Holden Introduces 12 Bills That Aim to Improve New Yorkers’ Quality of Life

Council Member Robert Holden (John McCarten)

May 4, 2022 By Christian Murray

Council Member Bob Holden introduced 12 quality-of-life bills last Thursday that tackle everything from the sale of e-cigarettes to excessively bright lights.

The bills aim to address the lack of parking, restrict disturbances caused by excessively bright lights, crack down on illegal parties, protect the privacy of New Yorkers who have been the victim of violent crime, ratchet up fines for an array of offenses, to requiring a supermajority vote by the council to raise taxes.

His raft of bills would also require the Department of Transportation to notify community boards before moving ahead with a wide array of construction projects—as well as levying hefty fines on school bus operators who park their buses overnight or on weekends on city streets.

“I am proud to introduce another package of bills, presenting common-sense solutions to quality-of-life issues,” Holden said in a statement. “These bills offer real solutions to non-partisan issues that New Yorkers in my district and throughout the city are frustrated by every day.”

Many of Holden’s bills deal with law and order—as well as enforcement.

His first bill would require the top brass at the NYPD to provide guidance to officers as to what low-level non-violent offenses need to be criminally enforced—and where a civil summons would suffice.

A second bill would require the NYPD to withhold the name of the victim of a violent crime—upon request—unless it is needed to protect public safety.  Another bill would require cops to notify drivers who are involved in car crashes whether a tow truck arriving on the scene is the one assigned by the NYPD.

A fourth bill would prohibit new electronic cigarette retailers from being near schools, while a fifth bill would restrict people or businesses from operating lights causing outdoor illumination great than 3,000 lumens in a residential district, unless the lighting is fully shielded.

Holden has also introduced a bill that would classify a party operator—who fails to have a valid Place of Assembly Certificate from the Department of Buildings and sells alcohol—as partaking in an “immediately hazardous violation.” Failure to comply with requirements regarding security guards for a place of assembly would also be specified as an immediately hazardous violation.

Several of Holden’s bills deal with parking and the DOT.

One bill would require the DOT to present its major construction plans to community boards and then provide them with 60 days to make a recommendation. The removal of a bus lane, a busway, or a bike lane—regardless of the number of blocks—would be deemed a major project.

Another bill would provide the DOT with the authority to install and maintain tree guards on city property. He has also introduced a local law that would prohibit school buses from parking on city streets between the hours of 5 p.m. and 5 a.m. on weekdays and on weekends between 5 p.m. on Friday and 5 a.m. on Monday.

Holden is also trying to tackle city taxes. He has introduced a resolution calling on the state legislature to introduce and pass a cap on property taxes that would include New York City. The current state cap carves out New York City.

Holden has also introduced a bill that would require an affirmative vote of at least two-thirds of all council members to raise taxes.

The councilmember hopes to get the support of his colleagues in order to pass his legislation.

“I look forward to bi-partisan support for these measure from my colleagues that will help our city move forward,” Holden said.

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