Queens Lawmakers On The Move July 9, 2018

Queens County City Council News

Katz, Boro Board To Vote On Proposed Hotel Zoning Amendment

Queens Borough President Melinda Katz

Queens Borough President Melinda Katz (D) and the Queens Borough Board, will today will vote on whether to recommend the adoption of the city’s Department of City Planning’s (DCP) proposed M1 Hotel Text Amendment during the Board’s joint meeting with the Queens Borough Cabinet.

If the city council approves the measure, the M1 Hotel Text Amendment would require anyone seeking to open a new hotel within an M1 (Light Manufacturing) zoning district to first obtain a Special Permit from the City Planning Commission. According to DCP, there has been rapid increase in hotels in M1 districts citywide since 2010, particularly in areas near transit.

The Borough Board was first briefed on the proposed text amendment at its meeting on October 16, 2017 as part of DCP’s environmental review process. The Board heard an additional presentation from the DCP on the proposal during the Board’s May 14, 2018 meeting.

The meeting and vote is slated for 5:30 p.m., today, July 9 at Queens Borough Hall, 120-55 Queens Boulevard in Kew Gardens.

Holden Says Keep ICE

City Council Member Bob Holden

City Council Member Robert Holden (D-Geldale, Maspeth, Middle Village, Ridgewood, parts of Woodside, and Woodhaven), a membert of the council’s Committee on Immigration, said last week he feels the need to speak out as a Democratic voice of reason against the campaign to abolish Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

“ICE was formed in 2003—following the devastating attacks on September 11, 2001 that cost the lives of 3,000 Americans—as part of the Department of Homeland Security with a mission of enforcing federal laws on border control, customs, trade, and immigration. The Homeland Security Act of 2002 which led to the creation of ICE passed overwhelmingly in the United States Senate with bipartisan support, including Senators Chuck Schumer and Hillary Clinton,” said Holden in an emailed statement .

“ICE agents maintain homeland security and public safety, with particular regard for terrorism prevention. Its 20,000 employees, who work across 46 countries, prevent everything from terror cell formation to illegal trade, child pornography and prostitution, drug smuggling, and human-trafficking.

“Disbanding ICE doesn’t solve the immigration issues in our country; its agents act on behalf of the law. If we want to see our border issues resolved, we need the United States Congress to legislate better, more inclusive immigration policies. Abolishing the agency that enforces the law is not that answer and could have grave national security implications,” he added.

Meng Sends Letter in Support Of Reimbursement For Feminine Hygiene Products

U.S. Rep. Grace Meng

U.S. Reps. Grace Meng (D-Bayside, Flushing, Forest Hills, Rego Park, Fresh Meadows, Glendale, Kew Gardens, Maspeth) and Sean Patrick Maloney (D-NY) last week sent a letter to House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) requesting that he allow House offices to be reimbursed for feminine hygiene products purchased for Congressional staff and office visitors.

The lawmakers sent the letter in the wake of Maloney‘s office being denied reimbursement for these products last week.

In their correspondence, Meng and Maloney also ask Ryan to provide free feminine hygiene products in all bathrooms that are under the jurisdiction of the U.S. House of Representatives.

“Feminine hygiene products are a basic and essential need for women,” said Meng. “All women deserve access to them and that includes women who visit and work on Capitol Hill. It is time for the House to make these necessary items more accessible to women. I urge Speaker Ryan to do the right thing and I eagerly await his reply.”

In addition to the letter, Meng is presently sponsoring the Menstrual Equity for All Act (H.R. 972) which contains five provisions to help different populations of women and girls better access feminine hygiene products, and she is the author of Menstrual Products Right to Know Act (H.R. 2416) which aims to make menstrual hygiene products safer by requiring manufactures to disclose the ingredients of these products.

The Congresswoman also convinced FEMA to add feminine hygiene products to the list of items that homeless assistance providers can purchase with federal grant funds, and due to her efforts, the Federal Bureau of Prisons agreed to provide female inmates with menstrual products free of charge.

Avella Stands with Resident Demanding DPR Remove Trees

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 stand with the homeowner at 12-44 162nd Street to demand that the Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) remove two trees that are significantly uplifting not only the sidewalk but almost the entire property.

In one of the worst cases Avella has seen, the roots from the trees have broken underground pipes, the stoop, walkway and patio tiles. DPR says they will not remove the trees because they are healthy.

Avella is slated to stand with the homeowner at 1 p.m., today, July 9 at 12-44 162nd Street in Beachhurst.