February 7, 2022
WHEREAS, the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America protects freedom of speech, the press, and the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances; and
WHEREAS, Article I, Section 8 of the New York State Constitution provides that “Every citizen may freely speak, write and publish his or her sentiments on all subjects, being responsible for the abuse of that right; and no law shall be passed to restrain or abridge the liberty of speech or of the press”; and
WHEREAS, the City of New York (the “City”) honors the rights of New Yorkers to free speech and peaceable assembly; and
WHEREAS, the ability of New Yorkers to express informed opinions depends on their access to relevant, clear information; and
WHEREAS, the City has demonstrated its firm belief in the benefit of accessible information through initiatives including the Open Data program; and
WHEREAS, this Order is given to renew the City’s commitment to the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America and to Article I, Section 8 of the New York State Constitution; and to promote transparency by the City; and
WHEREAS, a free society is best maintained when the public is aware of and has access to government actions and documents, and the more open a government is with its people, the greater the understanding and participation of the public in government;
NOW, THEREFORE, by the power vested in me as Mayor of the City of New York, it is hereby ordered:
Section 1. For purposes of this Order, “City agency” means (i) any agency the head of which is appointed by the Mayor; (ii) any agency headed by a board, commission or other multi-member body, the majority of the membership of which is appointed by the Mayor; and (iii) the Office of the Mayor.
§ 2. Each City agency shall continue to adhere to its responsibility to (1) respect and protect the right of free speech and the right to peaceful protest; and (2) provide detailed information about its policies, practices, and activities in publicly accessible ways.
§ 3. The head of each City agency, or his or her appointee, shall, on a regular basis, oversee a review of agency policies, practices, and activities that may impact freedom of speech and assembly; and, in conjunction with the Deputy Mayor assigned to such agency, alter policies, practices or activities where the alteration is feasible and would advance the public’s rights to free speech and peaceable assembly.
§ 4. The head of each City agency, or his or her appointee, shall, on a regular basis, oversee a review of agency dissemination of information on agency policies, practices and activities; determine whether there are policies, practices or activities about which the clarity, accessibility or detail of disseminated information could be added or improved upon; and, in conjunction with the Deputy Mayor assigned to such agency, disseminate such additional information if feasible and if it would better inform the public.
§ 5. This Order shall take effect immediately.