Queens Lawmakers On The Move Aug. 2, 2018

Queens County City Council News

Lancman Urges Mayor Take Action Beyond New NYPD Fare Evasion Policy

City Councilman rory Lancman. Photo Credit Bradon Jordan.

City Council Member Rory Lancman (D-Kew Gardens Hills, Pomonok, Electchester, Fresh Meadows, Hillcrest, Jamaica Estates, Briarwood, Parkway Village, Jamaica Hills, Jamaica), Chair of the Committee on the Justice System, urged Mayor Bill de Blasio yesterday to take additional steps in ensuring that individuals who jump turnstiles are not arrested or prosecuted at all.

On Wednesday, the New York Police Department (NYPD) announced that police officers will no longer arrest individuals for fare evasion who have a summons warrant on their record. The new policy aims to reduce arrests and allow for better safety coverage of the subway system.

Beginning this week, those fare offenders will instead get a criminal court summons, with an officer driving them to court to settle the outstanding summons and the new one for fare beating. A police official said that will take one to two hours and likely allow the officer to return to patrolling the subway, rather than spend at least six to eight hours processing an arrest, as told to the New York Daily News.

Police stop about 75,000 fare beaters a year, about 55,000 of whom get away with a summons to show up in court at a later date.

“New York City should not be arresting or prosecuting anyone for fare evasion. The Police Department’s new policy is a positive development since it will keep more New Yorkers out of the criminal justice system, but the Mayor should stop criminalizing the poor entirely and direct the NYPD to issue civil summonses only for fare evasion,” said Lancman.

Miller To Host Town Hall Event Alongside CWA Local 1180

Councilmember I. Daneek Miller

City Council member Daneek Miller (D-Cambria Heights, Hollis, Jamaica, Jamaica Estates, Laurelton, Queens Village, Springfield Gardens, St. Albans) will host a Town Hall event today alongside CWA Local 1180 President Gloria Middleton.

At the event, attendees will have the opportunity to Miller and Middleton questions on a variety of topics to shed light on this uncertain time following the Janus Supreme Court decision.

Late last month, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS), made a 5 to 4 ruling against public-sector unions. The decision, based on First Amendment grounds, rules state employees are not obliged to pay fees to a union representing government employees because such a requirement compels them to “subsidize the speech of other private speakers.”

The court’s decision in Janus v. AFSCME is expected to impact more than 5 million union workers, close to 2 million of which are living and working in New York state.

The event is slated for 7 p.m., today, Aug. 2, at Town Stages, at 221 West Broadway in Lower Manhattan. 

Avella Blasts Liu In Fight To Save SHSAT

Sen. Tony Avella

State Senator Tony Avella (D-College Point, Whitestone, Bayside, Flushing, Jamaica Estates, Fresh Meadows, Bellerose, Floral Park, Jamaica, Douglaston, Little Neck, Auburndale, Kissena Park, Briarwood) called out opponent John Liu for his long record of supporting changes to the Specialized High School Admissions Test yesterday.

Former New York City Comptroller Liu is currently challenging Avella, a former Independent Democratic Conference (IDC) member for his seat in the 11th State Senate District this year. On Tuesday, Avella alongside City Councilman Bob Holden (D-Glendale, Maspeth, Middle Village, Ridgewood, Woodhaven, Woodside) and other education advocates, rallied in support of the SHSAT and announced new legislation to expand the gifted and talented program for all students.  

Under Avella’s legislation, every class in every elementary and junior high school in the City of New York would be required to have a dedicated class for top performing students based on academic merit.

Earlier this year, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced plans to change the admissions requirements to Specialized High Schools in an effort to diversify the population of these schools. The proposal includes doing away with the rigorous SHSAT exam and replacing it with a system that would reserve seats for the top students in middle schools across the city. This would increase offers to both Latino and black students, as well as provide a better representation of students from each borough.

“Liu has historically been a vocal supporter of changing the Specialized High School Admissions Test since his days as comptroller and as a mayoral candidate.  We need a Senator who represents us all the time, not just when it’s politically expedient,” said Avella campaign spokesperson Jeff Frediani.