The Council will also vote to expand reporting on sex- and gender-based discrimination and harassment
City Hall – The New York City Council on Thursday will vote on legislation to establish a task force to consider the establishment of a museum about New York City’s African American Civil Rights History. The task force would be required to consider the feasibility of a museum and consider potential sites.
The Council will also be voting on legislation that would expand reporting requirements related to sex- and gender-based discrimination and harassment, including but not limited to Title IX, the federal law that bans schools from discriminating on the basis of sex, in all aspects of education.
The bill would require the New York City Commission on Gender Equity to both expand their annual report and issue recommendations to agencies, in addition to posting links to publicly accessible reports related to sex- and gender-based discrimination and harassment on its website, making data and information more transparent and accessible. It would also require the Department of Education to report on its resources, support, policies and procedures related to preventing and addressing sex- and gender-based discrimination and harassment, including Title IX.
In light of increasing concerns about hate crimes throughout the City of New York, the Council will vote on legislation that would require individualized responses to reported violent hate crimes. This piece of legislation would also require the New York City Office for the Prevention of Hate Crimes (OPHC) to notify the mayor, speaker, public advocate, and local council member within 24 hours of a determination that a violent hate crime occurred, and provide relevant information to the affected community within 72 hours of that determination.
The Council will also vote on legislation to prevent community gardens throughout the City from being classified as vacant lots in a public online database.
The Council will also vote on a bill requiring the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene to conduct neighborhood awareness campaigns regarding the City’s farm-to-city projects.
The Council will also vote on legislation that will exempt properties from having their liens sold by the Department of Finance (DOF) in the tax lien sale if the property received a not-for-profit property tax exemption in the prior two years and properties that have a pending application or appeal to be granted the not-for-profit property tax exemption. This bill would also require the creation of a not-for-profit ombudsperson within DOF and improve notice requirements.
Finally, the Council will vote to create an online tool that tracks how mayoral agencies comply with investigations. The Council will also vote on several finance and land use items.
Creates a task force regarding a museum about New York City’s African-American civil rights history
Proposed Introduction No. 1451-A, sponsored by Council Member Fernando Cabrera, would create a task force of 11 members to consider a museum about New York city’s African-American civil rights history.
The bill would require the task force to consider: (1) a plan related to the feasibility of establishing a museum about New York city’s African-American civil rights history, (2) potential sites for the museum, (3) resources that would be necessary for the museum to provide outreach to the five boroughs, (4) the level of coordination among appropriate stakeholders that would be necessary for the implementation and operation of a museum about New York city’s African-American civil rights history and (5) any other considerations deemed necessary by the task force to be relevant to develop the required report.
No later than March 1, 2021, the task force would be required to submit and post online a report that contains its findings, conclusions and any recommendations related to establishing such a museum, as well as any minutes of task force meetings. The bill would require the task force to dissolve upon submission of the required report.
“New York City’s African-American civil rights history is another untold story. New York was the nexus of civil rights in the north and helped spark what we know as the “Civil Rights Movement,” which largely took place in the South from 1955 through 1960s. African-American New Yorkers were instrumental in addressing not just integration but exclusionary housing practices, discrimination and segregation in employment, representation in government and linking civil rights and the labor movement. Intro 1451-A is groundbreaking legislation that creates a task force to consider the establishment of a museum on African-American civil rights history in New York City,” said Council Member Fernando Cabrera.
Expands reporting on Sex- and Gender-Based Discrimination and Harassment
Introduction No. 1536-A, sponsored by Council Member Helen Rosenthal, would expand reporting on efforts to prevent and address sex- and gender-based discrimination and harassment. This bill would require the New York City Commission on Gender Equity (CGE) to include information in its annual report about efforts to prevent and improve responses to sex- and gender-based discrimination and harassment in the City and post links to publicly accessible reports related to sex- and gender-based discrimination and harassment on its website. Secondly, the bill would change the due date of CGE’s annual report from December 1 to April 1 of each year in order to reflect CGE’s involvement in the City’s annual 16 Days of Activism campaign, which takes place in December. Thirdly, the bill would clarify that CGE’s efforts in addressing inequities include the experiences of transgender, intersex, gender non-conforming and non-binary individuals.
Finally, this bill would also require DOE to report annually on its resources, support, policies and procedures related to preventing and addressing sex-and gender-based discrimination and harassment, as well as a description of the organizational structure and employees whose work relates to these issues, in total and disaggregated by borough.
“According to data submitted to the state, NYC schools reported over 3,500 sexual assaults during the 2017-18 school year, almost 20 per day. This is completely unacceptable. No one piece of legislation can address all of the challenges faced by students who experience sex/gender-based discrimination, harassment, and assault, but Intro 1536 creates some important new tools. It ensures that data about all forms of sex/gender-based discrimination against students is easily accessible to all. And by requiring the NYC Commission on Gender Equity to issue annual recommendations, it begins to hold our schools and the City more accountable for maintaining a fair and safe learning environment for every student. Like any reporting bill, however, the follow-through is ultimately their responsibility,” said Council Member Helen Rosenthal.
Requires the Office for the Prevention of Hate Crimes to provide an individualized response to all alleged violent hate crimes
Introduction No. 1847-A, sponsored by Council Member Mark Treyger, would amend the responsibilities of the New York City Office for the Prevention of Hate Crimes (OPHC) to now require an individualized response to all alleged violent hate crimes. It would require the OPHC notify the mayor, speaker, public advocate, and local council member within 24 hours of a determination that a violent hate crime occurred, and to provide relevant information to the affected community within 72 hours of that determination.
“The rise in hate crimes across the city is unacceptable, and we must look at using every resource possible to make sure to protect New Yorkers. My bill is another way our city can ensure that there is transparency around hate crimes and a localized response to make sure that all communities can feel safe in our city. I want to thank Speaker Corey Johnson for his leadership in expediting this critical legislation requiring the Office for the Prevention of Hate Crimes to notify communities no later than 72 hours after a violent hate crime has been confirmed by the NYPD Hate Crimes Taskforce,” said Council Member Mark Treyger.
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT – FOOD POLICY
Ensures that community gardens are not classified as vacant land by the New York City Department of City Planning
Proposed Introduction No. 1652-A, sponsored by Council Member Alicka Ampry-Samuel, would define community gardens and prohibit the New York City Department of City Planning (DCP) from classifying community gardens as vacant lots, as they currently are within DCP’s Primary Land Use Tax Lot Output (PLUTO) data set. Instead of vacant, this bill would define a “community garden” as “a tax lot where a garden registered with the department of parks and recreation is located.” DCP would be required to assign a land use category to community gardens in the PLUTO database that is open space, outdoor recreation, or other similar description. Community gardens already register with the Department of Parks and Recreation.
“It is vital to our communities to address the ongoing demand to protect our community gardens by appropriate reclassification. Currently community gardens are designated as vacant lots, but we know they are not vacant. They are full of life and contribute to positive healthy outcomes for people and communities that are predisposed and suffer from diet-related illnesses. The focus should be on further developing healthy living patterns and families having access to healthy foods,” said Council Member Alicka Ampry-Samuel.
Requires neighborhood awareness campaigns regarding the City’s farm-to-city projects to be conducted by the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
Proposed Introduction No. 1654-A, sponsored by Council Member Diana Ayala, would require the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) to conduct neighborhood-specific public awareness and education campaigns regarding the City’s farm-to-city projects with the goal of improving public education about such projects.
Through this bill, “farm-to-city projects” would be defined as “neighborhood or community-based local fresh food projects, including community supported agriculture partnerships, farmer’s markets, food boxes and fresh pantries.” The bill would require DOHMH to develop materials for neighborhood-specific awareness and education campaigns for farm-to-city projects in each of the designated citywide languages. DOHMH would also be required to post all relevant information regarding such awareness campaigns on its website, broken out by city neighborhood.
“Food insecurity impacts households across New York City, especially in neighborhoods like East Harlem and the South Bronx. In these communities, families constantly grapple with the tough decision to pay a utility bill or buy groceries. By equipping families with tools to access healthy, affordable foods right in their community, we will hopefully lessen the challenges they face due to food insecurity. As a Council Member representing neighborhoods with some of the highest meal gaps, I am proud to sponsor Introduction 1654 and I thank Speaker Johnson for his consistent leadership on this issue,” said Council Member Diana Ayala.
OVERSIGHT & INVESTIGATIONS
Requires the creation of web applications to track agency cooperation and compliance with investigations and recommendations
Proposed Introduction No. 1440-A, sponsored by Council Member Ritchie J. Torres, would require the New York City Department of Investigation (DOI) and the Special Commissioner of Investigation for the New York City School District (SCI) to create web applications to track agency cooperation and compliance with investigations and recommendations in an effort to increase transparency. This practice has typically been kept private between the investigating department and the City agency.
Each web application would contain information on the recommendation itself, including context for the recommendation; whether the City agency accepted or rejected the recommendation; and, if accepted, whether the City agency implemented it.
“This legislation will bring transparency and accountability to agencies’ actions following investigations conducted by the Department of Investigation. Agency changes should not be conducted in a vacuum, and this public website will track whether agencies follow DOI’s recommendations and implement them to ensure efficiency and better service to constituents,” said Council Member Ritchie J. Torres.
HOUSING & BUILDINGS
Conforms the New York City Energy Conservation Code to the New York State Energy Conservation Code, with amendments unique to construction in the City
Proposed Introduction No. 1816-A, sponsored by Council Member Robert E. Cornegy Jr., by request of the Mayor, would update the New York City Energy Conservation Code (NYCECC) to align with the 2020 version of the New York State Energy Conservation Code (NYSECC) which goes into effect on May 12, 2020, and includes local amendments. The revision also incorporates the latest version of the New York Stretch Energy Code pursuant to Local Law 32 for the year 2018.
Local Law 32 mandates that the City amend the NYCECC to align it with the latest version of the New York Stretch Energy Code published by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority.
“Today’s passage of the 2020 NYC Energy Conservation Code marks the culmination of work to advance sustainability. That work included government, advocates, and the private sector all putting in their insights and expertise to upgrade our commitments, take advantage of new technologies, and pursue strategies that conserve. By passing the NYC ECC, we reaffirm our City’s leadership in tackling climate change and create a positive example for communities across the world to pursue. I am proud to partner with all those who joined this effort to make substantial progress in upgrading our ECC, and look forward to continuing to use the sustainability lens as we move forward in making policy to tackle the problem of climate change,” said Council Member Robert E. Cornegy Jr.
Calls upon the enactment of legislation that would establish eight demonstration programs and one coordinating center to improve the care of sickle cell disease patients and educate about sickle cell trait
Resolution No. 335-A, sponsored by Council Member Daniel Dromm, would call upon the New York State Legislature to pass and fully fund, and the Governor to sign, A.6493/S.2281, legislation that would establish eight demonstration programs throughout New York State and one coordinating center to improve the care of sickle cell disease patients and educate about sickle cell trait.
This legislation would create sickle cell-focused demonstration programs that would coordinate service delivery, provide genetic counseling, conduct community outreach, promote mental health services and train health professionals, and would lead to improved health outcomes and quality of life for New Yorkers with sickle cell disease.
“Sickle cell disease is a public health crisis. Thousands of New Yorkers have either sickle cell trait or sickle cell disease. Sickle-cell related conditions highlight health disparities in our system as communities of color are disproportionately affected. A large effort is needed to meet this serious issue head on and to address the myriad of concerns that have arisen. I am pleased that the Council has joined this statewide effort—courageously lead by State Senator James Sanders, Assemblywoman Alicia Hyndman and scores of public health advocates—calling upon Albany to make A.6493/S.2281 the law in New York State,” said Council Member Daniel Dromm.
Declares June 19 Sickle Cell Awareness Day
Resolution No. 980, sponsored by Council Member I. Daneek Miller, would declare June 19th Sickle Cell Awareness Day. This resolution would increase the public awareness of sickle cell disease, and draw attention to the serious, and often unmet, needs of our communities impacted by this disease.
“Sickle Cell Disease disproportionately impacts communities of color, and yet, receives a fraction of the funding that other comparable diseases receive for treatment and research. Cystic Fibrosis, which mainly affects whites, has a third of the number of Sickle Cell patients, but receives nearly four times the amount of research funding nationally. Resolution 980 aims to address this disparity by educating and informing the public about the severity of the disease and the need for additional funding for treatment centers in New York State. I thank my colleagues for their support on this important piece of legislation,” said Council Member I. Daneek Miller.
Requires the Department of Finance to exempt certain not-for-profit owned properties from the tax lien sale and create a not-for-profit ombudsperson position
Proposed Introduction No. 245-B, sponsored by Council Member Antonio Reynoso, create a position of a not-for-profit ombudsperson within the Department of Finance (DOF). Moreover, this bill would exempt from the City’s lien sale any property owned by a not-for-profit organization that received a not-for-profit property tax exemption under in at least one of the prior two fiscal years, provided that: (1) such exemption was granted on or after the date on which such property was conveyed to a not-for-profit organization; (2) the property tax component of such lien arose on or after the date on which such real property was conveyed to such not-for-profit organization; and (3) such not-for-profit organization was organized or conducted for an eligible not-for-profit purpose.
Additionally, the bill would provide an exemption for any property for which the owner has, in good faith, submitted a pending application for a not-for-profit property tax exemption pursuant to the above sections with DOF, as well as any property for which the owner is appealing the denial of such an exemption with the Tax Commission. Additionally, the bill would require notice to owners of Class 4 properties of the availability of exemptions and other actions to remove a property from the sale, as well as mandate certain other changes to the lien sale notice. Finally, the bill would require DOF to include information about how to remove a property from the lien sale when denying an application for certain exemptions.
“Today, we are taking legislative action to protect our non-profits. Non-profit organizations are invaluable assets to our communities— they help to provide social services, build affordable housing, and offer religious sanctuary to residents. Yet we often find that these organizations encounter significant obstacles when trying to navigate our arcane tax laws, incurring tax debt that they are legally exempted from. The passage of my bill, Intro 245, will help to protect our non-profits by providing exemptions from the tax lien sale and requiring the City to better inform non-profits about how they can stay off in the future. I thank my Council Colleagues and the Protect Our Places Coalition for making possible the passage of this bill,” said Council Member Antonio Reynoso.
The Council will also vote on its operating budget as prepared by the Council’s Administrative Services division.
2513-2523 Avenue O Rezoning
The applicant has submitted a proposed zoning map amendment to replace an R2 zoning district with an R3-1 district on a portion of the north side of Avenue O between 26th Street and Bedford Avenue in Council Member Chaim M. Deutsch’s district. This rezoning would facilitate the legalization of existing medical offices and would bring existing nonconforming homes into conformance.
GO Broome Street Development
Applications submitted by the GO Broome Street LLC and Chinatown Planning Council Housing Development Fund Company to facilitate the development of two new mixed-use buildings in Council Member Margret Chin’s District. The Norfolk Building, which would be 16 stories with 115 units for Affordable Independent Residences for Seniors (AIRS), and a community facility space to be owned by the Beth Hamedrash Hagodal Synagogue. The Suffolk Building, a mixed-used building including community facility space to be used as the office headquarters for The Chinese American Planning Council.
The applicants are seeking a zoning special permit in Council Member Margret Chin’s District to legalize the conversion of 14,005 sq ft of second-floor commercial space from Use Group 16 (factory and salesroom) to become part of the Use Group 10A (large retail establishment) space that already occupies the ground floor and cellar of the building.
Bridge Park South Mapping
New York City Department of Parks and Recreation is seeking a proposed amendment to the City Map to facilitate a 3.8 acre addition to Bridge Park and the Harlem River Greenway in Council Member Vanessa L. Gibson’s district.
322-Seat Primary School Facility
An application filed for the site selection of a new 322-Seat Primary School Facility in Council Member Justin Brannan’s district.