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Lead Paint: Vallone bill to NYC Council Mon 6/21

Posted by Anna on June 20, 1999 at 22:50:44:

email alert from from TenantNet:

SUNDAY
UPDATE ON PETER VALLONE'S LEAD BILL

The hearing on Vallone's Lead Bill will be tomorrow,
Monday, June 21 at 10 a.m. (we confirmed it is at 10, not 11 a.m.)
City Council Chambers, City Hall

You need to enter City Hall from the east (it's closed on the Broadway side)
There's an entrance on the east side of City Hall, a ramp leading to a
basement entrance, go through the metal detector and take the elevator to
the second floor where City Council chambers are.

From the City Council website:

Committee on Housing and Buildings. . .10:00 a.m.
Preconsidered Int. ____ - By Council Member Spigner, et al - A LOCAL LAW
- to amend the administrative code of the city of New York, in relation
to childhood lead poisoning prevention, and to repeal subdivision h of
section 27-2013 of such code.
Council Chambers - City Hall - Archie Spigner, Chairperson

In the middle of the afternoon on Friday, Vallone's office finally released
a copy of the Vallone Lead-Paint Bill which is to be the subject of
Monday's hearing at City Council.

PETER VALLONE LANDLORD PROTECTION ACT OF 1999
=============================================

More opportunities to Poison Children

The bill is largely the same as prior drafts -- only worse! The
time-frames for City enforcement have now been extended even further: HPD
has 15 to 25 days to inspection, then 60 days before issuing a violation
(probably so that HPD can give the landlord a nudge to fix it quick before
the violation is issued, to avoid any real record and to prevent the
landlord from having to disclose!), then the landlord has 21 days to
repair, extendable for endless periods of 30 days, and if the landlord
fails to, then HPD has 70 or 90 days to reinspect before HPD has to do the
repairs. So all together, we're looking at the better part of a year before
anything is going to be done. As Megan Charlop has pointed
out, in the time frame of a young child's life, this is an eternity -- and
will result in loads of poisonings!

All the other bad stuff is still there -- the limits on liability, the
requirement that tenants give notice of children and notice of lead
hazards, the limitation of lead hazards to only peeling paint (i.e.,
friction surfaces, impact surfaces, chewable surfaces, dust, are all not
considered hazards -- even though the EPA does!), the limitation of the
presumption, the evisceration of the safety standards for paint repairs,
etc., etc., etc. It is, first and foremost, the PETER VALLONE LANDLORD
PROTECTION ACT OF 1999.

The Church and Landlords together

Tenant and Health advocates -- joined by Councilmembers Michels and Perkins
-- were to meet with Vallone's staff at 3 p.m. on Friday. But they were
kept waiting for 45 minutes because Vallone's people were still meeting
with the landlord lobby in another room. Also with the landlords and
Vallone's people were representatives of the Catholic Archdiocese. Our
inside reports indicates the Catholic Church is lining up with the
landlords in support of the Vallone bill (apparently because the church is
a major owner as well). That the church is going to support legislation
that hurts young children is particularly disheartening.

Due Process be damned!

The advocates finally met with Vallone's staff -- Cathy Cudahy and Ramon
Martinez -- and immediately raised due process concerns: How can anyone
comment on a bill, and how can City Council have a hearing on a bill
released one business day beforehand? How can advocates line up interested
experts and concerned members of the public and organizations on 2 business
days notice? Vallone's people said that the process is not open to
discussion, that this is the way legislation is done all the time... (in
Vallone's government, that's true) But for an issue of such massive
importance on public health, there is no reason this is being done except
to protect landlords and do something bad for the kids.

Helen Marshall (of the Black-Latino Caucus) chairs another Committee
meeting at the same time (Committee on Higher Education), so she won't be
at the Housing Committee hearing. Probably some other supporters won't be
there, either.

BEWARE THE VALLONE JABBERWOK

A source close to the fire lays out this scenario: there will be a hearing
on Monday, at which no vote will be taken. Later that day or that night,
the bill will be amended, to make it look better (they often make it worse
so they can then make it better again -- so they can try to take credit for
doing something 'good') and voted on on Tuesday by the Housing Committee,
without another public hearing on the final form of the bill, then put
before the entire Council on June 29. As things presently stand, we can
expect to be stomped badly -- unless we can really muster some pretty damn
strong public outrage.

It's imprtant for the public to be at City Hall and overwhelm Archie
Spigner, Peter Vallone and the landlord lobby. Continue to call and fax
Vallone's office. Call the Catholic Archdiocese.

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