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Name of Council Candidate: Manuel Caughman Name and Title of Person Completing Questionnaire: Campaign Website: www.manuelcaughman.

com

2013 CITY COUNCIL HUMAN RIGHTS QUESTIONNAIRE


1. Many in the United States think of international affairs when they think of human rights. Our work emphasizes the applicability of the human rights framework here in the United States. Please share your thoughts on the domestic applicability of human rights, and discuss why human rights are important to you in the context of New York City and the City Council. The struggle for domestic, social and economic justice will never cease as long as the gap between the very wealthy and the working poor remains. David Jones, head of the Community Service Society and others emphasized the abrupt disappearance of the middle class in our City where affordable housing has vanished, 46% of the population must use food stamps, our frail and immigrant elderly continues to exist at poverty levels, entry level jobs pay minimum wage or less, 1.7 million New Yorkers exist in poverty and Higher Education has become prohibitive to so many. As a resident of Southeast Queens I see too many sectors of the population treated unfairly and inhumanely and I must note that we are home to many City and State funded residential programs that have inadequate staffing to help those most in need, The City Council has the obligation to respond to individual and class violations with hearings, resolutions, legislation and requests for oversight. 2. How have you used current or previous professional positions to advance human rights? As the Past President of the Brinkerhoff Action Association ( a civic association in St. Albans, Queens) I had worked to see that my community was treated fairly in terms of badly needed street and sewer construction, safe schools and programs for the most vulnerable.My membership on Community Board #12, Queens has given me the opportunity to advocate for the projects and initiatives badly needed in our area. I fought for the retention of St. Albans VA Hospital so that our veterans could receive medical care and fought against the inequitable closure of hospitals in our area As an Aide to Assembly Member William Scarborough, I have collaborated with other elected officials and civic groups for resources for our schools, the elderly, after school programs , economic development, new emerging ethnic groups and health care. I have strongly supported such entities as the Jamaica Neighborhood Housing Services and the Queens branch of the Commission on Human Rights in their work to protect homeowners and tenants alike. I have been especially aware of the environmental injustice in our area and so have pressed for projects to stop the extensive flooding in south east Queens as well as controls over waste transfer stations. 3. What will your top 3 legislative priorities be in your first term as Council Member? 1. mandate inclusionary zoning for the creation of more affordable housing

2. end credit discrimination in hiring 3. strengthen the Citys Human Rights Law. 4. What will your top 3 budget priorities be in your first term as Council Member? 1. capital allocations to resolve flooding issues in Staten Island and Queens 2. increased allocations for community health care 3. effective training and job creation programs 5. Do you plan to use participatory budgeting to allocate your discretionary funds? Why or why not? I have begun to examine the results of the Council Members who have used participatory budgeting and have noted a positive response on the part of their constituency and I very well might choose to use it. 6. Please provide examples of recent legislation in Council that you believe promotes human rights. I was pleased by the passage of paid sick days for approximately one million additional New Yorkers. I also thought that the enactment of Intros 982 and 989, 2012 will give needed protections to our immigrant groups as regards the NYCPD and the Department of Corrections. I also applaud the enactment of the Community Safety Act. As a supporter of environmental justice I view the legislation that would allow parental knowledge of pcbs In our schools as very important. The Council legislation that protects and prepares community residents in times of emergencies supports our cause for justice for those living in vulnerable areas. 7. Legislation is only one of many ways in which Council Members can work to advance human rights. What ways other than through legislation will you advance the human rights of New Yorkers as a City Council Member? Working with such groups as , the Center for Popular Democracy, New York Communities for Change, the Jamaica Branch of the NAACP ,the Urban League, Make the Road organized labor, our Clergy and other legislators on human rights issues:at demonstrations, hearings, press conferences court cases and planning sessions. Joining with those victimized by hate crimes, discrimination, elder abuse, employment injustice , bullying etc. and using my office as a resource for those who human rights have been denied. 8. Some advocates contend that the position of the Council Speaker has too much power over the progression of legislation. Please use this space to respond to that critique. As the Human Rights Project knows so well the Speaker is able to exert pressure, subtle or otherwise, to prevent the use of Rules 7.100 and 7.130 for the discharge of legislation from committees. These rules are law and such pressure should be resisted. Certainly the legislative process depends on the cooperation of our Councils legal staff in coordination with advocacy groups and there should be a time line for the preparation as well as for the hearings on legislation. We have too many human rights issues in the City to resolve. We cannot afford to delay legislation that is vital to the lives of our Citys residents

For more information, please visit www.urbanjustice.org.