This Week in New York City Government
Mayor Bill de Blasio Signs into Law Bills to Dramatically Reduce New York City’s Cooperation with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Deportations
Mayor Bill de Blasio signed into law Introductions 486-A and 487-A, dramatically limiting New York City’s cooperation with overbroad federal immigration enforcement practices, except in instances where there are public safety concerns. The two bills also end the presence of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) at Rikers Island and all City facilities.
These laws balance public safety with the City’s commitment to being a welcoming and safe place for immigrant families and are consistent with the pledge Mayor de Blasio made in his “One New York Rising Together” platform to “end cooperation with federal ‘detainer requests’ for all residents, except those who have been convicted of violent or serious felonies.”
“Mass deportation has not only pulled apart thousands of New York City families, it has also undermined public safety in our communities and imposed disproportionate penalties on immigrant parents and spouses who these families depend on for emotional and financial support,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “Our City is not served when New Yorkers with strong ties in the community are afraid to engage with law enforcement because they fear deportation. Today, we send another message to Washington that the time to act has come to provide relief to so many individuals who contribute to our nation’s growth. I’d like to thank Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and the City Council for passing this legislation, which further establishes New York City as a leader in immigration reform.”
Mayor de Blasio Announced More Than 53,000 Children Learning in High-Quality, Full-Day Pre-K
Mayor Bill de Blasio announced New York City has successfully enrolled 53,230 children in high-quality, full-day pre-K this fall. Since the first day of school, children have been exposed to a common-core aligned curriculum that focuses on developing social interactions, learning language, early literacy and counting skills through reading and self-directed play, and engaging in thematic lessons on topics like transportation and members of their community.
Children are learning at nearly 1,700 sites at public schools and community-based early childhood centers (CBECCs) in neighborhoods across the five boroughs. Teachers have received significant support to ensure the highest quality instruction, with 6,000 educators participating in the city’s first-ever Citywide Professional Development Training specifically for pre-K. Instructional coaches and supervision teams from the Department of Education have visited every community-based program since the first day of school, to ensure programs are maintaining high standards as the school year continues.
Mayor’s Fund Launches Ebola Relief Campaign
On FLO.NYC, First Lady Chirlane McCray announced a new Mayor’s Fund effort to raise funds to fight Ebola. The text of the post is below.
The people of New York City breathed a collective sigh of relief as Dr. Craig Spencer left Bellevue Hospital after recovering from Ebola.
Although his recovery was speedy and expected, we are relieved because Dr. Spencer is a hero of the first order. He contracted Ebola while working for Doctors Without Borders in the West African nation of Guinea. Dr. Spencer’s brave service didn’t just benefit his patients – it benefited the entire world, which is depending on selfless medical professionals like him to contain and ultimately stamp out the disease. There are no borders when it comes to fighting Ebola.
I know many New Yorkers are eager to support Dr. Spencer and his colleagues, but they’re not sure about the best way. So I am happy to announce that the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City, which I chair, is launching an effort to coordinate donations and direct funds where they are most needed.
The Mayor’s Fund is working with City agencies and health officials to stay on top of the situation. Every penny we raise will go to on-the-ground service providers such as Doctors Without Borders, UNICEF, or the American Red Cross. We will direct the funds to wherever they are most needed at any given time.
Click here to learn more and donate. New Yorkers have a special appreciation for Dr. Craig Spencer, the nurses who cared for him and all medical first responders. Like our city’s brave police officers and firefighters, they rush toward danger in order to advance the greater good. When you partner with us and donate, you are honoring their heroism and providing much-needed aid to those who struggle to regain their health.
Mayor de Blasio and Media & Entertainment Commissioner López Present the 2014 ‘Made in NY’ Awards
Mayor Bill de Blasio and Media & Entertainment Commissioner Cynthia López will today present the 2014 “Made in NY” Awards, celebrating excellence in the New York City creative community and recognizing the achievements of individuals and organizations that have made significant contributions to the City’s entertainment and digital media industries. The City also announced a donation of $160,000 from the Teamsters Local 817 to MOME through the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City to support community enrichment in local neighborhoods as part as of their commitment to New York City. Additionally, the City will today announce that Brooklyn College’s Barry R. Feirstein Graduate School of Cinema at Steiner Studios—the nation’s first public graduate school seamlessly integrated into working film lot and the city’s first public graduate school of cinema—is now accepting applications. Funding for the school is the result of an extensive public-private partnership among notable Brooklyn College alumni, MOME, Steiner Studios, the New York City Council, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, and the City University of New York. The “Made in NY” Awards come at a time when New York City is hosting record levels of television production. So far in the 2014- 2015 season, the City has been home to 39 primetime episodic, digital and mini-series, including 20 new series. More than 230 films have also shot in New York City to date this year.
The de Blasio Administration Announced Changes to the New York Police Department’s Policy on Marijuana Possession Arrests
The de Blasio administration announced changes to the New York Police Department’s policy on marijuana possession arrests. Effective November 19, if police find someone in possession of 25 grams or less of marijuana, officers will issue a summons instead of effecting an arrest, so long as there is no warrant for the individual’s arrest and the person has identification. Police will be authorized to make arrests if the marijuana is burning, if the type of possession indicates intent to sell, if the individual has an outstanding warrant, or if the individual is in a location with special consideration, like a school.
Citywide and Borough Electeds:
The City Council Votes on Legislation Mandating 80 Percent Reduction in Greenhouse Gas Emissions by 2050
The City Council voted on legislation to require an 80% reduction in citywide greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The Council will also vote on legislation regulating publicly accessible clothing collection bins. Additionally the Council voted on legislation to expand the city’s Alternative Enforcement Program for the most hazardous apartment buildings in New York. Finally, the Council voted to create inspection fees for landlords who are habitually in violation of the Housing Maintenance Code.
Comptroller Stringer Quarterly Economic Report Shows New York City Economy Continues Strong Pace in Third Quarter of 2014
New York City created private-sector jobs at an annual rate of 5.4 percent in the third quarter of 2014, the biggest quarterly increase in at least 24 years, according to an analysis of the City’s economic performance released today by New York City Comptroller Scott M. Stringer.
In the third quarter, New York City’s Real GCP grew at an estimated 4.0 percent annual rate, the fastest growth since this quarter last year and half a percentage point faster than the pace of the U.S. economy in the same period. New York City’s private-sector added 47,000 jobs, a seasonally adjusted annualized growth rate of 5.4 percent, a record gain.
The report highlights factors that contributed to the quarter’s impressive performance:
- Reflecting job gains and salary increases, City Personal Income Tax withholdings rose to $1.6 billion, the highest ever third quarter level.
- The Manhattan office vacancy rate, including sublease space, fell to 10.2 percent in 3Q14. New leasing activity in 3Q14 totaled over 7.6 million square feet, the best third quarter in eight years.
- New York City’s unemployment rate fell to 7.3 percent in 3Q14, the lowest quarterly average since 4Q08, when unemployment was at 6.6 percent. All five counties displayed a significant decrease in unemployment.
- Local startups are gaining momentum, with record venture capital investment in the New York metro area surpassing $1.7 billion in 3Q14, more than double the $0.72 billion invested in 3Q13.
- The city’s hospitality industry continued to prosper. Hotel occupancy in Manhattan averaged 92.6 percent in 3Q14, and over 3 million people attended Broadway shows, 12.7 percent more than in 3Q13.
Comptroller Stringer Audit Reveals Department of Buildings Spent Millions to Create a Worksite Safety Reform Plan, Then Failed to Fully Implement the Majority of its Recommendations
A new audit released by New York City Comptroller Scott M. Stringer revealed New York City’s Department of Buildings (DOB) failed to fully implement recommendations that would improve worker safety at high-rise worksites and protect New Yorkers from potential construction accidents.
The audit examined whether the Department of Buildings implemented the actions recommended in a study, the High Risk Construction Oversight study (HRCO), that it commissioned in July 2008 to improve worksite safety at construction sites. Additionally, the audit sought to determine whether recommendations were implemented in the timeframes stated in by DOB in a follow up document known as the HRCO Implementation Milestones. The scope of this audit covers the period from June 2009, when the HRCO Report was issued, through December 2013. The HRCO study was commissioned through emergency procurement procedures in July 2008. DOB paid theconsulting firm CTL Engineers & Construction Technology Consultants (CTL) $3.9 million for a study to identify hazardous conditions and find gaps in DOB’s regulatory and enforcement schemes that may contribute to accidents. In December 2009, DOB awarded a $1.9 million to CTL to assist with the implementation of the report’s recommendations.