GOTHAM GAZETTE: SEARCHLIGHT:Voting Records - Civil Rights

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VOTING RECORDS: CIVIL RIGHTS
HOW A BILL BECOMES A LAW IN NEW YORK CITY?

When a bill (called an "Intro" in the City Council) is introduced, it is sent to one of 27 council committees for consideration. The chair of the committee decides whether or not to hold a hearing on the measure; at a hearing, the council listens to debate and testimony. The chair then can call for a vote on the measure. A majority of the committee members must vote in favor of an Intro for it to pass. If the chair chooses not hold a hearing or to not call a vote, the bill can sit indefinitely with no action taken.

Once a bill passes out of committee, it is sent to the full council. If passed by a majority (at least 26 of the 51 council members), the bill is sent to the mayor, who can also hold a public hearing. The mayor then must choose to sign or veto the bill. If the mayor signs the bill, it becomes a local law. If the mayor vetoes the bill, he or she must return it to the council at the next scheduled council meeting. The City Council has 30 days to override the mayoral veto by a two-thirds majority. In this event, the bill becomes a local law.

If the mayor does not sign or veto a bill within 30 days after receiving it from the council, it is considered approved.

Read more about civil rights on Gotham Gazette.

Click here for complete reports from the council committee in this topic

LAWS PASSED IN 2002
BILLS PENDING


LAWS PASSED IN 2002

PROHIBITING GENDER-BIASED LANGUAGE IN ALL CITY DOCUMENTS (Intro 27A) This bill amends the Administrative Code to ensure that all laws, documents, and materials produced by the City of New York in the future will be written in gender-neutral language and will not include gender-biased terminology.

SPONSORING MEMBERS: Council Members Reed, Davis, Gerson, Jackson, Koppell, Liu, Perkins, Reyna, Sears and Brewer; also Council Member Lopez

COUNCIL VOTE:
48 for, 1 against, 2 absent
Approved by council December 4, 2002
Signed by mayor December 19, 2002

YES: Joseph Addabbo, Jr., Tony Avella, Maria Baez, Charles Barron, Tracy Boyland, Gale Brewer, Yvette Clarke, Leroy Comrie, James Davis, Bill DeBlasio, Ruben Diaz, Erik Dilan, Simcha Felder, Lewis Fidler, Helen Foster, James Gennaro, Eric Gioia, Martin Golden, Sarah Gonzalez, Robert Jackson, Allan Jennings, Melinda Katz, Andrew Lanza, Margarita Lopez, John Liu, Miguel Martinez, Michael McMahon, Gifford Miller, Hiram Monserrate, Eva Moskowitz, Michael Nelson, James Oddo, Bill Perkins, Madeline Provenzano, Christine Quinn, Domenic Recchia, Philip Reed, Diana Reyna, Joel Rivera, James Sanders, Larry Seabrook, Helen Sears, Jose Serrano, Kendall Stewart, Peter Vallone, Jr., Albert Vann, David Weprin, David Yassky.

NO: Dennis Gallagher

ABSENT: Alan Gerson, G. Oliver Koppell

GENDER-BASED DISCRIMINATION (Intro 24)
This law aims to protect homosexuals and transsexuals from discrimination in areas like housing, employment, dining, and shopping. While New York City's Human Rights Law protects all individuals from discrimination, this bill specifically guards against discrimination based on "perceived gender identity, self-image, appearance, behavior or expression." (Read more about this issue in Gotham Gazette).

SPONSORING MEMBERS: Council members Bill Perkins, Margarita Lopez, Christine Quinn, Philip Reed, the Speaker (Council Member Miller), Eva Moskowitz, Angel Rodriguez, Tracy Boyland, Tony Avella, James Davis, Bill DeBlasio, James Gennaro, Alan Gerson, Melinda Katz, Oliver Koppell, John Liu, Michael McMahon, Hiram Monserrate, Joel Rivera, Helen Sears, David Weprin, Gale Brewer, Charles Barron, Jose Serrano and Kendall Stewart; also council members Joseph Addabbo Jr., Miguel Martinez, David Yassky, Yvette Clarke, Maria Baez and Dominic Recchia Jr.

COUNCIL VOTE: 45 for, 5 against, 1 abstaining
Passed by council April 23, 2002
Signed by mayor April 30, 2002

YES: Joseph Addabbo, Jr., Tony Avella, Maria Baez, Charles Barron, Tracy Boyland, Gale Brewer, Yvette Clarke, Leroy Comrie, James Davis, Bill DeBlasio, Erik Dilan, Lewis Fidler, Helen Foster, James Gennaro, Alan Gerson, Eric Gioia, Robert Jackson, Allan Jennings, Melinda Katz, G. Oliver Koppell, John Liu, Margarita Lopez, Miguel Martinez, Michael McMahon, Gifford Miller, Hiram Monserrate, Eva Moskowitz, Michael Nelson, , Bill Perkins, Madeline Provenzano, Christine Quinn, Domenic Recchia, Philip Reed, Diana Reyna, Joel Rivera, Angel Rodriguez, James Sanders, Larry Seabrook, Helen Sears, Jose Serrano, Kendall Stewart, Peter Vallone, Jr., Albert Vann, David Weprin, David Yassky

NO: Simcha Felder, Dennis Gallagher, Martin Golden, Andrew Lanza, James Oddo

ABSTAINED: Ruben Diaz


RECOGNIZING DOMESTIC PARTNERSHIPS (Int. 114)
New York City passed a law in 1998 legalizing same-sex domestic partnerships, but it does not recognize partnerships obtained outside of city limits. This bill would enable people to who have registered status in other places to receive the same benefits and legal rights as those registered in the city. ( Read more about this issue in Gotham Gazette).

SPONSORING MEMBERS: The Speaker (Councilmember Gifford Miller) and council members Christine Quinn, Maria Baez, Gale Brewer, Yvette Clarke, Bill DeBlasio, Alan Gerson, Robert Jackson, Miguel Martinez, Eva Moskowitz, Bill Perkins, Philip Reed, Joel Rivera and David Yassky; also Councilmember Oliver Koppell.

COUNCIL VOTE: 37 for, 7 against, 4 abstaining
Passed by council August 15, 2002
Signed by mayor August 27, 2002

YES: Joseph Addabbo, Jr., Tony Avella, Maria Baez, Charles Barron, Gale Brewer, Yvette Clarke, Leroy Comrie, James Davis, Bill DeBlasio, Erik Dilan, Lewis Fidler, Helen Foster, Alan Gerson, Eric Gioia, Robert Jackson, Melinda Katz, G. Oliver Koppell, Andrew Lanza, Margarita Lopez, Michael McMahon, Gifford Miller, Hiram Monserrate, Bill Perkins, Christine Quinn, Domenic Recchia, Philip Reed, Joel Rivera, Angel Rodriguez, Helen Sears, Jose Serrano, Kendall Stewart, Albert Vann, David Weprin, David Yassky.

NO: Ruben Diaz, Simcha Felder, Dennis Gallagher, Martin Golden, Michael Nelson, James Oddo, Madeline Provenzano.

ABSTAINING: James Gennaro, Miguel Martinez, James Sanders, Peter Vallone, Jr.

ABSENT: Tracy Boyland, Allan Jennings, John Liu, Eva Moskowitz, Diana Reyna, Larry Seabrook.


BILLS PENDING

EQUAL RIGHTS FOR WORKFARE EMPLOYEES (Intro 97)
A federal judge recently ruled that Work Experience Program workers -- former welfare recipients now in job programs -- are not entitled to the same protection against job harassment and discrimination as other workers. This bill would give welfare-to-work employees legal protection under the city's Human Rights Act.

SPONSORING MEMBERS: Council members Bill DeBlasio, James Sanders, Joseph Addabbo, Maria Baez, Charles Barron, Gail Brewer, Leroy Comrie, James Davis, Helen Foster, James Gennaro, Robert Jackson, Oliver Koppell, Margarita Lopez, Miguel Martinez, Christine Quinn, Philip Reed, Diana Reyna, Joel Rivera, Larry Seabrook, Jose Serrano, Kendall Stewart and David Weprin; also council members Tracy Boyland and Albert Vann

Click here for the status of this bill