Political Odds & Ends, Nov. 29, 2021

Chalk loudspeaker and inscription odds and ends on black chalkboard
Black chalkboard with drawing of a loudspeaker and inscription odds and ends

De Blasio Administrations Kicks Off Campaign Against Gender-Based Violence

Mayor Bill de Blasio

Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Office to End Domestic and Gender-Based Violence (ENDGBV) and the Commission on Gender Equity (CGE) last week begin the City’s “16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence” campaign to raise awareness about the far-reaching consequences of gender-based violence (GBV).

The campaign will also urge government, community, corporate, and philanthropic sectors to develop strategies that eliminate GBV. 

Since 2014, New York City has brought this crucial international campaign, which runs from November 25, International Day to End Violence against Women, to December 10, International Human Rights Day, to the local level as part of its efforts to address GBV and to ensure access to inclusive services for all survivors of GBV. GBV includes intimate partner violence, family violence, elder abuse, sexual violence (which can include sexual harassment), stalking, and human trafficking.

“Gender-based violence must no longer be hidden in plain sight,” said de Blasio. “Over the past eight years, the City has made significant investments in domestic and gender-based violence resources and supports for survivors. This campaign unites New Yorkers in an impactful way and builds upon the City’s commitment to support survivors of gender-based violence with supports and services.”

“16 Days” events are held around the city to raise awareness about GBV and to share critical information about resources for survivors. New Yorkers are encouraged to help spread awareness about GBV by wearing the campaign color orange on November 30 and posting on social media using the hashtags #NYCAgainstGBV #OrangeTheWorld. Buildings and landmarks around the city including City Hall, the World Trade Center, the Bank of America Tower, 4 Times Square, Gracie Mansion, the David Dinkins Municipal Building, Queens Borough Hall, Brooklyn Borough Hall, Staten Island Borough Hall and more will also light up in orange in support.

Diaz, Levin Joint Hearing Addresses Gender Harassment, Violence Measures

City Council Member Darma Diaz
City Councilman Stephen Levin

City Council Members Darma Diaz (D-Brooklyn), chair of the Committee on Women and Gender Equity, and Stephen Levin (D-Brooklyn), chair of the General Welfare  Committee, will have their committees hold a joint hearing to consider two proposed measures to curb gender violence and harassment.

City Council Member Helen Rosenthal (D-Manhattan) introduced the first measure that if enacted will establish a street harassment advisory board to make recommendations for the prevention of street harassment in the city to the Mayor and the Speaker of the Council. 

The board would not be permitted to recommend criminalization of any act, omission or status. The Executive Director of the Commission on Gender Equity or the Executive Director’s designee would serve as chair of the board. The Mayor and the Speaker would appoint additional board members with relevant expertise. Each year, the board would be required to publish a report of its recommendations for legislation and policy.

City Council Member Carlina Rivera (D-Manhattan) introduced the second measure that, if enacted, would create a two-year look-back window to the gender-motivated violence act, and extend its statute of limitations.

This bill would give survivors of gender-motivated acts of violence more time to pursue civil actions by extending the statute of limitations and clarifying that the law applies to such acts committed by parties who direct, enable, participate in, or conspire in a gender-motivated act of violence.

The remote Hearing is slated for 10:30 a.m., today, Nov. 29. Watch here.

Bichotte Hermelyn, Brooks-Powers issues statement on Arbery Verdict

Rodneyse Bichotte
Assemblymember Rodneyse Bichotte Hermelyn
City Council Member Selvena N. Brooks-Powers

Assemblymember Rodneyse Bichotte Hermelyn (D-Brooklyn) and City Council Member Selvena N. Brook-Powers (D-Queens) last week issued statements after three white men were convicted of murdering Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia last week.

“The guilty verdict will not bring back Ahmed Ahbery, who was chased down and executed by three white men at the age of 25, but it is a step towards restoring faith in our justice system during a week of utter disappointment. If not for the video and public pressure, it’s easy to imagine an outcome where these killers walked free,” said Bichotte Hermelyn.

Brooks-Powers said the justice system sent a clear message that no person should have the authority of judge, jury and executioner. 

“As we prepare to celebrate the holiday season with our loved ones, Ahmaud Arbery should be with his family; but instead, his life was cut short as a result of domestic terrorism,” said Brooks-Powers.

“The jury saw what the rest of the world saw, and I am thankful they were swift in issuing justice so the Arbery family may begin their journey towards closure. While more work remains, true justice will only be possible when Black people will not have to live in fear of being murdered while we jog, sleep, walk or drive in any neighborhood,” the lawmaker added.

Vallone Announces Approval of All-Way Stop sign at 12th Road and 150th Street 

City Council Member Paul Vallone

City Council Member Paul A. Vallone (D-Queens) was informed by the New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) last week that a long-awaited all-way stop sign was approved for the intersection of  12th road and 150th street in Whitestone. 

The DOT estimates that the sign will be installed in two weeks time. This announcement closes out nearly a decade of advocacy from Vallone for this much-needed traffic calming device. 

The stop sign will be placed along a beloved commercial corridor next to the famous Cherry Valley deli in Whitestone and will make it safer for patrons to walk to their destinations and frequent local businesses. 

“I am proud to advocate for safer streets in Whitestone and across my entire district, and I’m happy to see that the Department of Transportation was able to approve this much-needed stop sign in our community,” said Vallone. “Safety has always been a top priority during my time as council member, and projects like these make me glad that I was able to leave my district safer than when I started my tenure as council member.”