TESTIMONY OF MALIKA CONNER BEFORE THE NEW YORK CITY COUNCIL COMMITTEE ON HOUSING AND BUILDINGS REGARDING TENANT SAFETY AND BUILDING SANITATION IN THE TIME OF COVID-19

Under the warrant of habitability, tenants throughout New York City have a right to a safe, sanitary, and liveable apartment. This standard also applies to the public areas of residential buildings. However, we know anecdotally, that many landlords have used the COVID-19 pandemic as an excuse to let buildings slip into disrepair at a time when making sure buildings are clean and secure, and that tenants are protected from hazardous conditions, is more important than ever before. 

USBnyc Testimony for Small Business Committee April 2020

Our members and clients (small businesses, sole proprietorships, cooperatives, street vendors, and non-profits who provide goods and services to the public) are seeing a catastrophic drop in income, up to 100 percent and many will not be able to resume normal operations for many months. Because of this, we need swift action to protect small businesses and non-residential tenants from displacement and closure. We applaud the relief package introduced by Speaker Corey Johnson and Members of the Council, including two bills before this Committee: Int. Nos. 1914 and 1932. 

USBnyc Testimony for Consumer Affairs and Licensing Committee April 2020

Our members and clients (small businesses, sole proprietorships, cooperatives, street vendors, and non-profits who provide goods and services to the public) are seeing a catastrophic drop in income, up to 100 percent. Because of this, we need swift action to protect small businesses and non-residential tenants from displacement and closure. We applaud the relief package introduced by Speaker Corey Johnson and Members of the Council, including one bill before this committee: Intro 1912-2020. 

Testimony of Barika Williams Before the New York City Council Committee on Housing and Buildings Regarding Intros 1936-2020 and 1912-2020

Amidst the global pandemic brought on by COVID-19, tenant harassment and displacement persists, and serves to further undermine affordability, exacerbate existing inequalities, and fuel gentrification.

Testimony of Lucy Block Before the New York City Council Regarding Use of Facial Recognition and Biometric Data Collection

We have four core concerns. First, facial recognition technology frequently misidentifies women, people of color and the elderly, creating a disproportionate risk that such residents will be locked out of their homes in the name of “security.” Second, unnecessary collection of biometric data is a breach of privacy of all tenants, and there are no safeguards to guarantee the security of the data collected. Third, the proposed opt-out provision - though well-intentioned - cannot adequately safeguard tenants.

Testimony to the New York City Council Immigration Committee In Support of Intro 1706-2019

Thank you to Councilmember Menchaca and the members of the New York City Council Immigration Committee for the opportunity to give testimony today about the addition of an EMV/RFID chip to the IDNYC identification card. I am here to testify strongly in support of your bill that would prevent such a chip from being added to the card.

Testimony of Lucy Block Before The New York City Council Committee on Civil and Human Rights on Int. 85-A Regarding Housing Accommodations and Tenant Blacklists

My testimony regards Intro 85-A. ANHD enthusiastically supports the elimination of tenant blacklists and ending discrimination against tenants for their involvement in housing court. While we applaud Council Member Kallos and the bill’s sponsors for this important advancement of tenant rights, we have concerns that we feel are imperative for the Council to take into account.

Comments on the Draft Scope of Work for the Proposed Bushwick Rezoning (Bushwick Neighborhood Plan)

In my comments today I want to echo the demand of neighborhood residents and stakeholders in stating that the Bushwick Community Plan’s zoning proposal must be studied as an alternative in the EIS. 

Comments to the Subcommittee on Zoning & Franchises on the Proposed Bay Street Corridor Rezoning

In offering my testimony today I want to echo the vital concerns raised by community members asking who this rezoning will actually serve. This is a concern that is borne out by looking at the numbers. The EIS acknowledges that the Bay Street rezoning will bring in a higher income population than exists in the study area today. The EIS further identifies a low-income population of 1,700 renters in unprotected units who are vulnerable to the increase in rents the rezoning could bring.

Testimony of Emily Goldstein Before the New York City Council Committee on Land Use Regarding CEQR

Over the past five years, we have worked intensively to prevent our City’s land use and planning processes from exacerbating New York City’s housing affordability and displacement crises and have come to see the current CEQR process as a key obstacle to that goal.

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