Jobs & Economic Development

New York City needs job policies that makes work pay for New Yorkers, and build a fair economy for all of us. By guaranteeing paid sick leave for all workers, supporting the rights of independent and low-wage workers, retaining good jobs that are pathways to the middle class like manufacturing, and reforming low-road economic development subsidies so they create living wage jobs, New York can regain its place as the largest engine of economic mobility for the United States.

Can New York afford to give a tax cut to millionaires?

The City Council is beginning hearings this week on the Mayor Bloomberg's preliminary budget for New York City for 2011-2012. Despite what some have said, this is most certainly not a "good news" budget.

The Mayor's plan would close 100 senior centers (almost half of the city's centers); eliminate over 16,000 child care slots that working families rely on; and eliminate over 6,000 teaching positions, causing class sizes to increase dramatically. Every day, I hear from constituents and service providers who would be directly impacted by these cuts. Read more »

Standing in solidarity this weekend (with pride, and some distress)

Progressive activists are taking to the streets this weekend to show support for two important causes:

On Saturday, from 1-3 pm at Foley Square, I'll be joining Planned Parenthood, NARAL, NOW and a wide range other groups to Stand Up for Women's Health.

On Sunday (at 1:30 pm at City Hall), I will join other elected officials in solidarity with public sector workers and unions in Wisconsin, and on Saturday at 11 am is hosting a public solidarity rally of their own.

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Reporting back to you (one year in)

As a deep believer in democratic accountability, I know it is essential to report back to the community that I serve.

One year into my tenure in the City Council, I’m pleased to share an annual report on some of what we accomplished in 2010, and a little of what we’re hoping to do in the year to come.

You can view the report here – it is broken down by issue, and by the various neighborhoods in the district. Read more »

In the Press: NYC Council Progressive Caucus Responds to Bloomberg's State of the City Address

Huffington Post

The tragic shooting in Arizona earlier this month has caused us all to reflect on the plague of gun violence in our society, and the need for greater civility in our political discourse. We laud the Mayor for his longstanding leadership and tireless efforts to get illegal guns off of our streets, and to reduce gun violence.

But we are disappointed that Mayor Bloomberg spoke about the need to "face reality" in his State of the City Speech today without outlining a real plan of action to address the economic realities facing most New Yorkers at a time when our city remains in a severe economic crisis. Read more »

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Honoring Dr. King's Legacy

MLK Day always serves as an inspiration -- not only in the deeds and words of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, but also of those working to further his legacy -- and as a reminder of how far we have to go to achieve racial and economic justice in our society. Read more »

Putting the Bush-era tax breaks to work for New York

It’s been a busy few days in Washington. I’m thrilled about the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and the one-year extension of unemployment benefits to the millions of Americans who can’t find work in these difficult times.

But I remain very disappointed with the extension of the Bush-era tax cuts to the wealthiest households in the U.S. This is terrible public policy. It comes at a time of growing income concentration, will do little to stimulate the economy, and increase the deficit in order to put more money in the pockets of millionaires. Read more »

Progressive Caucus Applauds Study by Center for American Progress on the Benefits of Higher Wage Standards

Press release

New York, NY - Members of the New York City Council Progressive Caucus hailed today’s release by the Center for American Progress of “Creating Good Jobs in Our Communities: How Higher Wage Standards Affect Economic Development and Employment.” The Progressive Caucus welcomed the study’s findings, and called for passage of two key pieces of legislation to insure that taxpayer-funded subsidies in New York City are used to create good jobs. The study is available here.  Read more »

NYC Needs a Responsible Banking Act

Huffington Post

Go to the Huffington Post website to read the full post

Over Thanksgiving weekend, I had the chance to see Inside Job – Charles Ferguson's stinging indictment of the financial sector surrounding the global financial crisis of 2008. It left me angry once again about how the explosion of predatory lending, combined with all the wrong incentives in the financial sector, stripped millions of families of their life savings, led to the financial meltdown, and cost millions of jobs around the world.  And also disappointed about how little real financial reform there has been since then, and how bleak the outlook for meaningful change in Washington is right now.

At the local level, though, we have the opportunity to take a meaningful step forward.  A NYC Responsible Banking Act would require banks that want to make money by holding on to the City of New York's cash to put forward a new generation of strategic plans and reports for how they are meeting the credit needs of our communities.

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