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Transcript: Mayor de Blasio Holds Public Hearings and Signs Intros 421-A, 689-A, 690-A, 656, and 497-B

April 20, 2015

Mayor Bill de Blasio: Good afternoon, everybody. We have a number of bills for this hearing. We're going to start with Intros 421-A, 689-A, and 690-A, which will ensure the investigations by the Human Rights Commission are fair, transparent, and efficient.

Intro 421-A requires the Human Rights Commission to report the number of investigations it conducts and how many result in civil actions. It's sponsored by Council Member Darlene Mealy – welcome, Council Member. This process will increase transparency – make the public more aware of the actions of the Human Rights Commission.

Intros 689-A and 690-A will require the Human Rights Commission to investigate discrimination in housing and employment, respectively; sponsored by Council Members Mealy and Brad Lander. And this will test how the application that – hold on, let me get this right – ah, yes – this will test how different protected classes are treated when they apply for either a job or housing. If there's an incident of discrimination that is found through this investigation, that will be referred to the law enforcement bureau.

We are committed as an administration to guaranteeing fairness in housing and employment. The Human Rights Commission is a powerful tool in that process. We want to make sure it is doing all it can to protect our fellow New Yorkers and keep these processes fair for all New Yorkers.

I want to thank Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito for her support for these pieces of legislation. I want to thank my counsel, Maya Wiley.

I want to now introduce – I think it's her first time she's speaking at City Hall – the chair of the Human Rights Commission, Carmelyn Malalis.

And you get – here – you need – you can get the step or no step. Let's decide what you prefer.

Chair Carmelyn Malalis, Human Rights Commission: [inaudible]

Mayor: You want to be without the step. Okay. That's – in solidarity, there you go. Excellent.


Mayor: Many wise statements here – the wisest may have been that great things come from the 39th Council District. I had the honor, yes – well, 39th Council District, near and dear to my heart – I had the honor of voting in participatory budgeting on Saturday – beautiful day. And I want to just note that Council Member Brad Lander has initiated something that will be a great reform in this country. It is outdoor voting – outdoor voting, much more pleasant.

With that, let's sign this legislation into law.

[Mayor de Blasio signs Intros 421-A, 689-A, and 690-A]


Mayor: Okay. It's a potpourri of topics today. [inaudible]. Okay. All right – Mr. Ignizio, I think you're next.

Okay. Now, we're going to talk about Intro 656, which establishes the South Shore Business Improvement District, sponsored by the inimitable Council Member Vinny Ignizio, my former colleague. Just think about what it's like to be trapped in a budget room with Vinny Ignizio year after year – that's what happened to me, but –

Council Member Vincent Ignizio: Sitting next to each other.

Mayor: Sitting next to each other – [inaudible] we're – we're actually on the side – same side on most things.

The BID will serve neighborhoods of Great Kills, Eltingville, and Annadale in Staten Island. The BID will help local businesses thrive and improve the community's quality of life. BIDs do a lot. They invest in security, they invest in sanitation for the business district, marketing, holiday lighting – so many things that make it a more appealing place to shop and promote a better quality of life in the surrounding neighborhood.

We are very committed to five-borough economic growth. We believe the only kind of growth is five-borough economic growth. And BIDs play a crucial role in that. We want to make sure our efforts reach every neighborhood of this city – and the South Shore BID will certainly be an important part of that.

I want to thank Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito for her support. And now I'd like you to hear from a woman who does so much to protect and strengthen our small businesses all over New York City – Small Business Services Commissioner Maria Torres-Springer.


Mayor: All right, we're going to sign the bill.

[Mayor de Blasio signs Intro 656]

Mayor: Okay. Now we have Intro 497-B. This legislation clarifies the recommendations that the banking commission makes to the City Council; sponsored by Council Member Helen Rosenthal. The banking commission will provide a more detailed justification for its decisions on interest and discount rates for property taxes, and they'll be sending them to the City Council earlier. This will help the council make more informed decisions – we support that.

And now I want to thank Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, Finance Commissioner Jacques Jiha, OMB Director Dean Fuleihan, Finance Committee Chair Julissa Ferreras, and of course Council Member Helen Rosenthal. And it will be our pleasure now to hear from Council Member Rosenthal.


Mayor: Patience and support – that's very nice. All right, we're going to just do a few words in Spanish about all the pieces of legislation today.

[Mayor de Blasio speaks in Spanish]

With that, let us sign this last piece of legislation.

[Mayor de Blasio signs Intro 497-B]

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