Intro 410: The Immigrants Voting Rights Bill

The New York City Council is holding a hearing today about Intro 410: The Immigrants Voting Rights Bill, which would allow 1.3 million voting-age, tax-paying New Yorkers to vote in NYC municipal elections. Melissa is a strong supporter of Intro 410, along with 34 other council members. This is a very exciting time in our city and will directly affect around 27,000 individuals in District 8 alone! You can watch the hearing live at 1 PM on the City Council’s website, or stop by the Council Chambers at City Hall to show your support.

Read more about Intro 410: El Diaro NY and ivotenyc.org

Melissa Named 2012 NYC Streetsies’ Elected Official of the Year

streetsies_2012_smallPersistence and hard work does pay off. We ended 2012 with the honor of having Melissa’s hard work recognized with a Streetsie for Elected Official of the Year. If you don’t know, Streetsies are given by Streetsblog NYC, which covers all things sustainable transportation and advocates for “progressive policy changes that are saving lives and creating a more sustainable future for New York.”

The winner and Streetsblog’s Elected Official of 2012 is Council Member Melissa Mark-Viverito. This was the year that the East Harlem representative’s persistent advocacy for safer streets in her district finally paid off, when the first protected bike lane above 96th Street was installed on Second Avenue. From speaking on the City Hall steps in 2010 to facing down the misinformation campaign against the project in 2011, Mark-Viverito was at the center of the effort to bring complete streets to East Harlem. This wasn’t the first time she’d taken a stand for livable streets, either. Mark-Viverito was the council’s clearest voice for congestion pricing in 2008, and she’s a big proponent of Bus Rapid Transit. If every City Council member was so willing to embrace change, progress would come to NYC streets a lot faster.

Link: http://www.streetsblog.org/2012/12/31/the-2012-nyc-streetsies-part-3/

Thanks Streetsblog! Here’s to a great 2013 and more progress on bringing transportation improvements to communities throughout NYC.

Free Self-Defense Training Workshop in Central Park

Following the recent disturbing, violent attacks towards women in our parks, Melissa, along with Speaker Christine C. Quinn, and Council Members Gale A. Brewer and Jessica Lappin, will be sponsoring a Free Self-Defense Training run by The Center for Anti-Violence Education. This workshop is open to all over the age of 13, including seniors, although it is geared towards women and the LGBT community. Here’s your chance to learn how to defend yourself – RSVP today & make sure to wear comfortable clothes!

WHAT: FREE Self-Defense Training Workshop
WHEN: Sunday, October 7th, 2012 from 2 – 4 PM
WHERE: North Meadow Recreation Center in Central Park (Mid-Park at 97th Street)
RSVP: events@council.nyc.gov or 212.788.6871

* Training will also be provided in Spanish / También se proporcionará capacitación en español 

City Council Overrides Bloomberg’s Living Wage Veto

Last Thursday, the City Council voted to override Mayor Bloomberg’s veto of the living wage bill that aimed to provide a living wage for 75% of all hourly jobs on economic development projects, including retail tenant jobs. The bill would have required that those who directly benefit from at least $1 million in taxpayer subsidies to pay their employees a wage of $10 an hour with health benefits or $11.50 an hour without. In order to track the bill’s goals, the bill includes mandatory wage reporting obligations that will allow the City to monitor its process.

Although this bill is practical and would be an invaluable tool towards reducing poverty for all New Yorkers, Mayor Bloomberg is adamantly opposed and has talked about possibly suing. The overwhelming majority of the City Council voted for this override. It only seems fair that large developers who are receiving our taxpayer subsidies should be responsible for providing decent wages and benefits to their employees.

[photo courtesy of livingwagenyc.org]