Queens Lawmakers On The Move Jan. 25, 2018

Queens County City Council News

Peralta Brings Home Money, Services, Increased Education   

State Senator Jose Peralta

State Sen. Jose Peralta (D-Corona, East Elmhurst, Elmhurst, Jackson Heights and Woodside) today announced he culminated a successful year as a member of the Independent Democratic Conference by delivering historic victories including a $10 million legal defense fund to protect immigrants, bringing the best Paid Family Leave program in the nation, raising the age of criminal responsibility from 16 to 18, and making college tuition free for working- and middle-class students.

Locally, Peralta delivered over $5 million in funding for local schools and community-based organizations. He also had several pieces of legislation signed into law, including an  Metropolitan Transportation Authority study of the lead paint levels in elevated subway structures, and the alienation of parkland to build a 300-seat Pre-K school in Flushing Meadow-Corona Park.

“Since I decided to join the Independent Democratic Conference exactly one year ago, I now have a seat at the table that allows me to deliver more and better services for my community. Clearly, this was an extremely effective year, both in terms of legislation and bringing much-needed resources to my constituents,” said Peralta. “My focus is on delivering for my community, whether it’s by bringing state funding for our schools and local organizations, or by passing crucial legislation.”

Peralta said this year he is focused on closing a $4.4 billion deficit budget, while funding the deteriorating public transit system and increasing school funding.

In 2017, Senator Peralta’s office opened almost 1,800 constituent cases, a record number. In response to a swell of people seeking housing and immigration assistance, he secured a state allocation to the CUNY School of Law Community Legal Resource Network to provide free legal services to constituents.

Community members, leaders and activists praised the Peralta’s accomplishments and achievements over the past 12 months.

“Senator Jose Peralta is a staunch advocate of affordable housing and rent reform. The Senator has put forth statements and legislation that protect renters from dubious landlords trying to increase rents. The fact of the matter is rents in Jackson Heights are at their peak, with a one bedroom apartment going for $2,300 on average. We need a strong voice in Albany that stands up for the rights of tenants,” said Jackson Heights resident Jennifer McClean.

“As a member of the community and witness to the work Senator Peralta does, I can say, without a doubt, that he is a true leader, who always puts the interests of the community first. A clear proof of that is today’s distribution of winter coats, coats that go to people who are going through some difficult time,”said Ivonne Mora, a constituent from East Elmhurst.

“I have known Senator Peralta for a few years now. He demonstrates his dedication and commitment to the district he serves by giving back in so many ways. I am a witness to the Senator’s realization of good deeds for the district he serves,” said Yudelqui Gomez, Program Director of Acacia Network Housing.

“I would like to thank Senator Peralta for all the work he has been doing for our community. Senator Peralta has been a symbol of hope for the Muslim community for sometime now and has been seeing this effect into not only ours, but all the communities he represents,” said Shaikh ShakilPresident of the Muslim Coalition of New York.

Lancman Touts Success of Chazaq Self-Defense Class for Seniors

City Council Member Rory I Lancman

City Council Member Rory I. Lancman (D-Briarwood, Cunningham Park, Flushing, Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Fresh Meadows, Hollis, Holliswood, Jamaica, Jamaica Estates, Jamaica Hills, Kew Gardens, Kew Gardens Hills, Richmond Hill) yesterday touted the success of Chazaq’s first ever Self-Defense Class for Seniors, after more than 55 seniors attended yesterday’s class at Queens Library.

Lancman allocated $16,000 in the FY 2018 budget through the Support Our Seniors Initiative to facilitate events for local seniors, including Wednesday’s Self-Defense Class.

The Self-Defense Class, which was free to attend for all participants, featured intensive instruction from Avi with the New York Self-Defense Academy. For nearly one hour, Avi explained several self-defense maneuvers and spoke with participants about the importance of self-defense. Attendees also learned about safety issues facing seniors from Detective Dan O’Brian and Mark Katz, Deputy Bureau Chief of the Queens DA’s office.

“We want to do everything possible to keep our seniors safe,” said Lancman. “The self-defense class was a unique opportunity for local seniors to learn defense skills and techniques needed to empower and protect themselves and others. I am proud to provide the funding needed to make this informative event a reality, and am grateful to Chazaq, the New York Self-Defense Academy, and all of our community partners for taking part in yesterday’s class.”

Chazaq Community Development Coordinator Israel Peskowitz thanked Lancman along with Katz, O’Brian; Detective Alvarez; and Susan Paredes, Branch Manager of the Queens Library in Kew Gardens Hills and her entire staff for their efforts in making the event so successful.

Avella Obtains Left Turn Signal at Union & Utopia Intersection

Sen. Tony Avella

State Sen. Tony Avella (D-College Point, Whitestone, Bayside, Flushing, Jamaica Estates, Fresh Meadows, Bellerose, Floral Park, Jamaica, Douglaston, Little Neck, Auburndale, Kissena Park, Briarwood) announced yesterday that the Department of Transportation (DOT) has finally given the green light for a left turn signal at Utopia Parkway when turning onto Union Turnpike.

DOT did not give a timeframe for when the dual left turn signals will be installed. Dual left turn signals already exist at Union Turnpike when turning onto Utopia Parkway.

Since 2016, Avella has lobbied the DOT on behalf of Fresh Meadows residents multiple times asking that a left turn signal be installed at this extremely busy intersection. In August, DOT officials informed the lawmaker that they were conducting a traffic study at this location.

“I was happy to hear that DOT has finally agreed with the rest of Queens that this is a highly trafficked intersection and in need of additional traffic controls. As someone who has personally experienced the difficulties posed to pedestrians and motorists at this intersection, I can say without a doubt that a left turn signal was needed at this location. I am sure that when this signal is finally installed it will ease the worries of pedestrians and motorists alike,” said Avella.

Ulrich Cleans Up, Upgrades Albert Road Triangle

City Council Member Eric Ulrich

City Councilman Eric Ulrich (R-Belle Harbor, Breezy Point, Broad Channel, Hamilton Beach, Howard Beach, Lindenwood, Neponsit, Ozone Park, Rockaway Beach, Rockaway Park, South Ozone Park, Woodhaven) yesterday announced a series of upgrades and clean-up efforts at the Albert Road Triangle in Ozone Park.

The eyesore, located at the corner of Albert Road, North Conduit Avenue and 99th Place, has been hot spot for litter, graffiti and illegal concrete dumping. The cleanup is part of Ulrich’s ongoing initiative to boost quality of life in the community,

The project, which was initiated by Ulrich’s office, is currently in the design stage and will beautify the trash-prone area. The New York City Dept. of Design and Construction (DDC) will be responsible for removing the illegally-dumped concrete and the jersey barriers, which are in disarray and have continuously attracted graffiti.

“Ensuring the quality of life for my constituents is a priority. Last year, our office targeted dozens of problematic areas in the district with an aggressive quality of life agenda – and this year is no different,” said Ulrich. “The Albert Road Triangle is a notorious eyesore, and I am thrilled DDC will make these much-needed upgrades.”

The DDC reconstruction plans will enhance safety for pedestrians and motorists alike, adding a sidewalk on the Albert Road side of the triangle from the flashing yellow lights to the newly-constructed elementary school, P.S. 335.

“Given its proximity to P.S. 335, our office wanted to make sure that any upgrades to the Albert Road Triangle did not compromise safety,” Ulrich said. “I am proud this project will not only beautify the area, but will also improve safety conditions, making it easier for school children to cross at the intersection.”