NY Lawmakers on the Move June 3, 2022

Lawmakers on the Move

CM Williams legislation requiring inspections for self-closing doors passes council

City Council Member Nantasha Williams

City Council Member Nantasha Williams (D-Queens) yesterday saw the city council pass her legislation, Introduction 208-A, which seeks to improve the inspection processes for self-closing doors in residential buildings. 

The measure also increases the instances where self-closing doors and noncompliance with other fire safety laws might be identified, by requiring Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) and Fire Department of the City of New York (FDNY) to share data regarding fire safety violations, and for each agency to use that data to better inform their building inspection protocols. 

This bill also requires HPD to take a more proactive role in inspecting for self-closing door compliance. Each year, HPD would have to select 300 buildings to inspect, with the aim of targeting higher risk buildings, like Twin Parks.

“Residents deserve to live in buildings that take steps toward security and safety,” said Williams. “I’m proud to be the bill sponsor of Int 208-A, which will require landlords to maintain self-closing doors on all residential floors and to post-fire safety notices in residential buildings. This bill will provide families reassurance and ensure that landlords are held accountable for the safety of their tenants. I want to thank Speaker Adams for her leadership and my City Council colleagues, those who have signed on to sponsor this bill.”

Lee, Yeger Introduce Bill to Address Sidewalk Repair Complaints

City Council Member Linda Lee
City Councilman Kalman Yeger

City Council Members Linda Lee (D-Queens) and Kalman Yeger (D-Brooklyn) yesterday introduced Int. 481 to require the city’s Department of Transportation (DOT) to first determine if DOT or the city’s Parks Department already have plans to upgrade or repair a section of sidewalk before issuing a violation requiring an owner to repair a defect on that section of sidewalk. 

In addition, DOT’s notice of violation would also notify the property owner of the planned sidewalk repair to prevent redundant work. If the planned sidewalk work is scheduled to begin within 90 days, no violation would be given to the property owner. 

“Covering over 12,000 miles of New York City, our sidewalks are an often overlooked component of our city’s infrastructure. Especially for the elderly and disabled, the conditions of a sidewalk can determine whether you can get around your neighborhood or not,” said Lee. Ensuring our sidewalks are in good condition is a safety issue, a transportation issue, and an equity issue, and I am proud to introduce this common-sense bill to establish better coordination between agencies and property owners. This practice will reduce redundancy and the financial burden on homeowners while also giving them peace of mind. I am proud to introduce this bill alongside Council Member Kalman Yeger, and I encourage my other colleagues to support this measure.”

Currently, whenever the Department of Transportation determines that a sidewalk flag should be installed, it may order the property owner to conduct repairs on the property by issuing a violation. This violation will include a detailed explanation of the inspection and the sidewalk defects  according to sidewalk flags including a detailed diagram of the property and defects by type, in addition to information regarding an appeal process and reinspection. 

While there is no fine associated with a violation, a copy of the notice is filed with the County Clerk and remains on file until the Clerk receives official notification from the City that satisfactory repairs have been made. A violation may complicate selling or refinancing a property. A property owner has 75 days to make a repair after a Notice of Sidewalk Violation has been received.  If a property owner does not perform repairs within 75 days, NYC DOT may have a contractor perform the work, and the Department of Finance will bill the property owner pursuant to Section 19-152 of the New York City Administrative Code.

Brewer headlines Save Park West town hall meeting

City Council Member Gale Brewer

City Council Member Gale Brewer (D-Manhattan) is rallying community support at a towen hall meeting to save the West Park Presbyterian Church, located at 165 West 86th Street, from demolition. The church, landmarked in 2010, has submitted a hardship application to remove landmark status so that it can be sold to a developer and demolished.

West Park Presbyterian Church stopped offering religious and outreach services in early 2008. The church has been occupied by The Center at West Park, a performing arts organization that hosts theater, dance, and musical events.

The church is a unique example of Romanesque Revival religious architecture, made of red and brown sandstone, designed by Leopold Eidlitz, and completed in 1890.

The Save West Park town hall meeting is slated for 7-9 p.m., Monday, June 6 at The Center at West Park, Inc., 165 W 86th Street in Manhattan.

The link is https://www.centeratwestpark.org/events/save-west-park-town-hall-meeting?mc_cid=57cf5bdd57&mc_eid=2ed7cbb033.

Espaillat Gun Violence Day of Action Schedule of Public Events

U.S. Rep. Adriano Espaillat

U.S. Rep. Adriano Espaillat (D-Manhattan, Bronx) yesterday released a schedule of public events in the district where he will share legislative and community updates of his efforts in Congress to address the gun violence epidemic, including discussing his upcoming vote in support of the House gun violence prevention bill package expected next week upon his return to Washington.

“Today more people are carrying guns in America, legally and illegally, than ever, and mass shootings are a common occurrence,” said Espaillat. “There are nearly 400 million firearms circulating in America—more guns than people—and gun violence is responsible for more than 32,000 deaths every year. In the last two weeks, 31 people have been murdered and another 20 injured at the hands of two 18-year-olds legally armed with semiautomatic assault rifles. This is simply unacceptable and at no point in the history of our nation, should we normalize such preventable tragedy.

“These latest attacks primarily targeted the most vulnerable of our communities – the young and the elderly. I look forward to my upcoming vote on H.R. 7910, the Protecting Our Kids Act, next week and will hold events in my district to continue to bring urgency to the issue of gun violence that has impacted far too many families and taken far too many lives here at home and in communities around the nation.”

Espaillat Gun Violence District Events:

Friday, June 3rd (Gun Violence Awareness Day)

7:45AM – 8:20AM — Rep. Espaillat will meet with the principal and parents of students at PS 54 located at 27030 Webster Avenue in the Bronx to discuss ongoing youth gun prevention programs. 

3PM — Rep. Espaillat, in collaboration with New York City Council Member Shaun Abreu, will hold a speak out event at 3:00 p.m. at PS 138 (153rd and Amsterdam) and walk to Brotherhood Sister Sol located at 512 West 143rd Street (143rd and Amsterdam Avenue).

4PM — Rep. Espaillat, in collaboration with New York City Council Member Shaun Abreu, will hold a joint press conference at 4:00 p.m. EDT at Brotherhood Sister Sol located at 512 West 143rd Street (Amsterdam Avenue), to honor the victims and survivors of gun violence and urge immediate policy action at the city, state and federal levels to address the gun violence epidemic in New York City.

5PM — Rep. Espaillat will attend the National Gun Violence Day of Awareness Community event in East Harlem, in collaboration with Stand Against Violence East Harlem (SAVE)/ Getting Out and Staying Out (GOSO) at 1652 Park Avenue (between Park and Madison Avenues).

6PM — Rep. Espaillat will attend a National Gun Violence Day of Awareness Vigil, in collaboration with New York State Senator Robert Jackson and Uptown Gun Violence Prevention Task Force at the Inwood Hill Park Lawn (enter by 218th Street entrance).

Saturday, June 4

8AM – Rep. Espaillat will join brothers of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. during a prayer vigil to honor the victims and families of gun violence. 

Saturday, June 25th

10AM- 4PM  — Rep. Espaillat, in collaboration with Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, will host a gun buy back program at the Soul Saving Station located at 302 W 124th Street, New York, NY 10027.