NOW-NYC continues to break barriers for women and girls by advocating for new laws and policies. We have succeeded in many fields, from repealing the statute of limitations on rape to ensuring full-time mothers are treated fairly in divorce. Our commitment is to be a voice for women at City Hall and in our State’s capitol, championing critical legislation to end gender discrimination at work and in the courts, advance pay equity, ensure reproductive rights, and make our criminal justice system more accountable.
Take Action NOW! Check out our Activist Tool Kit here.
New York City
Free Childcare at all Government Meetings (Int. 1672-2017)
Under this legislation, local government hearings open to public comment would include a notice offering free child care upon request at least five days prior to the event. Other elected officials and community boards would also be able to request free child care for their events where the public is invited to comment. This legislation removes barriers that prevent parents, especially single mothers, from full participation in government. Making free childcare services available will make it easier and more likely that parents are able to take on a more active role in civic life.
“If we want to create a future where women are fully represented, then it’s imperative that we remove the barriers that prevent active participation in civic life. We commend Councilmember Ben Kallos for making the connection that child care is one of those key barriers that disproportionately impact women. With women being less than 25% of the New York City Council, this measure has the potential to increase the pipeline of women leaders and sends a clear signal from city government that child care remains a core issue for families.” – Sonia Ossorio, President, National Organization for Women – New York.
Sponsor: Ben Kallos
Learn more: Bill
News Coverage: Wall Street Journal: NYC Councilman to Propose Free Babysitting
Prohibition of Revenge Porn (Int 1267-2016) – PASSED
The bill would prohibit the nonconsensual dissemination of sexually explicit videos or images of another person through online platforms or texting. Revenge porn has the potential to cause economic, emotional, or physical harm to the victim and this bill provides protections from such gross abuse. Offenders who share images will face misdemeanor charges with one year of jail time and a fine of up to $1,000. Victims may also pursue civil penalties – including “compensatory and punitive damages” in the absence of a criminal conviction.
Sponsor: Rory I. Lancman
Learn More: Bill
Boss Bill (Int 1743-2017)
This bill would prohibit employers from refusing to hire, discharge or discriminate by any other means women on the basis of sexual and reproductive health decisions including: fertility related medical procedures, family planning services and counseling, access to all medically approved birth control drugs, emergency contraception, sterilization procedures, abortion procedures, and sexually transmitted disease testing and treatment.
Sponsor: Jumaane Williams
Learn More: Bill
New York State
Stealthing as sexual assault- (A08069 – 2017)
“Stealthing” is the removal of a condom before or during sex without a partner’s consent. This bill would put stealthing in the same category of crime as sexual assault, and on the level of performing a sex act without consent, which is a Class E felony. If convicted of stealthing, the bill prescribes a one to four year prison sentence and mandatory registration on the state sex offender registry.
Sponsor: Former Assemblymember Francisco Moya
Learn More: Bill
Assembly: 5/25/17 referred to Committee on Codes.
News Coverage: Daily News: N.Y. pol seeks to make covert condom removal during sex a felony
Arbitration Fairness Act of 2017
The growing use of forced arbitration provisions in employment contracts has eroded the ability of ordinary Americans to seek justice in our courts. Forced arbitration thwarts the ability of workers and consumers to hold corporations accountable for wrongdoing — including sexual harassment. This law would keep mandatory arbitration clauses out of employment contracts, giving harassed workers the choice to go to court. The validity and enforceability of an agreement to arbitrate shall be determined by a court, under federal law, rather than an arbitrator.
It’s easy to forget, but important to do: Please thank your leaders who are co-sponsoring pro-women’s rights legislation, so they know just how much support is behind their efforts. You should also ask your other reps to get on board. It’s easy! Call, email, write, or tweet.
Be sure to include the following in your message:
(1) Your name and neighborhood
(2) The bill name and number, and a
(3) Short and simple message about why this legislation matters to you.
Be sure to include @NOW_NYC if you send a tweet, or forward a copy of your message to firstname.lastname@example.org!
New York City: Find My City Council Member
Senator Gillibrand (212) 688-6262, @SenGillibrand, Email
Senator Schumer: (212) 486-4430, @SenSchumer, Email
Check Out NOW-NYC's Previous Legislative Agendas
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Saturday, Dec 02 - Sunday, Dec 03 | 11:00am - 7:00pm Forward Union Fair
Thursday, Dec 07 | 6:00pm - 8:00pm NYC City Council Speaker Candidate Forum: Focus on Women New Yorkers