at channel 7, enjoy the rest of your weekend. >> buenos d^as y bienvenidos. welcome once again to "tiempo." new york city mayor bill de blasio recently announced an affordable-housing plan that promises to benefit so many in the latino community throughout the city. however, there are concerns from latino leaders who say it will only benefit the real-estate market. we'll talk to the new york city housing commissioner and the union head that represents thousands of building workers, workers who support the plan. that's coming up in a few minutes.
national immigrant integration conference just wrapped up in brooklyn. it was a three-day meeting involving hundreds of immigration-service providers and national and local leaders who came together to find ways to help and defend immigrants in our area, even though there's little progress across the nation right now on immigration reform. here to tell us what was accomplished, manuel castro, executive director of the new immigrant community empowerment, and marcy suarez, youth organizer from make the road new york. she got to meet someone very important. we'll hear about that in a second. un placer. thank you for joining us this morning. manuel, the goal of the conference going in, and tell me if you met the goal after it was all over. >> yes, it was a fantastic conference. i mean, we had the chance to host one of the most significant and largest conferences on immigration and immigrant integration in the country. >> mm-hmm. >> we had people from all over the country, groups as diverse as chirla from california, oneamerica in seattle. so, amazing.
that you want to pass on to us, that was something that you hadn't heard before in terms of initiatives, proposals, et cetera? >> yeah, well, our goal for this conference was to really have a holistic approach about immigrant integration. >> okay. >> and we heard a lot of experts, a lot of elected officials come with this same idea. we're not just looking for -- you know, yes, of course, comprehensive immigration reform. >> of course. >> but we're also looking for programs that integrate more fully our communities into local municipalities and states. >> before we get to marcy, armed with the information that you just gathered at the conference, what's next? what do you do to make that holistic approach a reality? >> there were a lot of proposals, a lot of plans, great ideas for access to quality healthcare and education. we had great discussions, from arts and culture to economic justice and workforce development. now, everyone that participated
back to their city and state, and here in new york, we're gonna make sure that these proposals are implemented, and that these great ideas come to fruition. >> okay. i'm gonna ask you if you heard any one that you'd like to get moving here in new york in a second. but i quickly want to get to marcy, because i think there were three presidential candidates at the conference who spoke. you got to meet one of them, did you not? >> yes, hillary. >> tell me who you met and how that came about. >> i was able to meet hillary clinton. it was a piece where my family was invited to go in and talk to her and share our immigrant story. my father came to this nation in 1999. >> okay. >> and my mother came a year after, in 2000. then my youngest sister was born in 2001. >> i'm looking at a picture of you and the family and former secretary clinton, and former first lady. did you discuss with her anything concrete in terms of what you'd like to see not just from her but from whoever
>> we were able to request four things from her. one was to honor the sacrifices that our parents made while bringing us to this country. oftentimes they're blamed for the decisions that they made. >> sure. >> so, she really agreed with us on that, that she would make sure that those decisions were honored and not backlashed while she went through this campaign. the other thing was to -- we spoke to her about the 34,000 beds that need to be filled in immigration centers. >> yep. i'm looking at a picture of her speaking. go ahead. >> it was -- she definitely felt like that number was dehumanizing, and that she wants to end the privatization of these centers. >> okay. >> and also to make sure that parents who are eligible for dapa are not being deported. >> okay. and you didn't -- the word illegal is, i would assume, something that you mentioned to her, that you really don't want to see that used. >> definitely not. >> and it wasn't just to her, correct? that was across the board,
that you made these sort of requests to these presidential aspirants, if you will, candidates? >> yes, it's a great opportunity, this conference, to really put out and ask there. not just for respect to our communities, but also proposals that benefit our communities and see the long-term benefit of providing services and a path to legalization for our communities. >> let's be clear. you had three democratic presidential candidates speak at the conference, but the invitation was made to everyone, was it not? >> everyone was invited. >> and you did not hear back from any of the republican candidates? or did they tell you that they just couldn't make it? >> i believe not. i think that the organizers of the conference really tried their best to have a good representation of the candidates and elected officials for the conference. >> okay. sit tight. i want to get into some specifics when we come back. when we come back, more on the national immigrant integration conference. big deal.
still ahead on "tiempo," mayor de blasio just announced an affordable-housing plan that benefits all new yorkers, including those in the latino community. the city's housing commissioner, along with the union head representing thousands of building workers, will be here to tell us all about it when we come back. why let someone else have all the fun? the sometimes haphazard, never boring fun. the why can't it smell like this all the time fun. the learning the virtue of sharing fun. why let someone else have all the fun? that's no fun. unleash the power of dough. give it a pop. what makes this simple salad the best simple salad ever? heart healthy california walnuts. the best simple veggie dish ever? heart healthy california walnuts.
tt2w`t2n`qd" bt@q= h tt2w`t2n`qd" "a@q-,, tt2w`t2n`qd" bm@q&' tt4w`t2n`qd"" dztq 6px tt4w`t2n`qd"" entq ft8 tt4w`t2n`qd"" gzt& _s@ tt4w`t2n`qd"" hnt& o], tt4w`t2n`qd"" iztq %4t tt4w`t2n`qd"" jntq 7d4 tt4w`t2n`qd"" lzt& /)h >> welcome back to "tiempo." the national immigrant integration conference, a three-day conference of hundreds of immigration-service providers from across the nation just wrapped up in brooklyn. and enlightening us on what was accomplished, manuel castro, executive director of the new immigrant community empowerment, marcy suarez, youth organizer at make the road new york. let me ask you about some specifics, 'cause i know you launched the platform for new americans, a vision for the future of the federal immigrant integration policy. tell me a little bit about that and what was accomplished there. >> yes. i mean, this is really exciting. this is the first time we've come together, activists from across the country, who are fighting day in and day out for path for citizenship, for comprehensive immigration
but we also recognize that there are many other issues that we want to highlight in this platform. and i invite everyone to go, take a look at this platform online. you'll see, it's an integral approach and, really, what we want to see from not just the candidates, but from everyone doing this work. >> mm-hmm. >> or anyone who's interested in really integrating immigrants more fully into the united states, and into their towns and cities and so on. >> mm-hmm. okay. integrationconference.org. i'm looking at it there. we put it up at the bottom of the screen. marcy, did you -- maybe not so much from mrs. clinton, but from at the conference, hear of anything, especially in your role at make the road, that caught your attention, that said, "you know what, that's a good approach. that's a good plan. we should do more of that"? >> well, while we were sitting down with secretary clinton, we also had the chance to sit down with luis guti\rrez, who -- >> yep, congressman from illinois. >> yes.
what's being done to end the privatization of immigration centers, where there's a lot of inhumane treatment going towards the refugees that are coming from central america. and it was very interesting, where they want to put them -- use more resources and put those families that are coming in into a more house-felt type of setting. >> a more welcoming setting, right? >> yes, definitely. >> because what happens often is that they don't feel welcome, and therefore they're not open, they're not honest with you. is that what often happens? do you see that, manuel? >> yeah, i mean, it's important to highlight these issues to me, because we're dealing with them every day in our communities. at nice, we see people come in with all kinds of issues. and we want to really lead. >> mayor de blasio spoke at the conference. he announced the city's $7.9 million plan called actionnyc. tell me about that, because that sounds really exciting. >> that really shows how new york city and new york state can lead on issues of
this is a historic investment in our communities, to be able to provide legal services for people facing deportation, but also for people who don't know they may qualify for daca, or dapa later on. so, we're very excited about this. >> what will that money allow you to do? >> well, the city will be able to hire attorneys that will be able to provide assistance to immigrant communities across the city. >> mm-hmm. >> that's very exciting because there has been a lack. we want to close that gap. we, of course, want to see that same type of investment in other programs, like workforce-development programs, adult literacy, and so on. but this is an exciting moment for us. >> it's a good start. >> it's a great start. >> do you think that could have a ripple effect to mayors in other big cities to look at what new york did and say, "you know what, it's working in new york, let's try it here" in philadelphia, houston, and los angeles or chicago. >> yeah. yeah, we know that, across the country, the number of applicants for daca has not been enough. so, you know, we're looking to be an example, where
the way as we're also looking for new york state to lead the way. i think governor cuomo gave a tremendous speech, as well. >> yeah. >> and, so, yes, other cites are looking to new york. idnyc is a perfect example of that. >> sure. >> and so we're really excited we were able to host this conference this year. next year, we'll be in tennessee. new york will be well-represented, and we hope -- >> at the same time, manuel, did you hear of any ideas that are happening in other places where you saw that and said, "that's not happening here. let's cherry-pick that idea. let's poach it and put it in place here." can you think of one that comes to mind? >> oh, yeah. dream act. new york state dream act has to happen. other states -- i was just spending time with states that do have the dream act... >> okay. such as? >> ...who do invest -- like new mexico, who do invest in young people's education, right? a lot of the beneficiaries of daca would benefit from new york state dream act. >> mm-hmm. >> so, we have to get it done in the state. and, you know, last year we got really close.
and we can, you know -- at the next integration conference, done in new york. >> but it's at meetings like this where you come and get armed with information, correct? so that the next time the proposal for the new york state dream act comes, you have more information to lay at the table of legislators and say, "mira, here's why it's working. look at new mexico. look at the changes they've done here. it can happen in new york." is that -- am i overstating that? >> no, this is the plan. this is the integration plan. we see dream act, we see access to driver's licenses. all these are important integration polices that we need to expand here in new york as well. >> well, congratulations on having it in new york. i mean, it was a big, big deal. tennessee next time. let us know how it goes there, as well. and continued success to you, okay? >> thank you. >> thank you so much, marcy. coming up next on "tiempo," mayor de blasio's new affordable-housing plan is set to benefit everyone. the city's housing commissioner, along with the union head representing thousands of building workers are here to
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>> welcome back. mayor de blasio, bill de blasio, has plans to re-zone parts of the city to build more affordable housing. those plans have met some resistance at the community level. nonetheless, the mayor insists the plans and the re-zoning are necessary. and joining us this morning, vicki been, the commissioner of the department of housing development and preservation, and hector figueroa, president of the service employees union 32bj. gracias. thank you both for being here with us this morning. let me summarize it quickly. tell me if i got it right, and we'll launch from there.
200,000 units of affordable housing over the next 10 years, the two zoning proposals, you're looking for community input so that the neighborhoods can take control of their futures and not so much the developers. my question, and the question of many, and we'll jump right into it -- i don't think anyone would argue that the city needs more affordable housing. but if in fact five of the city's borough boards have voted to oppose the plans... is that all the community input you need? >> no, it's not all we need. >> okay. all right. >> it's not all the community input we need. i mean, we're listening to everybody. >> understood. >> but community boards often will vote no with conditions. >> okay. >> and we're taking all those conditions in, we're sorting through them. they're not always -- they're sometimes contradictory. we take a look at the whole range of them, and then try to refine the proposal accordingly. >> so there's still listening gong on, if you will. >> absolutely we're still listening. >> and is there still, therefore, fine tuning of the plan going on? >> there's fine tuning. we will be refining the plan. >> mm-hmm.
planning commission, and then to the city council. again, we'll continue to listen, we'll continue to refine as we're talking with all of those groups. >> and if understand correctly, part of that process means more public input all along the way. >> absolutely. there will be hearings. >> hector, i wanted to ask you, because last week we had members from the campaign for fair latino representation, and they say the mayor's affordable-housing plan only benefits the real-estate market and not working-class people in low-income communities. and i thought of you. i said, "well, those are the people that he represents," people like those in your union. do you agree or not agree with the campaign? >> we don't agree with the campaign on this statement. our members are working-class members. you know, their families live -- and they work in the city, and they cannot afford to live here anymore. that's why we're so excited about supporting the mayor's, you know, proposals. they will help, really, our members -- not just simply low-income workers, but really that sort of middle class just below the median income level that we represent.
union be able to afford the housing that's being proposed as of now? which i think calls for what, a median income of $70,000 to $80,000 for a family of four? >> yeah, that's the working 32bj members. those are our people. those are all the teachers. those are also construction trade workers. this is really the middle class that is part of new york city's fabric. >> mm-hmm. so, when those people come to you, commissioner been, and say, "it's not affordable housing if you can't afford it," how do you respond? >> so, a couple of ways. one is that the proposal, the mandatory inclusionary proposal, allows communities to set a range of affordability. so, we require that it average to 60% a.m.i. or 80% a.m.i. 60% a.m.i. is, you know, about $40,000 for a family of three. but so the community can choose, in the re-zoning process, which gets applied to their community. >> right. >> but in addition, i think another important thing is that that's what we require
we then use our public dollars to provide even more affordable housing, because we know that there are some people who are making $18,000, $20,000... >> sure. >> ...who will need additional help, and we will use our public dollars to help them. >> i see you nodding your head. go ahead. >> this is a very important point that should not be lost in the debate and all of these questions about the program. using, you know, taxpayer's dollars to help low-income families remain in the neighborhoods where they live is very, very important in this proposal. >> part of the proposal also involves a pretty proactive approach where you send people out in the communities to better equip them, better arm them for landlords who might get a little bit pushy in terms of trying to move them out to make room for the new guy coming in. talk to me about that, if you would. >> so, we've introduce a variety of proposals to make sure that people don't get displaced from their neighborhoods. the mayor has put more than $76 million into providing lawyers to help tenants who feel like they're being pushed out or their landlord is harassing
we formed a task force with the attorney general and the tenant protection unit. >> mm-hmm. >> we've already gotten indictments against landlords who were harassing tenants. we've passed laws saying that you can't harass a tenant by continually offering them a buyout, calling them at all hours of the night to say, "why don't you take my $10,000 and leave?" >> sure. >> those kinds of things. so, we're doing a full-court press to prevent that kind of harassment and displacement. >> and if i understand correctly, some of it involves door-to-door visits, correct? >> yes. we're sending folks out door-to-door to say, "what's happening with you? can we help?" >> hector, go ahead. >> yeah. i want to say, in the years that i've been here, in 32bj, in new york city, i have not seen a proposal that is as comprehensive as the one that mayor de blasio has introduced. it's not perfect, and part of the problem is we need more federal dollars into low-income housing. what dissatisfies many community advocates is a lack of low-income housing.
i think the mayor is really doing a great job in working with what he has, and bringing the community, and bringing developers and others into the conversation. >> all right. sit tight. i want to ask you about a few more specifics, issues that some people have in terms of high-rise buildings. we'll talk about that when we come back. more on the mayor's affordable-housing plan when we
affordable-housing plan. it's an ambitious plan, and here today to enlighten us on it, vicki been, the commissioner of the department of housing development and preservation, hector figueroa, president of the service employees union 32bj. i think there's a little bit of concern, commissioner, that part of the policy changes could generate what's called a glut of construction, eliminate parking spaces, and allow developers to build tall luxury towers while offering meager benefits for existing residents. how do you address that? >> so, that's part of the criticism that we're hearing about the zoning for quality and affordability proposals. >> yes. >> and they would not create any new market-rate capacity. >> okay. >> they would only allow affordable and senior housing to be fit into the existing envelopes, right? >> okay. >> so, they would allow, in some cases -- right now, if you build a first-floor retail, for example, you have to squash it into an eight-foot floor. >> yes. >> if you take five more feet, make it into a better retail, a better community-facility space, you can add those five feet onto
>> five feet. that's what we're talking about. to get better retail, better community facilities. >> is this an issue that you hear from your union members over and over again, "affordable housing, affordable housing, affordable housing"? >> in all of our neighborhoods, in all of our members, this is the number-one issue that comes up after bargaining contracts and trying to raise rates. >> but i would assume that -- that you probably know many of the people at the campaign for fair latino representation. many of them might be even in the union. >> mm-hmm. >> do you guys ever bump heads with each other in terms of what the vision might be, and why it works for some and it doesn't work for others? >> i think that we are all aligned on the side that we need to take action on affordable housing. there is a misconception that somehow the mayor's plans are gonna solve all of our affordable-housing problems. that is not going to be the case. but the absence of them doing anything, of not supporting this plan, is gonna be much worse. >> status quo is not an option. >> status quo is not an option. this is a good plan. in its own ground, its own merits, it's really a good plan, and we should advance it. >> commissioner, do you find yourself constantly having to
one-size-fits-all plan? that it seems like there's built-in flexibility to handle the concerns that residents have in queens while addressing the other issues that really are worrisome to people in the bronx and in brooklyn? >> it is not a one-size-fits-all. it's very flexible. people can choose when a neighborhood is re-zoned, can choose the amount of affordability, the levels of affordability. the zoning for quality and affordability is tailored to every single district and every single community across the city. >> mm-hmm. >> so it's not one size fits all. >> do you adamantly disagree with the claim that the mayor's plan, if it moves forward the way that it is, would drive gentrification and cause rents to soar, to make it...? >> no. gentrification is happening. >> it's happening. >> rents are rising. and this is the best tool that we have to control that. >> yep. you agree? >> yeah, i totally agree. if we don't do anything, gentrification actually will be much worse, because you're not gonna see any affordability
development that is gonna happen anyway. >> mm-hmm. it sounds like you're trying to get ahead of the curve a little bit. >> correct. >> to be more proactive instead of reactive. have i summarized it? >> exactly. we're trying to shape the development to serve the interests of the existing community and the existing neighborhoods rather than just letting development happen and then trying to react to it. >> we've got 30 seconds left. commissioner, give me a quick wrap up of where it goes from here. still has to get through a couple of boards before it becomes policy. >> it has to go to the city planning commission, and then it will go from the city planning commission to the city council, and then the city council -- once the city council votes it, it will go for the mayor's signature. >> which means still opportunities for public input and for fine tuning along the way. >> absolutely. >> and we're gonna be supporting it all along. >> okay. >> un placer. thank you guys very much. >> thank you. >> felicidades. all right. before we go, a quick look at the "tiempo" community calendar for this week. two events to tell you about in the bronx. tomorrow, monday at 4:00 p.m., the winter solstice bronx parranda will take place at the bronx documentary center,
take part in a traditional puerto rican parranda -- roll the r's, joe! -- caroling procession. it's co-sponsored by the make the music new york. best of all, the event -- free. the right price. also, every saturday at casita maria in the bronx, kids can learn traditional afro, puerto rican, and cuban dance and bomba drumming rhythms. that's a mouthful. it happens from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. casita maria is located at 928 simpson street. for more information, you can visit their website, casitamaria.org. much^simas gracias. thanks for being with us, spending part of your sunday with us. if you missed any part of our show, how about this? don't worry, you can watch it at abc7ny on the web, on your tablet, even on your smartphone. i'm joe torres. thanks for watching. we will see you next time on