As mentioned in an earlier post, Brewer had introduced a bed bug related resolution in 2004 into the Council’s Health Committee (the reason it died in committee is unclear). Therefore, I’m guessing that this new legislation will also be sent to the Health Committee. Now the committee has to approve this legislation before it can be passed on to the full Council for vote, so it's very important that the committee approves the bed bug legislation or it will never be approved into law.
Here is a list of the Councilmembers who currently sit on the Health Committee and what part of New York City they represent.
- Joel Rivera (committee chairperson) - Bathgate, Belmont, Crotona, Fordham, East Tremont, West Farms
- Maria Baez - Fordham, Kingsbridge, Morris Heights, West Bronx
- Yvette D. Clarke - Kensington, Prospect-Lefferts, Ditmas Park; parts of Crown Heights, Flatbush, East Flatbush
- Maria del Carmen Arroyo - Bronx (site did not specify neighborhood)
- Inez E. Dickens - Central Harlem; parts of Morningside Heights, Upper West Side, East Harlem
- Helen D. Foster - West Bronx, Morrisania, South Bronx, Highbridge, Melrose
- John C. Liu - Flushing, Queensboro Hill, Mitchell Gardens, Kissena Park, Harding Heights, Auburndale; part of Whitestone
- Miguel Martinez - Parts of Washington Heights, Inwood, Marble Hill
- Michael E. McMahon - Rosebank, Westerleigh, New Brighton, West Brighton, Mariners Harbor, Stapleton, St. George, Park Hill, Port Richmond, Clifton, Grymes Hill and Dongan Hills
- Rosie Mendez - Lower East Side, East Village, Gramercy Park, Rosehill, Kips Bay; southern part of Murry Hill
- Helen Sears - Parts of Jackson Heights, Elmhurst, East Elmhurst, Rego Park, Woodside, Corona
- Kendall Stewart - Flatbush, East Flatbush, Flatlands
- Albert Vann - Parts of Bedford Stuyvesant, Crown Heights
You can have some influence on these committee members vote on the bed bug legislation by visiting the City Council web site and e-mailing as many Councilmembers as you’d like and politely urging them to support the bed bug legislation. You can have even more influence on a committee member if you live in the part of New York City that they represent. That means that member represents you, and he or she will pay more attention to what you have to say then someone who doesn’t live in their Council district. At the Council web site clicking on “Constituent Center” will allow you to enter your home address and find out which Councilmember represents you.
Tell them how this legislation will help you, tell them how much your life has been impacted because of bed bugs. Please, do not include any threats or profanity in your message. Do not ramble on, do not get too personal (translation: graphic) when describing your bed bug experience, and keep the subject towards the bed bug legislation. And as always, spell-check is highly recommended. The Health Committee is scheduled to meet February 15, so I’m guessing Brewer will have introduced the legislation by then. Let’s make sure the members walk into that meeting with your concerns in mind.