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Mayor de Blasio Signs 12 Bills Strengthening Justice and Equity in New York City

September 8, 2017

NEW YORK—Mayor Bill de Blasio will today sign 12 pieces of legislation and hold a public hearing for a bill to establish an office of Nightlife, Intro. 1688 to be signed at a later date. Intro. 119-D, 1013-A, 1148-A, 1348-A, 1237-A, 1451-A, 1452-A are bills related to law enforcement, inmate discharge outcomes, and juvenile justice; Intro. 1500-B, 1512-A, 1520-B promote equity in City government; and Intro. 1439-A, 1514-A reduces food waste.

“New York City is built on a foundation of fairness and equity in our legal system and across City government. Today’s bills will give young people in our juvenile justice system access to crucial services to improve healthcare and to stay in touch with their support systems to plan for productive discharge. The second package of bills will expand inclusion and equity within City government through agency trainings, race and income equity assessments, and annual report requirements. And our third package of bills will make sure New York City will significantly reduce our food waste footprint,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “I want to thank Speaker Mark-Viverito and the Council for bringing this legislation into fruition to help keep New York as just, inclusive, and sustainable as possible.”

“Equality is a fundamental part of our city. Now with Intro 1500 signed into law, a bill I am proud to sponsor, city agencies will now promote racial, gender, income and sexual orientation equality with a better understanding of New Yorkers. By performing equality assessments, we are better able to address issues affecting the City’s families. I also want to congratulate my colleagues on their bills being signed into law today from the facilitation of food donations, the regulation of police conduct and the reduction of food waste. The Council is proud of its on-going efforts to make this city we call home a better place to live for all. I thank Mayor de Blasio and his administration for his support of these bills," said Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito.

Intr. 119-D requires the Inspector General, in collaboration with the NYPD and other agencies, to review information on lawsuits, complaints, claims and investigations related to alleged police misconduct. Intr. 1013-A requires the DOC to offer a discharge plan –addressing employment and other needs – to all inmates sentenced to 30 days or more in DOC facilities. Intr. 1148-A requires the DOC and DOE to report on educational programming for incarcerated adolescents and young adults. Intr. 1348-A requires the DOC to provide vocational or educational training to inmates incarcerated for more than 10 days, with limited exceptions. Intr. 1237-A requires ACS to review how it maintains the health records of youth in the juvenile justice system and to report on planned enhancements to record keeping. Intr. 1451-A clarifies the types of visitors residents can receive in secure detention facilities, which house youth accused of serious offenses awaiting resolution of their cases in Family or Criminal court.  Intr. 1452-A permits youth in detention facilities to hold video conferences with family and guardians. Intr. 1500-B requires DOHMH, ACS and DSS to complete gender, race, income, and, where information is available, sexual orientation equity assessments of their services and procedures. Intr. 1512-A mandates all DOHMH, ACS and DSS employees receive training on implicit bias, discrimination, cultural competency and structural inequity. Intr. 1520-B requires Mayor’s office of Operations to include information on gender, race, income and sexual orientation in our annual report on social indicators and equity. Intr. 1439-A requires City agencies to inform food rescue groups before disposing of food eligible for donation that has been confiscated during enforcement actions. Intr. 1514- A will create a website to facilitate food donations from donors and recipients throughout the city. Intr. 1688 establishes a permanent Nightlife Advisory Board and an Office of Nightlife, which will both be housed in the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment.

119-D, 1013-A, 1348-A, 1237-A, 1451-A, 1452-A (juvenile justice/inmate education)

“Intros 1237-A, I1451-A and 1452-A are a package of bills that emphasize rehabilitation rather than punishment of detained youth by ensuring that they receive appropriate healthcare and stay connected to their communities and supportive adults in their lives. Now, ACS will be required to review its current method of maintaining health care records for detained youth and young people will be allowed to designate non family members, such as clergy, coaches, teachers or other adults with whom they have positive relationships, as visitors. They will also be allowed to videoconference with family members for certain types of discussions.  This lifts a tremendous burden from families who must travel long distances on public transit for in-person visits.  This package of legislation increases chances for successful outcomes by supporting rehabilitation,” said Council Member Fernando Cabrera.

"Incarcerated children and young adults are among the most educationally disadvantaged in our nation," said NYC Council Education Committee Chairperson Daniel Dromm.  "There is currently very little information publicly available on young people in Department of Corrections (DOC) educational facilities.  My legislation will require the DOC to report on educational programming for adolescents and young adults as well as the use of force in classrooms.  This law will shed much-needed light on how they are being treated and what kind of education they are receiving.  I thank Mayor de Blasio for his support of this effort.  I am heartened that our city is taking the necessary steps to prepare these young people for an independent and productive life."

“ACS is committed to using our available resources to improve the medical and mental health well-being of all youth throughout their time in the City’s juvenile justice system,” said ACS Commissioner David Hansell. “This new legislation from the City Council supports ACS’ efforts to connect youth with the right services and supports, and to maintain healthcare continuity as they transition into and out of the City's juvenile detention facilities.”

Elizabeth Glazer, Director of the Mayor's Office of Criminal Justice, said, “There are many routes into the criminal justice system, but there must be pathways out. Re-entry planning and obtaining employment support are potentially life-changing for many people leaving the system. A job can provide a route to stability. When we are able to prevent future offending, we make New York safer for everyone.”

"Rehabilitation, not punishment is the answer to ending the cycle of incarceration," said Council Member Corey Johnson, Chair of the Committee in Health. "The discharge planning services provided through this legislation will help people reenter their communities, find their footing and lead healthy, productive lives. I want to thank Mayor Bill de Blasio, Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and Chair Elizabeth Crowley for their leadership on this important issue."

“Maintaining social ties – family, mentors, and valued community members – is key to ensuring our youth’s future success. Family, as well as relationships with positive role models, are vitally important to the rehabilitation process. These bills recognize the need to provide youth the support networks that are proven to facilitate improved outcomes,” said Council Member Stephen Levin.

“Prior to the de Blasio administration, DOC provided on average less than an hour a day of non-school programming. Now, we will offer up to 5 hours of daily programming for every individual in our custody. This serves a major goal of our reforms -reducing violence- by keeping inmates meaningfully occupied building life and work skills. These skills prepare them for their return to the community by improving their employment prospects, which can also help reduce recidivism,” said DOC Commissioner Cynthia Brann.

1500-B, 1520-B, 1512-A (social inequity reporting/training)

“Diversity and inclusion are the foundation of our City,” said Department of Social Services Commissioner Steven Banks. “We applaud this Administration’s commitment to these core values and for making a concerted effort to ensure that all New Yorkers, regardless of race, gender, and sexual orientation have equal access to services and resources”.  

"These bills reinforce the Administration's steadfast commitment to ensuring a just and equitable NYC.  They advance the Mayor's efforts to achieve equity by providing mechanisms through which the City will measure its progress and hold itself accountable to its equity agenda." said Jacqueline Ebanks, Executive Director,  NYC Commission on Gender Equity.

“Government is vital to the creation of a fair and just society, and with this legislation, New York City is taking an important step toward advancing equity and improving health outcomes for all New Yorkers,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett. “This legislation implements strategies to strengthen the City's policies to address the root causes of inequities, including racism, sexism and homophobia. I want to thank Mayor de Blasio and Speaker Mark-Viverito for building a government that works better for both employees and residents.”

"Training city agency staff to become culturally competent is critical to promoting equity," said NYC Council Member Daniel Dromm.  "My legislation will require employees of the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH), the Administration for Children’s Services (ACS), and the Human Resources Administration (HRA) to receive training on implicit bias, discrimination, cultural competency, and structural inequity, with regard to gender, race, and sexual orientation.  This training will give already hardworking public servants an enriched perspective on the populations they serve while making these communities feel the way they should: that government is working for them.  I thank Mayor De Blasio for supporting this effort which will positively impact so many New Yorkers."

"1520 B will serve to support NYC's critical work to proactively identify and address the disparities that New Yorkers face simply because of their race, gender, income or sexual orientation," says Council Member Brad Lander, Deputy Director of Policy at the Council. "In a reality where Trump and his administration seek to normalize hatred, bigotry and even white supremacy on a daily basis, it is more critical than ever before for NYC to confront and dismantle the systemic racism, sexism and bias that plague our systems.  Thanks to the Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, my colleagues at the Council, the de Blasio Administration and the Mayor's Office of Operations in ensuring our local institutions are working to create a more equitable and just NYC." 

"Our city's economy is stronger because of our growing and diverse workforce. As chair of the Committee on Women’s Issues and co-chair of the Women’s Caucus, I am proud of our efforts to remove the barriers that have for too long hindered women, people of color, and the LGBTQIA+ community in the workplace. This package of legislation – Intros 1500, 1512, 1520 – is a testament of our commitment to curbing discrimination and creating equal opportunity for career advancement,” said Council Member Laurie A. Cumbo.

“As we continue a reform-focused mission that recognizes the larger social, economic, and institutional issues that disproportionately affect many of the families we work with, we commend the passage of these important bills,” said ACS Commissioner David Hansell. “Reducing disparities within social service systems is key to ensuring the equity and effectiveness of this work, which is why ACS has incorporated classes around implicit bias in our frontline training, in close consultation with parents and advocates. We look forward to working with our colleagues in government to continue moving ACS forward.”

1439-A and, 1514-A (food waste)

“The Department of Sanitation is proud to support efforts to reduce the amount of food waste that is sent to landfills, especially if that food can be used to feed our fellow New Yorkers. We look forward to working with stakeholders to develop a food donation portal as part of donateNYC to connect prospective donors and recipient organizations," said Department of Sanitation (DSNY) Commissioner Kathryn Garcia.

“Thank you to Mayor de Blasio for signing this legislation today, and to Speaker Mark-Viverito for her attention to the issue of reducing food waste in New York City. Approximately 40 percent of all food grown in the United States is thrown away, and I am hopeful that these bills will not only reduce hunger in NYC by encouraging and facilitating more food donations, but also reduce food waste, which will help us get closer to our goal of sending zero waste to landfills by 2030, ” said Council Member Antonio Reynoso.

“New York City must get creative when thinking of how we can divert uneaten food from our landfills to the dinner tables of hungry New Yorkers,” said NYC Council Member Rafael Espinal. “While 16.4% of New Yorkers are food insecure, we waste up to 32 million tons yearly. This uneaten food rots in our landfills contributing to global climate change, rather than serving people in need. The web portal will operate like a “Craigslist” for food donations, by allowing small businesses that would normally dump uneaten food to seamlessly donate that food to non-profits and food banks. This legislation is a win for our local  businesses, environment and most importantly, a win for New Yorkers in need of a helping hand."

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