Queens Lawmakers On The Move – Wednesday Oct. 11, 2017

Queens County City Council News

Katz, Meeks, Sanders, Cook Host Town Hall With De Blasio

Queens Borough President Melinda Katz/via Facebook
U.S. Rep. Gregory Meeks

Queens Borough President Melinda Katz, U.S. Rep. Gregory Meeks, State Sen. James Sanders and Assembly Member Vivian Cook are co-sponsoring a Town Hall with Mayor Bill de Blasio for the residents of the 28th City Council District next week.

The seat, which covers the neighborhoods of Rochdale and South Ozone Park is currently vacant following the felony conviction of former City Council Member Ruben Wills.   

Democrat Adrienne Adams, Republican Ivan Mossop and Working Families Party candidate Hettie Powell will face off on Nov 7 to fill the vacancy.

Se. James Sanders
Assembly Member Vivian Cook

The meeting with residents will address issues in the neighborhoods of Jamaica, Richmond Hill, Rochdale Village, South Jamaica and South Ozone Park.

Other Co-sponsors for the town hall include Community Board 12, Baisley Pond Park Association, Indo-Caribbean Alliance, Inc., United Neighbors Civic Association, Rochdale Village Board of Directors and the 113th Precinct Community Council.

The Town Hall is slated for 7 p.m. (Doors open at 6 p.m.) Monday, Oct. 16 at August Martin High School, 156-10 Baisley Boulevard  in Jamaica. Residents of the 28th Council District are asked to RSVP by October 14 at 5 p.m. via email at [email protected] or by calling (212) 788-1453. Space is limited.

Van Bramer Returns From Trip To Puerto Rico

City Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer/Facebook

City Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer (D- Astoria, East Elmhurst, Jackson Heights, Long Island City,  Maspeth, Sunnyside and Woodside) last night returned from Puerto Rico, where he spent the past 4 days delivering supplies and volunteering on relief efforts with his husband, Dan.

“I wanted to share with you how immensely proud I am of our city and its response having witnessed it first hand. Over 150 New York City employees are on the island doing remarkable work supporting the relief efforts and saving lives. The agencies I worked with included: the Department of Buildings (DOB), the Office of Emergency Management (OEM), Housing Preservation and Development (HPD), and NYC Parks to name a few. These organizations were joined on the ground by FDNY, NYPD and other first responders,” wrote Van Brammer in his email newsletter.

“At a time when our Puerto Rican brothers and sisters need our help, New York City and New Yorkers have stepped up and given back to an island that has given all of us so much.  The amazing NYC emergency operations center at the Coliseo Roberto Clemente in San Juan and all of the NYC employees have stepped up and made a real difference in a time of devastation. They are heroes and deserve all of our thanks,” he added.

Van Bramer said more help is still needed and urged all that wanted to contribute should do so to the Maria Fund. They can be found at www.mariafund.org.

Cuomo Enacts Provision In State’s Raise The Age Law

Gov. Andrew Cuomo

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo (D) announced that a provision in the state’s landmark Raise the Age law – allowing individuals who have remained crime-free for 10 years to request that certain New York State convictions be sealed – took affect on Saturday, October 7.

The change is a result of Cuomo‘s ongoing efforts to eliminate unnecessary barriers to opportunity and employment that formally incarcerated individuals face and to improve the fairness and effectiveness of the state’s criminal justice system.

 “Law-abiding New Yorkers should not be forever branded with the stigma of a non-violent criminal conviction when they have turned their lives around,” said Cuomo. “This provision of the landmark Raise the Age law will help eligible people of all ages turn the page and increase public safety by helping to end the vicious cycle of recidivism once and for all.”

The new provision allows eligible individuals to petition the court to seal up to two misdemeanor convictions; one misdemeanor and one felony conviction; or one felony conviction. To be eligible, an individual must have no convictions on their record for at least 10 years and have no charges pending. Individuals who were incarcerated may not apply until a decade following their release date. Excluded from sealing are convictions for sex crimes or any offense requiring registration as a sex offender; child pornography; murder, manslaughter and other homicide charges; certain conspiracy charges; and any crime defined by law as a Class A or violent felony. Additional information is available here.

New York State will raise the age of criminal responsibility in the state from 16 to 18 over the next two years. Juvenile jurisdiction for individuals who are 16 years old takes effect Oct. 1, 2018, and on Oct. 1, 2019 for 17-year-olds. The Raise the Age law and the sealing provision build upon Cuomo‘s efforts to improve the state’s criminal justice system and reduce barriers faced by people with criminal convictions.

Individuals who believe they may be eligible for sealing under this law can visit www.nycourts.gov/forms for the forms and instructions needed to apply for sealing.