Bronx, NY- The NYC City Council will be holding hearings this month on a package of bills aimed at reforming the NYPD.  Intro 2118, sponsored by Keith Powers, is scheduled to be heard in the Committee on Government Operations, chaired by Council Member Fernando Cabrera.  The two-page bill moves the process by which reporters get special credentials that grant them access to events held by the Mayor, the ability to cross police lines during emergencies, and attend large national events from the NYPD and gives the Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS) sole authority to issue, suspend and revoke press credentials.    


According to its website DCAS is responsible for “Recruiting, hiring, and training employees; providing facilities management for 55 public buildings; Acquiring, selling, and leasing City property; Purchasing more than $1 billion in supplies and equipment each year.” DCAS is the agency that was marred in scandal for the city owned Rivington House sale to a private developer in 2014 after DCAS lifted a deed restriction that normally accompanies city held real estate.  It is alleged that City Hall interfered with DCAS operations and the normal process for lifting deed restrictions on behalf of a donor to Bill de Blasio’s first campaign for Mayor.  


“If the Council finds it necessary to take this tremendous responsibility out of the NYPD, then we should take this opportunity to place the entire process outside the authority of the Mayor.  Press credentialing must be insulated from potential corrupt influences in order to ensure that our press remains free and open,” said Council Member Cabrera, Chair of the Governmental Operations Committee. “The job of the press is to shine a light on government abuse and hold the government accountable and we cannot give the authority to revoke a reporter’s press badge to an agency that is controlled by the Mayor and, as history shows in the case of Rivington House, an agency that is susceptible to allegations of corrupt interference by City Hall. If we aim to fix a problem, we should be informed by history and make sure we do it right. That is why I propose we move this important responsibility to the City Clerk’s office; an entity completely independent from City Hall and one that already issues specialized licenses in the form of marriage licenses.”


The City Clerk is appointed by the City Council to a six-year term. The fixed term serves to guarantee greater insulation from political influence, especially from the Executive branch of government, which is responsible for administering services and enforcing the laws. 

Intro 2118 is scheduled for a hearing next Tuesday, February 9, 2021 in the Government Operations Committee where DCAS and the NYPD are scheduled to appear to testify.  After the committee hearing the bill may be modified before it is voted on.  If it passes, the bill would advance to the full City Council for consideration and vote.

Council Member Cabrera is available for interviews.


Council Member Fernando Cabrera has proudly served the 14th District since 2010

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