income inequality

The Unfulfilled Dream

April 17, 2018 // 0 Comments

A half century after Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination is an appropriate time to reflect upon the accomplishments of his movement. Undeniably, the struggle led by King resulted in vital civil rights and voting rights gains for blacks, along with protections against housing and job discrimination. But the economic advancement of minorities and the poor that King advocated never came about. And since his death, our country has veered toward plutocracy and authoritarianism that provides little reason for hope. At the end of his life, King was leading the Poor People’s Campaign. His criticism of the economic divide and opposition to the Vietnam War clearly shook the country’s levers of power. Today, King has a saint-like aura. But back then, his popularity was far from universal. “A man of peace, he died violently,” the Rev. Jesse Jackson wrote in a New York Times op-ed [More...]

The Era of Gender Wage Inequality is Ending

July 17, 2017 // 0 Comments

By LETITIA JAMES The era of wage-based inequality is beginning to end. On May 5, after 50 years of fighting, women of New York City took a huge step towards closing the gender wage gap and achieving true economic parity with the signing into law of my bill that bans employers from asking applicants about their salary history. This legislation will provide women of all backgrounds with a chance for economic equality; and mitigate the rising inequality in our city. For too long, the reality for women, and particularly women of color, has been bleak. My office found that for every dollar that a white man working in New York City makes, a white woman earns 84 cents, an Asian woman earns 63 cents, a Black woman earns 55 cents, and a Hispanic woman earns 46 cents. In total, women in New York City are shortchanged by $5.8 billion per year compared to their male counterparts. When previous [More...]

City Council Approves Union-Backed de Blasio Housing Plan

March 26, 2016 // 0 Comments

BY MIKE LEE After certain modifications, the New York City Council voted in support of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s ambitious and innovative housing plan, which he presented in late 2015. The City Council overwhelmingly approved the housing package — the Mandatory Inclusionary Zoning and Zoning for Quality and Affordability — on March 22. The proposals follow on the heels of other de Blasio policy changes, including a first-ever rent freeze for a million rent-regulated tenants. Also, the mayor intervened to ensure tenant protections in the recent sale of Manhattan’s Peter Cooper Village/Stuyvesant Town apartment complex. The initiative is a clear break from the retrograde policies of previous mayors, and it requires private developers receiving tax breaks and state and federal subsidies to make a quarter of new housing units affordable for working families. The plan will [More...]

A $15 Minimum Wage for City Workers

January 6, 2016 // 0 Comments

By MIKE LEE New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a $15-an-hour minimum wage for 50,000 low-paid city workers, including 20,000 workers mostly represented by DC 37, before an enthusiastic crowd of members, activists, City Council members and labor leaders at union headquarters on Jan. 6. “This is a historic day for our union and for working people,” said DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido during the news conference at union headquarters. “We are here to celebrate a moment in history where working people won a major victory in our city.” The wage increase will go into effect by the end of 2018. The DC 37 titles covered by this plan include School Crossing Guards represented by Local 372, City Seasonal Aides, who are members of Local 983 and several thousand Job Training Participants (JTPs). School Crossing Guard and Local 372 member Maria DeLaura spoke movingly about [More...]