Queens Lawmakers On The Move June 21, 2018

Queens County City Council News

Katz Says upcoming Paul Simon Concert Should Be Free

Queens Borough President Melinda Katz

Queens Borough President Melinda Katz (D) said yesterday while she is thrilled with the announcement that legendary artist and Queens native Paul Simon’s final concert of his “Homeward Bound – The Farewell Tour” will take place on Sept. 22 in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, the concert should be free to the public.

“Queens adores the fact that Paul Simon has chosen to come home for the final concert of his Farewell Tour. As a lifelong fan, I am absolutely thrilled,” said Katz.

“The news, however, is bittersweet. The City of New York could have – and should have – turned this long-anticipated homecoming of Paul Simon into a free concert for all in the park, not limited to those who can afford to pay concert ticket prices at the expense of the surrounding community.  There are still several days before tickets go on sale. In fairness to all New Yorkers, the City should figure out a way to make this historic performance free and accessible to everyone.”

Katz in November 2015 outlined her concerns and the need for the city to develop a consistent policy and selection process for applications from for-profit companies to run paid admission events in our public parks.

To this day the city has failed to do anything on the issue.

Meng Lauds Release of Xiuqing You

U.S. Rep. Grace Meng

U.S. Rep. Grace Meng (D-Bayside, Flushing, Forest Hills, Rego Park, Fresh Meadows, Glendale, Kew Gardens, and Maspeth) yesterday applauded the news that a federal judge ordered the immediate release of Xiuqing You, the Flushing husband and father who was recently detained when he appeared for his green card interview.

“The ruling to release Xiuqing You is wonderful news. His fight is not finished but I’m very happy for his wife and two young children. I’m also pleased to have intervened in his case. But as we welcome this development, let’s not forget about the many other families who still remain separated tonight,” said Meng.

I thank all my colleagues who signed the letter we sent to ICE and I thank the Asian American Federation for their work as well.”

Meng and members of New York’s Congressional delegation sent a letter about You’s case to the head of Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) New York Field Office. The correspondence, sent last night, was signed by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and Reps. Nydia Velázquez, Joe Crowley, Adriano Espaillat, Yvette Clarke, Kathleen Rice, Gregory Meeks, Hakeem Jeffries, José Serrano, Eliot Engel and Carolyn Maloney.

Lancman Committee Holds Hearing On Opioid Prosecutions

City Council Member Rory I Lancman

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), chair of the council’s Committee on the Justice System, today will have the committee hold an oversight hearing to examine how the City’s District Attorneys are addressing the opioid epidemic.

The Committee will hear testimony from all five District Attorneys’ Offices and the Special Narcotics Prosecutor, Bronx Criminal Court Supervising Judge George Grasso, public defenders, and advocates.

The Committee will be seeking insight into how opioid-related cases are prosecuted in each of the five boroughs by the City’s District Attorneys and the Special Narcotics Prosecutor, including the use of alternatives to incarceration and diversion programs.

The hearing is slated for 1 p.m., today, June 21 at City Hall. It is a public meeting.  

Kim Announces First Executive Director Of Asian Pacific American Task Force

Assembly Member Ron Kim

Assemblymembers Ron Kim (D-Whitestone, Flushing, Murray Hill) and Yuh-Line Niou (D-Manhattan), Co-Chairs of the New York State Asian Pacific American Task Force, yesterday announced the appointment of Christopher Kui as the very first Executive Director for the Task Force.

Kui brings a wealth of experience with him from his time as Executive Director of Asian Americans for Equality, and his many years at the executive level will prove invaluable for his new role. Kui will focus on advocating for the major issues affecting New York’s large and diverse Asian American and Pacific Islander community.

“I am proud to introduce my long-time colleague, Christopher Kui, as the first Executive Director of our Assembly’s newly formed Asian Pacific American Legislative Task Force. He has devoted his entire career serving our communities and will have an essential role in the future development of our task force. Christopher has consistently championed the issues that strike at the heart of the Asian Pacific American community, and I know he will continue to do so in this new position,” said Kim.

The Asian Pacific American Task Force was formed in 2017 to advocate for Asian Pacific Americans throughout the state. It is the first legislative body to focus exclusively on advancing an agenda for Asian Americans statewide.