When I became Speaker of the New York City Council, I committed to putting progressive values into action, building a more inclusive and equitable City and improving the quality of life for all New Yorkers. Two years later, I am proud of the ground-breaking work my colleagues and I have done. We have successfully passed landmark legislation and created initiatives that protect families and workers, defend immigrants, create and protect jobs, expand accountability and encourage civic participation.

During 2014 and 2015, we strengthened the paid sick leave law, boosted funding for worker cooperatives, and increased the number of public school students receiving free, nutritious meals. With the Mayor, the Council delivered a strong plan to grow jobs by investing in our manufacturing sector.

Our Unaccompanied Minors Initiative was a model for the nation in meaningfully addressing the humanitarian crisis of immigrant children fleeing violence in their countries and arriving alone in the City.

We have begun to address persistent racial disparities in our criminal justice system by introducing reforms to our bail system and an overhaul to the way summonses are issued for minor offenses. The Council also strengthened civil rights protections for job applicants with criminal records.

By working in partnership with our constituents, Participatory Budgeting has become the standard in 28 Council districts and residents of all backgrounds are deciding where to direct funding in their neighborhoods.

As you read through this Midterm Progress Report, you’ll see the breadth and depth of the Council’s leadership and action on behalf of all New Yorkers.

I look forward to hearing your ideas and concerns and partnering with you to help lift our city even higher.

Melissa Mark-Viverito
Speaker of the New York City Council