In 2014, Mayor Bill de Blasio appointed Nisha Agarwal as the Commissioner of the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs. Agarwal has since pushed forward and implemented IDNYC, New York City’s municipal ID card, a program that ensures that all New York City residents have access to City services. More than 900,000 New York City residents have signed up in the two years the program has operated. Agarwal also supervises ActionNYC. ActionNYC connects New Yorkers with free, safe immigration legal services, and supports community-based organizations to increase services at the grassroots level.
Nisha Agarwal was raised in Fayetteville in upstate New York. The daughter of first generation Indian immigrants, she witnessed the immigrant experience in America first-hand. Her father, a nuclear engineer, and her mother, a psychologist, were consistently supportive Agarwal’s activism. Though new to America, her family was no stranger to activism. Her lineage includes many members with a commitment to social justice, including her grandfather who marched with Mahatma Gandhi during the Indian independence movement. (read more…)
Image credit: Jeff Hopkins
Three years have passed since Eric Garner’s choking death at the hands of police officer Daniel Pantaleo, and the episode remains unresolved. The grand jury’s secrecy and its decision not to indict anyone, along with Comptroller Scott Stringer’s unusually swift civil settlement with the Garner Family, have left the public with insufficient answers and a sense that justice has been denied. Civil rights organizations and governmental investigators have made additional attempts to obtain information, but all have failed. The public today knows little more than it did the day after Garner’s death. The absence of a satisfying resolution of the Garner case continues to fuel public unrest and a sense that without a public resolution there can be no peace. (read more…)
Former NYPD Commissioner William J. Bratton
Adapted from remarks given by former NYPD Commissioner Bratton at a CityLaw Breakfast on October 7, 2016.
I would like to talk to you about the practice of policing over the last fifty years, not only in this city, but this country. New York City can rightfully claim to be the safest large city in America and, I would argue, probably one of the safest large cities in the world. And it’s something that didn’t just happen. It took a lot of collaboration, a lot of partnership: private sector, public sector, government leadership, community leadership, police leadership. It was a collaborative effort and we continue to collaborate going forward. (read more…)
David Goldin, Administrative Justice Coordinator
The 2005 City Charter Revision Commission proposed a Charter amendment to require the Mayor and the Chief Judge of the Office of the Administrative Trials and Hearings to create a code of ethics for the over 500 administrative law judges and hearing officers in the City’s administrative tribunals. At the time it was unclear to what extent the State Code of Judicial Conduct applied to and could be enforced against ALJs. The proposition passed, and in 2006 Mayor Bloomberg created the Office of the Administrative Justice Coordinator and appointed David Goldin as its head. Working with the Law Department and the Conflict of Interest Board, Goldin oversaw the creation of rules of conduct that ALJs use today. (read more…)
The Municipal Art Society launches a dynamic database for searching city-owned and leased property. On November 21, 2016, the Municipal Art Society of New York (“MAS”) issued a report entitled Public Assets: City-Owned and Leased Properties (Public Assets) which aggregated information on city-owned and leased properties and how they relate to the environment, infrastructure, landmarks, population, and local rezonings. The report was accompanied by the first-ever interactive city map that compiles information for more than 14,000 city-owned and leased properties. The interactive tool categorizes properties into four groups: properties with no current use, with a residential use, with a current use that is not residential, and property used for parks and open space. (read more…)