Council will also vote to require that tenant rights information be publicly posted in residential buildings.
City Hall – Today the City Council will vote on a package of three bills that will require increased reporting of information about New York City’s foster care programs. The Council will also vote on a bill requiring owners of residential buildings to publicly post information about tenant rights.
Foster Care Reporting
The Council will vote on a package of 3 bills, each of which would require that the Administration for Children’s Services provide reports on various aspects of foster care programs in New York City. Currently, there is very limited publicly reported data on youth in the New York City foster care system. These bills will provide information on young people in foster care, including in the critical areas of education, employment, housing, and government-issued identification.
“All these bills work toward the same goal: better understanding and improving our foster care system in New York City,” said Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito.
Introduction 137-A, sponsored by Council Member Dromm, would require ACS to produce an annual report to be submitted to the Speaker and posted on the agency’s website regarding the number of youth in foster care aged seventeen and older who have a form of government-issued identification disaggregated by type of identification and the number who obtained government-issued identification with the assistance of ACS. The bill would also require ACS to report on the number of youth in foster care who at the time of their discharge from ACS possessed government-issued identification.
“Youth who are aging out of foster care need identification to survive,” said Council Member Daniel Dromm. “Intro 137-A requires ACS to report on how successful they were in getting kids important identification. I am especially pleased that one of the forms of ID that ACS will be helping kids obtain will be the new municipal identification card which I sponsored as legislation in the City Council.”
Introduction 187-A, sponsored by Council Member Cumbo, would require ACS to produce an annual report to be submitted to the Speaker and posted on the agency’s website regarding the high school graduation rates of youth in foster care.
“Today, the New York City Council will take a monumental step forward by passing legislation that will reform foster care in New York City. With more than 11,000 children under the care of the Administration for Children’s Services, we must ensure that our youth are equipped with the necessary support and resources to flourish. Through increased transparency, we can effectively assess this Administration and its efforts to address the challenges that often jeopardize the welfare of our children,” said Council Member Laurie A. Cumbo.
Introduction 104-A, sponsored by Public Advocate Letitia James, would require ACS to produce annual reports to be submitted to the Speaker and posted on the agency’s website regarding the outcomes of youth in foster care, with a focus on youth who age out of care. The bill would require ACS to report on all of the discharge outcomes of foster care youth. Introduction104-A would also address ACS’ efforts to prepare youth who are currently in the agency’s care to age out and would provide data on the outcomes of youth who have aged out at the time of their discharge.
“It is important that we are able to provide accurate and up-to-date data on the experiences of youth transitioning out of the foster care system, said NYC Public Advocate Letitia James. “This bill will facilitate greater communication and partnership between city agencies and youth service agencies that support young people in the foster care system. Together, we can best address the needs of this at-risk population, and provide the tools necessary to improve their quality of life and future success.”
Tenants Rights Posting
Tenants in New York City enjoy many legal rights as residents of rental housing. Unfortunately, many New York City tenants aren’t familiar with all of their rights. Introduction 48-A, sponsored by Council Member Cabrera, would require the Department of Housing Preservation and Development to create an online guide dealing with common issues tenants face. Owners of multiple dwellings would also be required to post a notice directing tenants to this guide.
“The tenants’ and owners’ guide to rights and responsibility is an important step to bring clarity on the housing regulations governing both tenants and landlords. Having the set of rules available in a friendly format will help ensure that the dwellings meet the standards of habitability. We are moving the city forward with this legislation by positively impacting the quality of life of many New Yorkers,” said Council Member Fernando Cabrera.
Climate Change Resolution
On September 23, world leaders will be coming to New York City for a United Nations summit on climate change. Preceding the summit, on September 21, there will be a People’s Climate March to urge governments to support an ambitious global agreement to dramatically reduce global warming emissions. Resolution Number 356, sponsored by Council Member Richards, recognizes the dangers of climate change to human health and the environment, and endorses the People’s Climate March.
“As a legislative body, the New York City Council has coalesced around this global movement to acknowledge climate change as we approach the UN summit later this month,” said Council Member Donovan Richards, Chairman of the City Council’s Committee on Environmental Protection. “Climate change has long been taboo, but we simply cannot ignore the wealth of compelling evidence regarding our impact on the environment. I fully support the People’s Climate March and I am also proud to have passed a resolution that is focused on environmentalism and designed to improve quality of life for subsequent generations.”
Work Experience Program Resolution
The Work Experience Program is a work program in New York City administered by the Human Resources Administration designed to place public assistance recipients in work experience. However, WEP participants are not considered employees, do not receive a paycheck, are not eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit, collective bargaining, unemployment or social security benefits. Resolution Number 257-A, sponsored by Council Members Mealy, Dickens and King calls on the State Legislature to pass and the Governor to sign legislation that would end WEP in New York City.
“Council Member Mealy and I are calling for the end of the WEP program because these participants seldom receive education or training, and are not considered “employees” for all intents and purposes by their employers. Although the WEP participants perform work assignments just as any other person in within New York City agency sites, they are, however, ineligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit, collective bargaining, unemployment or social security benefits. Thus, the end-goal and purpose of the program, to produce independent, self-supportive individuals who will be able to provide for their families, is not realized. Therefore, we are calling for the end of WEP Programs in New York City,” said Council Member Andy King.
National Women’s History Museum
Congress Member Carolyn Maloney introduced H.R. 863, which would require a report on recommendations for a plan of action for the establishment and maintenance of a National Women’s History Museum in Washington, D.C. The federal legislation would also require the Commission to develop a fundraising plan to support the establishment, operation and maintenance of the Museum through public contributions. This legislation was passed by the House of Representatives in May 2014 with bipartisan support and was sent to the Senate for consideration. Resolution Number 354, sponsored by Council Members Kallos, Cumbo, Van Bramer, Crowley and Koslowitz, calls upon the United States Senate to pass and the President to sign companion legislation to H.R. 863.