Queens Lawmakers On The Move July 12, 2018

Queens County City Council News

Meeks Bill Enhancing Disclosures About Corporate Insiders Passes Committee

U.S. Rep. Gregory Meeks

Rep. Gregory W. Meeks‘ (D-Jamaica, Laurelton, Rosedale, Cambria Heights, Saint Albans, Springfield Gardens, Far Rockaway, JFK Airport) bill to improve disclosures around companies with entrenched corporate governance structures passed the House Committee on Financial Services yesterday.

The Enhancing Multi-Class Share Disclosures Act (HR 6322) directs the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to issue a rule requiring companies with multi-class shares to better disclose the outsized voting power their corporate insiders may have relative to their shares. The bill was passed unanimously.

“The Multi-Class Share Disclosures Act is both timely and necessary to close documented gaps in transparency around multi-class governance structures. These structures – while they may add value – pose significant risks, making sunlight ever more important for investors,” said Meeks during the bill’s mark up.

“Multi-class governance structures are those where corporate insiders or beneficial owners retain an outsized amount of voting power relative to their shares.  These structures may pose significant risks for investors, including limiting investors’ abilities to influence management, direct strategy, and hold misaligned boards accountable. As we’ve seen, these structures could also potentially lead to companies being de-listed,” he added.

Hevesi Calls On Cuomo To Sign Shelters for Survivors of Human Trafficking Bill

Assemblyman Andrew Hevesi

Assemblyman Andrew Hevesi (D-Forest Hills, Rego Park, Richmond Hill, Glendale, Kew Gardens, Ridgewood, Middle Village) chair of the assembly’s Committee on Social Services, wis calling on Gov. Andrew Cuomo to sign into law S.8305/A.9566 – a bipartisan measure to establish “culturally competent” short-term safe house residential facilities and long-term safe house residential facilities and services operated by not-for-profit agencies for survivors of human trafficking.

State Sen. Marty Golden (R-Brooklyn) sponsored the measure on the senate side.

Specific services at the safe house shelter will include case management, health care, mental health counseling, drug addiction screening and treatment, language interpretation and translation services, English language instruction, job training and placement assistance, post-employment services for job retention, and services to assist the victim and their family members establish permanent residency.

According to a release on the issue, for many survivors of human trafficking, their most immediate and essential need is a safe, supportive place to stay. In New York State, some survivors turn to a network of temporary shelters to meet this need. Homeless shelters, domestic violence shelters, and runaway and homeless youth shelters can all help, but only if the trafficking survivor meets each shelter system’s particular eligibility requirements.

However, many trafficking survivors either may not meet these requirements or, even if they qualify, may not be able to find a vacant bed or unit, it’s clear that more shelter capacity – tailored to meet the particular, culturally competent needs of trafficking survivors – is necessary. It now falls upon Governor Cuomo to sign this legislation into law and protect countless survivors of human trafficking.

Hevesi, Golden, not-for-profit survivor’s advocacy groups, and those affected by trafficking will hold a press conference on the bill at 2 p.m. today, July 12 on the steps of City Hall in Lower Manhattan. 

Richards, De Blasio Administration Announce Affordable Housing Plans For Far Rockaway

City Council Member Donovan Richards

City Council Member Donovan Richards (D-Far Rockaway), the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC), Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) and the Housing Development Corporation (HDC) yesterday announced plans to deliver over 670 units of affordable housing across two projects in Far Rockaway.

The projects are in the core of last year’s rezoning of the Far Rockaway neighborhood.

The projects include the creation of 224 units of mixed income affordable housing, commercial space, and community facilities at a underutilized City-owned lot at Beach 21st Street.

HPD and HDC have also recently closed on construction financing to deliver 457 units of affordable housing for the initial phase of the Far Rockaway Village project, which will transform the neighborhood’s long-neglected shopping center into a vibrant mix of affordable housing, modern retail, and public space, serving as a village center for the neighborhood.

“Today’s announcement is another step in the direction of progress for Downtown Far Rockaway,” said Richards. “The Beach 21st Street lot  will be transformed into quality affordable housing for working families along with retail and community space to help lift up residents and local nonprofits delivering services to our community. As with every project in the Rockaways, we will work with the developer to ensure that we address the highest community needs, such as daycare services, good jobs and quality retail. I’d like to thank Mayor de Blasio and EDC President and CEO James Patchett for their dedication to the revitalization of the Rockaways. I look forward to working with The Community Builders to ensure this site delivers the progress we need in Far Rockaway.”

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