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Transcript: Mayor de Blasio Holds Public Hearings and Signs Intros. 419-A, 178-A, 51-B, And 181-A

May 18, 2015

Mayor: Okay, welcome everyone. We have several pieces of legislation today, which we look forward to signing. 

First, Intro 419-A requires Department of Cultural Affairs to create a comprehensive cultural plan for New York City – very important and exciting legislation sponsored by Council Members Steve Levin and Jimmy Van Bramer. 

We are very proud of being one of the great cultural meccas of the world. And our arts community is essential to our future, to our economy, to our schools, and our – everything we do to educate our children – and to the overall vibrancy of the city. But as we believe fundamentally this only reaches its fullest potential when everyone gets an opportunity to participate. And we have to make sure that access to our extraordinary cultural resources are available to all with a particular focus on our young people. 

We’ve made this a priority of this administration. 

We’ve increased funding for arts in our public schools. 

We’ve launched a diversity initiative to make sure that our cultural sector represents all the peoples of this city in their leadership and staffs. 

We’ve launched IDNYC, one of the great components of which is a free admission to a number of important cultural institutions in the five boroughs for the first year that people hold the card. 

And we’ve created as part of our affordable housing plan a new initiative to create artists and cultural affordable housing that will help to keep this important sector here in New York City, and help the classic struggling young artists to actually have a place to live in this city. 

The bill before us looks at the importance of this sector and creates a pathway to a unified vision for where we’ll go in the future, and also creates a methodology for seeking feedback from everyday New Yorkers and new ideas that could help us to be even stronger as a cultural capital. It will help to uplift our entire city and build a stronger future. 

I want to thank Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito for her support. 

And now, stage left, I’d like to introduce our cultural affairs commissioner, Tom Finkelpearl.


Mayor: Why don’t we sign right now, then?

Unknown: Let’s do it.

Mayor: Okay!

[Mayor de Blasio signs Intro 419-A]


Mayor: Okay. Here we go. Excuse me. Intro 51-B. Here we go.

Intro 51-B requires the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene to issue an annual report on Hepatitis B and C. The sponsors are our Council Members Margaret Chin, Corey Johnson, and Peter Koo.

There’s approximately 100,000 New Yorkers living with Hep B, and 146,000 living with Hep C. DOHMH has taken steps to reduce the rate of infection among New Yorkers, including distributing educational materials, helping people in need with access to testing and vaccinations, connecting New Yorkers to treatment and care. This work continues. 

This report will detail all of the efforts, and it will help us to zero in on what has been working best in preventing the spread of Hep B and Hep C.

We are very focused on this challenge facing our city. We are adamant about putting in the efforts we need to address the challenge, but we wanted to also constantly learn what we can do better — and this legislation will help us to keep New Yorkers safe.

I want to thank Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito. 

And now it’s my honor to introduce our tremendous health commissioner, Dr. Mary Bassett. 


Mayor: Thank you. Let’s sign the bill!

[Mayor de Blasio signs Intro 51-B]


Mayor: Okay. Intro 178-A requires price displays for used cars to clearly state the total selling price of the vehicle. This will be near and dear to the hearts of many New Yorkers. 

The used car industry frequently incurs a high number of consumer complaints. Why? Because in too many cases there’s been deceptive advertising, high-pressure sales tactics, undisclosed fees and add-ons that raise the listed price. And this often leads to unsuspecting consumers being taken advantage of. 

In the future, as a result of this legislation, the price tag will include all fees. This bill will protect consumers by ensuring transparency in the city’s used car industry. And every New Yorker will benefit – every New Yorker will have a right to an honest, no-nonsense purchase.

I want to thank Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito for her support; and now introduce our intrepid commissioner from consumer affairs, Julie Menin.


Mayor: Let’s sign the bill!

[Mayor de Blasio signs Intro 178-A]


Mayor: Okay. Intro 181-A requires the Department of Buildings to notify affected elected and community leader of hotel construction proposals in their communities. The sponsor is Council Member Jumaane Williams.

Many communities have raised concern about the rise in short-term motels. They worry about the impact these motels will have on the quality of life and on the possibility of increased crime.

This bill will strengthen the community’s voice in the construction review process, and empower residents to preserve the safety of their communities. New Yorkers with a stake in their neighborhoods should also have a say in what happens in their neighborhoods – and we must value their opinions. So this bill will help us to do so.

I want to thank our buildings commissioner, Rick Chandler, and Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito for their support. 

And now, it’s my honor to introduce Council Member Williams.


[Mayor de Blasio speaks in Spanish]

With that, let us sign the legislation.

[Mayor de Blasio signs Intro 181-A]


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