Social Justice

Whenever one group is treated differently or denied protection under our laws, it undermines the foundation on which our country was built. Discrimination, whether against two people who love each other and want to marry, against a family whose only transgression is wanting to make a better life for their children in American, or against a religious institution seeking to locate near one of the most contested sites in the city, is patently un-American. The City Council should act as force against hate and intolerance, as well as fighting to bring those who live in the shadows more fully into our society.

Statement on City Council Vote to Bring CSA to the Floor

Council Members Williams and Lander’s Statement Following City Council Vote to Bring Community Safety Act to the Floor

NEW YORK, NY, June 24, 2013: Council Members Jumaane D. Williams (D-Brooklyn), co-chair of the Council’s Task Force to Combat Gun Violence, and Brad Lander (D-Brooklyn), co-chair of the Council’s Progressive Caucus, jointly released the following statement following the City Council’s passage of a “Motion to Discharge” for the Community Safety Act (Intros 1079 and 1080), a package of bills to increase accountability for the NYPD and strengthen the City’s ban on police profiling to cover all New Yorkers. With the passing of the Motion to Discharge, the City Council will vote on the legislation later this week. Read more »

My protest paid off: Fast-food workers speak out

CNN Money
05/28/2013

Eddie Guzman needed to work at least 20 hours a week to be eligible for welfare programs, such as food stamps and affordable housing. But his requests for more hours at the Brooklyn Burger King were met with deaf ears. Guzman's managers kept his working hours between 12 and 15 a week.

Tired of waiting, Guzman joined a protest and signed a petition in March advocating for more hours and better pay. Two weeks later, he was fired. He said his manager told him that signing the petition disrespected him.

One of the restaurant's managers, Imran Ali, said that Guzman was fired because he didn't give the store enough notice before not showing up for a shift.

"I didn't want to let them take advantage of me and not do anything about it," Guzman said. "I couldn't believe that I got fired just for that."

But community organizers and New York city council member Brad Lander went to the Burger King to ask for his job back.

"New York's fast food workers have courageously stood up for fair pay and treatment and I've been honored to stand with them," Lander said.

Within days, Guzman had his job back and was scheduled to work at least 20 hours per week.

"I wanted better for myself," he said. Read more »

Paid sick days for a million more New Yorkers

Taking a day off when you are sick. It is something that is easy to take for granted, but many low-wage New Yorkers have no paid sick days and even put their job at risk if they stay home sick without pay.

But soon that will be in the past. Today, I was honored to cast my vote on the floor of the New York City Council for the “Earned Sick Time Act,” which will extend paid sick days to nearly one million more New Yorkers.

This law will make our city a fairer, more compassionate place to live and work. Read more »

Response to Bloomberg Comments Politicizing Boston Attack

In a letter sent today, Council Members Brad Lander and Jumaane D. Williams called on Mayor Michael Bloomberg to reconsider comments he made at a Tuesday press conference that politicized the attacks at the Boston Marathon. The Council Members are sponsors of the Community Safety Act, a package of four bills that would protect New Yorkers from discriminatory policing and would create an Inspector General for the NYPD.

  Read more »

Brad Lander Joins Colleagues For Tax Equity Resolution

South Slope News
04/17/2013

Last week, Council Member Brad Lander joined fellow Council Members Rosie Mendez, Jimmy Van Bramer, and Daniel Dromm in introducing the

Tax Equity Resolution, which calls on federal authorities to simplify the income tax filing process for same-sex married couples. Read more »

Lander and Williams Praise New Report from Dept of Investigation

Sponsors of NYPD Inspector General Bill: “DOI’s oversight and recommendations are helping improve an agency in need of change.”

BROOKLYN, NY - Today, Council Members Brad Lander and Jumaane D. Williams – co-sponsors of the bill to establish NYPD oversight at the NYC Department of Investigation – praised a new report from the Department of Investigation detailing misguided policies and recommending corrective action for the NYC Board of Elections. The DOI found that the BOE overstaffed a low-turnout election day in 2011, costing the City at least $2.4M in unnecessary personnel expenses.

The BOE fully staffed all election districts under the auspices of allowing poll workers to practice on the new electronic machines. DOI Commissioner Rose Gill Hearn told the Daily News, “Fully staffing all polling sites in the face of such low voter turnout is a costly way to do training,” a position backed by her office’s report.

Council Member Brad Lander praised DOI’s report, remarking that, “It’s great to see the City’s DOI do a thorough study of a public agency, identify problems, and make concrete recommendations for changes in policy. I look forward to the NYPD benefiting from similar oversight, making for better policing and a safer New York.”

"As chair of the Council's Committee on Oversight and Investigations, I have first-hand knowledge of the great work that DOI does,” Council Member Jumaane D. Williams said. “They are uniquely capable of engaging in comprehensive oversight and advising on potential reforms that can improve City functions such as, thanks to this new report, the work of our Board of Elections. Almost every major agency enjoys this type of effective independent review; hopefully soon the NYPD will benefit from comparable oversight, strengthening its internal function and external image." Read more »

Statement on Community Safety Act Negotiations

Council Members Jumaane D. Williams (D-Brooklyn) and Brad Lander (D-Brooklyn), lead sponsors of the Community Safety Act, released the following statement regarding the status of ongoing negotiations over the legislative package. The act comprises a set of bills aimed at advancing NYPD accountability and improving police-community relations. Read more »

Elected Officials Call for Extension of 50’ Height Limit to Save LICH and Protect Cobble Hill

Brooklyn, NY – Today, Brooklyn elected officials called on the Bloomberg Administration to extend Cobble Hill’s existing 50’ height limit to cover the Long Island College Hospital (LICH) campus, in order to help save LICH and protect Cobble Hill. Read more »

Taking the dream forward

Tomorrow we commemorate the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, and celebrate the inauguration of Barack Obama’s second term as President.  This year also marks the 50th anniversary of Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream Speech” in August 1963.

We’ve come a long way, of course, but have so far to go, toward Dr. King’s dream of a nation that judges people by character rather than skin color, toward a “more perfect union,” toward a nation that lives out the true meaning of our founding ideal of equality.

There are so many ways to be part of this struggle.  Read more »