Weekly Round-Up: February 28, 2014

DALC-Adoption-Conference-Flyer-030714-v1r1-700 Event

  • Join us next Friday, March 7th for the Annual Adoption Law and Policy Conference at New York Law School. Topics include Adoption by Same-Sex Couples following Windsor, The Indian Child Welfare Act, and International Adoption. To register for this event, please click here.

Mayoral Appointments

  • Mayor Bill De Blasio has just named Steven Banks, the attorney-in-chief at the Legal Aid Society since 2004 as the new Commissioner of the city’s Human Resources Agency. The HRA provides temporary social service and economic assistance to New York’s individuals and families in need. In a statement about the new appointment (as reported by the New York Law Journal), Banks said that one of his top priorities with HRA is to ensure that every client is treated with dignity. Other appointments announced today include Nisha Agarwal as Commissioner of the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs, and Lorraine Grillo as President of School Construction Authority. To read more, click here (nyc.gov) and here (NYLJ).


  • Members of the City Council have called for Mayor de Blasio to provide further assistance for homeless children and families in New York City.  Recently, the City announced a plan to remove several hundred homeless children and their families from shelters with deplorable conditions.  The City Council wants the City to extend more aid and improve living conditions for children and families living in homeless shelters.  For City Council  records about the hearing, including video and the Committee Report, please click here and here.

LGBT Rights

  • This past week saw the veto of a controversial Arizona Bill that could have allowed private businesses to refuse service to patrons purportedly due to religious reasons.  Arizona SB 1062 was vetoed by Governor Jan Brewer due to concerns about the broad language and the impact of the bill, which was intended to allow private businesses to refuse to provide services to gay and lesbian individuals.  There were many external pressures on the Governor to veto this bill, which had passed the State Legislature.  Sponsors of the bill were even among those asking for the veto.  For more information about this bill, please click here. (Washington Post)