This Week in New York City Government



Mayor Bill de Blasio Signs Four Bills into Law: Introductions 361-A, 493-A, 356-A, And 216-B

Mayor Bill de Blasio today signed into law Intro 361-A, in relation to shelter eligibility, Intros 493-A and 356-A, in relation to voter registration, and Intro 216-B, in relation to accessible pedestrian signals.

Intro 361-A, sponsored by Council Member Corey Johnson, requires the Department of Homeless Services to grant a presumption of eligibility for applicants to the shelter systems who are exiting Human Resources Administration domestic violence shelters.

The de Blasio Administration Announces it has Raised $15 Million for 2016 DNC Bid, Has $5 Million Cash on Hand

The de Blasio Administration announced that it has secured an additional $5 million from host committee members in support of New York City’s bid to host the 2016 Democratic National Convention, bringing the City’s fundraising total to $15 million. Today’s announcement showcases New York City’s unparalleled ability to commit substantial resources to hosting the 2016 convention in the five boroughs.

Of the $15 million, $5 million has been received, and the City has an additional $10 million in commitments from host committee members. Goldman Sachs, 1199SEIU, Condé Nast, Blackstone, Tishman Speyer and Citi are among the organizations that have contributed to the City’s convention bid. Once selected as the city to host the convention, the Host Committee will immediately convert all commitments into money in the bank to begin to organize the event.

Mayor de Blasio and Cardinal Dolan Join Highbridge Community Development Corporation to Break Ground on New Affordable Housing for Seniors

Mayor Bill de Blasio and Timothy Cardinal Dolan today joined officials, clergy and community partners in Highbridge to break ground on the Artsbridge senior housing complex. When completed in 2016, the seven-story development will be 100 percent affordable, providing apartments for 61 low-income seniors and a 19,000 square-foot community space that will be the permanent home of Highbridge Voices.

Financing for the project was completed in August, adding these affordable apartments to the 16,000 units the de Blasio administration projects to close and move forward in calendar year 2014. As the administration’s first year draws to a close, it has implemented New York City’s first-ever mandatory affordable housing requirement at Astoria Cove, launched a community-driven planning process to protect and expand affordable housing in East New York, spurred major new affordable housing development at the Domino and Atlantic Yards sites, and brought together private investors and public pension funds to finance hundreds of millions of dollars in affordable housing rehabilitation.

Mayor de Blasio Appoints Dr. Barbara Sampson as Chief Medical Examiner

Mayor Bill de Blasio appointed Dr. Barbara Sampson as Chief Medical Examiner of the City of New York. A leading expert in the field of forensic pathology, Dr. Sampson will be charged with overseeing investigations into deaths in New York City and running the largest DNA laboratory in the nation.

Dr. Sampson brings years of experience to the Chief Medical Examiner’s Office. A well-known expert in the field of forensic pathology, Dr. Sampson has worked for the city as First Deputy Chief Medical Examiner, Senior Medical Examiner, and Cardiovascular Pathology Consultant, among other positions. Dr. Sampson has also published widely on forensic pathology and microbiology, and serves on the editorial boards of two journals of pathology. Dr. Sampson most recently served the city as Acting Chief Medical Examiner.

Mayor de Blasio, Uniformed Superior Officers Coalition Announce Tentative Contract Agreement

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that the City of New York has reached a tentative contract agreement with the Uniformed Superior Officers Coalition, marking the administration’s first contracts with uniformed unions. Today’s agreement means that the administration has now reached agreements with 71 percent of the City workforce that had previously been working under expired contracts.

The USOC represents eight unions: the Detectives Endowment Association, Uniformed Fire Officers Association, Lieutenants Benevolent Association, Sanitation Officers Association, Correction Captains Association, Captains Endowment Association, Assistant Deputy Wardens/Deputy Warden Association and Uniformed Sanitation Chiefs Association. The approximately 11,900 employees they represent have worked without a contract since either 2011 or 2012. The terms of the agreements must be approved by the unions’ full in-service membership.

The pattern of the tentative agreement takes the established pattern of the administration’s prior contracts and adds a 1 percent raise in Year One. The agreement also cements the unprecedented health care savings agreed upon with the Municipal Labor Committee, ensuring that these raises are affordable and responsible for the City and its taxpayers.

The proposed seven-year contract would begin, retroactively, on dates ranging from March 2011 for the UFOA to July 2012 for the SOA, and expire seven years thereafter, respectively.

The de Blasio Administration Announces Mounting Support for LinkNYC Proposal, with New Backing of 19 Tenant Association Presidents at NYCHA Developments Citywide

On the heels of the proposal’s vote, the de Blasio administration announced mounting support for LinkNYC—a plan to expand free, high-speed broadband access to New Yorkers across the five boroughs by reinventing aging payphone infrastructure. Specifically, 19 Tenant Association Presidents from New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) developments co-signed a letter stressing the benefits LinkNYC would bring to their communities and urging their borough presidents to help implement the proposal.

LinkNYC is one of a series of the administration’s effort to bridge the current digital divide by increasing affordable, fast Internet access in every New York City neighborhood—regardless of one’s income or economic standing. This ambitious proposal would provide free domestic calling and generate at least $500 million for New York City over the next 12 years to reinvest into additional programs that will help bridge the current digital gap.

Mayor Bill de Blasio Hosts Immigration Summit for Cities Across Country

Mayor Bill de Blasio at Gracie Mansion convened over a dozen Mayors and representatives from across the country for an immigration summit. The summit focused on coordinating and sharing expertise for the implementation of President Obama’s plans to act on immigration. The Mayors also discussed the road ahead and strategies to push for comprehensive immigration reform.

At Gracie Mansion, the Mayors signed on to Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Five Point Challenge to:

First Lady Chirlane McCray Joins with the Dutchess of Cambridge to Help Promote Mental Health Awareness

At the Northside Center for Child Development in Harlem today, First Lady Chirlane McCray met The Duchess of Cambridge and discussed mental health and child development.

The First Lady posted the following on her blog, FLO.NYC:

Promoting Mental Health Awareness, with Help from The Duchess

Today I had the honor of hosting The Duchess of Cambridge on a visit to the Northside Center for Child Development in Harlem. The Duchess has made mental health one of her signature issues, and I share her passion for helping those who are struggling to regain their equilibrium. How deeply rewarding it was to introduce her to this organization, which has been providing crucial mental health services for children since 1946!

During our visit, we met with three heroically resilient young people and their families. Although each story was different, there were common threads. All of the children had experienced poverty and instability, and all of them had struggled with communication. One boy described how anxious and fearful he used to be. Another told us that he used to express himself with his fists instead of his words.

Citywide and Borough Electeds:

NYC Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, Council Public Safety Chair Vanessa Gibson & City Council Announce Comprehensive Response to Eric Garner Incident 

New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, Council Public Safety Chair Vanessa Gibson and the City Council announced the first steps of a comprehensive response to the Eric Garner incident. The initial phase of the response will include a formal request for an Inspector General investigation into how NYPD tracks, monitors and addresses alleged abusive conduct and the establishment of CCRB Community Outreach locations Council Member District Offices.

Formal Request of Inspector General Investigation
In 2013 the Council passed Local Law 70, which established an Inspector General for NYPD who independently monitors and reviews police policy, conducts investigations and recommend changes to the department.

The Council will formally direct the IG to investigate how the NYPD tracks, monitors and addresses abusive police conduct. In particular, how does the NYPD deal with “problem” officers with a track record or poor interactions with the public? The IG will also be directed to review how whistleblowers are protected. Findings should be made public.

CCRB Community Outreach

Council Members will create CCRB Community Outreach locations in their District Offices (DO) to make the complaint and evidence gathering processes more efficient and available at locations and during hours convenient for community residents.  In addition, CCRB will educate the community about the CCRB and train DO staff on how to help constituents address issues related to policing.

Currently, to complete the filing of a CCRB complaint, members of the public must come to CCRB’s offices in downtown Manhattan to give a formal statement. A complaint cannot be acted upon without this statement.  Many complaints are dropped because of the inconvenience of this requirement and the inconvenience for witnesses of appearing at the CCRB offices. CCRB is attempting to conduct more investigations and take testimony of witnesses in the field.  CCRB into the communities in this way will provide constituents a much more efficient way to learn about how they can act on incidences of police abuse and will make it much easier for CCRB to follow up on complaints. Council Members and their constituents will be able to take a more active role in police monitoring.

City Council Speaker Melissa Mark Viverito, Majority Leader Jimmy Van Bramer and Finance Chair Julissa Ferreras Announce the Initiation of the Cultural Immigrant Initiative

Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito along with City Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer, Chair on the Committee on Cultural Affairs, and Council Member Julissa Ferreras, Chair of the Finance Committee announced the expansion of cultural funding and the development of new cultural initiatives. This new program, The Cultural Immigrant Initiative, is aimed at providing cultural programming targeting immigrant groups throughout the five boroughs. The initiative will provide an effort to help bolster cultural funding to New York City’s diverse immigrant communities.

The $1.5 million allocation will support emerging arts groups in immigrant communities as well as initiatives that will expand access for youth, immigrants and school children. This programming will include programs that present or represent the traditions, cultures and experiences of immigrant communities in New York City.

City Council Votes on New Procedure for Changing Gender Marker on Birth Certificates

The City Council voted to amend the City’s policy on gender markers for birth certificates, making it easier for transgender individuals to change their specified gender. The Council will also vote to update and improve the City’s energy code.

Gender Markers

The New York City Health Code currently allows individuals to change the gender designation on their birth certificate only if they have undergone “convertive surgery.”   This requirement is regarded as antiquated and effectively bars the vast majority of transgender New Yorkers, who do not have sex reassignment surgery, from amending their birth certificates.  Birth certificates are “living” documents that are used to prove identity, age, and citizenship and are often the only form of ID that low-income New Yorkers have when applying for jobs or public benefits. Mismatched identification can lead to harassment, discrimination and sometimes accusations of fraud, and impedes access to health care and economic opportunity.  This legislation will address these barriers by allowing transgender people to obtain documents that more accurately reflect their identity.

Introduction 491-A, sponsored by Council Member Johnson, would allow individuals to change the gender marker on their birth certificate by having a medical or mental health professional fill out an affidavit or affirmation attesting that the changed designation more accurately reflects the applicant’s sex or gender identity.

Comptroller Stringer Audit Finds Poor Maintenance, Shoddy Oversight of the Citi Bike Program

New York City Bike Share (NYCBS), the operator of the Citi Bike program, failed to both adequately inspect Citi Bike equipment and ensure stations were fully functional according to an audit of NYCBS’s compliance with its contract with the New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) released today by New York City Comptroller Scott M. Stringer.

The Comptroller’s audit examined maintenance of Citi Bike equipment by NYCBS during the period of May 2013 through May 2014. The Citi Bike program has a fleet of approximately 6,000 bikes and 330 stations throughout the City. Bikeshare Holdings LLC recently announced an agreement to purchase Alta Bicycle Share—the parent company of NYCBS. With a promised infusion of additional capital, Bikeshare Holdings has announced plans to improve maintenance and double the size and geographic reach of the Citi Bike system by 2017.

Comptroller Stringer Report Reveals the Scope of Internet Inequality in New York

Millions of New Yorkers lack high-speed Internet access, exacerbating the digital divide in New York City, according to “Internet Inequality: Broadband Access in NYC,” a new report released today by New York City Comptroller Scott M. Stringer. The Comptroller’s report uses data from the Census Bureau’s 2013 American Community Survey of households on broadband subscriptions and computer ownership to illustrate patterns and trends of internet access among New Yorkers.

Citywide, 27 percent (730,000) of New York City households lack broadband Internet at home and 17 percent (533,000) of households do not even have a computer at home.  The report revealed troubling disparities based on age, education level, employment status, race, and neighborhood:

Brooklyn Borough President Adams Launches First Holiday Market Launches First Holiday Market Village in Downtown Brooklyn 

Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams formally launched the inaugural Holiday Market Village in Columbus Park, located in the heart of Downtown Brooklyn. The seasonal market, organized and operated by the Congress of Racial Equity (CORE), opened at the beginning of this month and will operate through Christmas Eve. Kiosk operators selling items including art, jewelry and clothing include locally-based vendors, as well as minority- and women-owned small businesses, furthering Borough President Adams’ commitment to support these enterprises. Proceeds will be used to support CORE’s work in the community.


HPD Commissioner Vicki Been Announces New Development Programs to Spur Affordable Rental and Homeownership Opportunities on Small Under-Used Sites

New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) Commissioner Vicki Been announced that the agency is rolling out two new affordable housing programs that are designed to capitalize on small under-used sites to create affordable rental and homeownership opportunities for hardworking New Yorkers. With the launch of the Request for Qualifications (RFQ) for the New Infill Homeownership Opportunities Program (NIHOP) and the Neighborhood Construction Program (NCP), HPD continues to deliver on key commitments of the Mayor’s Housing New York plan to maximize resources and encourage neighborhood focused development. It is also anticipated that these programs will help encourage the development of capacity among smaller developers with a particular focus on local non-profits and Community Development Corporations (CDCs).

Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Housing New York: A Five-Borough, 10-Year Housing Plan aims to create and preserve 200,000 units of affordable housing over the next ten years. The most comprehensive affordable housing plan in the City’s history and largest municipal housing plan in the nation, its goal is to help address New York City’s  affordability crisis by reaching more than half a million New Yorkers ranging from those with very low incomes to those in the middle-class, all of whom face ever-rising rents.

Announcements of Interest: 

The Real Estate Board of New York Appoints John Banks as Next President

The Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY) has appointed John Banks, an esteemed veteran of government and community affairs, to serve as its next President, REBNY’s Search Committee. Banks will assume the role of President-Elect effective March 2, 2015.  He will replace Steven Spinola, who will step down at the conclusion of an appropriate transition period after nearly three decades of dedicated service to REBNY and the real estate community.  Banks joins REBNY from Consolidated Edison, where he has served as Vice President of Government Relations for nearly 13 years.

Queensway Awarded $443,750 Regional Economic Development Council Grant

The Trust for Public Land (TPL) and Friends of the QueensWay today joined local elected officials and economic development leaders in touting the $443,750 award the QueensWay project received through Governor Andrew Cuomo’s New York City Regional Economic Development Council (REDC). The project planners thanked Governor Cuomo and the State for their commitment to the QueensWay as a transformative park and local economic development project.

The funds will be allocated towards the design of the first phase of the QueensWay. This is the project’s second award through the New York City REDC. The first helped fund the QueensWay feasibility planning study, which was formally released this Fall.

The funding will be used to design the “Northern Gateway” section of the QueensWay in the Rego Park neighborhood, adjacent to Forest Hills. This site, at the north end of the QueensWay, is an ideal way to begin to connect the residents to a portion of this 47-acre corridor. The section will retain and feature a large number of mature trees, and will include a nature-themed adventure playground, large bioretention basins and other green infrastructure that can absorb large quantities of stormwater, and access paths to adjacent streets.

Project planners noted the QueensWay plan has been endorsed by over a dozen leading economic development, environmental and transportation organizations, many local community organizations and five elected officials including Reps. Joseph Crowley and Grace Meng, both of whom are from Queens; New York state Sen. Toby Ann Stavisky of Queens; New York Assemblyman Andrew Hevesi of Queens; and New York City Council Member Karen Koslowitz of Queens.

TPL and Friends of the QueensWay also noted Queens’ recently named distinction as the best U.S. destination to visit next year by renowned travel and tour guidebooks Lonely Planet. The QueensWay project team is looking forward to the QueensWay being a part of the draw to New York City’s most diverse borough.

The Trust for Public Land creates parks and protects land for people, ensuring healthy, livable communities for generations to come. Nearly ten million people live within a ten-minute walk of a Trust for Public Land park, garden, or natural area, and millions more visit these sites every year.

The Friends of the QueensWay (FQW) is a grassroots community organization – consisting of Central and Southern Queens residents – who are advocating for the conversion of the long-abandoned, 3.5 mile, 47 acre LIRR Rockaway Beach Branch into a family-friendly public park that can be enjoyed by bikers, walkers, joggers, visitors, tourists, workers and residents in Queens. It is FQW’s intention to plan the reuse of this property in a way that not only creates an iconic park but also sparks economic and cultural development, improves the quality of life and environment, and provides greater access to all that Central Queens has to offer including a direct, fast and safe link to Forest Park.

Capalino Releases Legislative Bills Introduced at City Council Stated Meeting

In an effort to keep our readers informed, Capalino has compiled a comprehensive list of City Council Bills that were introduced at the Stated Meeting on December 8th.


A Local Law to amend the New York city charter, in relation to the early Intervention program.

Mental Health, Developmental Disability, Alcoholism, Substance Abuse and Disability Services

A Local Law to amend the administrative code of the city of New York, in relation to requiring the department of homeless services to post daily shelter census data by borough.

General Welfare

A Local Law to amend the administrative code of the city of New York, in relation to the operation of horse drawn cabs, displaced worker training and payment of HAIL license fees for accessible vehicles, and to repeal subdivisions c, o, p, q and r of section 17-330, relating to regulations for working

carriage horses; subdivision a of section 17-334, relating to construction of subchapter 3 of chapter 3 of title 17, concerning carriage horses; section 17-334.1, relating to training and examination of horse drawn carriage drivers;

section 19-174, relating to passengers boarding horse drawn cabs; section 19-175, relating to variances for special events; subdivisions 5 through 8 of section 20-372, relating to definitions concerning horse drawn cabs; subdivisions c and d of section 20-373, relating to license fees and duration for horse drawn cabs; subdivision c of section 20-374, relating to granting and transferring of licenses for horse drawn cabs; section 20-377, relating to inspection of horse drawn cabs; section 20-377.1, relating to insurance for horse drawn cabs; section 20-380, relating to rates of horse drawn cabs; section 20-381, relating to horse drawn cab driver’s licenses; section 20-381.1, relating to area and time restrictions on operation of horse drawn cabs; section 20-381.2, relating to lighting and safety equipment for horse drawn cabs; section 20-382, relating to unlawful agreements by owners or horse drawn cab drivers; subdivisions b, c and d of section 20-383, relating to suspensions and revocations of licenses; and subdivision b of section 24-330, relating to watering horses attached to commercial vehicles.


Resolution calling for the establishment of a commission to study the potential creation of a national Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender History Museum.

Cultural Affairs, Libraries and Introernational Intergroup Relations

Resolution calling upon the State of New York to include in its curriculum requirements, swimming lessons and water safety education to all students in public schools from kindergarten through 12th grade where appropriate and

swimming-related instruction, such as water safety and dry land strokes to all students in public schools from kindergarten through 12th grade when their school does not have a pool in the building or is not within 10 miles of a pool where appropriate.


Resolution declaring Youth Day in New York City, to be held annually each year on August 12th, coinciding with Introernational Youth Day.

Youth Services

Resolution calling upon the New York State Legislature to pass, and the Governor to sign, legislation to ensure an equal number of employers and union representatives on the New York City Deferred Compensation Board.

Civil Service and Labor

A Local Law to amend the administrative code of the city of New York, in relation to requiring a universal mobile application to enable customers to electronically hail taxicabs and street hail livery vehicles.


A Local Law to amend the administrative code of the city of New York, in relation to requiring certain city contractors to implement workplace violence prevention programs.


Resolution calling upon the New York State Legislature to pass, and the Governor to sign, A.2819, which would establish a hospitality gift fund for the homeless.

General Welfare

Resolution calling upon the Governor and Mayor to approve a fourth “New York/New York Agreement” to create permanent supportive housing.

Housing and Buildings

A Local Law to amend the administrative code of the city of New York, in relation to the disclosure of information regarding buyout agreements.

Housing and Buildings

A Local Law to amend the administrative code of the city of New York, in relation to speed limits in New York City parks.


A Local Law to amend the administrative code of the city of New York, in relation to limiting nighttime illumination for certain buildings.

Environmental Protection

Resolution calling upon the Public School Athletic League (PSAL) to provide a medical professional and an ambulance for High School Football games as well as practices in New York City.


Resolution calling upon the New York State Legislature to pass and the

Governor to sign, A.8763-A/S.7242 legislation that would establish a task force on arts and music education in elementary and secondary schools to study and make recommendations on the curriculum and funds spent on arts and music education in the New York State elementary and secondary school system.


A Local Law to amend the administrative code of the city of New York, in relation to reporting on the racial and gender makeup of firefighter examination applicants, eligible lists, academy admissions and graduation statistics.

Fire and Criminal Justice Services

A Local Law in relation to an infrastructure task force.

Economic Development

A Local Law to amend the administrative code of the city of New York, in relation to including 311 reports as official notice to the City of unsafe street or sidewalk conditions.


A Local Law to amend the administrative code of the city of New York, in relation to transferring administration of the senior citizen rent increase exemption (SCRIE) and disability rent increase exemption (DRIE) programs to the department of finance.


A Local Law to amend the administrative code of the city of New York, in relation to requiring reporting on crime statistics in shelters.

General Welfare

A Local Law to amend the administrative code of the city of New York, in relation to providing e-mail and text message notifications regarding major transportation projects.


Resolution declaring January 15th – 22nd of each year as Peace Week in the City of New York.

Cultural Affairs, Libraries and International Intergroup Relations

Pio/VIP HDFC, Block 2762, Lot 1; Block 2946, Lot 1; Bronx, Community District No. 2, Council District No. 17.

Preconsidered – Finance

Crotona Estates HDFC, Block 2940, Lots 11 and 32; Bronx, Community District No. 3, Council District No. 17.

Preconsidered – Finance

Longfellow Avenue HDFC, Block 3010, Lots 12 and 17; Bronx, Community District No. 3, Council District No. 17.

Preconsidered – Finance

Evergreen Estates HDFC, Block 3737, Lots 49, 54, 58, 62,66, and 70; Bronx, Community District No. 9, Council

District No. 17.

Preconsidered – Finance

The Mascot Flats HDFC, Block 375, Lot 30; Manhattan, Community District No. 3, Council District No. 2.

Preconsidered – Finance

Application No. 20155247 PNK pursuant to §1301 (2) (f) of the New York City Charter concerning a proposed maritime lease between the New York City Department of Small Business Services and the New York City Economic

Development Corporation for approximately 72 acres of City-owned land, known as the South Brooklyn Marine Terminal, located at 81 39th Street (Block 662, Lots 136 and parts of Lots 1, 130 and 155), Borough of Brooklyn, Community Board 7, Council District 38.

Landmarks, Public Siting and Maritime Uses

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