Resurrected from the dead, Intro 632 is again before New York City Council. This governing body serves as the mayoral check, exercising the legislative powers of city government, adopts the annual City budget, and is supposed to monitor City agencies such as the Department of Education and the NYPD to make sure they're effectively serving New Yorkers.
City Council could be doing a lot to make sure New York City residents are safe and small business owners can try to recover after overreaching tyrannical shutdowns during COVID. It’s busy doing the opposite.
Rather than protect law-abiding constituents and taxpayers, City Council just can’t stop fighting on behalf of criminals.
The City Council thought it could quietly pass Intro 632 under the name,“Committee for Civil and Human Rights.” With a name like this, in 2022, the public should be nervous. What fringe group will be protected now under “civil” and “human” rights?
CRIMINALS. Murderers, rapists, stabbers, assaulters, and thieves.
In summary, “This bill would prohibit housing discrimination in rentals, sales, leases, subleases, or occupancy agreements in New York City on the basis of arrest record or criminal history. Landlords, owners, agents, employees, and real estate brokers would be prohibited from obtaining criminal record information at any stage in the process. These entities would be able to take adverse actions against current occupants for reasons other than a person’s arrest or criminal record or criminal history, as long as they are complying with laws protecting victims of domestic violence, sex offenses, or stalking. This section does not apply where federal, state, or local laws, rules or regulations require exclusion based on criminal history or require a criminal background check for eligibility. This section also does not prohibit inquiries into the NY sex offender registry but requires that the landlord, owner, agents and brokers provide the applicant written notice about the inquiry, and a reasonable amount of time, not more than 3 days, to withdraw the application. The bill also outlines a fair housing process for applicants to dispute an adverse action based on arrest record or criminal history. This bill does not apply to two-family owner-occupied housing or rooms in owner-occupied housing. Covered entities would not be liable under the laws for complying with this law.”
NYCHA is exempt. Zero surprise, this public development corporation providing public housing in New York City is controlled by the Mayor and is the largest public housing authority in North America. In other words, some people merit exemption from living next to criminals and others don’t. This is almost as sensical as putting curfews on restaurants during lockdown as if a virus goes to sleep at 10pm.
31 out of 51 New York City Council members SUPPORT a bill that disallows landlords from doing background checks on tenants.
This means, right across the hall from your young family’s apartment, your 90 year old widowed grandmother, high school or college graduate, a “professional booster” with 110 priors, a rapist, murderer, and person with a violent history can skate right in without impediment to the vacant apartment next door.
New York City residents already in imminent danger thanks to kooks they voted into office have really done it this time.
Assigned to Intro 632, or codename “Committee for Human and Civil Rights” are six City Council members. The Chair, District 27’s Natasha Williams, District 1’s Christopher Marte, District 9’s Kristin Richardson Jordan, District 17’s Rafael Salamanca Jr., District 40’s Rita Joseph, and District 48’s Inna Vernikov.
Of this group, the only one that seemingly cares about her constituents’ safety and in opposition to this insanity is Vernikov. She’s made so much noise, she’s alerted an unknowing public to what’s going on in City Hall. Because of this, she’s been on the receiving end of other Council Members hoping this Bill passes in secret.
In August, Democrat Councilman Keith Powers introduced the new bill. Upon getting wind of the pushback from Vernikov over Thanksgiving, he tweeted that Thanksgiving “is supposed to be a day of gratitude, not attacking. We don’t believe in second chances anymore?”
Get real Powers, would you ever want to live next door to a violent criminal? Would you wish this on your family member? Of course not. This isn’t about second chances, this is about progressive quackery that is seriously dangerous.
What are the implications? Well, landlords, small business owners, are going to get screwed. They’ll have no recourse and will be on the hook should anything happen. Also, this might spur rents to increase dramatically in hope of keeping out criminals. It will likely spur further outmigration.
Call to action: call your City Council representative’s office. Tell him or her to vote NO to Intro 632. Alert your neighbors and friends. Tell them to call as well.
A weekly Human Events contributor, 1st book hitting the shelves in March 2023, Jacqueline is a Manhattan native focused on NYC issues, finding solutions, and providing a voice for the void.