By STEVEN FERRARO
The Progressive Caucus of the New York City Council unveiled a new policy agenda on Thursday including more immigrant rights and climate change reform to help battle effects on the city on proposals by the Trump Administration.
The highly idealistic agenda amounted to a battle plan against the avowed policies of President Donald Trump.
Referred to as the “18 for ‘18”, the Caucus presented 18 policy changes on the steps of City Hall, ranging from reducing homelessness to the eventual closing of the Rikers’s Island jail. The leaders vowed to fight for New York to remain as a sanctuary city and supported the right to counsel for immigrants facing possible deportation.
The council members present, including Ben Kallos, Donovan Richards, Stephen Levin, Brad Lander and Antonio Reynoso focused on these issues some two months after President Trump’s executive orders clogged the borders and allowed aggressive deportation.
The group has also decided to push back on President Trump’s climate change stance by working to require big buildings in the city to become “greener” and searching for new ways to reduce emissions.
Local activist Phoebe Chung said that New York alone “produce[s] more emissions than 100 countries in the world.” The policies were designed to counter President Trump’s plans to cut EPA funding in order to increase the military’s budget.
The group also planned to tackle strained relations between communities and police. With the help of Communities United for Police Reform, the council is looking to help strengthen the bond between officer and civilian by supporting the Right to Know Act, requiring police officers to identify themselves and the reason for any interaction, and obtain informed consent before searches, according to the executive summary of the rally.
The council members also suggested that all officers carry cards with them at all times with their full names and contact information as well as teach the people in their patrol neighborhoods rights that people may not be aware of during police interactions.