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Since its creation, the Progressive Caucus has had the goal of advancing policies to build a more just and equal New York City. Much of our policy work – which aims to advance racial, gender, and social justice – is pushed through our 2018-2021 legislative agenda, which includes:

Protecting Vulnerable New Yorkers

I. 1092 Prohibition of ICE Contracts (Sponsored by Vice-Chair Menchaca)

This bill would prohibit New York City from entering into contracts with entities that engage in immigration enforcement and penalize a person’s presence in, entry into, or reentry into the United States, where the City would be providing goods or services to such agencies in return for payment. The bill would also apply to current contracts.

I. 1328 Language Access for 311 (Sponsored by Vice-Chair Menchaca)

This bill would require the development of a protocol for identifying the languages spoken by callers to 311. The bill would also create a requirement of the Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications to report on instances where calls were disconnected because of language inaccessibility.

I. 0983 Workplace discrimination (Sponsored by Council Member Rosenthal)

This bill creates a rebuttable presumption in favor of an employee involved in a proceeding alleging discrimination pursuant to the New York City Human Rights Law. A rebuttable presumption arises where an employer takes a negative employment action against an employee within 180 days of such employee partaking in a protected activity to oppose an unlawful discriminatory practice (section 8-107(7) of the Admin. Code.)

Building a More Equal Economy

I. 136 Protection for freelancers (Sponsored by Council Member Lander)

This bill would clarify which workers are protected by the City Human Rights Law, determining whether an employer has four or more employees (which triggers some of the obligations of the City Human Rights Law) and that an employer’s parent, spouse, domestic partner or child if employed by an employer are included as in the employ of such employer.

I. 113 Capital Projects Tracker (Sponsored by Council Member Lander)

This bill would require the City to establish and maintain on its website, an interactive and searchable public database (updated on a monthly basis) containing information about all pending (non-completed) citywide capital projects.

I. 0737 Small Business Jobs Survival Act (Sponsored by Council Member Rodriguez)

This bill, known as the “Small Business Jobs Survival Act,” would establish conditions and requirements for commercial lease renewal negotiations, including requirements for lease renewal terms, arbitration-triggering conditions, limits on security deposits, and prohibitions on landlord retaliation.

I. 1116 Expanding food vendor permits (Sponsored by Council Member Chin)

This bill would gradually expand the number of permits to vend food on the streets and sidewalks of New York City. Importantly, the bill creates a new vending law enforcement unit to exclusively enforce vending laws, and create a street vendor advisory board.

I. 339 Protections for domestic workers (Sponsored by Council Member Rose)

Currently, employees of employers with fewer than four employees total are not protected under the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act or by the prohibitions against discrimination in employment, training programs, religious observance, unemployment status, disparate impact discrimination in the employment context, and unlawful discrimination against victims of domestic violence, sex offenses or stalking. This bill would change the definition of employer to provide protections for domestic workers.

The following package of #JustCause legislation, introduced by Council Members Adrienne Adams and Brad Lander, would extend protections from workplace terminations to fast food employees by providing job security and preventing arbitrary termination:

  • I. 1396 – Fast food employee layoffs (Sponsored by Council Member Adams)

This bill would require that when a fast food employer needs to layoff employees, that such employer discharge employees by inverse seniority, i.e. those hired last will be discharged first. This proposed bill provides for arbitration of disagreements between fast food employers and fast employees and entitles laid off fast food employees to schedule pay premiums.

  • I. 1415 – Wrongful discharge from employment (Sponsored by Council Member Lander)

This proposed bill would prohibit fast food employers from terminating the employment of a fast food employee without just cause. This proposed bill provides for arbitration guidelines to mediate disputes between fast food employers and fast food employees and specific remedies for those terminated for just cause.

Protecting Tenants & Promoting Affordable Housing

I. 245 Exemptions from the sale of tax liens (Sponsored by Council Member Reynoso)

Every year hundreds of nonprofit organizations find themselves included in the city’s tax lien sale and are placed at risk of foreclosure and bankruptcy. In response to this issue, this bill would remove eligible nonprofits from the list and establish transparency measures to help them stay off in the future.

I. 086 Licensing tenant screening bureaus (Sponsored by Council Member Kallos)

Hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers named in housing court cases every year are reported to be on “tenant blacklists,” which are created by screening reports sold by companies along with credit reports and are often used to deny applications to renters. This legislation would license these companies and require them to provide the necessary details of housing court cases such as the outcome and who initiated the proceedings in order to protect tenants who were in the right from being “blacklisted.” A tenant who believed they had been unfairly discriminated against could file a complaint with the New York City Commission on Human Rights for investigation.

I. 1104 Expanding the right to counsel for tenants (Sponsored by Council Member Levine)

This bill would require the Office of the Civil Justice Coordinator to expand the scope of legal right to counsel for all tenants making under 400% of the federal poverty line, including proceeding where ejection, eviction or terminance of residency may result.

I. 0146 Rental assistance vouchers (Sponsored by Council Member Levin)

The bill would require that any individuals or families receiving rental assistance vouchers established by the Department of Social Services, such as the current LINC, CityFEPS and SEPS vouchers, would continue to receive the assistance so long as the household continues to meet any other eligibility requirements.

The following package of legislation, introduced by Council Members Keith Powers and Carlina Rivera, aims to make renting in New York City more affordable by limiting brokers’ fees and security deposits on apartments, setting standards on repayment of these fees for renters, and increasing transparency in the rental process:

  • I. 1423 – Limiting fees charged in a rental real estate transaction (Sponsored by Vice-Chair Powers)

This bill would limit the fees that individuals can collect in a rental real estate transaction. Individuals would be prevented from collecting fees from prospective tenants that are above the value of one month’s rent.

  • I. 1424 – Limiting rental security deposits to one month of rent (Sponsored by Vice-Chair Powers)

This bill would limit the amount that individuals, corporations, or entities can collect as a security deposit in a rental real estate transaction to the value of one month’s rent.

  • I. 1431 – Requiring security deposit return in 60 days of end lease (Sponsored by Council Member Rivera)

This bill would require commercial or residential landlords to return security deposits, less any lawful deductions, to the tenant within 60 days of the end of the lease.

  • I. 1432 – Transparency in residential rental application fees (Sponsored by Council Member Rivera)

This bill would require apartment brokers to disclose an itemized explanation of how any application fee collected as part of applying for an apartment will be spent. Any person who collected such an application fee without making the required disclosure would be subject to a civil penalty of $150.

  • I. 1433 – Security deposit in six equal monthly installments (Sponsored by Council Member Rivera)

For residential tenancies that are six months or longer, this bill would provide tenants the option of paying a security deposit in six, equal, consecutive monthly installments added to the first six rental payments, respectively. Tenants with a shorter term tenancy of less than six months would be permitted the option of paying equal, consecutive monthly installments provided that the number of installments match the number of months of the tenancy. This bill could alleviate hardships associated with the requirement to pay a security deposit in one lump sum.

Reforming Policing and the Criminal Justice System

I. 0536 Chokehold ban (Sponsored by Council Member Lancman)

This bill establishes a misdemeanor for applying a chokehold in the course of effecting or attempting to effectuate an arrest. A chokehold is defined as the act of wrapping an arm around or gripping someone’s neck in a manner that limits or cuts off either the flow of air by compressing the windpipe, or the flow of blood through the carotid arteries on each side of the neck.

I. 0487 Oversight on NYPD surveillance  (Sponsored by Council Member Gibson)

This bill requires the reporting and evaluation of surveillance technologies used by the NYPD, which will be required to issue a surveillance impact and use policy about these technologies. The policy would include information on surveillance technologies such as the description and capabilities, rules, processes and guidelines, and any safeguards and security measures designed to protect information collected. The inspector general for the NYPD shall audit surveillance impact and use policy to ensure compliance with its terms.

I. 1199 Credit Card Fee Elimination for Bail Pay (Sponsored by Vice Chair Powers)

This bill would remove the 2.49% fee charged on credit card payments of cash bail made using the online bail payment system, and would also remove the 8% fee charged on credit card payments of cash bail made in person. This bill would also require the Department of Corrections to add an option to make online bail payments by direct deposit or electronic check.

I. 0721 Right to Record (Sponsored by Council Member Williams)

This bill would codify a person’s right to record New York City police officers or peace officer acting in their official capacity, with limited exceptions. The bill also allows any individual whose rights are violated to sue the City in state court, and requires reporting related to filming police activities.

I. 1156 Reporting on M.A.R.C.H. Operations (Sponsored by Council Member Levin)

This bill would require the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice to provide quarterly reports on Multi-Agency Response to Community Hotspots (“MARCH”) operations. The reports would include information on establishments subject to MARCH operations, complaints or issues that led to interventions, summonses issued pursuant to MARCH operations and business closures resulting from such summonses.

Aggressively Combating Climate Change

I. 1253 Reduce building emissions (Sponsored by Council Member Constantinides)

This bill would establish the Office of Building Energy Performance as well as greenhouse gas emissions limits for existing buildings. This bill would also expand existing retro-commissioning requirements to certain buildings over 25,000 square feet.

Accessible Public Transportation for All

I. 1163 Preserving bike lanes (Sponsored by Council Member Rivera)

This bill would require holders of Department of Transportation permits that authorize construction or other work in or on a street to preserve affected bicycle lanes and would prohibit the mixing of bicycle and pedestrian traffic on affected bicycle lanes. This bill would also require the Department of Transportation to seek input from the affected district before proceeding with plans to alter a bicycle lane.

Renewing our Democracy

I. 732 Public Funds Cap Increase (Sponsored by Co-Chair Kallos)

This bill would raise the cap on public funds received by participating candidates to a full match with the expenditure limit.