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Transcript: Mayor Adams Signs Eight Bills, Taking Action to Address Pay Disparities, Support New Yorkers With Disabilities

February 21, 2023

Mayor Eric Adams: Okay, great bills. Congratulations. Good morning. Good morning, New York. Good to see you all. Today, I will hold hearings and sign eight bills that address the pay disparities within the city municipal workforce, and provide support for New Yorkers with disabilities, living in shelters, and affordable housing. And we like to say this is a five-borough administration and we have a five-borough team and I'm happy to see the commissioner here. Commissioner Carrión, good to see you here.

Our city workers keep our city going and I see how hard they work to ensure New Yorkers get the services they need and deserve. And we were proud to announce a contract with part of our municipal workforce D.C. 37. But these bills today really personify the energy and the belief we have, as not only this mayoral administration, but the City Council members under Speaker Adrienne Adams.

Intros 515-A, 527-A, 541-A, addresses pay. They address pay disparities and diversity with the municipal workforce. Every day, our administration fights for equity, equality, dignity, and opportunity for all. Something that both the speaker and I believe are hallmarks of our administrations. Because this can't be the greatest city in the world until everyone has an equal chance to contribute and live here, we will continue to forge ahead. And that includes our sisters and brothers with disabilities. New York City must be a city that is accessible for everyone.

Intros 92-A, 375-A, 141-A and 676-A will make our buildings, our shelters, and our affordable housing more accessible for New Yorkers with disabilities. Last night, thousands of children slept in shelter beds. And the average family experiencing homelessness now stays in a shelter for better than two years. Intro 421-A will help the city better understand what families with children are going through in shelters.

The bills show how we get stuff done for New Yorkers in partnership with the Council, and I cannot thank the speaker enough. These bills are crucial as we move forward and deal with those with great needs in this city.

I want to thank Speaker Adrienne Adams; Council Member De La Rosa; Council Member Ayala; Council Member Hudson, who's here with us today; Council Member Louis, who has also joined us; Council Member Riley; commissioner of Department of Social Services, Gary Jenkins; commissioner of the Mayor's Office for People with Disability, Christina Curry; and Acting Department of Buildings Commissioner Kazimir; as well as Chief Technology Officer Matthew Fraser. We also want to thank Office of Technology Innovation deputy commissioner, Ryan Birchmeier; and commissioner for Department of Citywide Administrative Services, Dawn Pinnock; and assistant commissioner for Department of Citywide Administrative Services.

And now I will invite the public to comment on any of the bills, if we have any. Good, that means we're doing the right thing.

And I want to now really turn it on to the speaker, who has been a real partner in these important issues, to make a few comments. Speaker.

City Council Speaker Adrienne Adams: Thank you, mayor. Thank you so much, Mr. Mayor, and good morning once again everyone. I just want to acknowledge, once again, that we are joined by our mayor, Eric Adams, of course, and Council Members Louis and Hudson, for this monumental signing.

Back in 2018, in my first term as a Council member, the Council began this push for pay equity in our municipal workforce that we've continued to pursue. We passed Local Law 18 of 2019, which requires the Mayor's Office of Data Analytics to report municipal employee pay data publicly and to provide the Council with direct access to the data in order to conduct its own statistical analysis that results in the publication of an annual pay equity report.

The Council's team of data scientists studied this data for our second report last year. It found not only pay disparities within titles, but also occupational segregation, which has resulted in women and people of color being disproportionately concentrated in the lowest paid roles in our city's workforce.

As the daughter of a longtime civil servant, I understand well how the civil service provides a pathway to economic mobility and the middle class, especially for Black and Latino New Yorkers. It's what helped my own family thrive in this city. But the promise of civil service pathways and the health of our municipal workforce are undermined when we allow pay disparities, that disproportionately impacts women and people of color, to persist. It's unacceptable and demands our immediate attention, which is why the Council prioritized this pressing issue.

My bill, Introduction 515-A, will require city agencies to conduct an analysis of compensation data and measures to address pay disparities and occupational segregation. It would also require D.C.A.S. to set up a three-year analysis on a number of civil service titles. Taken together with Council Member De La Rosa and Council Member Louis's bills, we're taking critical next steps to eliminate pay disparities and enact policies that promote greater diversity and equity in our workforce.

I also want to speak about the importance of the other pieces of legislation signed into law today, including bills that will enhance the accessibility of our city's buildings and homeless shelters and increased transparency about homelessness. These are smart measures that will ultimately benefit the residents of our city, particularly those who are the most vulnerable in our communities.

The Council is focused on improving the lives of all New Yorkers and finding new ways to make our entire city function better. We will continue to do that in partnership with those who are most impacted by city policies. I'm very grateful to my Council colleagues for their leadership and of course for Mayor Adams for signing this legislation into law today. Thank you very much.

Mayor Adams: Thank you, speaker. I want to both hear from our two Council members who are present here today. Council Member Hudson, who's the sponsor of Intro 676-A. Councilwoman.

City Council Member Crystal Hudson: Thank you. First, I just want to commend my colleagues on pay parity and continuing that really important work to ensure that we see real true pay parity and pay equity here in New York City.

I'm honored to be here at the bill signing for Introduction 676-A, which will ensure that a hundred percent of city subsidized developments incorporate universal design elements like proper door handles, sufficient clearances to accommodate a wheelchair, lower adjustable countertops, grab bars, or wall reinforcement for the future installation of grab bars, and light switches and outlets in accessible locations.

I always say that when we design and plan and legislate for those who are most vulnerable, then everybody benefits. And when you think about even something as simple as a doorknob, if you plan for older adults who might be experiencing arthritis, and then you think about veterans or other folks with disabilities who might be missing limbs and think about the type of door levers as opposed to having to put your hand around a doorknob and turn it. That's the type of change and that's the type of accessibility that we're creating with this bill. So thank you to everyone who's worked on it and thank you to the mayor, of course, for signing it.

Mayor Adams: Thank you. Great point. Great points that you raise. And of course, we want to now turn it over to Council Member Louis who's the sponsor of Intro 541-A. Councilwoman. Thank you.

City Council Member Farah Louis: Good morning, everyone. Thank you, Mayor Adams, for this opportunity. As a member of the New York City Council, I'm proud to see that our city is making progress on our pay parity journey. And we've been at it for a while. And I'm glad to see we are committed to continuing efforts to address the pervasive issue of pay parity, particularly for women of color.

Advancing pay parity and diversity in our municipal workforce is a top priority for the City Council and this administration. Equal pay for equal work is not only a moral imperative, but a fundamental right and the cornerstone of a just society.

I want to thank Speaker Adams for her leadership and support on the pay parity package and congratulate my colleagues on their bills today to advance the city forward on affordable and accessible housing. And I applaud Mayor Adams for his commitment to creating pay parity in the City of New York and to continue to get things done. Thank you.

Mayor Adams: Thank you very much. So I want to thank all of my partners in government and we will now sign the bill. Speaker, I will give you the bills for your colleagues that couldn't get here.


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