serve on the leadership of the Progressive Caucus, and am thrilled to welcome Keith Powers and our new leadership team. The Progressive Caucus has been dedicated to tackling extremely tough issues such as climate change, homelessness, police-community relations, and gender inequity.  I look forward to working with my colleagues to advance a progressive agenda for New York City in these very challenging times,” said Council Member Helen Rosenthal, former Vice-Chair of Budget.

The Caucus recently welcomed five new Council Members as members of the Progressive Caucus for the 2018-2021 term, including Council Members Alicka Ampry-Samuel, Diana Ayala, Justin Brannan, Keith Powers, and Carlina Rivera. Two of the new members will now serve on the Caucus’ new leadership team.

The full list of 21 members for the 2018-2021 term include:

  1. Council Speaker Corey Johnson (District 3, Manhattan)
  2. Council Member Alicka Ampry-Samuel (District 41, Brooklyn)
  3. Council Member Antonio Reynoso (District 34, Brooklyn & Queens)
  4. Council Member Ben Kallos (District 5, Manhattan)
  5. Council Member Bill Perkins (District 9, Manhattan)
  6. Council Member Brad Lander (District 39, Brooklyn)
  7. Council Member Carlina Rivera (District 2, Manhattan)
  8. Council Member Carlos Menchaca (District 38, Brooklyn)
  9. Council Member Deborah Rose (District 49, Staten Island)
  10. Council Member Diana Ayala (District 8, Bronx & Manhattan)
  11. Council Member Donovan Richards (District 31, Queens)
  12. Council Member Helen Rosenthal (District 6, Manhattan)
  13. Council Member I. Daneek Miller (District 27, Queens)
  14. Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer (District 26, Queens)
  15. Council Member Jumaane D. Williams (District 45, Brooklyn)
  16. Council Member Justin Brannan (District 43, Brooklyn )
  17. Council Member Keith Powers (District 4, Manhattan)
  18. Council Member Margaret Chin (District 1, Manhattan)
  19. Council Member Mark Levine (District 7, Manhattan)
  20. Council Member Steve Levin (District 33, Brooklyn)
  21. Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez (District 10, Manhattan)

 

City Council Progressive Caucus Welcomes New Members

New York, NY – The Caucus is welcoming five recently-elected Council Members as members of the Progressive Caucus for the 2018-2021 term:

Alicka Ampry-Samuel, District 41: Council Member Ampry-Samuel has worked in various capacities with City and State legislators and has spent years sharpening her servant leadership. For Council Member Ampry-Samuel, altruism and empathy for others have driven her professional career. As Chair of the Committee on Public Housing, the Council Member looks forward to advancing policy and legislation that will benefit the most vulnerable New Yorkers.

Diana Ayala, District 8: Council Member Ayala has worked for nearly two decades serving the people of the 8th District in social service agencies and government. She is a passionate advocate on housing, mental health, gun violence, and senior services issues. Growing up in both public housing and the shelter system, she experienced challenges that afford her a unique voice and perspective in government and politics.

Justin Brannan, District 43: Council Member Justin Brannan was born and raised in Brooklyn, the son of a record salesman and early childhood educator. With too many people feeling that government only works for the wealthy and well-connected, Council Member Brannan has vowed to always fight for the “little guy.”

Keith Powers, District 4: Council Member Powers is a lifelong New Yorker and a third generation resident of Peter Cooper Village and Stuyvesant Town. Throughout his life, Council Member Powers has been committed to his community as a tenant leader, community leader and government aide, and he looks forward to continuing to advance progressive policy as the Council Member for District 4.

Carlina Rivera, District 2: Council Member Rivera represents Manhattan’s 2nd Council District, which includes the East Village, Flatiron, Gramercy Park, Rose Hill, Kips Bay, Murray Hill and the Lower East Side, her life-long home. Council Member Rivera is focused on progressive solutions to many issues, including affordability, preservation, open space, resiliency, education equality, and small business survival.

The Caucus, with the new energy and ideas of its incoming members, hopes to build on last term’s accomplishments, further its 2018 policy platform, and continue to work towards a more just and equitable New York City. For a number of years, the Progressive Caucus has been a political and budget advocacy powerhouse within the city’s legislative body, with its members passing more than 50 bills through the Progressive Caucus’ policy platform last term. The Caucus held rallies every month around local issues and bills pertaining to progressive values, and advocated for millions in budget allocations for initiatives and organizations working for the wellbeing of the most vulnerable New Yorkers.

Last year, the Progressive Caucus also completed launched their Resistance & Progress: 18 Policies for 2018 platform at a policy conference attended by more than 200 elected officials, advocates, and community members. The exciting 18-point campaign document outlines the Caucus’ policy priorities for the 2018-2021 New York City Council Term.

“As we go to work on the behalf of all New Yorkers, welcoming progressive leaders like Council Members Ampry-Samuel, Ayala, Brannan, Powers and Rivera into the Progressive Caucus makes us even stronger. I look forward to working with our new members to continue to fight for a more just and fair New York City,” said Council Member Antonio Reynoso, co-chair of the New York City Council Progressive Caucus.

“It’s an honor to welcome these five exciting new members who will help bring fresh, new perspectives to elevate our diverse platform of progressive policies,” said Council Member Donovan Richards, co-chair of the Progressive Caucus. “While the Caucus has made great strides to make our City a more equitable over these past few years, we have a lot more work to do and I am confidant that their leadership, experience, and commitment to serving New Yorkers will help move us forward.”

“I am honored to be a member of the Progressive Caucus of the New York City Council”, said Council Member Alicka Ampry-Samuel. “The key word in Progressive is Progress and it is my job, along with my colleagues of the caucus to ensure that our great city is moving in the progressive direction that can be the standard for many cities to follow across the country. It is my duty to work with my colleagues in the council to stand for those who are looking to us for that progressive leadership, which in turn will provide upward mobility, equality and fairness to all New Yorkers.”

“I am so pleased to have been endorsed by the members of the Progressive Caucus, and will endeavor to be a worthy teammate. This pioneering body has worked tirelessly for years advocating for and endorsing numerous bills and progressive issues that have improved the lives of so many individuals. I look forward to working with my colleagues in identifying and promoting issues that are central to this body’s dynamic mission,” said Council Member Diana Ayala.

“In order for our government to be a tool to advance equity, it must function efficiently and it must serve all people. From protecting immigrants to making it easier for working families to put food on the table, the goal will always be making New York City work for everybody. I look forward to working with the Progressive Caucus to make real differences in the lives of New Yorkers,” said Council Member Justin Brannan.

“I am proud to join the Progressive Caucus to make sure that New York City remains committed to its progressive ideals,” said Council Member Keith Powers. “The Progressive Caucus has led the charge on issues like immigration, worker protections, women’s rights, and upholding our democratic values. As the Chair of the Criminal Justice Services Committee, I look forward to working with my colleagues to ensure that we have a fair criminal justice system in the coming years.”

“As a life-long New Yorker and progressive, I am excited to join my fellow members in the Progressive Caucus in standing against the Trump agenda and advocating for a fair and equal New York City,” said Council Member Carlina Rivera. “The Progressive Caucus has passed some of the most impactful policies and Council reforms over the last four years, and I look forward to continuing that trend during my term.”

The full list of 21 members for the 2018-2021 term include:

  1. Council Speaker Corey Johnson (District 3, Manhattan)
  2. Council Member Alicka Ampry-Samuel (District 41, Brooklyn)
  3. Council Member Antonio Reynoso (District 34, Brooklyn & Queens)
  4. Council Member Ben Kallos (District 5, Manhattan)
  5. Council Member Bill Perkins (District 9, Manhattan)
  6. Council Member Brad Lander (District 39, Brooklyn)
  7. Council Member Carlina Rivera (District 2, Manhattan)
  8. Council Member Carlos Menchaca (District 38, Brooklyn)
  9. Council Member Deborah Rose (District 49, Staten Island)
  10. Council Member Diana Ayala (District 8, Bronx & Manhattan)
  11. Council Member Donovan Richards (District 31, Queens)
  12. Council Member Helen Rosenthal (District 6, Manhattan)
  13. Council Member I. Daneek Miller (District 27, Queens)
  14. Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer (District 26, Queens)
  15. Council Member Jumaane D. Williams (District 45, Brooklyn)
  16. Council Member Justin Brannan (District 43, Brooklyn )
  17. Council Member Keith Powers (District 4, Manhattan)
  18. Council Member Margaret Chin (District 1, Manhattan)
  19. Council Member Mark Levine (District 7, Manhattan)
  20. Council Member Steve Levin (District 33, Brooklyn)
  21. Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez (District 10, Manhattan)

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Progressive Caucus Passes Nearly 50 Bills in Current Council Session

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:

1.       Worker Coops, I. 423 –Rosenthal
2.       CLEAN Act, I. 697 –Torres
3.       Hotel Conversion, I.592 – Johnson
4.       Grocery Worker Retention, I. 632 – Miller
5.       Freelance Isn’t Free, I. 1017 – Lander
6.       BRT Plan, I. 211 – Lander
7.       Ban Credit Checks, I.261 – Lander
8.       Criminal Background Checks, I. 318 – Williams
9.       Caretakers discrimination, I. 108 – Rose
13.    Port Ambrose Reso. 549 – Richards
14.    Plastic Bags, I. 209 – Lander
15.    Hit and Run Justice I. 603 – Van Bramer
16.    Hit and Run Justice I. 604 – Van Bramer
17.    Commuter Van Reform, I. 570 – Williams
18.    Three Fourths Housing, I. 1164 – Johnson
19.    Three Fourths Housing, I. 1166 – Richards
20.    Three Fourths Housing, I. 1167 – Torres
21.    Three Fourths Housing, I. 1168 – Torres
22.    Three Fourths Housing, I. 1171 – Williams
27.    Nonprofits Deductions, I. 1384 – Ferreras-Copeland
29.    Illegal hotel reporting, I. 823 – Rodriguez
30.    Right to Counsel, I. 214 – Levine
32.    Vacate Orders I. 924 – Espinal
33.    Task Force I. 926 – Garodnick
34.    ECB Liens  I. 930 – Kallos
35.    Adjudicated before ECB I. 931 – Kallos
36.    Tenant Protection Plans I. 936 – Levine
37.    Permit oversight I. 938 – Reynoso
39.    Penalties stop work order I. 940 – Reynoso
40.    Online work permits I. 944 – Rosenthal
42.    Tenant Harassment Relief I. 347 – Rosenthal
43.    Real time enforcement I. 934 – Levin
44.    Community Land Trusts, I.1269 – Richards
45.    Asthma allergen hazards, I. 385 – Mendez
47.    Police ID, I. 182 – Torres
48.    Consent to Search, I. 541 – Reynoso
49.    Automatic Benefits I. 855 – Kallos