Council to Vote on Expanding the Role of the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs (MOIA) and on Establishing a MOIA-led Interagency Task Force

Council will also vote on Enhancing the Inclusivity of the Tenant Harassment Statute and on Reporting on Certain City-Provided Programs and Services for the Disabled

City Hall – Today, the New York City Council will vote on legislation to expand the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs (MOIA) and to establish a MOIA-led interagency task force. The Council will also vote to enhance the inclusivity of the Tenant Harassment Statute. Next, the Council will vote on reporting on certain City-provided programs and services for the disabled. In addition, the Council will vote on extending the length of NYC beach and pool season, and on commissioning a feasibility study on the installation of bike share near certain parks. The Council will also vote on a resolution urging Congress to reject proposed reforms to cut funding to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Finally, the Council will vote on multiple land use items, including the rezoning of Downtown Far Rockaway and the creation of an East Shore Special Coastal Risk District.

Expanding MOIA and Establishing a MOIA-led Interagency Task Force

Addressing the needs of immigrant New Yorkers has never been more critical.  The rapid rate at which federal immigration policies are changing creates a need for additional support for immigrant New Yorkers, as well as the agencies that serve them.

Introduction 1566-A, sponsored by Council Members Daniel Dromm, Ydanis Rodriguez and Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, would expand the role and mission of the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs (MOIA). MOIA would lead the City’s efforts to promote the welfare of immigrants, regardless of status; work with the Civil Justice Coordinator to assess the legal service needs of immigrants; establish a state and federal affairs unit to follow changing federal laws and policies; consult with City agencies on the implementation of laws and policies designed to protect immigrants; consult with agencies on best practices for serving victims of crime and human trafficking; and report annually to the Council on its activities and the unique needs of the immigrant community.

Introduction 1578-A, sponsored by Council Member Carlos Menchaca and Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, would create a MOIA-led interagency task force to bring together the heads of city agencies and mayoral offices to assess the needs of New York City’s immigrant community, and provide agencies with recommendations. Additionally, agencies would look for ways to coordinate City services for immigrants, especially particularly vulnerable immigrants such as victims of crime and human trafficking, individuals who are LGBTQI, individuals with criminal justice system involvement, and minors.

“National attacks on immigrant rights have made it more important than ever to speak out in defense of the 3 million immigrant New Yorkers who call this city home,” said Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito. “As called for in my February State of the City address, expanding the role and duties of the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs is an important step in ensuring that local immigrants have access to the resources and social services they need. While the federal government seems insistent on making an already broken immigration system worse, we stand in firm support of all those who have chosen to build their lives in our great city, regardless of their immigration status. I am proud to lead a City Council that has done more for immigrant rights than any other municipal legislative body in the country, and I thank my colleagues for their support in developing this package of essential legislation.”

“In the face of hatred and xenophobia, New York stands tall as a model of resistance against policies that threaten our vital immigrant communities,” said Committee on Immigration Chair Carlos Menchaca. “The loss of DACA throws the lives of nearly one million undocumented immigrants who have only ever known this country into severe turmoil. In New York City, we reaffirm that our undocumented neighbors are no less New Yorkers than anyone else who chooses to live here. Introductions 1578-A and 1566-A will expand the scope of MOIA’s great work, connecting immigrants to legal services, while establishing an inter-agency task-force to protect vulnerable populations such as victims of human trafficking, LGBTQI individuals and those formerly involved in the criminal justice system. We are showing the nation how to lead when it comes to protecting immigrants and will not let up this fight.”

“I thank my colleagues in this body for so often standing on the right side of issues, serving as a model on how we can continue to resist policies that put our neighbors at risk,” said Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez. “I am proud that we are responding to the announcements of the past few days so quickly, with legislation that will remind our immigrant brothers and sisters that this is their home and will always be their home so long as they choose to live here. That is what Introduction 1566-A does and why I’m so proud to be passing it today.”

“In the midst of an ignominious federal administration, New York City is stepping up its efforts to protect our immigrant families,” said Council Member Daniel Dromm. “When enacted, Introduction 1566-A will strengthen our city’s historic commitment to immigrants by clarifying and expanding the duties of the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs.  My legislation will make it easier for these New Yorkers to apply for U and T non-immigrant statuses and to access city programs, benefits, and services.  I am proud to work alongside Speaker Mark-Viverito, Immigration Committee Chairperson Menchaca and Council Member Rodriguez to make our city a safer, fairer and more welcoming place for all.”

Enhancing the Inclusivity of the Tenant Harassment Statute

Tenants in private 1- and 2-family dwellings are not covered by the City’s existing harassment law. This means that tenants in these buildings have little to no protection against harassment.

Introduction 1550-A, sponsored by Council Member Helen Rosenthal, would expand the City’s harassment law to protect tenants of 1- and 2-family private dwellings.

“The message Introduction 1550-A sends is simple:  No New Yorker should be subjected to tenant harassment,” said Council Member Helen Rosenthal. “By extending tenant harassment protections to New York City residents in private dwellings, we give tenants another tool in fighting back against bad actors and protecting their safety and their homes. Thank you to Chair Jumaane Williams and to Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito for their leadership and support on this issue.”

Reporting on Certain City-Provided Programs and Services for the Disabled

Introduction 1236-A, sponsored by Council Member Joseph Borelli, would require DOHMH to submit a report to the Mayor and Speaker of the City Council on the number of individuals receiving services for autism spectrum disorders (ASD) from DOHMH or programs that are administered by DOHMH. This report is due no later than April 1 of each year and would also be available online. This report would allow the Council to track ASD services in different neighborhoods and ensure that services are available citywide.

“Finding out the number of cases of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) in New York City and mapping them is a vital and necessary step toward understanding the impact of environmental factors on the prevalence of ASD,” said Council Member Joseph Borelli. “I’m thankful that so many of my colleagues supported this bill and placed a priority on trying to improve our understanding of such a complex issue affecting so many people.”

Introduction 1424-A, sponsored by Council Member Andrew Cohen, would require DOE to include in their special education report to the mayor and speaker of the city council, the total number of students within each IEP disability classification disaggregated by district, eligibility for free and reduced price lunch program, race/ethnicity, gender, English Language Learner status, recommended language of instruction, and grade level. This additional information would encourage the Council to notice trends in IEP classifications in different communities and, if necessary, address inequities in service and/or diagnosis.

“The way that the Department of Education currently classifies students with IEPs does not cross reference their disability classification with other identifying factors such as gender, ethnicity, school district, or recommended language of instruction,” said Council Member Andrew Cohen. “With this bill, we can better organize our system of classification to yield more helpful information to analyze trends across New York City schools and address potential inequities in diagnosis, services, or resource distribution.”

Extending the Length of NYC Beach and Pool Season

Introduction 629-A, sponsored by Council Member Mark Levine, would require the Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) to extend the length of the beach and pool season to one week past Labor Day to accommodate for warmer temperatures in September.  It would also allow DPR to limit the season for public safety or extreme weather concerns.

“For millions of New Yorkers who can’t afford to vacation in the Hamptons or take a cruise in the Caribbean, the City’s public beaches and pools offer exceptional summer recreation opportunities right here in the the five boroughs – accessible for the cost of a MetroCard and free to enter for anyone,” said Council Member Mark Levine. “From Orchard Beach to the Rockaways, the City’s 14 miles of free public beaches and 53 outdoor pools are an invaluable resource for those looking to stay cool when the summer heat doesn’t just stop on Labor Day.”

Commissioning a Feasibility Study on Installation of Bike Share Near Parks

Introduction 401-A, sponsored by Council Member Carlos Menchaca, would require the Department of Transportation and the Department of Parks and Recreation to issue a report on the potential installation of bike share near parks. Such report would be due on or before June 30, 2018.

“Citi Bike is now so successfully established that it has become an integral part of New York City’s transportation system,” said Council Member Carlos Menchaca. “In June alone, Citi Bike riders logged more than 4 million miles of travel.  Citi Bike is a large, complex system and requires careful management to maintain service. I have proposed a straightforward one-time reporting requirement to ensure Citi Bike stations are placed at the best locations nearest City parks. I support expanding Citi Bike to every neighborhood, especially low-income communities of color like Sunset Park where cycling can be a healthy and cost effective transportation option.”

The City Council will vote on the following resolution…

Resolution 1636-2017, sponsored by Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, urging Congress to reject proposed reforms to cut funding to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and to reject efforts to convert the program into a block grant.

“The Trump Administration’s 2018 budget proposal would make $193 billion in cuts to SNAP over a ten year period – this is an unacceptable and unsustainable idea,” said Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito. “Food insecurity impacts 1.7 million New Yorkers each year, and many of those residents rely on SNAP benefits to close the gap in their nutritional needs. Limiting resources and eligibility for SNAP will throw the health and security of millions across the country into jeopardy, and cannot be allowed to go forward. I urge all of you to stand with me in calling on Congress to reject this element of budget negotiations.”

The City Council will vote on rezoning or public siting for the following locations…

Downtown Far Rockaway in Queens

The City Council is voting to approve a plan to revitalize the Downtown Far Rockaway area with new affordable housing, commercial development, and community facility uses.  In tandem with the land use applications the Council is voting on, CM Richards has secured additional investments in schools, community open spaces, streetscape and many other critically needed public investment.  This new planning framework will ensure the construction of thousands of new units of affordable housing in addition to critically needed investments in the Far Rockaway community.

“Today, we begin the journey of building on the progress we have made over the past four years, by infusing hundreds of millions of dollars into infrastructure, quality jobs, parks, streetscape, transit improvements, and both community facility and open space,” said District 31 Council Member Donovan Richards. “These investments will ensure that Far Rockaway benefits from the amenities that so many other communities in our city enjoy. I’d like to thank Mayor de Blasio, EDC, HPD, DCP, Speaker Mark-Viverito, the Council Land Use staff and all of the over agencies involved in these negotiations.”

DSNY District 11 Garage in Manhattan

The NYC Department and Sanitation and NYC Department of Citywide Administrative Services is proposing a site selection and acquisition to facilitate the relocation of the M11 Manhattan Garage and Lot Cleaning Unit from their current undersized and outdated facilities. The Council is modifying the site selection to limit the term to twenty years to ensure the site serves as an interim facility.

“This project is an important interim measure that allows for the relocation of the M11 garage, which is currently located in a deeply flawed and structurally unsound building directly across from the Metropolitan Hospital,” said Speaker and District 8 Council Member Melissa Mark-Viverito. “I am pleased that DSNY has committed to formalizing a community engagement process and will work to realize a long-term, fully-enclosed, multi-district facility that meets the needs of DSNY and the surrounding community.”

East Shore Special Coastal Risk District in Staten Island

The NYC Department of City Planning seeks to apply a special zoning designation to limit development in the highly flood vulnerable areas of Oakwood Beach, Graham Beach, and Ocean Breeze and to ensure that land use regulations are aligned with long-term sustainability plans.

“The devastation of Hurricane Sandy, and now Hurricane Harvey, tragically underscore the dire consequences of poor urban planning in the face of increasing risks of flooding and other natural disasters,” said Minority Leader and District 50 Council Member Steven Matteo. “While there is no perfect solution to meet these challenges, especially in the complex development landscape of New York City, I believe this zoning proposal strikes the right balance between appropriate governmental oversight, prudent flood risk management and individual property rights. The East Shore Coastal Risk District and the zoning changes to the areas that were part of the post-Sandy buyout program will limit any deleterious effects of new development, safeguard environmentally sensitive wetlands and help protect the residents remaining in these coastal communities from further risk of harm. At the same time, these measures will also help existing businesses remain and encourage more resilient construction.”

Institute for Community Living in Brooklyn

The Institute for Community Living seeks to facilitate the renovation and expansion of their existing building to feature conventional studios, and two-bedroom and three-bedroom apartments mixed between supportive and affordable housing.

“This project exemplifies the way forward when it comes to alleviating homelessness, providing affordable housing, and meeting resiliency standards,” said District 33 Council Member Stephen Levin. “We know supportive housing – affordable housing with on-site supportive services – is key to providing a path to permanency for needy New Yorkers. More than just affordable housing, these type of development is an opportunity for the community. By ensuring local, Brooklyn-based Minority and Women owned businesses are part of the process, we broaden the social benefit even more. I hope other projects follow the example of sustainable and locally supportive commitments.”