MANH Lawmakers on the Move, Aug. 15, 2019

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Council Passes Landlord Accountability Bill

The City Council passed a bill yesterday that will force New York’s landlords to pay for the tenants they evict – literally.

Council Member Margaret Chin
Council Member Margaret Chin

Intro 30-A, sponsored by City Council Member Margaret Chin (D-Battery Park City, Chinatown), will force landlords to cover relocation costs for house tenants who have to evacuate following a vacate order. 

“A system that rewards unscrupulous landlords for forcing their tenants out due to their own carelessness is the epitome of inequality,” said Chin. “Yet time and again we have seen predatory landlords create unlivable conditions that lead to emergency evacuations that not only uproot tenants’ lives – but can create a pipeline into the shelter system. My bill, Intro 30-A, tells these landlords that they can no longer act with impunity.  Through mandating that HPD  create an electronic, first-of-its-kind system to recover relocation expenses, we are giving the City the tools necessary to hold New York’s worst landlords accountable for the enormous hardship and trauma that tenants have to endure during a vacate order. Today, we are sending a message that vacate orders should never be weaponized as a tool for displacement.”  

Rosenthal’s Public Assistance Reform Bill Passes Council

Council Member Helen Rosenthal
Council Member Helen Rosenthal

Legislation requiring the NYC Department of Social Services/Human Resources Administration (DSS/HRA) to conduct an in-depth audit of its public assistance and SNAP centers passed the City Council today.

The bill, sponsored by City Council Member Helen Rosenthal (D-Central Park, Lincoln Square) was part of a legislative package aimed to improve the experiences of low-income New Yorkers who use DSS/HRA services. The package was formed in the wake of an incident last year at a Brooklyn DSS/HRA center, in which a mother was arrested and her young son forcibly taken from her after a dispute with center staff. The mother, Jazmine Headley, had gone to the center after her childcare benefits were suddenly cut off.

“Over the years we have received many accounts of the poor treatment of New Yorkers who visit City-run public assistance and SNAP centers in need of assistance,” said Rosenthal. “This remains absolutely unacceptable, and what happened to Jazmine Headley is a stark reminder of the indignities and injustices that low-income residents are forced to endure.”

Rivera Introduces Office of the Patient Advocate Bill

Council Member Carlina Rivera
Council Member Carlina Rivera

City Council Member Carlina Rivera (D-East Village, Gramercy Park) introduced a bill yesterday to create an Office of the Patient Advocate within the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

The office’s purpose would be to receive and report complaints from patients against health care providers and facilities.

“If you have problems with accessing care, whether it’s poor treatment, whether it’s confusion within your service, the only place you can go is that same institution that you just visited,” said Rivera. “We want to make sure that when you have a problem with a medical facility or a doctor, that you don’t feel like you have to return to the exact cause of concern – that you’ll have a place to go.”

Serrano Commends Cuomo for Infant Safety Legislation

State Senator Jose Serrano
State Senator Jose Serrano

State Senator José Serrano (D-Manhattan, Bronx) lauded Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) on Tuesday for passing three pieces of infant safety legislation.

Serrano was particularly enthused about the second bill, S. 3563A, which requires daycare workers to secure large furniture and electronic devices that are vulnerable to tipping.

“Far too many families have been impacted by preventable tragedies involving young children and tipping furniture or electronics,” said Serrano. “I am honored to have carried this bill in the Senate, and thank Governor Cuomo, Assembly Member Rosenthal, and my legislative colleagues for their support and commitment to keeping our children safe.”

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