Council also voted to require full disclosure of fees for event tickets; establish baby changing stations in park restrooms; prohibit sale of guinea pigs in pet shops; and create more accessible telemedicine
City Hall, NY – Today, the New York City Council approved several bills that are crucial to the ongoing fight against climate change. Ahead of Earth Day, the Council passed legislation to restrict idling in spaces near or within most parks and require the Department of Buildings (DOB) to conduct targeted annual outreach to educate building owners about the benefits of installing solar and green roof systems.
In addition, the Council approved legislation requiring the disclosure of full event ticket prices in advertisements, establishing changing tables in every city park bathroom, expanding a telemedicine accessibility; and prohibiting the sale of guinea pigs. The Council also approved resolutions calling on the State to create the Housing Access Voucher Program that provides rental assistance vouchers to New Yorkers facing eviction, Department of Education (DOE) to create Jewish Heritage Day in city schools, and Wendy’s to join the Fair Food Program that ensures fair working conditions for farm workers.
“The climate crisis is already here, and we need urgent action on all levels of government to protect and preserve the world that we call home,” said Speaker Adrienne Adams. “As we celebrate Earth Day, it is critical that our values are met with action. The legislation we passed today is a necessary step towards reducing pollution and increasing public awareness about the benefits of renewable energy such as solar and green roofs. Our legislation meaningfully advances the fight against climate change and supports the long-term health and well-being of all New Yorkers. I thank my colleagues for their leadership and support of this critical legislation.”
Protecting Clean Air Near City Parks:
Reducing Unlawful Motor Vehicle Idling Near City Parks:Introduction 606-A, sponsored by Council Member Alexa Avilés, would protect clean air by amending the City’s idling laws to restrict idling to one minute in spaces near or within most parks.
“I am proud that this simple, common sense bill will soon be law. By expanding New York City’s anti-idling legislation to limit idling to one minute near parks in addition to schools, we are taking one more step to ensure cleaner, safer air where our children learn and play,” said Council Member Alexa Avilés. “Passing Intro 606 will do more to protect our children from the harmful impact of exhaust and particulate matter, as well as prevent the exacerbation of asthma symptoms for children who suffer from this condition. We must always work to put the health of our residents and our children first, not only in April, but all the time.”
Expanding Education on New Solar and Green Roofs:
Mandating Outreach to Building Owners Around New Solar and Green Roof Systems: Introduction 239-A, sponsored by Council Member James Gennaro, would require the Department of Buildings to conduct targeted annual outreach to educate building owners about the benefits of installing solar and green roof systems. Outreach materials would be made available in all of the designated citywide languages and on the department’s website.
“I am proud to sponsor Intro 239, which would require the Dept. of Buildings to conduct targeted outreach to educate building owners about the many benefits of installing solar and green roof systems. Solar installations can help reduce energy usage, lowering our carbon footprint as well as energy bills all while helping to create a more resilient distributed grid. Green roofs also provide multiple environmental benefits. They help to store and filter stormwater, provide shade and insulation to buildings, help address the heat island effect, and can even add beauty and value to buildings,” said Council Member James Gennaro,“Many New Yorkers do not know that solar and green roof systems are becoming more attainable and affordable. Educating the public about solar and green roof systems is a crucial step to make our city greener. I thank my colleagues for supporting Intro 239.”
Disclosure of Ticket Prices in Advertisements:
Displaying Ticket Prices in Advertisements: Introduction 8-A, sponsored by Council Member Justin Brannan, would require disclosure of the full ticket price whenever ticket prices are displayed in advertisements for ticketed events. As stated by the bill, advertisements must display the total price, inclusive of taxes and fees. The bill seeks to prevent consumer deception based on the high fees charged by some ticket sellers. With warmer weather and highly anticipated concert tours and sporting events on the horizon, it is important New Yorkers and visitors don’t get taken advantage of by big companies.
“Whether you’re going to see The Cure or catch a Mets game, these ticket companies need to stop fleecing the fans,” said Council Member Justin Brannan. “By requiring sellers to advertise tickets inclusive of all the fees up front, my bill will end the era of bait and switch advertising on ticket prices. Don’t advertise that tickets are $20 when by the time I’m done paying all sorts of surprise fees they’re actually gonna cost $50. I think you’ll see how just a little transparency can make things more fair for everyone. In the greatest entertainment city in the world, we should have the right to know how much we’ll pay for our tickets up front and now, with this bill, we will.”
Creating New Family-Friendly Restrooms in City Parks:
Requiring Diaper-changing Tables at City Park Restrooms: Introduction 128-A, sponsored by Council Member Rafael Salamanca, would require every city park bathroom to have a diaper changing table by December 2027. Slightly less than half of the approximately 1400 bathrooms under the jurisdiction of the Parks Department do not have a diaper changing table, making it harder for families with young children to fully use City parks.
“Currently, New York City requires diaper changing stations to be available in all bathrooms in new or recently renovated public buildings where merchandise is sold, and places like theaters, bowling alleys museums, and shopping malls,” said Council Member Rafael Salamanca. “The one place they are not required: New York City parks’ bathrooms. Despite being a place where families spend a great deal of their time, the lack of changing stations has left parents changing their children’s diapers on park benches and equipment, their laps, or even on the ground, all of which are unsanitary locations. That is why I introduced Intro 128, which requires the Department of Parks to install changing stations in all parks’ bathrooms, and sets benchmarks in how quickly those stations are installed. I thank Speaker Adams and Council Member Krishnan, Chair of the Committee on Parks, for their leadership on this issue.”
Telemedicine Accessibility Plan:
Creating a Telemedicine Accessibility Plan: Introduction 675-A, sponsored by Council Member Crystal Hudson, would require the creation of a telemedicine accessibility plan. The bill seeks to expand access to telemedicine services for persons for whom regular in-person access to healthcare professionals is not reasonably feasible. This bill was initially proposed in Speaker Adams’ State of the City address last year.
“Passing Int. 675 marks another big step in our effort to ensure all New Yorkers have the opportunity to age in place with the dignity and care we all deserve,” said Council Member Crystal Hudson. “With this law, the Department of Health will be required to create a telemedicine accessibility plan to improve the availability of portable monitoring and telehealth devices for populations that could be better served by telemedicine services. Put plainly, once instituted, the telehealth accessibility plan mandated by Int. 675 will remove barriers to healthcare for many of our most vulnerable neighbors. As this Council continues to work tirelessly in service of all New Yorkers, expanding and bolstering the services and resources that keep our communities whole, I look forward to continuing our push to create an inclusive, just, and age-friendly New York alongside Speaker Adams and the rest of my colleagues.”
Guinea Pig Sale Ban:
Prohibiting the Sale of Guinea Pigs in Pet Shops: Introduction 4-A, sponsored by Deputy Speaker Diana Ayala, would prohibit the sale of guinea pigs in pet shops. The bill, however, would still allow adoption of guinea pigs from city animal shelters and rescue groups.
“Int 4 is designed to help our furry little friends find their forever home,” said Deputy Speaker Diana Ayala. “Banning the sale of guinea pigs in pet stores will help facilitate the adoption of the high number of guinea pigs abandoned in recent years, giving New Yorkers and guinea pigs the lifetime friend they both deserve.”
Committee on Housing and Buildings
Resolution 344-A, sponsored by Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, calls on the State Legislature to pass, and the Governor to sign legislation creating the Housing Access Voucher Program, a rental assistance program that would provide housing vouchers to New Yorkers who are homeless or facing eviction.
Committee on Education
Resolution 153, sponsored by Council Member Shaun Abreu, calls on the New York City Department of Education to create a Jewish Heritage Day in schools to celebrate the contributions and achievements of Jewish Americans.
“It is critical that our young people learn about the story of the Jewish people and their major contributions to shaping life as we know it in New York City,” said Council Member Shaun Abreu. “Jewish people have a vital, permanent place in New York City; antisemitism does not. I want to thank Speaker Adams for prioritizing this initiative and following through on her bold vision for a thriving, inclusive, and multicultural city. I look forward to working with her, Chancellor Banks and the DOE, and leaders in the Jewish community to bringing this resolution to life.”
Committee on Civil Service and Labor
Resolution 131, sponsored by Council Member and Civil Service and Labor Chair Carmen De La Rosa, calls on fast-food company Wendy’s to join the Fair Food Program. The Fair Food Program is a partnership amongst participating retail produce growers and buyers that ensures fair working conditions and wages for agricultural workers. Of the five largest fast-food chains in the U.S. – McDonald’s, Subway, Burger King, Taco Bell and Wendy’s, – all participate in the program except for Wendy’s.
“The workforce that supplies the food we eat should not have to endure abuse in exchange for pennies that they depend on to feed their own families. If large corporations are going to operate in our city, they must do so sustainably. New York City has a globally influential economy, and we have opportunities here as leaders to create a more socially-just economy,” said Council Member Carmen De La Rosa. “The workers who care for us on a daily basis deserve sustainable wages and humane working conditions. That’s why we are voting to pass Resolution 131 to call on Wendy’s to join the Fair Food Program and support farmworkers’ human rights.”
The Council also approved the following:
- Resolution 531, sponsored by Council Members Justin Brannan and Farah Louis, which will set the date for a public hearing on legislation authorizing the combination of the Church Avenue Business Improvement District and Flatbush Avenue Business Improvement District into one combined BID. The hearing will be Thursday, April 27, at 10:00am in the Committee Room.
- Resolution 570, sponsored by Council Member Justin Brannan, to authorize an Article XI exemption for five buildings in Crown Heights, located in Council Member Darlene Mealy’s district.
- Resolution 569, sponsored by Council Member Justin Brannan, to amend an existing Article XI exemption for one building in Alphabet City, located in Council Member Carlina Rivera’s district.
The Council also approved the following appointments to the New York City Board of Health:
- Dr. Angelo Acquista
- Dr. Maida Galvez
- Dr. Michael Lindsey
- Dr. Judith Salerno