Quinn and ICE
August 17th, 2011

Council Speaker Christine Quinn introduced legislation today that would prohibit New York City’s department of corrections from subsidizing the work of the Immigrations and Customs Enforcement. Make the Road New York issued this statement supporting the move:

“The announcement by Speaker Quinn and Council Members Mark-Viverito and Daniel Dromm that the New York City Council will prohibit New York City’s Department of Corrections from subsidizing and supporting the deportation of thousands of non-criminal New Yorkers each year is fantastic news.

Every day New York City benefits from the energy, initiative and hard-work of immigrants. In a city where forty percent of all New Yorkers are immigrants, and for the City to do its job, New York City government must not burn bridges to immigrant communities. Today, New York City is taking a clear stand that it refuses to be in the business of tearing apart of immigrant families and subsidizing the deportation of non-criminal New Yorkers.”

Quinn’s legislation follows Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s decision to pull out of the federal Secure Communities Program and the US government’s insistence that New York legally must take part in the program. Read the rest of this entry »

By on August 17, 2011, 1:12 pm
In category: Albany,City Hall,Civil Rights,Crime & Safety,Demographics,Eye on Albany,Immigrants,Work and Labor | 5 Comments »

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Morgenthau and Silver On Secure Communities
June 1st, 2011

Former Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau has nothing but praise for Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s decision to suspend New York’s involvement in the Secure Communities program.

A number of law enforcement officials from across the state also have praised Cuomo for the move — along with a number of legislators and civil rights groups. The Gazette reported last week that Cuomo was considering withdrawing from the program and was likely to make a decision soon.

“I have long been concerned about the issues that arise when local police indiscriminately share information with federal immigration authorities. Specifically, cooperation with federal immigration officials creates a lack of trust in law enforcement among the public. This makes it hard for police and prosecutors to do their jobs because immigrants become reluctant to report crimes or cooperate with investigations,” said Morgenthau in a detailed statement. “That is why, during the 35 years I was district attorney in Manhattan, my policy was to never share the names of individuals involved with the criminal justice system to immigration authorities until after they were convicted of a serious crime. ”

Morgenthau’s full statement and comments from Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver.
Read the rest of this entry »

By on June 1, 2011, 7:46 pm
In category: Albany,Civil Rights,Crime & Safety,Eye on Albany,Immigrants | 2 Comments »

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Meng and Rivera on Secure Communities
June 1st, 2011

Assemblywoman Grace Meng and Sen. Gustavo Rivera are applauding Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s decision to suspend New York’s participation in the Secure Communities program. Both asked Cuomo to consider ending participation in the program last month. Cuomo is clearly scoring major points with progressives (a group he has neglected up to this point) by making this move.

Here is their joint statement:

“We are proud to stand with Governor Cuomo today as he announced the suspension of New York’s participation in Secure Communities, a controversial partnership between immigration officials and local law enforcement that has come under scrutiny at a national level for straying from its intended purpose of deporting dangerous criminal immigrants. While Secure Communities is intended to focus on the deportation of dangerous criminal immigrants, 79% of those deported nationwide under this program had no criminal record.

We applaud Governor Cuomo for acting on the evidence that has accumulated over the last few months that indicate that Secure Communities is not fulfilling its stated mission as well as evidence that Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials have misled elected officials in New York and throughout the country.

Governor Cuomo has shown his commitment to public safety by taking issue with a program that would deter victims and witnesses of crimes from coming forward because of fear of being deported. If New York had continued to implement a very flawed Secure Communities program throughout the state, and especially in New York City, it would have led to the routine separation of immigrant families as well as the widespread distrust of law enforcement in immigrant communities throughout the state, creating a public safety crisis for communities like the ones we represent.

Governor Cuomo has proven to be a leader on the issue of public safety at a national level by forcing the federal government to reexamine whether Secure Communities is actually making our communities more secure, not only here in New York, but throughout the country. We are committed to continuing to work with Governor Cuomo to promote policies that actually make our communities more secure.”

By on June 1, 2011, 5:04 pm
In category: Albany,Eye on Albany,Immigrants | 1 Comment »

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Make the Road Praises Cuomo
June 1st, 2011

Make the Road New York has released a statement congratulating Gov. Andrew Cuomo from suspending New York’s participation in the Secure Communities program:

“We applaud Governor Cuomo for his courageous leadership to protect all New Yorkers from the consequences of a misguided immigration enforcement strategy. Secure Communities erodes trust between local government and immigrant communities because community members perceive that local police are funneling immigrants into a broken immigration system. Immigrants, then, are less likely to report crimes, to seek needed services or toserve as witnesses,” said Javier H. Valds, Deputy Director of Make the Road New York. “We look forward to continuing to work with the Governor to protect and improve the immigrant community’s relationship with local law enforcement in order to create a stronger and safer New York.”

By on June 1, 2011, 4:44 pm
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Cuomo Suspends Participation in Secure Communities
June 1st, 2011

Gov. Andrew Cuomo just announced that he will suspend New York’s participation in the federal Secure Communities program that sends finger print data from local police departments to Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The program is designed to catch illegal immigrants who have committed serious crimes but data has shown that the program has led mostly to the deportation of immigrants who have no criminal record. We reported last week that Cuomo was close to make a decision about withdrawing from the program. Cuomo was under pressure from Latino legislators who have been increasingly concerned that the immigrant community will be scared to contact police, or use emergency services for fear that they will be deported through the program.

“There are concerns about the implementation of the program as well as its impact on families, immigrant communities and law enforcement in New York,” Cuomo said in a statement. “As a result, New York is suspending its participation in the program.” It isn’t exactly clear that Cuomo can withdraw from the program. Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn withdrew from the program last month but was quickly informed by the Department of Homeland Security that he could not and that soon participation will be mandatory for the entire country. The program was initially sold to states as being voluntary. Emails between Gov. David Paterson and an ICE representative recently revealed that Paterson only signed on to the program only after being told that the program was optional for every locality.

Cuomo’s move has earned him high praise from Hispanic legislators as well as civil rights groups and law enforcement officials.

State Senator Gustavo Rivera, Vice Chair of the Latino Caucus of the Senate, said in a statement, “I applaud Governor Cuomo for having the courage to put an end to this program’s existence in New York. The Secure Communities program has frightened victims and witnesses of crime from coming forward. We need to make our neighborhoods safe places for our families and not take part in a problematic and contradictory program that hinders our safety.”

Donna Lieberman, Executive Director of the New York Civil Liberties Union, said in a statement, “We applaud Governor Cuomo for taking the bold step of removing New York State from the Secure Communities initiative, which, despite its name, has become a sore subject for those who work day and night to make our neighborhoods safer. We need to ensure that vulnerable populations are protected, and the decision to remove our state from this program is a positive move for all New Yorkers.”

John Poklemba, Counsel to the New York State Association of Chiefs of Police, said in a statement, “Governor Cuomo has made the right decision to take New York State out of the controversial Secure Communities program. This program unfortunately has had a negative impact on our crime-fighting efforts. Law enforcement must have tools and resources that are both effective and fair.”

For more reaction, check here and here.

Read the rest of this entry »

By on June 1, 2011, 4:05 pm
In category: Albany,Civil Rights,Eye on Albany,Immigrants | 5 Comments »

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Fare Increase Not a Bargaining Chip?
April 29th, 2011

Asking for a fare increase as city officials are trying to get a new class of cab in the outer boroughs isn’t playing hardball, Bhairavi Desai, executive director of the New York Taxi Workers Alliance, told Gotham Gazette today.

It’s merely about timing.

“It’s generally not a negotiation ploy by us,” Desai said, citing the increased cost of gas. “For us, the fare proposal has been in the works, because we know next month it will be seven years since we’ve had an overall raise. Driver income has not been at a livable standard.”

The alliance announced this week it will be asking the Taxi and Limousine Commission for an approximately 25 percent fare increase. The proposal will not be finalized until Wednesday, but Desai said it would likely ask for the waiting rate to increase from 40 to 50 cents and the mileage rate to go up to $2.50 from $2. The alliance will also ask for increases in taxi surcharges for rush hour and late night.

The request comes as the Bloomberg administration attempts to drill down a proposal to get more cab service in the outer boroughs. Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced in his State of the City speech in January he would propose legislation to allow livery cabs in the outer boroughs to pick up people hailing on the street — prohibited under current law.

After a backlash from city officials and the taxi industry, the administration is considering creating another class of yellow cab that would be limited to outer-borough pick ups instead.

Desai said the alliance isn’t opposed to servicing the outer boroughs, but as it stands now it’s not economical. Drivers cannot cruise residential streets for street pickups without losing money, she said. A fare increase would help convince drivers to go to Brooklyn or Queens, Desai added. She also suggested creating cab stands in commercial areas of the outer boroughs.

On his radio show this morning, Bloomberg said he was sympathetic to the cab industry’s qualms.

Above all else, Desai said she wants to make sure the yellow cab reserves the exclusive right to pick up New Yorkers at the curbside.

“We don’t want to see more vehicles on the road,” she said. “It’s going to increase congestion and increase competition in a field where it’s already competitive.”

By on April 29, 2011, 4:44 pm
In category: City Hall,Electoral Politics,Gotham City,Immigrants,Law,Measuring UP,nextNY,Public Finance,Transportation,Work and Labor | 1 Comment »

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Bloomberg Joins It Gets Better Campaign
January 4th, 2011

The latest in the It Gets Better Project from Hizzoner himself.

By on January 4, 2011, 5:25 pm
In category: City Hall,Civil Rights,Demographics,Eye Opener,Gotham City,Immigrants,nextNY | 1 Comment »

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Council Set to Expand Housing Law
November 30th, 2010

For some New Yorkers, their apartments are far from welcoming.

Their one or two-bedroom abodes actually make them sick.

Three years ago, the City Council approved legislation to target buildings with the worst housing code violations — those perennially without heat or hot water or collapsed floors and roofs. Together, the Department of Housing Preservation and Development and the City Council targeted 200 buildings a year and forced landlords to make the repairs.

Now, Council Speaker Christine Quinn announced this morning, the council is set to consider legislation to expand the program to target larger buildings with hazardous conditions related specifically to asthma, such as vermin or mold.

“We are recognizing peoples’ homes can actually make them sick,” said Quinn, surrounded by a crowd of officials and advocates on the steps of City Hall.

Hazardous building conditions have long been connected to the city’s concentrated asthma pockets, which affect neighborhoods like Sunset Park, Corona or Bushwick. By using targeted enforcement of these violations, Quinn said the city could curtail asthma rates in these areas.

The legislation, she said, promises to more than double the amount of units in the program. The council will have its first hearing on the proposal on Dec. 14.

By on November 30, 2010, 12:04 pm
In category: City Hall,Community Development,Electoral Politics,Environment,Eye Opener,Gotham City,Governing,Health,Housing,Immigrants,Land Use,Law,nextNY | Comments Off on Council Set to Expand Housing Law

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Living Wage Waters are Choppy
October 26th, 2010

In the wake of Council Speaker Christine Quinn’s decision not to support paid sick leave, some City Council members and advocates are attempting to make waves on another issue: the living wage.

Currently two bills to require some sort of wage mandate at city-subsidized developments are treading water at City Hall. One would require a prevailing wage for building service employees, while the other would require a living wage for every worker on a city-assisted development, including the development’s tenants.

Quinn has not taken a position on either. When asked during her sick leave announcement earlier this month, she sidestepped the issue.

The issue came to a head last year when the council defeated a proposal to morph the Kingsbridge Armory in the Bronx into a shopping mall. The developer on the project would not agree to a living wage mandate — defined as $10 an hour with benefits — which is largely credited with killing the project. Photo credit: (cc) 2009  Atomische  Tom Giebel

In the latest feud, council members and advocates will gather on the steps of City Hall tomorrow to denounce a $1 million city-funded study on the effectiveness and success of living wage policies. The study was commissioned by the Economic Development Corp. and is being conducted by Charles River Associates — a consulting firm based in Boston. It is supposed to be completed by next spring.

The presser tomorrow, according to an advisory we just got, will “exposes Charles River Associates (CRA), EDC’s choice to conduct the study, as a business-backed lobbying group using economists who oppose living wage and even minimum wage policies for EDC’s study.”

The chief economist on the study is Daniel Hamermesh, a reputable professor at the University of Texas at Austin. David Neumark, a professor of economics at the University of California and a fellow at the Public Policy Institute of California, is also on the study team. He has authored several studies questioning the sustainability of living wage policies.

The Bloomberg adminsitration said it would not consider a widespread living wage policy until the study was completed — a move some critics say is meant to stall the legislation at the City Council. Earlier this year, one administration official said the wage proposals could squash economic development and be potentially against the City Charter.

By on October 26, 2010, 12:39 pm
In category: Albany,City Hall,Community Development,Economy,Electoral Politics,Eye Opener,Gotham City,Governing,Immigrants,Land Use,Law,nextNY,Public Finance,Work and Labor | 2 Comments »

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Horses Get Sick Time
July 15th, 2010

In an attempt to move the stalled paid sick leave bill, advocates showed up at Central Park yesterday to point out carriage horses get time off (the result of a bill passed earlier this year), but people aren’t guaranteed sick time.

We couldn’t make it, but they sent over photos.

What a juxtaposition.

horseaction 007

In March, the paid sick leave bill got a hearing, but nothing has happened since. Council Speaker Christine Quinn still hasn’t taken a position on it.

By on July 15, 2010, 10:30 am
In category: City Hall,Civil Rights,Electoral Politics,Gotham City,Health,Immigrants,Law,nextNY,Parks,Public Finance | Comments Off on Horses Get Sick Time

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Caught in the Act!
June 1st, 2010

Add council members Brad Lander, Danny Dromm and Julissa Ferreras to the recently arrested list at City Hall.

No, this wasn’t Larry Seabrook-style.

Lander, Dromm and Ferreras were arrested downtown today during a protest with the New York Immigration Coalition, which has demonstrated in front of the federal building in Lower Manhattan several times in the past month in support of comprehensive immigration reform. In May, council members Ydanis Rodriguez, Jumaane D. Williams, Melissa Mark-Viverito and Assemblymember Adriano Espaillat were all arrested in similar demonstrations.

After booking, Lander did have time to update his facebook status — see below.

Lander, Dromm and Ferreras have all been released.


By on June 1, 2010, 4:51 pm
In category: City Hall,Civil Rights,Crime & Safety,Electoral Politics,Gotham City,Immigrants,Law,nextNY | 3 Comments »

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A Budget Breakdown
May 24th, 2010

Not all is fair in fiscal year 2011 — at least to the hordes of advocates and politicians vying to save their favorite projects and programs.

Below you can find out how your favorite agency has fared, whether its proposed cuts are deeper than other departments and how much it’s slated to spend this year.

Click on the chart to interact. You can click through agencies on the side and roll over the graphic to view the funding level by fiscal year. If you want an expanded view, you can click on the title.


By on May 24, 2010, 12:13 pm
In category: Albany,City Hall,Crime & Safety,Economy,Education,Electoral Politics,Environment,Gotham City,Governing,Health,Housing,Immigrants,Law,nextNY,Parks,Public Finance,Social Services,Tech,Transportation | 3 Comments »

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Rikers Beds Won't go to ICE
May 7th, 2010

Empty beds on Rikers Island are going on the rental market.

Tenants, however, won’t include federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

To help close a city budget gap, the Department of Correction has proposed to lease several hundred vacant beds on Rikers Island to local, state and federal law enforcement agencies. They will charge $150 per bed a day, raking in about $13.2 million every year. Stephen Morello of the Department of Correction called in to say those beds won’t go to federal immigration officials, whose presence on Rikers has been the subject of some controversy.

“We had an exploratory conversation with them,” said Morello of federal immigration officials renting beds. “They are not interested in our space.”

Federal immigration officials do not have a separate facility on Rikers, but they do have staff members that review inmate files and select people for interrogation — and potentially deportation. A Freedom of Information Act request by immigration advocacy groups last year found between 2004 and 2009, 13,000 Rikers inmates were put in deportation proceedings because of this practice.

This is not the first time the city has leased space in its correction facilities to other law enforcement agencies. When Suffolk County was out of room, the city leased out its beds to them.

By on May 7, 2010, 2:27 pm
In category: Albany,City Hall,Civil Rights,Economy,Electoral Politics,Gotham City,Governing,Housing,Immigrants,Law,Measuring UP,nextNY,Public Finance | Comments Off on Rikers Beds Won't go to ICE

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Liu Says Explore Arizona Divestment
April 29th, 2010

Comptroller John Liu called the anti-immigration law approved in Arizona the “new apartheid” this afternoon, and said the city should explore divesting in companies based there.

“This is clear,” said Liu outside City Hall. “What’s happened in Arizona is the new apartheid. ”

The comptroller said the city should explore the same type of ban it had during apartheid in South Africa, which included prohibiting certain investments with the country. Liu did not know off hand how much of the New York City pension funds were invested in companies with Arizona connections, but his office is looking into it, he said.

The call came on the steps of City Hall this afternoon, where elected officials and advocates rallied to denounce the Arizona law, which forces police officers to ask individuals for their immigration status if they look suspicious. Officials say the law amounts to de facto racial profiling.

In addition to Liu, Councilmember Ydanis Rodriguez called for a complete ban on Arizona — no visiting the Gran Canyon, sorry. Other officials said the new law should spur officials to act on immigration reform in Washington.
Read the rest of this entry »

By on April 29, 2010, 2:56 pm
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Working Families Party:Boycott Arizona
April 29th, 2010

The Working Families Party is looking to harness anger over Arizona’s new immigration law through a petition designed to push New York’s politicians to boycott the state.

Arizona’s law enforcement officials are now mandated to detain anyone they suspect of being an undocumented immigrant. A lot of people are rather steamed at Arizona lately for the newly enacted law.

A number of Arizonan law enforcement officials say the law will cause them major headaches, alienate populations they have been trying to create a working relationship with and basically be impossible to enforce.

Here is a video of the Daily Show’s John Stewart slamming the legislation and calling Arizona the “meth lab of Democracy.”

Sen. Craig Johnson wants you to know that Arizona iced tea is actually made in his district. So don’t boycott that, k? Thx!

Here is the text a letter the WFP sent to supporters : Read the rest of this entry »

By on April 29, 2010, 1:51 pm
In category: Albany,Eye on Albany,Immigrants | 6 Comments »

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Cracking Down on Immigration Services Fraud
March 31st, 2010

Sen. Eric Schneiderman and Assemblyman Adriano Espaillat announced legislation today that would require private immigration service providers to be licensed and create a database of providers so that customers can find licensed providers. The legislation would also establish harsher penalties for service providers that violate the law.

According to a release from Schneiderman’s office the bill is necessary because of widespread fraud among service providers.

“Across New York, fraudulent service providers are making millions of dollars by ripping off immigrant communities for what they think are rushed or necessary applications for life-altering legal documents: green cards, entrance visas for family members, or the passports to leave and enter the country,” read the release. “In reality, many of these so-called service providers leave immigrant communities with nothing at all, while helping themselves to large fees.

“Many of these providers falsely claim that they are attorneys or have close connections with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, oftentimes using titles such as notary-public or notario to deceive people into believing that they are legitimate,” continues the release. “Victims of these scams not only stand to lose large sums of money, but also are likely to suffer harm to their immigration status.”

The legislation has the support of a number of immigrant rights organizations. As an organization that sees firsthand the immigration consequences wrought by the shoddy work of unscrupulous immigration service providers, the Schneiderman/Espaillat bill will go a long way to protect the most vulnerable immigrants among us,” said Angela Fernandez, Executive Director of Northern Manhattan Coalition For Immigrants Rights.

By on March 31, 2010, 2:06 pm
In category: Albany,Eye on Albany,Immigrants | 1 Comment »

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Musical Chairs
January 19th, 2010

As promised, today starts the seat swapping in the Bloomberg administration.

For the next three weeks, first deputy commissioners will be assigned to another agency in the hopes of breaking down bureaucratic barriers. The idea was integral to the mayor’s inauguration address on New Year’s Day. Some assignments have been done with specific policy proposals in mind, such as the swap between Department of Consumer Affairs and the Department of Housing Preservation and Development, who are tasked with focusing on foreclosure prevention.

Here are the assignments:

Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) — DOE
Administrative Justice Coordinator (AJC) — CCPC
Business Integrity Commission (BIC) — DSNY
Center for Economic Opportunity (CEO) –CUNY
City University of New York (CUNY) — CEO
Citywide Events Coordination and Management (CECM) — NYC & Co
Civilian Complaint Review Board (CCRB) — CHR
Commission for the United Nations Consular Corps and Protocol (UN) — MOIA
Commission on Human Rights (CHR) — CCRB
Commission on Women’s Issues (CWI) — MOCDV
Commission to Combat Police Corruption (CCPC) — AJC
Community Affairs Unit (CAU) — CECM
Criminal Justice Coordinator (CJC)– Law
Department for the Aging (DFTA) — MOPD
Department of Buildings (DOB) — NYCHA
Department of City Planning (DCP) — HDC
Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS) — SCA
Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) — HPD
Department of Corrections (DOC) — DHS
Department of Cultural Affairs (DCLA) — EDC
Department of Design and Construction (DDC) — DCLA
Department of Education (DOE) — Parks
Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) — DOF
Department of Finance (DOF) — MOO
Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DoHMH) — DOC
Department of Homeless Services (DHS) — HHC
Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) — DCA
Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications (DoITT) — MOFTB
Department of Investigation (DOI) — MOCS
Department of Parks and Recreation (Parks) — DEP
Department of Probation (DOP) — ACS
Department of Sanitation (DSNY) — BIC
Department of Small Business Services (SBS) — HRA
Department of Transportation (DOT) — DDC
Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD) — DOP
Design Commission (Design) — DOT
Economic Development Corporation (EDC) — SBS
Fire Department* (FDNY) — NYPD*
Health and Hospitals Corporation (HHC) — CAU
Housing Development Corporation (HDC) — LPC
Human Resources Administration (HRA) — DoHMH
Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) — DOB
Law Department (Law) — DOI
Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities (MOPD) — DFTA
Mayor’s Office of Contract Services (MOCS) — CJC
Mayor’s Office of Film, Theatre, and Broadcasting (MOFTB) — DoITT
Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs (MOIA) — UN
Mayor’s Office of Operations (MOO) — DCAS
Mayor’s Office of Veterans Affairs (MOVA) — CWI
Mayor’s Office to Combat Domestic Violence (MOCDV) — MOVA
New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) — DCP
NYC & Company (NYC & Co) — DYCD
Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings (OATH) — TLC
Office of Emergency Management* (OEM) — FDNY*
Office of Labor Relations* (OLR) — OMB*
Office of Management and Budget* (OMB) — OLR*
Police Department* (NYPD) — OEM*
School Construction Authority (SCA) — Design
Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) — OATH

Those with an asterisk are participating in the second phase of the program starting February 1.

By on January 19, 2010, 2:32 pm
In category: City Hall,Civil Rights,Community Development,Economy,Education,Electoral Politics,Environment,Governing,Housing,Immigrants,Land Use,Law,Measuring UP,nextNY,Parks,Transportation,Waterfront | 2 Comments »

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Liu Turns to Mom
August 25th, 2009

Faced with continuing — and escalating — allegations that he fabricated parts of his life story, city comptroller candidate John Liu Tuesday evening turned to core supporters and his mother for help. At a rally in Chinatown, hundreds cheered Liu, who hopes to become the first Asian ever elected to citywide office in New York. Supporters such as Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, City Councilmember Charles Barron and Roger Toussaint, president of Transport Workers Union Local 100, castigated the Daily News for questioning Liu’s official biography and used the allegations to trumpet Liu’s background and the American dream.

But the star of the event was Liu’s mother Jamy, whose comments to Daily News reporter Erin Einhorn ignited the controversy Sunday. During his campaign, notably in a recent ad, Liu has said that at age 7 he had to work in sweatshop beside his mother. But Einhorn quoted Liu’s mother as saying, “I never go to the factory. I just go there and pick up some material and bring home because I had to take care of my kids.”
Read the rest of this entry »

By on August 25, 2009, 8:43 pm
In category: Electoral Politics,Gotham City,Immigrants | 7 Comments »

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Immigration's Female Face
July 15th, 2009

This post was filed by Jackie Pearce.

The face of immigration in America is changing, according to experts, advocates and media representatives who gathered at the Ford Foundation auditorium this afternoon. That face, they say, is a womans.

The panel discussion focused on a poll recently released by New American Media, which looked at the problems and experiences of the often-silent female immigrant. Women now account for the majority of immigrants coming to the U.S. — 53 percent. Read the rest of this entry »

By on July 15, 2009, 5:51 pm
In category: Civil Rights,Demographics,Gotham City,Immigrants,Measuring UP | 2 Comments »

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Domestic Workers Push for Bill of Rights
June 12th, 2009

Taking care of children and the elderly: Check.

A bill of rights: left blank.

Early this morning, dozens of domestic workers and their allies set up shop outside City Hall, participating in a 24-hour vigil to lobby for a bill that would provide basic labor protections for domestic workers in New York.

Domestic laborers said that the 24-hour vigil is symbolic of their working situation. “We work in the employers’ house around the clock, 24 hours,” said Joycelynn Gill-Campbell, a former nanny from Barbados who is now a full-time organizer with Domestic Workers United, a grassroots group.

If passed, the domestic workers’ bill of rights would be the first bill to address their exclusion from federal and state labor laws. Though its prospects, according to some legislators, looked good at one point, it too could become a casualty of the Senate stalemate.

“I know what it is to be treated less than a human being and to be exploited and abused,” Gill-Campbell said. “We have to create history. The bill of rights is about correcting all the injustices that have been done.”
Read the rest of this entry »

By on June 12, 2009, 5:23 pm
In category: Albany,Civil Rights,Demographics,Eye on Albany,Gotham City,Governing,Immigrants,nextNY | 1 Comment »

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