VICTORY: City Council Passes Three-Quarters Housing Bills

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New York, NY— The New York City Council Progressive Caucus commends today’s passage of Three-Quarter Housing bills. The five bills, sponsored by Council Members Corey Johnson, Donovan Richards, Ritchie Torres, and Jumaane Williams, aim to tackle the problem of unregulated unsafe and poor quality “three-quarter” houses by making stable housing more accessible for three-quarter-house residents. The dwellings, frequently in dismal condition, often house vulnerable New Yorkers who may struggle with homelessness, mental illness, or addiction.

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Progressive Caucus Supports Home Stability Support

The New York City Council Progressive Caucus announces its support of Assembly Member Hevesi’s Home Stability Support (HSS) program, a new statewide rent supplement for families and individuals facing eviction, who are currently homeless or who have lost housing due to domestic violence or hazardous living conditions. In endorsing the HSS program proposal, the Progressive Caucus joins over 110 state assembly members, 30 city council members, six community boards, and hundreds of community organizations advocating for the measure, as well as Public Advocate Letitia James, the Independent Democratic Conference, and Congressman Joseph Crowley and Congresswoman Grace Meng.

The HSS program addresses the thousands of households that are on the brink of homelessness in New York State due to inadequate shelter allowance levels. Originally established in 1975, the shelter allowance was designed to pay the full rents of the vast majority of households on public allowance. However, the allowance has failed to keep up with the rising costs of housing. Roughly half of those receiving shelter allowances without other housing subsidies, more than 80,000 households, are placed at serious risk of becoming homeless due to shelter allowances that are far below the actual cost of housing, with rents that are 1.5 times or more than their shelter allowances.

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NYC Council Caucuses Issue Statement on Anti-Immigrant Executive Order

­­­­­­­ The New York City Council’s Black, Latino, and Asian Caucus (BLAC) and Progressive Caucus (PC) stand together in fierce opposition to President Trump’s executive orders implementing more aggressive exclusion and deportation operations for immigrants and the announced executive order banning entry of refugees and other migrants from majority-Muslim countries. These actions are rooted in racism, protectionism, and xenophobia, and they harken to the ugliest moments in modern human history.

Members of the City Council Progressive Caucus and the BLAC unite under the charge to create a more just and equal New York 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. We are alarmed and outraged at the President’s regressive proposals and his continual affront to immigrant communities and threats to cities that protect them. We unequivocally rebuke these executive orders as obstacles to unity and insults to the rich cultural contributions of our nation’s immigrant population.

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Internship Opportunity at the Progressive Caucus

The New York City Council Progressive Caucus is seeking a motivated intern for the spring 2017 semester with an interest in public service, city government, legislation, and public policy.

The NYCC Progressive Caucus was founded in 2009 as an advocate for social and economic justice within the City Council. The Caucus has been instrumental in the passage of employment discrimination, tenant displacement, and environmental protection legislation in New York City.

The internship is an excellent opportunity to learn about the inside workings of city government and gain hands on experience working in politics. The Progressive Caucus intern will support the Director in researching policy and potential legislation, planning and executing advocacy campaigns and events, and assisting with projects related to media relations, social media, and website development, as well as office management tasks.

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Victory: Council Passes Freelance Isn’t Free Act

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In a landmark victory for the nation’s 55 million independent workers, the New York City Council passed the “Freelance Isn’t Free” Act – first-of-its-kind legislation that extends the social safety net and provides millions of NYC freelancers with unprecedented wage theft protections. Intro. 1017-C, supported by Freelancers Union and introduced by Council Member Brad Lander, will now provide NYC’s freelancers with equal protection from wage theft. Continue reading

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