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This Week in New York City Government

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Mayors de Blasio and Garcetti Announce Mayoral Coalition to File Amicus Brief in Support of President Obama’s Executive Action on Immigration Reform

Mayors Bill de Blasio of New York City and Eric Garcetti of Los Angeles announced plans by more than 30 mayors to file an amicus brief in the Texas vs. United States lawsuit to support President Obama’s recent executive action on immigration reform. The brief opposes a lawsuit pending in Brownsville, TX brought by states seeking to block President Obama’s immigration reform efforts.

The two mayors led the effort to organize more than 30 cities, the National League of Cities, and the U.S. Conference of Mayors in filing a brief arguing that the public interest across the country is served clearly and overwhelmingly by implementing immigration reform by executive action. The brief also argues that blocking executive action with preliminary injunction will stall desperately needed changes to the federal government’s immigration policies. The cities represented by the amici mayors together account for approximately 28.2 million people, including 7.5 million immigrants.

Mayor Bill de Blasio Signs Introduction 489-B into Law Requiring City to Report on Outstanding Environmental Control Board Judgements

Mayor Bill de Blasio signed into law Intro 489-B, which will require the City to report annually to the City Council on outstanding Environmental Control Board judgments.

Intro 489-B, sponsored by Finance Committee Chair Julissa Ferreras, will require the city’s Department of Finance to provide a publicly available report on ECB judgments, including: the number of outstanding ECB judgments and total amount of money owed; enforcement efforts used to collect judgments; and the success of collection attempts. This legislation also bolsters collection efforts by allowing City Marshals to enforce collections related to Department of Sanitation judgments. The Environmental Control Board adjudicates fines issued by over a dozen City agencies. The bill was approved by the City Council at the Stated Meeting on January 7, 2015.

Mayor de Blasio: Nominates and Appoints Members of Landmarks Preservation Commission and Public Design Commission

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced his nomination of Kim Lee Vauss for the Architect seat of the Landmarks Preservation Commission, and his nomination of Wellington Chen as a Lay Member of the LPC. LPC is the largest municipal preservation agency in the nation, and serves to protect New York City’s architecturally, historically, and culturally significant buildings and sites by granting them landmark or historic district status, and regulating them once they are designated.

Citywide and Borough Electeds:

Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito: LGBT Caucus of City Council Announce LGBTQ Youth Summit

New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and the Council’s LGBT Caucus today announced “What Matters Now: An LGBTQ Youth Summit,” which aims to engage lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, gender nonconforming and queer youth from all over New York City in a day of skills building, community organizing and resource sharing.

The LGBTQ Youth Summit will begin at 9:30 AM on Saturday, January 24th at 2 Astor Place New York, NY 10003. LGBTQ youth ages 14-24 wishing to RSVP can email kwilliams@hmi.org or lrivera@hmi.org.  The summit will provide LGBTQ students the necessary tools to create safe spaces in their schools in anticipation to Respect For All week, which will take place on February 9th-13th. The summit will offer a variety of workshops that will cover topics that will assist LGBTQ youth in advocating for and developing safe spaces in their communities. Among the topics that will be covered during the workshops are youth organizing, art, identity, transgender and gender nonconforming experience, LGBTQ history, media, technology, faith, spirituality, health wellness, mental wellness and anti-violence.

Bronx Borough President Diaz in Israel

Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. stands with United Nations soldiers monitoring the border between Israel and Syria on Monday, January 19. Borough President Diaz visited the site following an Israeli strike against Hezbollah terrorists who were planning an attack on the Golan Heights. The borough president is leading a delegation of Latino business and civic leaders on the week-long visit, which is being hosted by the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York.

Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer to Host Community-police Forum in Northern Manhattan

Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer will host a dialogue on community-police relations Monday, Jan. 26 at the Alianza Dominicana Triangle Building in Washington Heights.The event will bring members of the public, law enforcement officers, and community leaders from all walks of life together for moderated small-group discussions on policing, civil rights, and community safety to develop input and policy suggestions from participants of all backgrounds.

City Agencies:

Chancellor Fariña Announces Streamlined School Support System to Life Struggling Schools and Increase Accountability

Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña announced a new streamlined accountability system to best support schools, which will align the responsibilities of supervising and supporting schools in the offices of the district and high school superintendents. The reforms will create clear lines of authority and accountability in the school system, as the responsibilities of hiring principals and holding them accountable will be merged with decision-making power over bringing resources and supports to struggling schools. The same people who hire and rate – the superintendents – will be in a position to provide support to turn schools around.

The reforms to the structure also will include the replacement of the 55 Children First Networks with seven geographically based Borough Field Support Centers (BFSCs). School principals will retain control over their budgets and hiring processes and will retain independence across the system, except in cases of struggling schools.

Under the new system, which will take effect for the 2015-16 school year, there will be clear lines of authority and accountability under the direction of the superintendent. This system builds on major initiatives launched over the past year, including: the Framework for Great Schools, new School Quality Snapshots and School Quality Guides, and the School Renewal Program. Additionally, DOE has created new programs to foster collaboration and the sharing of best practices including the Learning Partners Program, Showcase Schools and PROSE schools.

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