As we culminate the month of March, here are our notable events of the week:
- New York City Council is about to vote on legislation that would require employers to give their employees paid sick leave! The legislation would mandate that companies with fifteen employees or more grant their full time staff five compensated sick days off per year. Such a policy would relieve workers’ anxiety of potential pay as well as job loss for taking time off while sick or while their child is sick. Mayor Bloomberg is expected to veto the bill, but there is enough support in the City Council to overturn his veto. While the legislation would not take effect until 2014, we believe that such legislation is an important step in strengthening worker’s rights!
- Yesterday, folks gathered in Union Square to celebrate “National Coming Out of the Shadows” month. Beginning in 2010, undocumented youth immigrants in Chicago occupied the Federal Plaza, declaring that they were “undocumented and unafraid.” Now the movement has spread as undocumented immigrants have gained more visibility and, in turn, support. Free Speech Radio News reported that 11 million undocumented immigrants live in the United States while the government continues to deport 400,000 folks each year. To show your support for immigration reform, join the rally in Washington D.C. on Wednesday, April 10th.
- Crain’s New York published an article, noting that the federal government will pay for all of New York City’s Superstorm Sandy costs. Of the $6.3 Billion dollars spent on emergency and recovery efforts, 90 percent will come from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and 10 percent will come from community development block grant funds. With Superstorm Sandy five months behind us, much of NYC’s infrastructure, including houses, roads, piers, parks, and beaches still need repairs. With financial support from the federal government, the city will recuperate the unprecedented funds that provided immediate relief.
- Unemployment rates in New York City are among the highest in the nation. Unchanged from January, the New York State Labor Department reported on Thursday that unemployment rates sat at a high 9.1 percent. The NY Times attributes these statistics to the bus strikes as well as Wall Street layoffs. During the month of February, New York generally experiences an influx of jobs, but only 700 jobs were added last month, illustrating a substantial decline. As unemployment rates sore, public benefits continue to diminish. In the State of New York, 8.4 percent or 800,000 residents were unemployed, yet less than half collected unemployment insurance. To increase employment rates, we need to create more jobs and provide more unemployment support!
Have a great weekend and we’ll see you next week!