City Hall – Today the New York City Council will vote on legislation that will provide the public and city officials with better information to hold agencies accountable for meeting the objectives of the city’s minority and women-owned business enterprise (M/WBE) program, as well as promote collaborative efforts to encourage greater participation by minority and women-owned businesses in city contract procurement. The Council will also vote to require new and enhanced data reporting related to hate crimes, sex offenses, and domestic violence. Next, the Council will vote on measures to enhance access to buildings for those with bicycles and protecting pedestrians in crosswalks. Additionally, the Land Use Committee will vote to approve construction of La Central, a fully affordable mixed use development. Finally, the Council will vote on the appointment of Hari Savitala to the Environmental Control Board.

Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprise Legislation

Today, the Council will vote on a package of legislation to strengthen and expand the City’s contracting with minority and women-owned business enterprises (M/WBEs):

“Women and minorities have been historically underserved in the government contracting business,” said Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito. “By increasing oversight into who gets these contracts, and how that process is determined, we are that much closer to bringing full accountability to our local M/WBEs. I thank Council Members Laurie Cumbo, Elizabeth Crowley, and Helen Rosenthal, as well as Public Advocate Letitia James, for their work on bringing this legislation, for their important advocacy on this issue.”

Introduction 923-A, sponsored by Council Member Laurie Cumbo, would require the New York City Economic Development Corporation to assess and evaluate entities receiving economic development benefits from the city to determine whether they met applicable M/WBE goals, and to submit this information to the Department of Small Business Services for an annual report to be presented to the Mayor and the Speaker of the Council.

Introduction 976-A, sponsored by the Public Advocate Letitia James, would require the Department of Small Business Services (SBS) to conduct mandatory trainings for agency chief contracting officers and agency M/WBE officers on how to better meet the objectives of the City’s M/WBE program.

Introduction 981-B, sponsored by Council Member Laurie Cumbo, would establish an advisory board to enhance city procurement opportunities for M/WBEs. The board’s responsibilities would be to advise the mayor on M/WBE issues and methods of increasing M/WBE participation in procurement, to provide information to firms owned by minorities and women about opportunities and programs for M/WBEs and to encourage them to certify as M/WBEs, and to educate relevant stakeholders and others in order to support the City’s efforts to increase M/WBE opportunities through regulatory and legislative changes.

“Minority and women-owned business enterprises (M/WBEs) have been on the back burner for far too long,” said Council Member Laurie A. Cumbo. “I am proud to have worked alongside my colleagues in government and fierce advocates to bring greater transparency and accountability procedures to the forefront, in order to support and highlight opportunities to advance M/WBEs. Int. 923 will require the Economic Development Corporation (EDC) to assess and evaluate whether contractors receiving economic development benefits have fully complied with M/WBE requirements, as well as require the Department of Small Business Services to submit a report on EDC’s assessment. These requirements bring real oversight to the process and support continued development of M/WBEs. Int. 981 marks the creation of an advisory board to enhance city procurement opportunities for M/WBEs. As Chair of the Committee on Women’s Issues and co-Chair of the Women’s Caucus, I am elated that the six bills in the M/WBE legislative package will be voted on at Stated. This is a significant milestone, one of many more to come, in achieving our greater goal of providing these enterprises with more openings to participate in the procurement process, and to thrive in the City of New York’s business sector.”

Introduction 1005-A, sponsored by Council Member Elizabeth Crowley, would require each agency that made more than $5 million in procurements in the previous fiscal year to post their M/WBE utilization plan, as approved by the Department of Small Business Services, detailing the M/WBE goals set by the contracting agency for the following fiscal year, online for public access.

“New York City has the largest and most diverse population of businesses in the country, yet our City procurement does not reflect that same diversity. To change this, it’s critical our city agencies prioritize M/WBE contracting and be more transparent in its plans to do so. By publicly sharing these goals, we can identify any agency falling short, and why.  Thank you to Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and my City Council co-sponsors for their dedication to this issue,” said Council Member Elizabeth Crowley.

Introduction 1019-A, sponsored by Council Member Helen Rosenthal, would require the city to report on M/WBE contacting by each agency based on the total number of agency contracts, rather than only those to which M/WBE goals were attached. This bill would also amend the contractual value ranges for which information is reported, and require that the data within the reports be made available to the Council in an electronically extractable format for easier analysis.

Introduction 1020-A, sponsored by Council Member Helen Rosenthal, would provide greater transparency into determinations made by the city’s chief procurement officer whether to divide bids or proposals for contracts valued at over ten million dollars into smaller contracts to enhance opportunities for M/WBEs and other potential bidders. This bill would require more detailed information about how their determinations were made. It would additionally change the dates by which each agency must submit their M/WBE utilization plan (from April 1 to July 31), anticipated contracting schedule (from July 31 to June 30), and performance improvement plan in cases where the agency failed to achieve its utilization goals (from October 1 to January 31). Finally, it would remove the dollar limitations for those purchases of goods to which M/WBE participation goals must be attached.

“As Chair of the Contracts Committee and Co-Chair of the Women’s Caucus, I am proud to play a role in passing this package of bills on M/WBEs, including two bills of my own. Taken together, the information we will glean from this legislation will lay the groundwork for how the city can and will do better by our minority and women owned businesses. In particular, this legislation will support opportunities to break large contracts into component parts that will enhance competition for M/WBE bids,” said Council Member Helen Rosenthal.

Hate Crime, Sex Offense and Domestic Violence Reporting Legislation

The Council will also vote on a package of legislation to improve reporting and analyzation of data on sex offenses, domestic violence incidents, and hate crimes:

Introduction 869-A, sponsored by Council Member Laurie Cumbo, would require the NYPD to include in the quarterly report all sex offenses, disaggregated by specific felony and misdemeanor offenses.

Introduction 948-A, sponsored by the Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, would enhance reporting related to domestic violence and hate crimes. Whereas no formal timelines previously existed, domestic violence incidents, domestic violence rapes, and domestic violence felonious assaults would now be reported on a monthly, quarterly and annual basis.  Domestic violence related homicides, hate crimes and hate crime assaults would now be reported quarterly and annually.  Domestic violence incidents in public housing will be reported on a biannual and annual basis.  All the data would be reported publically.

“The increased reporting of domestic violence incidents, sex crimes, and hate crimes will give every New Yorker a clearer picture of where these crimes occur,” said Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito. “The efforts of the City Council to amend the administrative code of New York to strengthen NYPD reporting on these crimes should be applauded. Reporting on these encounters is a vital step toward increased transparency and identifying where these incidents begin, so that we can potentially stop these crimes before they occur, or provide increased services to the victims in the communities that are becoming most affected.”

Introduction 961-A, sponsored by Council Member Antonio Reynoso, would require domestic violence reporting to be disaggregated based on whether the crime involved intimate partners.

“Last year, there were 8,027 domestic incidents reported in my district – that’s 22 per day, so I feel compelled to work proactively on this issue,” said Council Member Antonio Reynoso. Tracking these incidents and distinguishing intimate partner violence from other types can give us the ability to target services to meet the needs on the ground.  OCDV and local organizations, such as the North Brooklyn Coalition Against Family Violence in my district, provide targeted services for intimate partner violence, both for prevention, such as OCDV’s Healthy Relationship Training Academy, and for victim services as well.  Data can help us figure out more specifically where outreach about these services is needed. I look forward to a day where we can say that these services are no longer needed because we’ve eradicated domestic violence from the city; but until then, am glad that we can use this information, and the information generated by the other bills in this package, to make sure that needed services reach our communities.”

Introduction 968-A, sponsored by Council Members Ritchie Torres, would require domestic violence reporting by New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) to be disaggregated by incidents that occur on NYCHA property.

“Domestic violence continues to be a silent act that occurs behind closed doors, with limited information of where it happens and why. Public housing has some of the highest incidents of domestic violence, yet we don’t have a sense of where the incidents happen and how to better allocate resources in order to prevent them. This bill will shed a light on where domestic violence incidents are occurring on NYCHA developments and give us more information on DV so that we are able to better the address the issue,” said Council Member Ritchie Torres, Chair of the Council’s Public Housing Committee, lead sponsor of Intro 968-A.

Bicycle Accessibility Legislation

The Council will vote on legislation increasing bicycle accessibility measures around the city:

Introduction 405-A, sponsored by Council Member Helen Rosenthal (by request of the Manhattan Borough President), would allow foldable bicycles to be taken on passenger elevators.

Introduction 695-A, sponsored by Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez, would provide for bicycle access in residential buildings. Landlords would be required to allow tenants use of passenger elevators, or a designated passenger elevator, unless a freight elevator is available, to transport bicycles to each dwelling unit.

Introduction 795-A, sponsored by Council Member Jumaane Williams, would expand bicycle access by allowing occupants of office buildings to use designated passenger elevators to transport their bicycles in cases when a freight elevator is not operating. The bill will also streamline the process of adding tenants to current bicycle access plans.

Pedestrian Right of Way Legislation

Finally, the Council will vote on legislation extending protections of pedestrians in crosswalks:

Introduction 997-A, sponsored by the Public Advocate Letitia James, would ensure that pedestrians have the right of way in crosswalks during the entire display of a countdown clock or flashing hand, updating out of date regulations that were put into place before the use of countdown clocks.

“Nearly every day, someone is injured or killed crossing our streets and it is past time we update our laws to adequately protect pedestrians,” said Public Advocate Letitia James. “This common-sense legislation will ensure that countdown clocks accurately portray the time pedestrians have to cross our streets and will ensure that any reckless driver is held accountable for injuring someone crossing legally. Millions of New Yorkers cross our streets every day, and they should always feel safe doing so.”

La Central:

The Council will vote on the creation of a new mixed use development in Melrose. La Central is a 100 percent affordable housing development, which will contain almost 1,000 units of affordable housing, including:

  • 831 affordable apartments
  • 160 supportive housing units, including commercial space, a skate park, a YMCA and a new observatory for Bronx Science High School

The is an economically integrated project, with AMIs ranging from 30 percent of Area Median Income to 130 percent, and will address the housing needs of a range of New Yorkers while acting as a real community hub.

District representative, Council Member Rafael Salamanca, said:

“I’m pleased that we were able to come to an agreement on La Central. This is an exciting project, and I was able to successfully fight for personnel being organized through 32BJ SEIU, as well increased security and safety measures surrounding the new development. Most importantly however, I fought for a significant amount of units to be priced for families making 30% of AMI or less, including in two, three and four bedroom units. As a result, I believe La Central is a project that can truly help to move the South Bronx forward.”

The City Council will vote on landmark designation status for the following structures:

  • Church Of St. Joseph of the Holy Family
  • Paul Roman Catholic Church
  • Firehouse Engine Company 29
  • 315 Broadway Building
  • George William and Anna Curtis House
  • John’s Protestant Episcopal Church Rectory
  • 92 Harrison Street House
  • Prince’s Bay Lighthouse Complex

The Council will vote on confirmation of the following recommended appointee:

  • Hari Savitala to the Environmental Control Board