Council to Vote on Right to Know Act

In final session under Speaker Melissa Mark Viverito’s leadership, Council will have voted on a record of over 700 bills

City Hall – Today, the New York City Council will vote on what is commonly known as the Right to Know Act, requiring officers to identify themselves to the public and requiring the New York police department to develop and provide guidance for its officers on obtaining consent to search individuals. Over the last four years, this City Council has passed a record number of bills on criminal justice reform. Today, the Council will be passing legislation to increase transparency and accountability at the New York Police Department (NYPD) while also allowing the NYPD to do their jobs keeping New York City safe. The Right to Know Act comes in its final form after years of negotiations.

The Council will also vote to reorganize the New York City Human Rights Law and require covered entities to engage in a cooperative dialogue with persons who are or may be entitled to reasonable accommodations. The Council will also vote on requiring the amendment of the official forms of certain designated city agencies to allow individuals to voluntarily report gender pronoun information. In addition, the Council will vote on a bill requiring reporting on students in temporary housing. Next, the Council will vote on a bill requiring reporting on school applications, offers, enrollment and seat availability. The Council will then vote on the requirement of a creation of a subcontractor resource guide. The Council will also vote on legislation protecting employees who seek temporary changes to work schedules for personal events and certain other schedule changes. In addition, the Council will vote on a bill providing certain information to users of life-sustaining equipment and individuals for whom a disruption in electrical service would create a medical emergency.

The Council will also vote on a bill that would establish a temporary task force to address reentry issues for post-incarceration older adults. Next, the Council will vote on a bill requiring the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to establish response times for after-hours noise complaints. Also, the Council will vote to study the use of alternative fuels and alternative fuel technologies in the city ferry fleet. The Council will then vote on a bill reviewing the use of biodiesel fuel in school buses. The Council will vote to require rewards for idling infractions initiated by citizen complaints. In addition, the Council will then vote to establish standards for carrying out mold assessment and remediation in large buildings. Then the Council will vote on legislation phasing out the use of residual fuel oil and fuel oil grade no. 4 in boilers in in-city power plants. The Council will also vote to require periodic recommendations on adoption of more stringent energy efficiency requirements for certain buildings. In addition, the Council will vote on legislation requiring the Department of Homeless Services to post shelter census data. Next, the Council will vote to produce a study regarding the feasibility of notifying individuals who apply for public assistance about other assistance opportunities.

Then the Council will vote to require conducting a study regarding client information management systems. The Council will then vote on a bill advising families with children entering shelter on their educational continuity opportunities. In addition, the Council will vote to require the issue of an annual report on exits from domestic violence emergency shelters. The Council will then vote require annual inspections for indoor asthma allergen hazards in residential dwellings. Next, the Council will vote on a bill increasing penalties for construction site safety violations that result in or are accompanied by death or serious physical injury. The Council will also vote on a bill creating an online database of owners of registered dwellings. The Council will then vote on a housing portal bill. The Council will then vote to require conducting a census of vacant properties. Next, the Council will then vote on a bill to require reporting of city-owned vacant property that may be suitable for the development of affordable housing. The Council will then vote on a bill to require notification to the city of proposed excavation or drilling. Next, the Council will vote on a bill creating regulatory agreements with community land trusts.

Then the Council will vote on a bill requiring the cleaning of park playground equipment after the spraying of pesticides. The Council will then vote on a bill requiring the Commissioners of Department of Sanitation (DSNY) and Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) to study the feasibility of a penalty mitigation program. In addition, the Council will vote on restoration requirements after the opening of a protected street. Then the Council will vote on reporting on the installation of bollards.

Next the Council will vote to require reports on runaway youth and homeless youth who have not accessed shelter services funded by the Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD). Then the Council will vote to require Department of Homeless Services (DHS) to provide youth aging out of DYCD shelters an alternative method of intake into DHS shelters. Finally, the Council will vote on a number of land use items including the development of the National Black Theater in Manhattan, the rezoning of 1965 Lafayette Avenue in the Bronx and the Self Storage text amendment that applies to various districts throughout the City.

Right to Know Act

Introduction 182-D, sponsored by Council Member Ritchie Torres, would require that all sworn police officers employed by the NYPD offer a business card to an individual and give reason for law enforcement activity (unless providing such information would impair a criminal investigation) in the following situations: 1. Non-custodial questioning of an individual suspected of criminal activity; 2. A pedestrian stop where an officer has reasonable suspicion that the person has committed, is committing, or is about to commit a crime and where such person does not feel free to leave; 3. A frisk; 4. Searches of persons, or property, including vehicles; 5. A roadblock or checkpoint stop, including DWI checkpoints, but excluding planned vehicle security checks at sensitive locations, street closures due to public events or emergencies; 6. Home searches; and 7. Investigatory questioning of victims or witnesses to a crime.  If the individual is a minor the officer may offer the card to a responsible adult if present at the scene, and when questioning victims/witnesses to a crime, the assigned detective is required to offer a card.  In addition, an officer shall offer a business card to any person requesting identifying information.

Introduction 541-C, sponsored by Council Member Antonio Reynoso, would require the NYPD to develop and provide guidance to its officers with respect to obtaining voluntary, knowing, and intelligent consent prior to conducting a search that is based solely on an individual’s consent.  The guidance would specify conduct for: 1. Articulating, using plain and simple language, that the person is being asked to voluntarily, knowingly and intelligently consent to a search and explaining that such search will not be conducted if such person refuses to provide consent; 2. Secure the consent without threats or promises; 3. Affirm that the person understood what was being communicated; 4.  Refrain from conducing the search if the person does not consent; and 5. Utilize interpretation services when communicating with a person with limited English proficiency.

“This legislation reflects nearly four years of thoughtful, serious negotiations between Council Members Reynoso and Torres, the NYPD and stakeholders and strikes a fair compromise between enhancing community relations and making sure NYPD officers are able to effectively do their jobs and keep New York City safe. I thank the bill sponsors, the NYPD and my colleagues for their feedback and patience as we discuss how to best bring more transparency to the Police Department while continuing to support the honorable men and women of the NYPD who serve our City each and every day,” said Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito.

“The police identification bill, Intro.182D, is the first bill to regulate day-to-day police encounters, something that has never been done before. It will bring greater transparency to police-civilian interactions, and will create new protections that have the staying power of law. It sets a precedent that we can build on,” said Council Member Ritchie Torres.

“Today’s vote to pass Intro 541 as part of the Right to Know Act is milestone legislation that will improve the way the NYPD interacts with New Yorkers. It will give people the information they need consent to searches, understand the law, and feel a sense of empowerment when engaging with the police. It will prevent unconstitutional searches that disproportionately impact communities of color. I  am proud to have been the sponsor of this bill and to have worked with my colleagues, Communities United for Police Reform, and community members to bring this legislation across the finish line this session. I’d like to recognize the Speaker for her support in these last few months to bring this important package to a vote,” said Council Member Antonio Reynoso.

Strengthening the Human Rights Law

Introduction 1012-A, sponsored by Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, would amend the New York City Human Rights Law (HRL) to improve its organizational structure and enhance its clarity. While mostly technical, these changes would constitute a meaningful first step toward helping the public better understand and apply the rights and responsibilities provided under the HRL. The bill would restructure and modernize the language in the HRL, such as how numbers are used and gender is referred to. The bill would also clarify the scope of HRL protections for victims of domestic violence, sex offenses and stalking to match the Council’s original intent. The bill would house most of the HRL definitions in the main definitions section and would give the definitions a uniform style. The bill would also repeal provisions in the Administrative Code that duplicate Charter provisions and would clarify the Human Rights Commission’s existing enforcement authority. Additionally, the bill would move Chapters 8 through 11 of Title 8 to more subject-matter appropriate titles.

“The New York City’s Human Rights Law (HRL) is an extremely important law for all New Yorkers, as it is a statement of the City’s commitment to equality and fairness at work, in housing, at places of public accommodations, and more. Now, more than ever, it is imperative that the HRL be at its strongest and most effective by ensuring that the public understands the comprehensive protections provided under the HRL, and that employers and other entities understand their obligations. This legislation will strengthen the HRL by enhancing its clarity and organizational structure and making it easier to use by experts and the general public. These improvements will help to achieve the HRL’s goals of justice and equality, and reaffirm the City Human Rights Law’s status as one of the most comprehensive civil rights laws in the nation,” said Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito.

Requiring Reasonable Accommodations for Individuals with Disabilities

Introduction 804-A, sponsored by Council Member Inez Barron, would require certain employers, providers of housing and places of public accommodation to engage in a cooperative dialogue with persons who may be entitled to reasonable accommodations under the New York City Human Rights Law (HRL). A cooperative dialog is the process by which a covered entity and a person who may be entitled to an accommodation engage, in good faith, in a written or oral dialogue concerning the person’s accommodation needs, potential accommodations that may address those needs, and the difficulties that such accommodations may pose for the provider.

Collecting Gender Pronoun Information

Introduction 1604-A, sponsored by Council Member Rosie Mendez, would require the Mayor’s Office of Operations, or other agency designated by the Mayor, to review the official forms of certain designated city agencies to determine whether they are eligible for updating to include voluntary questions regarding individuals’ preferred gender pronouns and, if so eligible, to update such forms. The designated agencies would include the Department of Social Services, the Administration for Children’s Services, the Department of Homeless Services, the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, the Department for the Aging, the Department for Youth and Community Development, the Department of Education and any other agencies designated by the Mayor that collect demographic information.

“Intro 1604A, otherwise known as the Gender Pronoun Bill, will allow for city agencies to review their official forms and determine what city forms will need to be updated to include voluntary questions regarding an individual’s gender pronoun and, if so eligible, to update such forms.  This bill goes a long in ensuring that the City of New York is complying with the City’s Human Rights Law which is one of the most inclusive in this nation. We live in a very diverse city and we must respect how people identify and someone should not have to ask or correct another person to use the gender pronoun that one identifies with. This bill is one small step in making sure we are doing just that. I am proud that the Council has voted to pass this bill and I am thankful of the many organizations that helped to push this bill including the Sylvia Rivera Law Project, the NYC Anti-Violence Project, and the Hetrick-Martin Institute,” said Council Member Rosie Mendez.

Reporting on Students in Temporary Housing

Introduction 1497-A, sponsored by Council Member Rafael Salamanca, would require the Department of Education to publish an annual report on students in temporary housing. The report would include information such as the number of students residing in shelters; the number of students living doubled-up; information on MetroCard and busing usage; and the attendance rate, retention rate, and dropout rate of students in temporary housing.

Reporting on School Applications, Offers, Enrollment and Seat Availability

Introduction 1486-A, sponsored by Council Member Ben Kallos, would require the Department of Education to report the number of students who applied to, received an offer of admission for, and enrolled in schools in grades pre-kindergarten, kindergarten, six and nine in schools in each community school district, and in each individual school, as well as the number of seats anticipated to be available in each school in the following school year.  The information would be required to be disaggregated by community school district of residence of students, zip code of residence of students, primary home language of students, and grade level.

“The fact is we need more school seats. We’re setting our children up for failure if we don’t identify where the most need is in this growing city and then build those schools. I shouldn’t have to hear from parents in my district that they are giving up on our public schools because their child can’t get a seat in a neighborhood school. The information required by this bill will help us make better decisions on where to allocate resources in our City’s schools. Thank you to Speaker Melissa Mark Viverito for supporting this legislation and working with my office to get it passed,” said Council Member Ben Kallos.

Creating a Subcontractor Resource Guide

Introduction 1615-A, sponsored by Council Member Laurie Cumbo, would require the Department of Small Business Services, in consultation with the City Chief Procurement Officer to develop and make available to all contracting agencies a subcontractor resource guide which would provide subcontractors with information about their rights with respect to payment by the contractor and available city services. The bill would also require the subcontractors resource guide to be published on the City’s website.

Protecting Employees Who Seek Temporary Changes To Work Schedules For Personal Events And Certain Other Schedule Changes

Introduction 1399-A, sponsored by Council Member Deborah Rose, would require most employers, with some exceptions to grant two temporary changes to an employee’s schedule per year for a “personal event” ‒ defined as caregiving duties, attending certain legal proceedings or hearings for a subsistence benefit, and any event that would qualify under the city’s Earned Safe and Sick Time Act. Work schedule changes to accommodate employee requests could take the form of paid time off, remote work, swapping or shifting work hours or short-term unpaid leave. The bill would protect employees from retaliation for requesting these two temporary changes or any other changes to the work schedule, though an employer is free to deny any other such changes.

“Emergencies happen to all people in all walks of life. While many New Yorkers are fortunate to have employers who understand this and make reasonable accommodations, a 2015 survey of New Yorkers revealed that 45 percent of respondents have no access to flexible work arrangements. Intro 1399 would give all employees working in New York City the right to a temporary change in schedule twice a year to attend to certain specific personal needs. I believe strongly that no one should lose their livelihood for asking for an unpaid day to tend to an emergency—and that is what this bill ensures,” said Council Member Deborah Rose.

Providing Certain Information to Users Of Life-Sustaining Equipment and Individuals For Whom a Disruption in Electrical Service Would Create a Medical Emergency

Introduction 1185-A, sponsored by Council Member Chaim Deutsch, would require the Department for the Aging (DFTA) to regularly provide written materials from New York City Emergency Management to all senior centers and naturally occurring retirement communities sponsored by DFTA on how to register with utility companies as an individual who uses life-sustaining medical equipment or for whom a disruption in electrical service would create a medical emergency. The materials would also be posted on DFTA’s website and the website of the Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities.

Establishing a Temporary Task Force on Post-Incarceration Reentry for Older Adults

Introduction 1616-A, sponsored by Council Member Daniel Dromm, would create a temporary task force to address re-entry issues that older adults face when returning from state prisons and local jails. The task force make recommendations to the mayor’s office of criminal justice (MOCJ) or the mayor’s designee, which would include information regarding the reentry of older adults from prisons and jails such as the unique health needs of older adults, current reentry services, gaps in such services, and how the city can work with the state to seek the proper provision of reentry services. Following the initial report within 12 months of the final appointment to the task force, the task force would continue to meet at least four times a year and make recommendations (as needed) to MOCJ or the mayor’s designee and MOCJ or the mayor’s designee may issue additional reports (as needed). The task force would dissolve four years after the publication of the initial report.

“The CARE Act means justice for older adults reentering society post-incarceration,” said NYC Council Member Daniel Dromm (D-Jackson Heights, Elmhurst).  “An increasing number of older adults are facing a destitute future.  These individuals, many of whom have spent significant periods away from the rest of society, must deal with a myriad of issues associated with aging simultaneously and the challenges of reentry.  Throughout the city, families and communities must also deal with the increasing number of older adults who are coming from prisons and jails.  We have a moral obligation to provide re-entering elders with the services they need to rejoin society.  The panel of experts and leaders, including formerly incarcerated people will see that the city does just that.  I am most grateful to the RAPP Campaign for their advocacy of this bill and to Speaker Mark-Viverito for supporting this important effort,” said Council Member Daniel Dromm.

Reviewing Responses to Noise Complaints

Introduction 1653-B, sponsored by Council Member Ben Kallos, would require the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to adopt rules governing the times for inspection after a noise complaint and to report on responses to noise complaints. It would also lower the permissible noise levels from construction when an after-hours variance is in effect by half. Finally, it would authorize submission of an alternative noise mitigation plan when all reasonable mitigation measures have been implemented and noise levels still exceed the limit imposed by the Code.

“New York City may be the city that never sleeps, but that shouldn’t be because of after-hours construction noise waking you up. Our new law will turn down the volume on after hours construction noise in residential neighborhoods. Thank you to Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Vincent Sapienza for his agency’s expertise and collaboration on this legislation, to Speaker Melissa Mark Viverito and Environmental Committee Chair Costa Constantinides for their partnership and support, and to the countless residents who complained regularly about after-hours noise and who can now enjoy a City that is a little bit quieter,” said Council Member Ben Kallos.

Requiring the Use of Alternative Fuels and Alternative Fuel Technologies in the City Ferry Fleet

Introduction 54-A, sponsored by Council Member Costa Constantinides, would require that the Commissioner study the feasibility of using alternative fuels, including at least 5% biodiesel, renewable diesel and alternative fuel technologies including hybrid electric, battery electric and fuel cell electric power trains. The Commissioner must submit a report on the results of the study by December 2019 and then, to the fullest extent practicable, implement the use of such alternative fuels or technologies.

Requiring Periodic Recommendations on Adoption of More Stringent Energy Efficiency Requirements for Certain Buildings

Introduction 1629-A, sponsored by Council Member Costa Constantinides, would require Department of Buildings (DOB) to submit proposed amendments to make the City’s energy code match the “model stretch energy code” created by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA).

Further, in the 2025 code revisions cycle and future revision cycles, DOB will include in its proposed amendments energy performance targets for larger buildings.

“Over the past four years, our city has made environmental protection a priority – whether through ending our reliance on fossil fuels, cleaning our air quality, building sustainable habits, or encouraging use of renewable energy.  INT. 54 will help increase use of renewable fuel in one of our city’s most sustainable transit options – our ferries.  As use of our citywide ferry system has grown exponentially, we must innovate the type of energy we use to fuel the boats.  This legislation studies the feasibility of using renewable fuel including biodiesel and fuel technologies including fuel-cell electric in our ferries.  It also ensures that these types of fuels be implemented if practicable.  INT. 1629 will also improve our environment by adopting more stringent energy efficiency guidelines for large buildings.  Thank you to Speaker Mark-Viverito and my Council colleagues for their support of these important bills that will make our city greener and more sustainable,” said Council Member Costa Constantinides.

Reviewing the Use of Biodiesel Fuel in School Buses

Introduction 880-A, sponsored by Council Member Helen Rosenthal, would require a review of the types and models of buses that are used pursuant to existing school bus contracts and their compatibility with biodiesel blends. This bill would also require review of the mode of fueling by school bus contractors including in-house, retail or fuel truck, the supply availability of biodiesel for each mode of fueling for the use of biodiesel.

Requiring Civil Penalties for Idling Infractions and Enforcement Through Citizen Complaints

Introduction 717-A, sponsored by Council Member Helen Rosenthal, would require reporting on idling complaints and their dispositions. It would also increase the award for citizen enforcement of idling complaints from an amount which “shall not exceed 25%” of proceeds collected to 25% of such proceeds where the department of environmental protection brings the proceeding. Finally this legislation requires the department to publish on its website the best practices for filing citizen complaints and gathering documentation.

“Today, the City Council is passing two of my bills (Intros 717 and 880) which will help to improve air quality for New Yorkers and put us further on the path towards a sustainable city. These bills are good for the environment, public health, and civic engagement. I’m grateful for the work of advocates, Committee counsel and my colleagues, which enabled us to pass these measures,” said Council Member Helen Rosenthal.

Requiring a Mold Assessment, Mold Abatement and Mold Remediation for Certain Buildings

Introduction 978-D, sponsored by Council Member Ritchie Torres, would establish minimum standards for carrying out mold assessment, mold abatement and mold remediation for buildings that contain 10 or more dwelling units or is located on a zoning lot that contains 25,000 or more square feet of non-residential floor area.

“Mold presents a public health risk wherever it is present and this bill would ensure that proper steps are taken in mold remediation work and that only licensed workers are removing mold. Mold must be handled carefully and this bill set guidelines that must be followed when removing the toxin. I thank Council Member Constantinides for his partnership in moving this bill forward and all the advocates for the input,” said Council Member Ritchie Torres.

Phasing Out the Use of Residual Fuel Oil and Fuel Oil Grade No. 4 in Boilers in In-City Power Plants

Introduction 1465-A, sponsored by Council Member Ritchie Torres, would accelerate the timeline for such plants to shift from using higher grade fuel oil (e.g. fuel oil grade number 6 or 4) to lower grade fuel oil (fuel oil grade number 2). Currently, power plants can burn fuel oil grade number 6 until 2020 and fuel oil grade number 4 until 2030. Under this bill, plant owners would have the option of either (1) continuing to burn fuel oil grade number 6 until 2021, but switching immediately thereafter to fuel oil grade number 2 or (2) switching from fuel oil grade number 4 to fuel oil grade number 2 by 2025.

“In an effort to further protect our environment and our City, this legislation will ensure that dirty oil will no longer be used by power plants when generating energy. It extends the elimination of no.4 oil use that has detrimental effects on the environment and public health. I thank Councilman Constantinides for his partnership on this bill and look forward to it being signed into law,” said Council Member Ritchie Torres.

Posting Energy Efficiency Scores and Grades For Certain Buildings

Introduction 1632-A, sponsored by Council Member Daniel Garodnick, would require that property owners post the information about a building’s energy efficiency in a conspicuous place, make the information publicly available on line and audit the information annually involving appropriate sample sizes.

“As the federal government shirks its stewardship of our environment, it is up to cities to step in — and with our energy grade legislation, New York is in the lead. Just as restaurants post their health grades and cars advertise their fuel efficiency, buildings will begin posting letter grades corresponding to their energy efficiency scores. This legislation will equip companies and individuals with the data they crave to make more informed decisions about the best place to buy or rent,” said Council Member Daniel Garodnick.

Requiring the Department of Homeless Services to Post Shelter Census Data

Introduction 572-A, sponsored by Council Member Elizabeth Crowley, would require Department of Homeless Services (DHS) to post a daily report, Monday through Friday, on its website with information on the daily shelter census. This information includes the total number of individuals in shelter broken down by the number of single adults, the number of families with children, and the number of adult families in the shelter system. The number of single adults in the system would include the number of individuals in a drop-in center overnight; the number of individuals in faith-beds; the number of individuals utilizing safe havens; the number of individuals in short-term housing for veterans; and the number of individuals in criminal justice short-term housing.

Producing a Study Regarding the Feasibility of Notifying Individuals Who May Be Eligible for Public Assistance

Introduction 855-B, sponsored by Council Member Ben Kallos, would require the Mayor’s Office of Operations to produce a study by December 31, 2018, regarding the feasibility and cost of utilizing City administrative data to determine individuals who are likely eligible for public assistance and to provide notice to those individuals of their likely eligibility. The study would include all forms of public assistance for which an individual can apply through the City, including cash assistance, the home energy assistance program, Medicaid, rent increase exemptions, childcare subsidies, and SNAP benefits. The study would include assessing the City’s technical and legal ability to collect, disclose, and electronically transmit data; identifying and assessing the means available to provide notice to an individual of any public assistance for which an the individual may qualify; assessing the technical ability to provide pre-filled applications with information obtained from an individual’s initial public assistance application or other existing data; the implications of notifying individuals of their likely eligibility for certain public assistance benefits that may affect their eligibility for existing or other public assistance benefits; and identifying additional options for the city to provide individuals with assistance in completing public assistance applications, including online, over the phone through 311 and at a city agency accepting public assistance applications.

“No one should go hungry, lose their home, or go without healthcare in one of the wealthiest cities in the world, especially when assistance programs have been created to help those in need. When this study is completed I look forward to seeing HRA and the City implement what we know can be done and help low and middle-income New Yorkers. Next year, we’ll have the information we need to eliminate the bureaucracy, paperwork, and unnecessary hurdles that prevent our poorest from accessing and keeping the assistance they need to be lifted from poverty. Thank you to Speaker Melissa Mark Viverito and her office for supporting the legislation and committing to making New York City complete the study,” said Council Member Ben Kallos.

Requiring to Conduct a Study Regarding Client Information Management Systems

Introduction 1577-A, sponsored by Council Member Stephen Levin, would require the Mayor’s Office of Operations (MOO) to study their client information management systems including an assessment of efforts to update and integrate the systems of agencies that provide social services, strategies to help facilitate information sharing among such agencies to improve inter-agency coordination, an examination of how such agencies can use digital tools to best serve clients, and recommendations of how the City can continue to monitor and evaluate existing systems in order to remain current in the use of technology. The bill would require MOO to submit annual report on its findings and recommendations as well as a progress update each year for three years after the release of the report.

Requiring Educational Continuity Information

Introduction 1714-A, sponsored by Council Member Stephen Levin, requires educational continuity materials and information be provided to families with children applying for shelters during the intake process at an intake facility, such as the Prevention Assistance and Temporary Housing (PATH) intake center. Shelter applicants would be informed about educational rights and transportation, early childhood care, early childhood education and early intervention services.

Issuing an Annual Report on Exits from Domestic Violence Emergency Shelters

Introduction 1739-A, sponsored by Council Member Stephen Levin, would require the Human Resources Administration (HRA) to issue an annual report on the number of individuals and the number of families who exit domestic violence emergency shelters operated by HRA and the type of housing where the individuals and families would be residing upon exiting emergency shelter.

Enforcing Responsibility for Indoor Asthma Allergen Hazards in Residential Dwellings and Pest Management and Rodent and Insect Eradication and Extermination

Introduction 385-C, sponsored by Council Member Rosie Mendez, sets forth owners’ responsibilities in relation to indoor allergen hazards. The bill also establishes classifications of violations which the Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) may issue for indoor allergen hazards and dates of correction for such violations. The bill would also require the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) to report on activities to educate physicians and health care providers who treat persons with asthma about the role of indoor allergens in asthma exacerbation and suggest certain addresses for Departmental investigation for indoor allergen hazards. Additionally, the legislation requires DOHMH to take certain measures to educate persons about indoor allergen hazards.

“Mold abatement and integrated pest management will be codified after 10 years of diligently working with advocates on the passage of the Asthma Free Housing Act, Intro. 385C. After what appeared to be endless negotiations with several mayoral administrations, we passed this crucial bill that will go a long way to eradicating mold, as well as taking preventative measures to address mold and asthma triggers.  Asthma has a debilitating effect on an individual’s’ quality of life and, in New York City, there are approximately one million individuals who have been diagnosed with asthma.  This legislation will have a direct benefit for tenants and their health and enables the City to recapture funds expended through its Emergency Repair Program, if the agency determines that such work is necessary. I am proud that my partnership with the advocates will result in ground breaking legislation and I am hopeful that other big cities will follow in our footsteps,” said Council Member Rosie Mendez.

Recovering Penalties for Construction Site Safety Violations That Result in or Are Accompanied by Death Or Serious Physical Injury

Introduction 1419-A, sponsored by Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, would allow the city to recover penalties of up to $500,000 for companies and $150,000 for individuals for a violation of the site safety provisions of the construction code, where the violation is accompanied by death or serious physical injury. In determining the amount of the civil penalty, the court must consider several factors, including the extent and severity of the injury, history of violations, degree of willfulness or negligence displayed by the defendant, and the defendant’s financial resources.

“Introduction 1419-A will provide an additional tool for the city to hold businesses and contractors responsible for negligence on a construction site that results in death or serious physical injury. This legislation, along with the other bills in the Construction Safety Act, will put bad actors on notice that the city will not tolerate behavior that disregards site safety and puts lives at risk,” said Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito.

Creating an Online Database for Registered Dwellings

Introduction 1009-A, sponsored by Public Advocate Letitia James, would require the Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) to create a database containing an owner’s information, including the address of each registered property owned by such owner, the number of outstanding violations for each property, the number of harassment findings for that owner, and the number and types of departmental orders pending on each property. The department may provide the aggregate data used to create such website to the Public Advocate.

Establishing a Housing Portal

Introduction 1015-A, sponsored by Council Member Ben Kallos, would require the Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) to establish a housing portal. The portal would allow tenants, prospective homebuyers and members of the general public to view information about available apartments and apply for affordable housing.

“New York City is in desperate need of affordable housing. It is a crisis, and we cannot allow landlords to hide even a single unit of it from the public. We need a full accounting of every affordable unit of housing in the City, and we need regular monitoring and strict enforcement. If New Yorkers are going to pay billions of taxpayer dollars to developers in exchange for building affordable units, we need to ensure residents in need can actually get that affordable housing. Thank you to Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito for her long-term support and dedication to getting this bill passed and achievements in bringing more affordable housing to New York City,” said Council Member Ben Kallos.

Conducting a Census of Vacant Properties

Introduction 1036-A, sponsored by Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez, would require the Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) to conduct an analysis of vacant residential buildings and vacant lots in areas which are zoned to permit residential use. This bill would also require HPD, the Departments of Environmental Protection, Buildings and Sanitation and the Fire Department to provide the mayor with records concerning the physical condition of and services provided to any building to aid in determining whether the building or lot is vacant.

Reporting City-Owned Vacant Property That May Be Suitable For the Development of Affordable Housing

Introduction 1039-A, sponsored by Council Member Jumaane Williams, would require the Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) to report on the vacant buildings or lots under the jurisdiction of HPD, categorized by the potential to be developed or the feasibility of developing those buildings or lots as affordable housing.

“For the first time in its history, New York City will be empowered to conduct a census of vacant property. The affordable housing and homelessness crisis we face presents an incredibly complex problem, and this legislation provides us with essential tools toward creating solutions. As someone who participated in the count that took place on the ground over a decade ago, I know how important this tool will be. Finally, we’ll be able to understand the extent of property warehousing throughout the five boroughs, and craft real policy solutions that create housing for all New Yorkers, especially those who are currently without homes. I thank Public Advocate Letitia James and Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez for recognizing the urgency of this issue. the Speaker for her leadership, and all of those who have worked tirelessly toward making this new tool a reality,” said Council Member Jumaane Williams.

Requiring the Notification of Proposed Excavation Or Drilling

Introduction 1120-A, sponsored by Council Member Jumaane Williams, would require that the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) be notified whenever excavation or drilling to a depth greater than 50 feet is proposed in the Bronx or north of 135th Street in Manhattan, or greater than 100 feet elsewhere in the City. If DEP determines that such proposed activity is in close proximity to critical infrastructure, proponents would be required to obtain a permit from the DEP, in addition to any permits or approvals required by the Department of Buildings.

“As New York continues to grow and develop, as we continue to build and expand, it is important that we take precautions to avoid any unintended consequences. I’m happy to have been able to work with the administration to help ensure that excavations do not interfere with any existing infrastructure as we build not just up, but down,” said Council Member Jumaane Williams.

Creating Regulatory Agreements with Community Land Trusts

Introduction 1269-A, sponsored by Council Member Donovan Richards, would require the Department of Housing & Buildings to enter into regulatory agreements with community land trusts (CLTs) which meet standard terms and conditions for regulatory agreements, and allows HPD to enter into such agreements where a CLT is a recipient of city funding, property or a tax exemption.

“Community Land Trusts take the power away from speculators and puts it in the hands of local communities and the nonprofits who serve them. With the passage of Int. 1269, we are paving a true path toward long-term affordable homeownership in New York City. I’d like to thank the Coalition for Affordable Homes and the New York City Community Land Initiative for their partnership on this legislation and for their dedication to preserving and creating affordable housing,” said Council Member Donovan Richards.

Cleaning Park Playground Equipment After The Spraying Of Pesticides

Introduction 1466, sponsored by Council Member James Van Bramer, would require the Department of Parks & Recreation (DPR) to clean playground equipment in city parks within 24 hours after the spraying of pesticides by any city agency where such equipment is within a minimum distance from such spraying. The bill would also require the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, in consultation with DPR, to set such minimum distance by rule.

Requiring the Commissioners Of DSNY and DCA to Study the Feasibility of a Penalty Mitigation Program

Introduction 1499-A, sponsored by Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, would require the Commissioners of Sanitation and Consumer Affairs to review certain violations enforced by their agencies and study the feasibility of establishing a program for which civil penalties may be waived through a penalty mitigation program. The review and feasibility study will be submitted to the Mayor and the Council. If feasible, this bill would also require the promulgation of rules to create such penalty mitigation program.

“This legislation is part of our ongoing effort to strengthen small businesses through innovative reforms.  It is our hope that small businesses will have the opportunity to have certain penalties waived in exchange for performing a public good such as donating excess food or opening their restrooms to the public,” said Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito.

Restoration Requirements After the Opening of a Protected Street

Introduction 1397-A, sponsored by Council Member Steven Matteo, would set out conditions which may apply when a permit is issued to cut open a street within five years or less after completion of a city capital construction project which required resurfacing or reconstruction of the street. Such conditions would include a requirement that all concrete-base roadways be restored with concrete of the same depth and strength as the original base concrete, all cuts made to the roadway must be straight-edged and angles must measure 90 degrees, restoration of openings less than 10 feet apart must be restored as one continuous restoration, or if the distance between the edge of the cut and the curb is less than three feet, the restoration must extend to the curb. Additionally, restoration of pavement may be required to extend to 20 feet on both sides of the restoration.

“Thousands of times each year, contractors cut into our newly paved streets to reach the maze of pipes and utilities beneath. But they often repair those cuts with shoddy patches and substandard materials. Legislation I introduced, which the Council is passing today, will require repairs to recently paved – or “protected” – streets be made with the same quality of materials  and to the same depth as the streets surrounding it. While there is still more work to do to improve the standards to these street cut repairs, this legislation, along with another bill I authored that requires the city notify local officials about this work, will better help us protect the hundreds of millions of dollars we have invested to make our roads safe and drivable again. I want to thank Staten Island Borough President James Oddo for his strong advocacy and partnership on this bill, and Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and Transportation Chairman Ydanis Rodriguez for helping to make sure this got done,” said Council Member Steven Matteo.

Reporting on the Installation of Bollards

Introduction 1658-A, sponsored by Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez, would require the Department of Transportation and the Parks Department to report annually on the number of bollards installed throughout the city, as well as the number of authorizations issued to third parties for installation of bollards.

“Bollards play a key role in preventing vehicles from being used as weapons of mass destruction in crowded areas. We must be more aggressive in the implementation of more safety bollards throughout the five boroughs of New York City. Counting on a DOT yearly report on where safety bollards are installed in New York City will create a more organized and structured procedure. With this bill, the City and Council will work together on a report to create the best policy on how we can protect our sidewalks for both drivers, and pedestrians from future terror attack and reckless drivers. This is a priority that needs immediate attention and action,” said Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez.

Requiring Reports on Runaway Youth and Homeless Youth Who Have Not Accessed Shelter Services Funded By The Department Of Youth and Community Development

Introduction 1619-A, sponsored by Council Member Corey Johnson, would require DYCD to provide a biannual reports on the number runaway youth and homeless youth who could not access DYCD shelter services disaggregated by the type of shelter services the youth was attempting to obtain other demographic information and the reason such youth did not accept the bed, if such information is available.

“There are few crises more heartbreaking than that of youth homelessness. My bill, Intro. 1619, will require a quarterly count of runaway youth and homeless youth who have been turned away from a Department of Youth & Community Development RHY shelter. This information is crucial if we are truly going to be able to address this problem. I’d like to thank Speaker Mark-Viverito and Youth Services Chair Eugene for their leadership and my colleagues who have lent their support to this legislation,” said Council Member Corey Johnson.

Runaway and Homeless Youth Entering Department of Homeless Services Shelters 

Introduction 1705-A, sponsored by Council Member Rafael Salamanca, would require DHS and DYCD to create and maintain a process for conducting intake and assessments for any runaway or homeless youth who is seeking to enter a DHS shelter. The bill would require that the process allow runaway or homeless youth to bypass DHS intake centers or assessment shelters and would originate at a runaway and homeless youth shelter.

The City Council will also vote on the following land use item(s)…

Development of National Black Theater

The Council will vote on the development of a 20-story, 245’ mixed-use building that will include the following uses: A total of 203,128 square footage of floor area 1. 26,900 square footage of community facility space that will house the National Black Theater on the third and fourth floors; 2. 148,827 square footage of residential use (approximately 240 units); and 3. 24,951 (1.47 FAR) of retail use.

Rezoning of 1965 Lafayette Avenue

The Council will vote on the rezoning of 1965 Lafayette Avenue in the Bronx. This rezoning will consist of the construction of a mixed use, existing 353-unit Mitchell-lama building, and redevelopment of a paved accessory parking area and private basketball court into two new buildings with a total of 429 affordable residential units.

Self Storage Text Amendment

The Council will vote on a proposed zoning text amendment to restrict the development of self-storage facilities within “Designated Areas” in manufacturing districts which coincide with the boundaries of Industrial Business Zones (IBZs).

Zoning restrictions on self-storage development in Industrial Business Zones were jointly announced by Mayor de Blasio and the City Council on November 3, 2015 as part of the ten point “Industrial Action Plan” to modernize the City’s industrial policy.

The stated purposed of this action is to “Support job creation and industrial growth, and maintain future siting opportunities for more job-intensive industrial businesses in NYC’s most active industrial areas.:

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