UFT President Mulgrew: Allies needed more than ever

UFT President Michael Mulgrew (second from right) is joined on stage by (from left) City Council Finance Committee Chair Danny Dromm, Speaker Corey Johnson and Education Committee Chair Mark Treyger. (Photo: Jonathan Fickies)

By Joe Loverde

Published by the United Federation of Teachers on February 1, 2018

The Supreme Court ruling in the Janus case is looming. The federal tax overhaul is a bitter pill for New York State. At times like these, UFT President Michael Mulgrew told the Delegate Assembly on Jan. 17, the union needs politicians in office who understand its members’ needs and are willing to fight for public schools.

“We need our allies more than ever,” he said.

A few minutes later, three of those allies — new City Council Speaker Corey Johnson, new Council Finance Committee Chair Danny Dromm and new Council Education Committee Chair Mark Treyger — were introduced to rousing applause.

“We have a City Council that understands what we do and works with us hand in hand,” Mulgrew told the delegates who packed Shanker Hall in Manhattan for the first meeting of the new year. “And these three are some of the best partners you can have.”

Johnson, who grew up in a union household and credited Mulgrew with helping him become elected speaker, called the UFT “a strong, progressive, well-organized union that serves children every day to make this city better — in good times and in bad.”

Johnson called the Council threesome “a dream team” for the union and public education.

Dromm, a teacher from 1984 to 2009 at PS 199 in Queens where he served as chapter leader, told delegates that the UFT “has created change in this city.” When he was a chapter leader, Dromm said, “Members would ask what politics has to do with education. I think the three of us standing here today shows what it means, and we will continue to fight in solidarity with the United Federation of Teachers.”

Treyger, who was first elected to the Council in 2013, started as a paraprofessional and later became a teacher and delegate at New Utrecht HS in Brooklyn. He told the delegates, “When it comes time to make budget decisions, that’s when you find out who your friends are.”

Mulgrew said having Gov. Andrew Cuomo as a partner — an alliance which took some work — has also paid dividends for UFT members. Mulgrew noted that Cuomo was trying to shield New Yorkers from some of the harm of the loss of state income tax deductions. Of the 3 percent increase in state education aid in the governor’s proposed budget despite the state’s looming deficit, Mulgrew said he was “proud that New York State is spending more than any state on public education. That’s the way it should be.”

The UFT president pointed out the loudest applause during Cuomo’s budget speech came when the governor said New York “will be the state that protects workers and unions.”

Read more here.

Dromm Elected Council Finance Chair

 

 


I am honored to have been elected by my colleagues to serve as the next NYC Council Finance Committee Chairperson.

As Finance Committee Chairperson, I have oversight over NYC’s $86 billion dollar budget.  Additionally, my committee has jurisdiction over the city’s Banking Commission, Department of Design and Construction, Department of Finance, Independent Budget Office, and Office of the Comptroller, as well as reviewing and modifying the City Budget and municipal fiscal policy and revenue from any additional sources.

Being Finance Committee Chairperson gives me the opportunity to set priorities for the city using the vast resources that are available to us.  I intend to use this position to move a progressive budget forward working closely with Speaker Corey Johnson who I thank for giving me this opportunity to serve.

Sincerely,

 Daniel Dromm
NYC Council Member
25th District

NY Law Journal: Social Justice Champions Debate

The Fortune Society’s Reentry Debate Team was joined by members of the New York State Legislature, The City Council, and the Mayor’s Office, for a parliamentary debate held on Dec. 19 at the Ford Foundation on ending pretrial detention and the cash bail system in New York state.

 

Photo courtesy of The Fortune Society.

By NYLJ Staff

Originally published by the New York Law Journal on December 21, 2017

The Fortune Society’s Reentry Debate Team was joined by members of the New York State Legislature, The City Council, and the Mayor’s Office, for a parliamentary debate held on Dec. 19 at the Ford Foundation on ending pretrial detention and the cash bail system in New York state. Pictured left to right from the winning team, which argued in favor of eliminating cash bail, were City Council member Daniel Dromm (District 25) and Fortune debater Felix Guzman, joined by Khalil Cumberbatch, Associate Vice President of Policy, David Rothenberg Center for Public Policy at The Fortune Society. The Fortune Society is a nonprofit social service and advocacy organization supporting successful reentry from prison and promoting alternatives to incarceration. The group and The Rikers Debate Project have been collaborating since August to host weekly workshops that help Fortune clients learn the art of debate while discussing issues critical to criminal justice system reform.

Read more here.

El Diario: Concejo de Nueva York prohíbe las terapias de conversión

Concejales neoyorquinos aprueban legislación que ahora pasará a las manos del alcalde Bill de Blasio

Muchos niños y adolescentes que muestran tendencias gays a corta edad son sometidos a las llamadas terapias de conversión que pueden resulta traumatizantes.

Por Pedro S. Frisneda

Publicado en El Diario el 4 de Diciembre 2017

El Concejo Municipal de la Ciudad de Nueva York aprobó el jueves un proyecto de ley que prohíbe la llamada terapia de conversión que apunta a cambiar la orientación sexual de una persona. El Comité de Derechos Civiles del Concejo ya había aprobado la misma legislación el miércoles.

El proyecto de ley, que la presidenta del Concejo, Melissa Mark-Viverito (D-Manhattan) y el concejal Daniel Dromm (D-Queens) presentaron en junio, prohíbe a cualquier persona cobrar por servicios de terapia que intenten alterar la sexualidad de una persona (por lo general gay) o cambiar su identidad de género para que coincida con su sexo asignado al nacer.

De ser convertido en ley por el alcalde Bill de Blasio, el proyecto, que fue aprobado con 43 votos a favor y dos en contra, impondría multas a los infractores por un monto de $1,000 por la primera ofensa, $5,000 por la segunda ofensa y $10,000 por cada ofensa subsiguiente.

“Nos aseguraremos que todas las personas vivan sin temor a la coacción para convertirse en alguien que no son. La terapia de conversión es bárbara e inhumana, y aquí mismo, en la ciudad de Nueva York, seguiremos siendo el modelo de aceptación en todo el país, ya que prohibimos la terapia de conversión de una vez por todas”, dijo Melissa Mark-Viverito.

Por su parte, el concejal Dromm, quien es abiertamente gay aseguró que “la terapia de conversión es una forma de tortura psicológica, claro y simple”. “Tan ridículo como pueda parecer, la práctica aún persiste incluso en Nueva York”, agregó Dromm.

En febrero del 2016 el gobernador del estado de Nueva York, Andrew Cuomo, tomó medidas para prohibir que las compañías de seguros cubran la terapia de conversión, pero los esfuerzos para prohibir la práctica en sí se han estancado en la Legislatura estatal.

Actualmente, nueve estados en el país y el Distrito de Columbia han prohibido la terapia de conversión de alguna manera, según el Centro Nacional para los Derechos de las Lesbianas. Otros 21 estados están preparando normas o proyectos de ley en el mismo sentido que buscan proteger principalmente a niños y adolescentes.

No es un problema mental o emocional

Según explica la Asociación Americana de Psicología (APA), en su portal de internet, más de 35 años de investigación científica objetiva y bien diseñada han demostrado que la homosexualidad, en sí misma, no se asocia con trastornos mentales ni problemas emocionales o sociales. Esto es apoyado por la mayoría de psicólogos, psiquiatras y otros profesionales de la salud mental en EEUU.

En 1973, la Asociación Americana de Psiquiatría confirmó la importancia de una investigación nueva y mejor diseñada y suprimió la terminología “homosexual” del manual oficial que detalla los trastornos mentales y emocionales. Dos años después, la APA promulgó una resolución apoyando esta supresión.

Durante más de 25 años, ambas asociaciones solicitaron a todos los profesionales de la salud mental que ayuden a disipar el estigma de enfermedad mental que algunas personas todavía asocian con la “orientación homosexual”

También, el Colegio Americano de Médicos (ACP), la segunda mayor organización médica de EEUU, se posicionó en contra de estas terapias.

No cambian la orientación sexual

“Aún cuando la mayoría de los homosexuales viven vidas felices y exitosas, algunas personas homosexuales o bisexuales pueden buscar un cambio en su orientación sexual a través de la terapia, a menudo como resultado de coacción por parte de miembros de su familia o grupos religiosos. La realidad es que la homosexualidad no es una enfermedad. No requiere tratamiento y no puede cambiarse”, indica la Asociación Americana de Psicología.

Leer más aquí.

NYC Conversion Therapy Ban To Get Council Vote

The bill would outlaw therapy that aims to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity.

 

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By Noah Manskar

Originally published by Patch on November 29, 2017

NEW YORK, NY — The City Council will vote Thursday on a bill that would ban so-called conversion therapy that aims to change someone’s sexual orientation. The Council’s Committee on Civil Rights approved the legislation Wednesday.

The bill, which Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito (D-Manhattan) and Councilman Daniel Dromm (D-Queens) introduced in June, would ban anyone from charging for therapy services that try to alter a person’s sexuality or change their gender identity to match their sex assigned at birth.

Violators would get a $1,000 fine for the first offense, a $5,000 fine for the second offense and a $10,000 for each subsequent offense.

Conversion therapy is widely assailed as an unscientific, anti-gay practice. Many lawmakers across the nation have taken steps to outlaw conversion therapy on minors, but the City Council bill would ban the treatment for adults too.

“Vulnerable individuals, including minors, are susceptible to the hucksters and scammers who are eager to earn a quick buck in this insidious way,” Dromm said at Wednesday’s committee hearing.

The legislation would not impact therapy services for transgender people or counseling for people exploring their sexual orientation, as long as it doesn’t aim to change the person’s sexuality, the bill says.

Conversion therapy, often supported and performed by religious groups, can harm young people by wrongly making them think their normal sexuality is an immoral psychological disorder, the American Psychological Association says.

Nine states and the District of Columbia have outlawed conversion therapy in some way, according to the National Center for Lesbian Rights. Gov. Andrew Cuomo took steps last year to prohibit insurance companies from covering conversion therapy, but efforts to ban the practice itself have stalled in the state Legislature.

Read more here.

All single-stall bathrooms in NYC to become gender neutral under bill passed by City Council

By Erin Durkin

Originally published by the NY Daily News on June 21, 2016

 Business owners must take down the men’s and women’s signs from their one-person bathrooms by Jan. 1. Business owners must take down the men’s and women’s signs from their one-person bathrooms by Jan. 1. (BRANDON LAUFENBERG)

Business owners must take down the men’s and women’s signs from their one-person bathrooms by Jan. 1. (BRANDON LAUFENBERG)

All single-stall bathrooms in the city will have to go gender neutral after the City Council passed a bill to mandate the change Tuesday.

The legislation, passed by a vote of 47-2, will require business owners to take down the “men” and “women” signs on one-person bathrooms starting on Jan. 1.

It’s a move to make sure transgender New Yorkers can comfortably access facilities — which backers say will also cut down on waiting for all customers, especially women who usually face longer toilet lines.

“Most New Yorkers take their unfettered access to bathrooms for granted, yet every single day transgender and gender non-conforming individuals must grapple with the fact that their choices may lead to harassment or worse,” said Councilman Danny Dromm (D-Queens), the sponsor.

“Designating single-stall bathrooms as all gender is an easy way to create a welcoming environment for transgender and gender non-conforming individuals,” he said. “As an added bonus, anyone who is looking for an unoccupied bathroom will now have more options.”

Mayor de Blasio has already issued an order saying that city-owned buildings must allow people to use whichever bathroom matches their gender identity.

Larger bathrooms with many stalls will not be affected by the Council’s bill.

Mayor de Blasio signs a bill mandating city facilities to allow people to access bathrooms in line with their gender identity. (NYC.GOV)

The measure is also meant to send a message decrying laws like the one passed in North Carolina requiring people to use the bathroom that matches the gender on their birth certificate.

Pols there “are perversely obsessed with the bathroom habits of others,” Dromm said. “Their recently enacted anti-LGBT law belongs in the toilet.”

The Department of Buildings will have to determine fines for building owners who maintain gender-segregated bathrooms.

Read more here.