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New York City & State Legislative Priorities Survey

The Center for Puerto Rican Studies, in conjunction with the Dominican Studies Institute at Hunter College, is preparing to conduct an important legislative study requested by New York City Council Black, Latino and Asian Caucus. Specifically this study, which is set to receive final approval from the Hunter College Institutional Review Board, seeks to better understand the process by which members of the New York City Council determine particular legislative priorities.

Given the importance of this research study to communities throughout New York City, including Puerto Rican, Dominican and other communities of color, we therefore would ask that you examine the enclosed survey materials and offer any comment you wish to make regarding the study in question. Your comments will be taken into account prior to the implementation of the survey. We expect the collection of data to begin in within the next one to two weeks.

The basic idea behind the study is to take a proactive approach, with the understanding of moving communities forward in collaborative efforts. We hope to identify issues where members of the New York City Council could work in collaboration

on a long term basis, be it in legislative, oversight, or budgetary initiatives. Similarly, we hope to identify those issues that may be a priority for their districts but in which they are working alone. The goal is to provide insight to help develop an agenda for legislators that will bring benefits to different constituencies in New York City.

The study will include a survey and interviews with each of the city’s council members as well top members of their legislative staffs. The survey is divided into two parts. The first part of the survey will be administered directly to each of the 51 council members, asking them to identify what city budget items they believe are most important, based on a hypothetical city budget. The second part of the survey, which will be administered to top ranking aides of each council member’s staff, will assess the importance of policy items to different constituencies in council members’ districts. Council member staff will also be given the opportunity to provide additional comment or clarification on the items presented in the survey. All responses will remain confidential. The analysis of the data will be presented in aggregate form and ground

by boroughs and by city population characteristics.

We expect to collect data in March and April, and present a preliminary report to the New York City Council Black, Latino and Asian Caucus by mid-May.