By Gabriela Resto-Montero
EAST HARLEM — A new City Council caucus attempting to distinguish itself from its less progressive brethren launched on Thursday.
Organizers of the so-called "Progressive Caucus" said the group will take aim at moderate Democrats in an effort to highlight issues that affect working-class New Yorkers. The group plans to vote as a bloc on Council legislation.
"The caucus is an opportunity for public policy issues," said Councilwoman Melissa Mark-Viverito, co-chair of the new group. "We're in a conversation now about specific issues we're going to work on."
The state of Section 8 housing and paid sick leave for workers were some of the issues the group planned to take on, Mark-Viverito said.
The next step for the group will be to enlist other members.
Upper East Side Councilwoman Jessica Lappin said she had not been invited to participate in the caucus yet but was looking forward to reading its mission statement and bylaws, a spokesperson said.
Other Manhattan Councilmembers, including Democrats Margaret Chin, Rosie Mendez and Ydannis Rodriguez, are founding members of the group.