Press & Statements

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

Welcoming Bill Perkins into the Progressive Caucus

The Caucus welcomed recently-elected Council Member and Former State Senator Bill Perkins as a member of the Caucus. Bill Perkins, was re-elected to the New York City Council in a Special Election on February 14th, 2017. Perkins brings a breadth of experience – having been elected to the Senate in 2006 after previously serving as deputy majority leader on the City Council for eight years, from 1998-2005.

The council member was a prime sponsor of the Childhood Lead Paint Poisoning Prevention Act of 2004, and a dedicated affordable housing advocate. He also fought tirelessly to reform public authorities like the MTA, and worked to extend unemployment benefits and to make health care more accessible during his Senate tenure. A lifelong resident of Harlem, Bill Perkins started his political career as a community activist and known for his tenacious and unyielding commitment to serving the community.

Continue reading “Welcoming Bill Perkins into the Progressive Caucus”

Progressive Caucus launches 18 Progressive Policies for 2018

The New York City Council Progressive Caucus and allies gathered today on the steps of City Hall to announce their adoption of a new platform of “18 Progressive Policies for 2018” representing crucial campaigns they are fighting for – especially under the current political climate and the regressive era of the Trump administration.

The policy platform represents crucial campaigns to move the city forward, especially under the regressive Trump administration. As Progressives, we will fight for a more equitable and fair city that is safe for vulnerable New Yorkers – and that stands as an example for the rest of the nation: Progressive Caucus Policy Platform “Resistance & Progress: 18 Progressive Policies for 2018” Progressive Caucus Policy Platform “Resistance & Progress: 18 Progressive Policies for 2018”

Continue reading “Progressive Caucus launches 18 Progressive Policies for 2018”

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)

 

Progressive Caucus Statement on the Supreme Court’s Decision to Allow the Trump Administration’s Travel Ban

On December 4, 2017, the Supreme Court lifted the block on the third version of the Trump administration’s travel ban despite aggressive legal challenges. This version includes North Korea, and Venezuela; the previous two bans affected citizens of: Iran, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, and Chad. The Progressive Caucus is outraged by this decision, which now allows the administration to fully operationalize its new restrictions on eight nations; six of them primarily Muslim. This ban unjustly bars more than 100 million individuals from coming to the United States, and remains an anti-Muslim executive order that is discriminatory in its intent and now in implementation. The Progressive Caucus stands with advocates, who have tirelessly worked to halt this travel ban. As progressive elected officials, we will continuously pledge to stand up for the rights of all New Yorkers and fight for our values as a sanctuary city.

New York State Appeals Court hears the Progress Caucus’ amicus brief against NYPD denial of information

New York, NY – On November 22, 2017, the New York State Appeals Court heard the Progressive Caucus’ amicus brief supporting plaintiff, Constance Malcolm in her case against the NYPD and the department’s concealment of records related to the death of Malcolm’s son. In 2012, unarmed 18-year-old Ramarley Graham was shot and killed in front of his grandmother and 6-year-old brother by NYPD Officer Richard Haste. Graham’s family has been seeking justice and transparency for his death for the last five years. The Caucus has been by the family’s side at numerous rallies and has called for greater transparency and accountability from the NYPD.

In August of 2017, the Progressive Caucus filed a legal amicus brief supporting the Graham family in their continual challenges to the NYPD’s denial of information. The Progressive Caucus’ brief argues that NYPD’s failure to release pertinent information related to the death of Ramarley Graham undermines the police department’s credibility and jeopardizes the public’s trust. The Progressive Caucus is committed to issues of police accountability and transparency, and building stronger relationships between the police and the communities that they serve. We hope the court considers the precedent that will be set by this case for the future of ongoing efforts to rebuild public trust in the NYPD, and will continue to call on the NYPD to release information regarding Ramarley Graham’s death.