The Council will also vote on plan to reduce food waste in City agencies
City Hall – In an effort to combat environmental harm to New Yorkers, particularly those in low-income communities and communities of color, the Council on Earth Day will vote on a bill that will ban the use of non-biological pesticides, such as glyphosates, on any playgrounds, parks, or other property owned or leased by the City, with limited exceptions for invasive and harmful species and for worker protections. The bill would also expand the list of prohibited pesticides to include those containing active ingredients listed as known, probable or possible carcinogens by the International Agency for Research on Cancer of the World Health Organization.
The Council will vote on three food-related bills, including one designed to reduce food waste by requiring city agencies that procure food to develop food waste prevention plans along with recommendations on how to safely and efficiently donate surplus food. Additionally, the bill establishes a food waste prevention coordinator at each relevant agency that procures food in excess of the small purchase limit.
The second food bill requires the Department of Education to provide information about summer meals by June 1 annually to every student and provide the three locations nearest to each student’s school of attendance where the meals will be available.
The third food bill will expand information collected by the Mayor’s Office of Food Policy and the Office of Long-Term Planning and Sustainability in their Food Metric Report. The bill would require the inclusion of the number of people eligible for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) who are not currently enrolled, information about retailers that are authorized to accept and redeem SNAP benefits, information about food insecurity in each borough, trends in dietary consumption and long-term diet-related health outcomes across socioeconomic and racial groups, and other information selected by the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH).
The Council will also vote on a bill that would require DOHMH to conduct a public information and outreach campaign regarding the provision of medically unnecessary treatments and interventions performed on individuals born with intersex traits or variations in sex characteristics.
To promote and enhance sports-related opportunities for youth in New York City, the Council will vote on a bill to require the Mayor to establish an Office of Sports, Wellness and Recreation. The Office would be charged with disseminating opportunities and information for youth involvement in sports and to promote the role of sports in education.
The Council will also vote on a bill to prohibit all non-City owned or non-authorized motor vehicles from being used on City elevated boardwalks, additionally requiring that authorized city employees or contractors only use small utility vehicles under 2,400 pounds for activities on wooden boardwalk unless circumstances regarding construction or public safety demand otherwise.
The Council is also voting on a rules change that constitutes the next step in the process to recognize a union for Council Member aides.
The Council will vote on a resolution by Majority Leader Laurie Cumbo and Council Member Margaret Chin calling on Congress to pass, and the president to sign, the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act of 2020.
Finally, the Council will vote on several land use and finance items.
Ban the use of chemical pesticides by city agencies
Int. 1524-A, sponsored by Council Member Ben Kallos, will expand the list of prohibited pesticides to also include pesticides classified as a human carcinogen (or likely or probable to be) by the Office of Pesticides Programs of the United States Environmental Protection Agency, pesticides classified by the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment as a developmental toxin, and pesticides containing active ingredients listed as known, probable or possible carcinogenic to humans by the International Agency for Research on Cancer of the World Health Organization as of effective date of this portion of the local law.
The bill would also ban the use of any pesticide other than a biological pesticide on any playground or park, as well any other property under the jurisdiction of the Department of Parks and Recreation, except for limited exceptions, including: pesticides used to control invasive species listed on the New York state invasive plant list, harmful plant species as defined by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, pesticides used when the use of an alternative would be a worker safety hazard related to vehicular traffic, and others. DOHMH would be required to report on any efforts city agencies have undertaken to reduce or eliminate the use of pesticides used for those exemptions.
The bill will also require any relevant agency to notify the relevant Borough President, Council Member and Community Board about any waiver request they have submitted to DOHMH.
“Parks should be for playing not spraying toxic pesticides,” said Council Member Ben Kallos. “Every New York City family should be able to enjoy our city parks without having to worry that they are being exposed to hazardous pesticides that have been linked to cancer. We have worked on passing this bill for years, working to get it right and we finally have. It will go a long way to making children safer and making our City better. Thank you to the advocates for the years of pushing and staying on top of this and thank you to Speaker Johnson for his commitment to seeing this passed and implemented. I look forward to being able to say New York City parks are pesticide-free once and for all.”
Conduct a public information campaign regarding unnecessary medical treatments on New Yorkers born with intersex traits
Int. 1748-A, sponsored by Council Member Daniel Dromm, will require the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) to conduct a public information and outreach campaign regarding the provision of medically unnecessary treatments and interventions performed on individuals born with intersex traits or variations in sex characteristics. As part of this campaign, DOHMH would create and distribute educational materials and resources for parents and guardians of individuals born with intersex traits or variations in sex characteristics, create resources for medical practitioners, and identify community outreach partners and stakeholders. The department would consult with individuals and organizations with expertise in intersex traits or variations in sex characteristics, including individuals who are intersex or have variations in sex characteristics, in the development of such public information and outreach campaign.
Council Member Dromm said, “We cannot say that we respect the right to bodily integrity and the foundational concept of consent yet ignore the injustices perpetrated by much of the medical establishment against our intersex siblings. Intro. 1748-A does not make any decisions for anyone; it simply aims to share accurate information about intersex traits and variations in sex characteristics. It is significant that this legislation specifically requires the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene to include the input of the intersex community. After the compelling testimony from last October’s hearing, I felt it necessary to include these voices in the bill.”
Food waste prevention plans
Int. 1673-A, sponsored by Council Member Carlina Rivera, would require agencies that procure food to develop food waste prevention plans as well as recommendations on how to safely and efficiently donate surplus food.
Additionally, the legislation will require any City agency that has entered into a food procurement contract in excess of the small purchase limit in the preceding 12 months to develop a food waste prevention plan containing, at a minimum, guidelines for how to identify surplus food safe for donation, methods to reduce surplus food, and procedures for the donation of surplus food; require agencies with food waste prevention plans to submit such plans to the commissioner of sanitation for approval. The plan must then be submitted to the Speaker of the Council within seven days of the commissioner’s approval; establish an agency food waste prevention coordinator at each agency that procures food in excess of the small purchase limit; require agencies with food waste prevention plans to submit annual reports to the commissioner of the Department of Sanitation (DSNY) detailing efforts to implement such plans, proposals to more effectively implement such plans, and updates to information included in prior plans; and require the DSNY to consolidate the information contained in agency food waste prevention plans into the department’s annual recycling report.
“As we celebrate Earth Day today, it’s imperative that our City redoubles its efforts to address composting and food waste challenges. That’s why I’m so happy the Council is voting on my legislation today requiring City agencies that serve meals as part of their programming, from our schools to our senior centers, to develop food waste prevention plans that limit instances of surplus food orders and establish green donation and disposal streams for any food items that are not used,” said Councilwoman Carlina Rivera, sponsor of Intro 1673.
Expand food metrics reporting requirements
Int. No 1680-A, sponsored by Council Member Paul Vallone, will require the Mayor’s Office of Food Policy to include the following additional information in the Food Metrics Report:
The number of individuals eligible for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) who are not currently enrolled in such program, disaggregated by borough and age; information about retailers that are authorized to accept and redeem SNAP benefits; information about food insecurity in each borough; trends in dietary consumption and long-term diet-related health outcomes across socioeconomic and racial groups, where practicable; additional sources of information selected by the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene; and require the MOFP to express all data in the Food Metrics Report in absolute numbers and as a percentage of the relevant population.
“The COVID-19 pandemic struck our city hard and left many with the question of where their next meal would come from” said Council Member Paul Vallone. “In the greatest city in the world, we cannot stand idle while one in eight of our New Yorkers face food insecurity. This bill will allow us to take an in-depth look at food production, distribution and access in the five boroughs, a critical step in developing the equitable and transformative food policy strategies of tomorrow. I thank City Council Speaker Johnson for bringing attention to this important issue and I am proud to collaborate with him on this impactful piece of legislation.”
Distribution of information regarding summer meals
Int. 1675-B, sponsored by Council Member Deborah Rose, will expand on Local Law 4 of 2018 requiring the Department of Education to provide information regarding summer meals to every student, and would be required to include the three locations nearest to each student’s school of attendance where the meals will be available.
Local Law 4 of 2018 currently requires by June 1 of each year that the DOE provide information regarding summer meals including, including locations where the meals will be available, the times and dates during which the meals will be available and any guidelines regarding eligibility. The existing Local Law requires this information to be posted on the DOE’s website, the website of any city agency collaborating with the DOE and the website of the 311 customer service center and to be distributed to Council Members, Borough Presidents, Community Boards, Community Education Councils, Parent Associations and Parent Teacher Associations.
‘As we turn the corner on a pandemic that has threatened food security for thousands of New Yorkers, many of them children, this bill will allow more families to know that there is a secure place nearby that they can send their children to receive free meals during the summer months,” said Council Member Debi Rose. “It is my hope that the passage of this bill will let low-income parents know that there is a resource available to them that can ease the burden that they face during the summer months. I want to thank Speaker Johnson, Chair Treyger and all who have worked with us on this bill for their support, and I hope you all will join me in voting aye.‘
PARKS AND RECREATION
Creates the Office of Sports, Wellness and Recreation
Int. 1959-A, sponsored by Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez, will require the Mayor to establish an Office of Sports, Wellness and Recreation. The Office will be charged with the authority to promote and enhance sports-related opportunities for youth and to promote the role of sports in education.
In addition, it will also be responsible for recommending ways to promote and organize youth sports events, identifying barriers to the growth and development of extracurricular and school-based youth sports programs, recommending ways to expand athletic and recreational opportunities for youth, particularly for those from under-resourced communities, collecting demographic data from public and private entities operating youth sports programs, and furthering the City’s commitment to health, wellness, and social development through extracurricular and school- based sports and recreation programs.
Under the bill, there will be an Advisory Board, affiliated with the Office, chosen from the public, private and non-profit sectors, as well as from higher education institutions and sports institutions located within the city to advise the director of the Office in furthering its mission. The Office would regularly consult with various City agencies in performing its duties and would submit an annual report advising to the Mayor and Council on its activities and recommendations.
Prohibits vehicles on boardwalks
Int. 1888, sponsored by Council Member Mark Treyger, will prohibit all non-City owned or non-authorized motor vehicles from being used on City elevated boardwalks. It would also require that authorized city employees or contractors only use small utility vehicles under 2,400 pounds for activities on wooden boardwalk unless larger vehicles are necessary for construction, maintenance or public safety needs. Unauthorized persons who operate a motor vehicle on an elevated boardwalk would be subject to a misdemeanor punishable by up to 90 days imprisonment or a $1,000 fine or both, and be subject to a civil penalty between $500 and $1,000.
“By prohibiting vehicles from driving on boardwalks and limiting the weight of public safety and maintenance utility vehicles, we are giving the Boardwalk in Coney Island back to the people,” said Council Member Mark Treyger. “The historic Riegelmann Boardwalk in Coney Island is not the Belt Parkway. It is an iconic American place of leisure and recreation – it was not designed as a roadway for utility vehicles. Years of heavy vehicles driving on the Boardwalk have caused significant damage to the landmarked site. I thank Speaker Johnson for expediting this important legislation that will provide residents and visitors with safe open spaces and preserve our treasured landmark.”
Clermont Area, a Housing Development Fund Company in Majority Leader Laurie Cumbo’s district, will receive a 40-year, full Article XI property tax exemption to preserve 41 units of affordable homeownership.
Astoria Towers, a Housing Development Fund Company in Council Member Francisco Moya’s district, will receive a 40-year, partial Article XI property tax exemption to preserve 62 units of affordable rental housing.
737 Fourth Avenue Rezoning, 737 Fourth Avenue LLC, seeks a zoning map amendment from M1-1D to R8A/C2-4, extension of the Special Enhanced Commercial District (EC-1), and zoning text amendment to establish a new Mandatory Inclusionary Housing Area on the east side of 4th Avenue. These actions would facilitate the development of a new 14-story mixed-use development with approximately 142 housing units, of which 35 units will be permanently affordable under MIH Option 1, and ground-floor commercial use, in Council Member Carlos Menchaca’s district.