Queens Lawmakers On The Move April 26, 2018

Queens County City Council News

Gillibrand Proposes Putting A Bank In Every Post Office

U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand

U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) yesterday announced major new legislation to create a Postal Bankwhich would establish a retail bank in all of the U.S. Postal Service’s 30,000 locations.

The Postal Bank would effectively end predatory payday lending industry practices overnight by giving low-income Americans, particularly communities of color and rural communities, access to basic banking services that they currently don’t have.

“For millions of families who have no access or limited access to a traditional bank, the simple act of cashing a paycheck or taking out a small loan to fix a car or pay the gas bill can end up costing thousands of dollars in interest and fees that are nearly impossible to pay off. The Postal Bank would solve this problem by putting a retail bank branch in all of the U.S. Postal Service’s 30,000 locations, providing low-cost, basic financial services to all Americans, and effectively ending predatory lending nationwide,” said Gillibrand.

Specifically, the Postal Bank would offer the following services:

  • Small-Dollar Checking Accounts: Low-cost checking accounts for direct deposits, check cashing, and bill paying.
  • Small-Dollar Savings Accounts: Interest-bearing savings accounts that build wealth and could be used in combination with other federal, state, and local savings programs.
  • Small-Dollar Loans: Low-fee and low-interest rate micro-loans for customers.
  • Transactional Services: Debit cards, low-fee cash machines, online services, and bill payments.
  • Remittance Services: Domestic and international wire transfers.

Meng, Crowley Decry Plans to End TPS for Nepalese Citizens

U.S. Rep. Grace Meng
U.S. Rep.Joe Crowley

U.S. Reps. Grace Meng (D-Bayside, Flushing, Forest Hills, Rego Park, Fresh Meadows, Glendale, Kew Gardens, Maspeth) and House Democratic Caucus Chairman Joe Crowley (D-Sunnyside, Astoria, College Point, East Elmhurst, Jackson Heights, Corona, Woodside, parts of the Bronx) yesterday decried reports that the White House was making preparations to end Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for citizens of Nepal.

“If the Trump administration moves forward on this decision, the United States will be abdicating on the promise made to nearly 9,000 Nepalese citizens who have tried to put their lives back together in America while their homeland recovers from the massive earthquake that struck their country. Deporting these men and women will have dire consequences, as Nepal is still struggling to provide adequate housing, medical care, and food to the millions who were displaced,” the lawmakers said in a joint statement.

“It lacks vision and leadership from President Trump to unleash the full strength of his deportation machine on a small number of women and men who pose no risk to the United States. If the White House moves forward, this would be, once again, a cruel and unnecessary decision from the Trump administration,” they added.

Last month, Meng and Crowley, along with Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO), led a letter signed by dozens of House members urging the Trump administration to extend TPS for Nepalese citizens living in the United States following the devastating earthquake that struck Nepal in 2015.

Following a letter led by Meng and Crowley in 2015, the U.S. government first granted TPS to Nepalese citizens in the immediate weeks after the earthquake, and TPS was then extended to June 2018.

Ulrich Announces Return Of Queens Symphony Orchestra Concert Series

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 the return of the Queens Symphony Orchestra concert series, which will officially kick-off Monday, April 30, at the Rockaway Knights of Columbus.

The Queens Symphony Orchestra concert series, which Ulrich funded, continues to be one of the most successful and highly-attended events in the district. Last year, more than a thousand residents had the opportunity to experience music at its finest, with genres varying from jazz to Broadway show tunes, to Copeland and opera.

“I have always been a proud supporter of the arts. When I fund these concerts, I want to make sure that everyone in our community has the opportunity to see them. Many people cannot afford to attend shows like these, and the Queens Symphony Orchestra concert series gives them the opportunity to experience high-quality music, free-of-charge,” said Ulrich. “I encourage all my constituents to join us for this wonderful concert series.”

The Queens Symphony Orchestra will put on a total of four concerts at the following dates and times:

Monday, April 30 – 7:30 p.m.  (Jazz Ensemble)
Rockaway Knights of Columbus
Saturday, May 19 – 5:00 p.m. (Patriotic)
Colony Theater Center
Monday, May 21 – 7:00 p.m. (Broadway Show tunes)
Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Thursday, June 28 – 7:30 p.m. (Opera)
Russo’s On The Bay
All of the concerts are free-of-charge and open to the public, however, space is limited. To RSVP, please call (718) 570-0909. You may also RSVP by calling the Councilman’s District Office at (718) 738-1083. For more information about the Queens Symphony Orchestra, visit their website at www.queenssymphony.org.

Avella Presents Local Student with Winning Earth Day Poster Design

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) today will present Queens 6th grader Eliana Dorfman with her winning submission from the NYS Senate’s 2018 Earth Day Poster Contest.

The event is slated for 1 p.m. today, April 26 at P.S./I.S. 178, The Holliswood School,  189-10 Radnor Road in Jamaica Estates.