Queens Lawmakers On The Move Aug. 6, 2018

Queens County City Council News

Meng Invests $80,000 in State Dem Party to Engage College Students

U.S. Rep. Grace Meng

U.S. Rep. Grace Meng (D-Bayside, Flushing, Forest Hills, Rego Park, Fresh Meadows, Glendale, Kew Gardens, Maspeth) last week invested $80,000 in the state Democratic Party to support the party’s college campus organizing efforts.

The organizing program will engage and turn out voters in crucial Congressional and state house districts, helping to elect Democrats up and down the ballot. The targeted Republican Congressional districts include NY-01, NY-11, NY-19, NY-22, and NY-24. 

With historically low voter turnout for both college students and young people, Meng’s investment will go a long way towards increasing Democratic turnout in New York, especially in highly competitive districts.

“I’m excited to support the state party in their efforts to engage these students, take back the House and elect Democrats up and down the ballot. These kids aren’t just our future — they’re here now, and I’m making sure their voices are heard in the midterm elections,” said Congresswoman Grace Meng.  

The program begins immediately and runs through the 2018 midterm elections in November. 

Kim Implores Cuomo To Lead In Helping Puerto Rican Recovery

Assemblymember Ron Kim/Facebook

Assembly Member Ron Kim (D-Whitestone, Flushing, College Point, Murray Hill ) yesterday implored Gov. Andrew Cuomo, as the only U.S. governor to have visited Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria five times, to take the lead in showing the world how to re-build economies, from the bottom-up.

“While many holders of Puerto Rican debt, and investors in its economy, have put the island in full austerity mode, you are in a unique position to stem this budding catastrophe, which will choke off opportunities, result in unemployment and hurt the most vulnerable citizens once the inevitable reduction in government services takes place,” wrote Kim in an open letter posted on Medium.

Kim states the way to get Puerto Rico out of debt is to change the economic paradigm with the first step being to go into Puerto Rico with the world’s best experts and implementers of cooperative and sharing economies to identify the resources and needs in each neighborhood.

The second step is to co-design local solutions to connect the community and enable them to cooperate based on localized and functional currencies. Due to scarcity of conventional money and currency, these experts must help create community-based currencies designed to match needs with local resources.

Kim notes that creating community-based currencies have worked in several other countries. He is also a leading legislator in Albany on the issue of cryptocurrency.

Avella Assails DOE For Keeping Secret SHSAT Study

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) on Friday was sharply critical of the city Departmnet of Education for hiding results of a 2013 study that found that specialized high school admissions tests (SHSAT) was a good predictor of how well students would do at the schools.

The DOE released for the first time a study on Friday to little fanfare. The release comes as the de Blasio Administration wants to discontinue use of the test so more Black and Hispanic students can attend these top academic high schools.

“The New York City Department of Education should be ashamed of themselves for concealing this important 2013 study on the Specialized High School Admissions Exam, which validates the need to keep the test. We need to expand educational opportunities for all, and my legislation to expand the gifted and talented program in every elementary and secondary school in New York City would do exactly that,” said Avella.