I hope you are enjoying your summer! I'd like to tell you about some of the issues my office has been working on. As always, I value your feedback and ideas on how we can make New York work for all children and families who call our city home.
Last month, I sent you an e-mail about Elisa W. and the nine other foster children who joined me in filing a class action lawsuit against the New York City Administration for Children's Services (ACS) and the New York State Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS). Protecting our foster children has continued to be a focus this summer, as we pursue our case. There are currently 11,137 children in the New York City foster care system, accounting for almost 60% of children in foster care in the state. Children in New York City spend over twice as long in foster care than children in the rest of the state and the country. Many of them are victims of physical, sexual, and emotional abuse while in care. Please read a summary of our case and our full complaint to learn more about Elisa's story and the stories of the children we are fighting to protect.
Taking on Guns
Our nation is bleeding from gun violence. We cannot, and should not, bolster the gun retailers whose weapons are used to kill and damage our communities. Last week, the New York City Employee Retirement System(NYCERS) overwhelmingly passed my resolution to begin divestment proceedings from gun and ammunition retailers, such as Walmart. A study will be conducted of NYCERS' investments in gun retailers, including Walmart, Dick's Sporting Goods, Big 5 Sporting Goods, and Cabela's. The transitional costs of divestment, and a transition strategy to ensure minimal financial impact to the City, will also be developed.
Fighting for the Futures of Working Families
Our current retirement system is broken. Millions of New Yorkers are facing a retirement without adequate savings or a retirement plan. My office issued a report highlighting the urgent need for New York City to take action against an impending retirement crisis. I introduced legislation that will be the first step in a process to create a City-based retirement savings program. This program would place no significant financial burden on taxpayers or private employers, but uplift millions of New Yorkers for generations to come. In fact, states like California, Illinois, and Massachusetts are already moving forward with similar initiatives, and New York City cannot fall behind. Retirement should not just be a luxury for the rich, and I am determined to do everything I can to ensure every working New Yorker can live out their golden years with security and dignity.
New York City Public Advocate