Rally for Equity, Opportunity and Improved Workplace Culture in the FDNY

Bronx Borough President Vanessa L. Gibson and New York City Council Member Kevin C. Riley are joining New York City Council Speaker Adrienne Adams, and the Black, Latino, and Asian Caucus of the New York City Council on the City Hall Steps Monday, September 19th at 10:00 am to hold a press conference amplifying New York City Council legislation that focuses on promoting equity and inclusion in the Fire Department of New York City.

This rally precedes the Committee on Fire and Emergency Management overseeing evaluating diversity and inclusion in the FDNY. In June 2022, Council Member Kevin Riley, in partnership with Bronx Borough President Gibson, introduced two pieces of legislation, Int. 552 and Int. 553, which will be heard at Monday’s hearing. Int. 552 calls for annual reporting on the demographics of Fire Departments members at firehouses. (Int. 553) would require a plan for ongoing training on diversity, inclusion, and harassment for all Fire Department members and staff.

Annual FDNY Memorial Ceremony remembering those who were killed in the line of duty on Wednesday, October 11 , 2017. Credit: Edwin J. Torres/Mayoral Photography Office.

Previously introduced in 2019 in her then-capacity as a Council Member, Borough President Gibson passed the baton to Council Member Kevin C. Riley to advocate for equity, expanding opportunities, and improving the workplace culture of the FDNY.

As Borough President, Gibson supports a package of legislative bills aimed to address the inequities of equity, diversity and inclusion in the FDNY. Leading with Speaker Adams’ bill, Int. 0516-2022 would require FDNY and DCAS to design a plan and execute a plan for the FDNY to achieve greater equity and maintain records of efforts to recruit a more diverse workforce.

FDNY Medal Day, June 2018. Credit: Mayoral Photography Office.

Council Member Williams has a data reporting bill, Int. 0560-2022 that would work in conjunction with the Speaker’s bill, that would require the FDNY to publish data on workforce complaints received and outcomes. Equity is more than hiring a diverse staff, it is committing to their safety and success.

Council Member Riley has two bills, Int. 0552-2022 & Int. 0553-2022, to work in furtherance of such stated goals. Int. 0552-2022 would require FDNY to maintain and report on data specific to firehouses, capturing information on how diverse a firehouse is as compared to the neighborhood surrounding it. Int. 0553-2022 would require FDNY, DCAS, and CCHR to implement a plan for ongoing training for inclusion, and report on efforts taken per their designed plan.

Finally, Fire & Emergency Management Chair Ariola has a complimentary bill, Int. 0519-2022 that focuses on permanent infrastructure changes – which would ensure a safe working environment for firefighters – ensuring all genders have a safe and secure space to prepare for work.

WHAT: Bronx Borough President Vanessa L. Gibson, New York City Council Member Kevin C. Riley, Speaker of the NYC Council Adrienne Adams, and members of the Black, Latino and Asian Caucuses gather on the Steps of City Hall to Introduce Fire Diversity Bills to ensure equity, and inclusion in the Fire Department.

WHEN: Monday, September 19, 2022; 10:00am

WHERE: Steps of City Hall Steps

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