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News from BALCONY

BALCONY Supports the Cross Harbor Tunnel

February 27th, 2015
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Statement by BALCONY spokesman Nicholas Kapustinsky

(New York, NY, 2.25.2015) The Business and Labor Coalition of New York (BALCONY, www.balconynewyork.com) wishes to voice our wholehearted endorsement of the proposed construction of a cross harbor rail tunnel connecting New Jersey, New York City, and Long Island. The tunnel would run under the Upper New York Bay between northeastern New Jersey and Brooklyn, NYC.

City inks deals to give raises to three municipal unions

February 20th, 2015
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The pacts give the workers 10% raises over seven years, and cost a total of $310 million, which the de Blasio administration says will be offset by healthcare savings.

The city has struck contract deals to give raises to three more municipal unions, Mayor de Blasio announced Thursday.

BALCONY Forum Reveals Universal Support among Government, Business, and Labor for Affordable Housing

February 18th, 2015


(February 18, 2015) There was universal support from representatives of government, business, and labor for the ambitious affordable housing plans laid forth in the past year by NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio and by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, at a forum held by the Business and Labor Coalition of New York (BALCONY) on Wednesday, February 4th.

BALCONY’s event brought together leading experts to discuss the future of affordable housing in New York. The forum was highlighted by speeches from NYC Housing Preservation and Development Commissioner Vicki Been, NYS Homes and Community Renewal Commissioner Darryl Towns, and NYC Public Advocate Letitia James.

Click HERE for the Video Report: Video Report

Affordable Housing also means Affordable Energy Kremer says at BALCONY Housing Forum

February 17th, 2015
New York AREA

The need for more affordable housing units in New York City has been widely discussed. What hasn’t been addressed is the need to equate “affordable housing” to “affordable energy.” People living on low or fixed incomes often face the hard decision between paying rent, buying food, or keeping the lights on. The impact of energy prices swings and the opportunity to meet this challenge head on was the topic of New York AREA chairman Arthur “Jerry” Kremer’s speech at BALCONY’s forum on “Affordable Housing.”

Fiscal Policy Institute presents its 2015 state budget briefing

February 13th, 2015

This week Ron Deutsch Executive Director and James Parrott Economist of the Fiscal Policy Institute presented its 2015 state budget briefing. For a PDF version of our state budget briefing book, please click here.

If you have any questions about any budget or economic policy issues, please contact FPI by telephone at 518-786-3156 or by e-mail at info@fiscalpolicy.org. For more information on FPI and its work, and for copies of all of FPI’s publications, please visit www.fiscalpolicy.org.

A Serious Conversation About Affordable Housing

February 12th, 2015

By Bill Hohlfeld


 



On Wednesday, February 4th, the Business and Labor Coalition of New York, (BALCONY) lived up to its name when it did an extraordinary job of bringing major players in the world of affordable housing construction together for an open dialogue about how to meet Mayor de Blasio’s goal of providing New York with 200,000 new units of affordable housing, in a way that meets the needs of all the stakeholders.

BALCONY Forum Reveals Universal Support among Government, Business, and Labor for Affordable Housing

February 9th, 2015


There was universal support from representatives of government, business, and labor for the ambitious affordable housing plans laid forth in the past year by NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio and by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, at a forum held by the Business and Labor Coalition of New York (BALCONY) on Wednesday, February 4th. BALCONY’s event brought together leading experts to discuss the future of affordable housing in New York. The forum was highlighted by speeches from NYC Housing Preservation and Development Commissioner Vicki Been, NYS Homes and Community Renewal Commissioner Darryl Towns, and NYC Public Advocate Letitia James.


According to Commissioner Been the event was “truly significant in bringing together leaders in business and labor in the interest of moving forward with the Mayor’s affordable housing plan.” Commissioner Been outlined Mayor Bill de Blasio’s 10 year $41 billion plan, which proposes the rehabilitation of 120,000 affordable housing units and the construction of 80,000 more in NYC by 2024, and spoke about the importance of the Mayor’s vision of engendering and supporting a non-exclusive housing landscape in NYC. While acknowledging that the plan faces substantial obstacles, Commissioner Been voiced her belief that the time is right to address New York City’s affordable housing crisis.

State of the City: Mayor de Blasio Puts Affordable Housing at Center of 2015 Agenda to Fight Inequality

February 3rd, 2015


NEW YORK—In his second State of the City address, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced affordable housing would be the next front in his administration’s fight to lift up families and confront economic inequality. With housing the most significant cost facing New York City families, the Mayor laid out a sweeping set of programs to build a new generation of affordable housing, protect New Yorkers facing displacement from rising rents and harassment, and put in place the groundwork for denser, economically diverse communities with affordable homes for New Yorkers of all means.
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News From and About Our Members

March on Albany Monday to 'Call Out Cuomo'

February 27th, 2015
nysut-logo call out cuomo If you have had enough of the governor's attacks, join us in standing up to him. On Monday, March 2, join educators, parents, religious leaders, and labor and community activists in a march to highlight the devastating impact of Gov. Cuomo's budget plan for public schools and colleges. Stand up for what our kids need!

Report: Pay state legislators a full-time salary of $125,000

February 19th, 2015
Effectiveny

The state Legislature should be made full time, and they should get a pay raise to $125,000, Democratic activist Bill Samuels said in a report today. The move, Samuels said, would end the abuses that have come from lawmakers having outside income—most notably the arrest of then-Speaker Sheldon Silver, D-Manhattan, on charges that he got $4 million in kickbacks from two law firms for more than a decade, Gannett’s Denise Nickerson reports. Samuels’ report titled “Full Time, Full Pay: The Path to a Dedicated Legislature” recommends that Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the state Legislature agree to make lawmakers full time and ban most outside income. Legislators receive a base pay of $79,500, but most receive stipends for leadership posts.

Click "more" below for the full report

RELEASE: Report Details Gov. Cuomo’s Failure to Fund NYC Schools

February 19th, 2015
Alliance for Quality Education of New York

For Immediate Release: Contact: Wendy Liberatore, Communications Coordinator, Alliance for Quality Education 518.491.0454 wendy@aqeny.org Dan Morris, Progressive Cities 917.952.8920 NEW YORK (Feb. 19, 2015) – The Alliance for Quality Education (AQE) released a report today that reveals Gov. Cuomo’s chronic cuts to education and his noncompliance with the Campaign for Fiscal Equity (CFE) ruling has deprived New York City public schools with adequate funding to provide its students with their constitutional right of a “sound and basic education.”

PEF makes defeat of 'design build' top priority for session

February 17th, 2015
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By Jeff Waggoner in 2015 Legislative Session, CSEA / PEF, State Employees Each year, the Public Employees Federation prints flyers with goals for the legislative session. A the top of the list this year — defeat the governor’s proposal to reinstitute “design-build.”

An urgent message from NYSUT President Karen E. Magee

February 9th, 2015
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BALCONY Issues in the News (Related Articles)

Walmart takes modest steps to improve lives of many workers

February 19th, 2015


America's largest private employer just took a modest step to improve the lives of a lot of workers. Following years of concerted protest by frontline workers and their communities, Walmart’s CEO Doug McMillon announced that Walmart will raise wages to $9 an hour in April and $10 an hour by February next year, as well as creating more stable and predictable schedules.

An Important Message from DEMOS: Walmart workers win higher pay

February 19th, 2015
America's largest private employer just took a modest step to improve the lives of a lot of workers. Following years of concerted protest by frontline workers and their communities, Walmart’s CEO Doug McMillon announced that Walmart will raise wages to $9 an hour in April and $10 an hour by February next year, as well as creating more stable and predictable schedules. America's largest private employer just took a modest step to improve the lives of a lot of workers. Following years of concerted protest by frontline workers and their communities, Walmart’s CEO Doug McMillon announced that Walmart will raise wages to $9 an hour in April and $10 an hour by February next year, as well as creating more stable and predictable schedules. This is a huge win—and it’s about time. Our research,

A missed opportunity

February 16th, 2015
Gov. Andrew Cuomo's proposed budget needs to firmly invest in the Empire State By Ron Deutsch, Commentary
Gov. Andrew Cuomo's budget proposal takes some positive steps forward in clearly acknowledging, for the first time in his tenure, the incredible child poverty and income inequality that exist in our generally affluent state. He also wisely recognizes the need to give greater property tax relief to those.....
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New York Speaker Calls Stronger Rent Laws His Top Priority

February 9th, 2015
NY times small

Mayor Bill de Blasio praised the newly elected speaker of the New York Assembly, Carl E. Heastie, as an “incredible” leader and an ally. Mr. Heastie promised that renewing and strengthening the rent-regulation laws that affect a million city apartments would be his “No. 1 priority.”

NYC's Top Democrat In Albany: Rent Regulation Is "Our No. 1 Priority"

February 9th, 2015


This summer a raft of state rent control regulations and lucrative tax breaks for developers are set to expire. Former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver's record on tenants' rights was not good, but he's been disgraced (by a scandal involving real estate kickbacks) and replaced by Bronx Assemblyman Carl Heastie, who yesterday met with Mayor de Blasio and promised to make strengthening rent regulations "our number one priority."
BALCONY Issues in the News Archives