Speaker Johnson Demands Renewal Of $4.2 M For Litter Basket Funding
City Council Speaker Corey Johnson (D-Chelsea, Hell’s Kitchen) and Antonio Reynoso (D-Brooklyn), Sanitation & Solid Waste Management Committee Chair, rallied together on Saturday to demand tha Mayor Bill de Blasio restore $4.2 million in funding for extra litter basket collection in the Fiscal Year 2020 Budget.
The group of lawmakers are looking to continue the funding of 14,000 additional trash pick-ups per week by the Sanitation Department (DSNY), that were funded in FY 2019 and have contributed to significantly cleaner streets. Nearly 96 percent of streets are rated acceptably clean this fiscal year, up from about 95 percent the previous year, according to the Department of Sanitation’s (DSN) testimony from the Council’s preliminary budget hearings.
The Mayor is looking to reverse the citywide improvement, which the Administration did not include in the Fiscal Year 2020 budget.
Lowest street cleaning rating per scorecard monthly ratings by Borough and Community Board – 2019 (Average as of April of the current fiscal year). The Scorecard Inspection program measures and reports on street and sidewalk cleanliness across the city’s five boroughs:
1.) Community Board 3 in Brooklyn at 88.1 percent (CMs Levin, Ampry-Samuel, Cumbo)
2.) Community Board 12 in Brooklyn at 88.8 percent (CMs Eugene, Lander, Menchaca, Yeger)
3.) Community Board 1 in Brooklyn at 89.4 percent (CMs Levin, Reynoso)
4.) Community Board 3 in the Bronx at 90 percent (CMs Salamanca, Gibson)
5.) Community Board 9 in Brooklyn at 91.7 percent (CMs Cumbo, Eugene, Ampry-Samuel)
6.) Community Board 1 in the Bronx at 91.9 percent (CMs Salamanca, Ayala)
7.) Community Board 16 in Brooklyn at 91.8 percent (CMs Barron, Samuel, Espinal)
8.) Community Board 12 in Manhattan at 92 percent (CMs Rodriguez, Levine)
9.) Community Board 4 in the Bronx at 92.1 percent (CMs Gibson, Ayala, Salamanca, Torres)
10.) Community Board 5 in Brooklyn at 92.3 percent (CM Espinal, Barron)
“No one wants to go back to the days when overflowing trash baskets on every corner was the norm. We need those baskets emptied more often, not less. Cutting this funding won’t balance the city’s budget, it will hurt the city’s quality of life. Services like this are critical for our communities,” said Johnson.
Espaillat Votes To Pass Equality Act, End Discrimination Against All LGBTQ Americans
Congressman Adriano Espaillat (D-Washington Heights, Sugar Hill) last week voted to pass H.R. 5, the Equality Act, to ensure that all LGBTQ Americans are granted the full protections guaranteed by federal civil rights law.
The Equality Act extends anti-discrimination protections to LGBTQ Americans with regard to employment, education, access to credit, jury service, federal funding, housing and public accommodations.
Fifty percent of the national LGBTQ community still live in states where, though they have the right to marry, they have no explicit non-discrimination protections in other areas of daily life. Only 21 states have explicit laws barring discrimination based on sexual orientation in employment, housing and public accommodations, and only 20 states have such protections for gender identity, according to Espaillat’s office.
In most states, a same-sex couple can get married one day and legally denied service at a restaurant, be fired from their jobs or evicted from their apartment the next. The Equality Act amends existing federal civil rights laws to create a nationwide standard that explicitly prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.
“This landmark legislation reaffirms that freedom from discrimination is a fundamental civil right that belongs to every American, and that no New Yorker or any American should ever lose their job, their home or live in fear simply because of who they are or whom they love,” said Espaillat.
MAHN Lawmakers Applaud Speakers Criminal Justice Reform Initiative
City Council member Keith Powers (D-Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village, Waterside Plaza, Tudor City, East Midtown, Midtown West, part of the UES),Chair on the Committee on Criminal Justice, Carlina Rivera (D-East Village, Gramercy Park, Kips Bay, Lower East Side, Murray Hill, Rose Hill), Margaret Chin (D-LES,Chinatown) and Helen Rosenthal (D-Central Park, Lincoln Square) applauded City Council Speaker Corey Johnson’s recent unveiling of criminal justice reforms aimed at providing a fairer and more just system for all New Yorkers.
Last Thursday, Johnson delivered a speech for a 21st Century Criminal Justice System in which he outlined policy changes including paroling reform, expanding diversion programs, eliminating mandatory court surcharges and creating an alternative to incarceration courtroom, among other measures. Johnson also announced that the City Council would pass resolutions in support of decriminalizing the sex trade and the closing of Rikers Island.
“As the city pursues the closure of Rikers Island, we have a real opportunity to overhaul the criminal justice system. From reforming parole to improving the treatment of incarcerated individuals, I applaud Speaker Johnson for his creative proposals to address glaring issues in our policing, our courts, and our jails,” said Powers.
“Speaker Johnson is right – it’s long past time that we have a conversation about how we police sex trade in New York City. The state must pass legislation to end the criminalization of loitering for the purpose of prostitution, and the Mayor should join the Council in supporting funding for a groundbreaking support center where individuals can get access to the services they need,” said Rivera, Co-Chair of the Council’s Women’s Caucus.
“The current criminal justice framework governing over the sex trade ignores the reality that so many individuals involved in sex trade face, and fosters a level of mistrust between community and government that discourages many individuals from accessing the supportive services they need. We need innovative, sensitive and, most importantly, empathetic policy solutions dedicated to empowering — not oppressing — communities, especially young women, immigrants and LGBTQI New Yorkers,” said Chin, Chair of the Committee on Aging.
“The Speaker’s proposal reflects our shared goal to end the exploitation of marginalized women, youth, and LGBTQI people. Just as important – his proposal will help to ensure that persons bought and sold in the sex trade are not prosecuted and that trafficking survivors are able to vacate their convictions. Step by step, we are developing public policy which acknowledges that the sex trade is far more than a question of criminal justice,” said Rosenthal, Chair of the Committee on Women and Gender Equity.