Queens Lawmakers On The Move May 22, 2018

Queens County City Council News

Katz Decries City’s Sudden Plans To Close A Third Of Rockaways Most Popular Beaches

Queens Borough President Melinda Katz

Queens Borough President Melinda Katz yesterday decried the city’s sudden plans to close 12 blocks of the Rockaway Beaches indefinitely and effective this weekend due to erosion.

About a dozen blocks of beach area between Beach 91st and Beach 102nd Streets were closed to protect a dune put in place since Hurricane Sandy devastated the area in 2012.

The city said in a statement that, “The dune built since Sandy provides strong protection to the inland residents, but also covers part of the area that previously was available for active recreation.”

But Katz said the city knew about the problem and should have acted earlier.

“The City’s immediate plans for the Rockaways will significantly hurt the local community and Queens economy during the vital visitor season of the summer months, and shortchange one of the largest tourist attractions in the City. This is unacceptable; the Rockaways deserve better,” said Katz.

“The community had long expressed its concerns about the vulnerable shoreline to the Parks Department for years. When the Army Corps last replaced 3.5 million cubic yards of sand on the Rockaway Beaches in 2014, the community repeatedly warned the City that without permanent protective measures, the sand would soon need to be replaced again. The consequences of the City’s failure to act earlier will be disproportionately borne by the Rockaway community,” she added.

This Memorial Day Weekend will mark the 2018 summer season opening of Rockaway Beach.

Suozzi, Crowley, Maloney Lobby Amtrak To Fast-Track East Side Access Project

U.S. Rep. Tom Suozzi
U.S. Representative Joe Crowley

Queens Congress Members Tom Suozzi (D-Queens, Long Island), Joe Crowley (D-Queens, the Bronx and Carolyn Maloney (D-Queens, Manhattan, Brooklyn) last week sent Amtrak CEO Mr. Richard H. Anderson a letter asking him to fast-track the crucial East Side Access Project.

U.S. Rep Carolyn Maloney

The joint MTA/Amtrak$11.2 billion project is scheduled for completion by 2022. The MTA is saying is stalled because Amtrak has not provided needed resources at a key construction site in Queens.

The federal lawmakers say it is urgent the project gets completed for expanded transportation options in Long Island and Queens.

“New York City residents are too often plagued by delays and interruptions when commuting to and from work each day. Nowhere is this problem more prevalent than in those boroughs underserved by our existing transit systems. Fast-tracking the East Side Access project, which will connect the Long Island Rail Road to Grand Central Terminal and provide more frequent and reliable service, is a critical step forward to improve transportation access for the Long Island, Queens, and Bronx communities,” the lawmakers wrote.

“Progress has been made and we’re glad to see that the MTA and the LIRR have re-committed to the 2022 deadline. New Yorkers need similar assurances from Amtrak that they will provide the track workers and electricians needed for this project to proceed.  There is an urgent need for 15-20 additional Amtrak employees above the existing work force assigned to Harold Interlocking at Sunnyside Yards on a daily basis. There is also a special need to focus on additional Electric Traction Linemen. The East Side Access project is a priority for our communities and must be a priority for Amtrak,” they added.

Queens County Democratic Party Endorses Peralta

State Senator Jose Peralta

The Queens County Democratic Party yesterday announced their endorsement of State Sen. Jose Peralta (D-Corona, East Elmhurst, Elmhurst, Jackson Heights, Woodside) in his re-election campaign.

The Queens County Democratic Party Chair is U.S. Rep. Joe Crowley. Peralta is a former member of the state senate Democratic breakaway group, the Independent Democratic Conference (IDC).

“I am immensely proud to have received the support of Queens County. For the past eight years, I have had the great privilege of serving my constituents with the steadfast leadership they deserve. With the support from Queens County, I once again reaffirm my commitment to champion progressive values and issues that move our state forward,” said Peralta.

“Working with my Queens colleagues, I have fought tirelessly for working men and women by successfully raising the minimum wage and passing paid family leave, bettering our schools, securing historic levels of legal aid funding for immigrants, and protecting tenants and homeowners. Our work is not over, but this endorsement signals to the people of Queens that we are united in fighting for them,” he added.