Queens Lawmakers On The Move June 27, 2018

Queens County City Council News

Meeks Decries Supreme Court Upholding Trump Muslim Travel Ban 

U.S. Rep. Gregory Meeks

U.S. Rep. Gregory W. Meeks (D-Jamaica, Laurelton, Rosedale, Cambria Heights, Saint Albans, Springfield Gardens, Far Rockaway, JFK Airport.) senior member of the Foreign Relations committee, yesterday decried the U.S. Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision to uphold President Donald Trump’s executive authority to ban immigrants from mainly predominately Muslim countries including Chad, Iran, Iraq, Libya, North Korea, Syria, Venezuela, and Yemen on the grounds they were a significant security risk threat.

“I am deeply disappointed by the Supreme Court’s 5-4 ruling to uphold President Trump’s Muslim travel ban. As has been made clear from the very beginning, Trump’s executive order was born from an intent to single out Muslims, and midwifed through post-hoc security justifications. Rather than protecting our nation from threats abroad, the Muslim ban plays directly into the hands of extremists who welcome the narrative of a religious war,” said Meeks.

“The theft of President Obama’s Supreme Court nomination by the Republican Senate has already proven to have far-reaching and long-lasting consequences. With Justice Gorsuch further slanting the bench toward a conservative ideology, SCOTUS has failed to serve as a check on Trump, it has failed to protect women, it has failed to block minority voter suppression, it has failed to protect the rights of the LGBTQ community, and it has failed again today.

“In empowering the White House to discriminate based on nationality and religion, our nation’s highest court has abetted in one of our nation’s lowest points in history. The absence of rigorous judicial oversight has left only Congress to serve as a check on this administrations prejudicial animus,” he added.

Gillibrand Amendment Would Ban Dangerous Pesticide From School Food

U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand

U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, yesterday introduced an amendment to this year’s Senate Farm Bill that would prohibit the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) from purchasing produce for school meals that contains even low residue levels of the pesticide chlorpyrifos.

Chlorpyrifos is particularly harmful when consumed by children. Scientists from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have recommended a ban on the pesticide.

“The EPA determined that chlorpyrifos was too dangerous for household use nearly two decades ago, but it is still being used on the fruits and vegetables we give to children in public schools. This is outrageous,” said Gillibrand. “I am proud to introduce my amendment to ban this toxic pesticide from produce in our schools, and I will continue doing everything in my power as a Senator to protect our children. I urge my colleagues to join me in supporting this important amendment to keep our children healthy and safe.”

Chlorpyrifos is a powerful organophosphate pesticide, widely used since the 1960s. The EPA banned household use of this chemical in 2000, but more than five million pounds of the pesticide are still applied annually across the United States to a variety of crops including apples, oranges, broccoli, berries, and tree nuts.

Sanders Gives Glimpse Of Caribbean Carnival In Rockaways

State Sen. James Sanders Jr.

State Sen. James Sanders Jr. (D-Far Rockaway) will give a glimpse into the Caribbean Carnival in the Rockaways when he hosts a kick-off for the second annual event in collaboration with the West Indian American Day Carnival Association (WIADCA), the Rockaway Development Revitalization Corporation (RDRC), and the Parks Department.

The Senator’s preview will include masqueraders in brightly colored elaborate costumes, steel pan drummers and moko jumbies.

The Carnival celebrates the various arts & culture of the Caribbean, while highlighting the hidden jewel that is the Rockaways. It was such a success last year that organizers expect an even better event this year. The Caribbean Carnival in the Rockaways will take place in August. More details to be announced soon.

The glimpse is slated for 3 p.m., this Saturday, June 30 at the Beach 20th Street Pedestrian Plaza between Mott and Cornaga Avenues in Far Rockaway.

Katz To Unveil Western Queens Tech Zone Strategic Plan

Queens Borough President Melinda Katz

Queens Borough President Katz (D) and fellow stakeholders tomorrow will unveil the long-anticipated Western Queens Tech Zone Strategic Plan, entitled Live, Work, Create: A Roadmap for Equitable Growth of the Western Queens Tech Ecosystem.

Katz, in collaboration with the Western Queens Tech Task Force, Coalition for Queens (C4Q) and the consulting firm HR&A Advisors, created the plan to facilitate the continued growth of the tech economy of Western Queens along the East River waterfront. The plan identifies opportunities to build upon the area’s burgeoning tech ecosystem and proposes initiatives to support its future growth as New York City’s future tech hub.

During the announcement, Katz will present key points of the plan including its initiatives, next steps, and underlying strategy to encourage equitable access and distribution of tech assets for all western Queens community members.

The New York State Department of State under Title 11 of the Environmental Protection Fund paid for the plan.

The unveiling is slated for 5:30 p.m., tomorrow, June 28 at WeWork Queens Plaza, 27-01 Queens Plaza North in Long Island City.