In Jeff’s capacity as Counsel and Legislative Director for a N.Y.C. Council Member, following is an overview of some of the matters that he has worked on that affect all New York City residents.
- Working with the N.Y.C. Fire Department and fire safety experts on a bill (Proposed Int. 56-A) to require the use of photoelectric smoke alarms in all residential buildings in N.Y.C. in order to reduce the number of civilian fire fatalities caused by smoke inhalation each year. This data-driven bill will save lives and can serve as model legislation for the rest of the country.
- Worked with the Phys Ed 4 All Coalition – which included the American Heart Association, the American Cancer Society, New York Lawyers for the Public Interest – and other advocates to pass legislation (Local Law 102 of 2015) to require the N.Y.C. Department of Education to report annually whether or not each school meets the State’s mandated physical education requirements. This law will place a renewed emphasis on the importance of quality gym time and incentivize principals to ensure that adequate resources are directed to physical education.
- Worked on Council Resolutions calling on the N.Y.S. Legislature to increase the criminal penalties for reckless driving and for hit-and-runs when a serious injury or death ensues.
- Worked with Catalyst, PowHer NY, 20/20 Women on Boards, Direct Women, 30% Coalition, Enterprising and Professional Women NYC, and Diverse Visions Group on legislation (Local Law 44 of 2016) that would require the N.Y.C. Department of Small Business Services to conduct a voluntary survey of companies that do business with the City to collect data on the gender, racial and ethnic diversity among the directors, officers and executive-level staff members of such companies. The survey will additionally request information on companies’ plans to improve diversity in such positions and efforts taken to achieve those plans. This survey would draw attention to the importance of diversity within corporate leadership positions.
- Worked with the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) and the Humane Society of New York to pass legislation (Local Law 5 of 2015) that requires pet shops to acquire kittens and puppies only from breeders licensed by the United States Department of Agriculture and to provide customers with information about the source of the animal and disclosing any health conditions. Greater transparency protects consumers and spares one from incurring expensive veterinary bills and from the emotional hardship of acquiring a sick pet.
- Jeff, also, worked on a companion law (Local Law 7 of 2015) that requires pet shops to spay and neuter cats and dogs prior to sale to improve the health of such animals and to help control the population in the City’s overcrowded animal shelters.
- Worked with the Fire Department and REBNY to update the N.Y.C. Fire Code and made substantial improvements to the chapter on Emergency Action Plans (EAPs). The Code now contains EAPs that are tailored to the various types of occupancies in N.Y.C. such as high-rise office buildings, shopping malls and small mom-and-pop shops. For example, in large office buildings there is a new requirement that a member of the building’s staff be available to guide first responders to the actual location of a medical emergency.
- Restored line-of-duty pension disability benefits for firefighters, fire and medical officers, and police officers.
- Required the mayoral administration to release the end-to-end response times to 911 emergency calls so that we know how long it takes for help to arrive from the moment someone picks up the telephone to when responders arrive at the scene.
- Increased the number of F.D.N.Y. ambulances and personnel in order to reduce medical emergency response times.
- Funded a Cancer Prevention Initiative to increase accessibility to breast, ovarian, and colon cancer screenings.
- Funded a Holocaust Survivors Initiative in order to provide social services to 30,000 Holocaust survivors living in N.Y.C. at or below the poverty line.