You are on page 1of 3

Name of Council Member: Jumaane Williams Name and Title of Person Completing Questionnaire: Campaign Website:

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 basic human right to live a life of dignity applies to all human beings everywhere, regardless of where one resides or their socio-economic status. Marginalization and disenfranchisement are both Global and domestic issues. Those who are denied access to these basic and fundamental rights can be found here in New York City just as easily as anywhere else in the world. Our position as elected officials in the Council comes with an obligation to safeguard and expand human rights. Unfortunately, not all districts in New York City have the same access to resources, be it affordable housing, jobs, education or a safe environment. To see true human rights, we must see that everyone, regardless of where they are born, has the same opportunity to achieve success. 2. Please share briefly how you have used your role in Council to advance human rights. I have been a strong advocate for civil and human rights of all New York City residents, continuing to speak out and act for the equal treatment of all New York City residents. Most recently, the New York City Council adopted legislation, the Community Safety Act (CSA), which I championed, to end the abuse of the NYPD policing tactic known as Stop and Frisk. Under the existing practice, hundreds of thousands of black and Latino residents have been innocently stopped, questioned and frisked. The importance of standing strong for human rights was affirmed when the New York City Council voted to override the Mayors veto of the CSA, and when U.S. District Judge Shira Scheindlin called the practice indirect racial profiling, and appointed a federal monitor to ensure that these unconstitutional stops end. 3. Legislative priorities: Please list your top 3 legislative priorities for 2013 [you may include legislation that has passed]: 1. Better, More Effective Policing, including Community Policing 2. Affordable, Quality Housing

3. Improvements to Public Education What will be your top 3 legislative priorities as a Council Member in the upcoming legislative session? 1. Improvements to Public Education 2. Holistic Approach to Criminal Justice 3. Charter Reform 4. Budget priorities: Please list your top three budget priorities of 2013: 1. Support of Youth ProgramsOST, Beacons, and Childcare. 2. Gun Violence Task Force 3. Improvements to Public Education What will your top 3 budget priorities be as a Council member in the upcoming legislative session? 1. Education 2. Crime and gun violence 3. Charter Reform 5. Have you used participatory budgeting to allocate your discretionary funds? Why or why not? Yes. I am proud to be one of the first NYC Council Members to engage in the participatory budgeting process. I firmly believe that PB empowers a community and gives them an opportunity to learn about and influence the budget process in its entirety. This is knowledge that needs to be shared with the community so that they too can take a leadership role in addressing the issues of their neighborhoods. Anytime we can get more New Yorkers involved in their government and raising their voices, it will have a positive impact on how government serves them and protects their interests. 6. Please provide examples of recent legislation in Council that you believe promotes human rights. Community Safety Act Int 1079-2013 2013/070 Int 1080-2013 2013/071

Introduction Introduction

Enacted 8/22/2013 Enacted 8/22/2013

Prohibiting discrimination in employment based on pregnancy, childbirth, or a related medical condition. Int 0251-2010 2012/037 Introduction Enacted 6/28/2012 Paid Sick Leave Int 0097-2010 2013/046

Introduction

Enacted 6/26/2013

Prevailing Wage and Living Wage Int 0018-2010 2012/027 Introduction Int 0251-2010 2012/037 Introduction

Enacted 5/15/2012 Enacted 6/28/2012

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? One of the benefits of serving as a member of the New York City Council is that I am afforded the opportunity to ensure that the diverse voices of my district are heard and that government is accessible to them. I will continue to keep government accessible through various community events such as community forums, town hall meetings, along with a responsive constituent services and community outreach team. Additionally, I am afforded a bully pulpit which I will continue to use to ensure that, through a process known as Results Based Accountability, our budget priorities reflect the priorities of human rights. 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 a legislator, one of my most significant responsibilities is to fight for the passage of laws that will best serve the interests of the people of the 45th council district, and the people of New York City. Because of the structure of New York Citys government, it is important that the city council have a strong Speaker of the city council who can, when appropriate, differentiate the legislative arm of government from that of the office of Mayor. That being said, the Speakers power must be used appropriately and not stifle Council Members ability to enact beneficial legislation.