Progressive Caucus of the New York City Council
Statement of Principles (March, 2010)
The Progressive Caucus of the New York City Council is dedicated to creating a more just and equal New York City, combating all forms of discrimination, and advancing public policies that offer genuine opportunity to all New Yorkers, especially those who have been left out of our society’s prosperity.
Our principles include:
- A fair budget that maintains a commitment to strong core City services, protects the most vulnerable, asks the wealthiest to pay their fair share, and utilizes progressive revenue streams (including considering progressive tax increases when necessary to meet these goals).
- An economic policy focused on the creation and preservation of living-wage and prevailing-wage jobs with adequate benefits, leave, and security to support a family, that aims to nurture a diverse economy, and that provides affirmative opportunities to those who have been left out (including minority and women-owned business enterprises).
- Creating and preserving safe, decent, affordable housing for all New Yorkers — with a particular emphasis on low-income, very-low income, and homeless households — through a strong commitment to strengthening rent regulations, preserving existing subsidized housing, and creating permanently affordable housing.
- High-quality public education, early childhood development (ages 0 – 5), youth and dropout prevention programs that enable all kids to succeed and aim to eliminate the achievement gap – with academic, athletic, and cultural programs that focus on human development, a commitment to reducing class size, and a strong emphasis on parental involvement.
- A more sustainable and environmentally just city, that takes the lead in preserving the environment for generations to come, improving the health of current residents, insuring a sound transportation system, and working toward a more equitable distribution of burdens and benefits.
- Strong, vibrant, diverse neighborhoods with the physical, order social, cultural and economic infrastructure that sustains healthy communities, and whose voice is genuinely heard in decision-making.
- Criminal justice policies that emphasize prevention, alternatives-to-incarceration, partnership with communities, and police accountability – including giving the Civilian Complaint Review Board greater independence and ability to prosecute cases – in order to insure public safety and justice.
- Full civil rights for all New Yorkers regardless of race, gender, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or physical disability. This includes a commitment to marriage equality for LGBT couples, reproductive rights for women, full municipal privileges and responsibilities regardless of immigration status, and strengthening diversity in public institutions.
- Reform to restore confidence and participation in government, including sunlight and accountability in budgeting and contracting (including City Council awards), eliminating the culture of “pay-to-play,” providing citizens with the information they deserve, respecting the will of the voters, and strengthening the practice of local democracy in New York City.