Queens Lawmakers On The Move Aug. 16, 2018

Queens County City Council News

Meng Introduces Constitutional Amendment To Lower Voting Age To 16

U.S. Rep. Grace Meng

U.S. Rep. Grace Meng (D-Bayside, Flushing, Forest Hills, Rego Park, Fresh Meadows, Glendale, Kew Gardens, and Maspeth) announced yesterday that she has introduced legislation in the House of Representatives that would lower the voting age in America to 16 years old.

Meng’s measure (H.J. Res. 138) seeks to replace the 26th amendment to the United States Constitution with a new amendment that would allow 16- and 17-year-olds to vote. The last time the voting age was changed was when it was lowered from 21 to 18 in 1971.

The reasoning back in 1971 was that people can be drafted in the military at 18 and the Vietnam War was being fought at the time. That if an individual was old enough to fight in a war they should be old enough to vote.

“I am a firm believer that we should empower our young people and that includes extending the right to vote for 16- and 17-year-olds,” said Meng. “Voting is a serious responsibly. But I believe that our youth are mature enough at these ages to responsibly cast a ballot. Over the past year, we have seen a huge wave of inspirational and passionate activism by students from all across the country. Students are demanding change on issues such as gun safety, climate change, and health care. They deserve to have their voices heard at the ballot box, and to have a say in the change for which they’re vigorously advocating. It’s clear to me that they should be allowed to vote.”

“16- and 17-year-olds are legally permitted to work and they pay federal income tax on their earnings,” Meng added. “They are legally permitted to drive motor vehicles, and if they commit crimes they are tried as adults. I think it is only fair to allow them the right to vote as well.”

Constitutional amendments require passage by two-thirds of the House and Senate, and ratification by three-fourths of the nation’s state legislatures. If enacted, the voting age would be lowered for federal, state and local elections.

Meng’s legislation has been referred to the House Judiciary Committee where it is awaiting further action.

Addabbo Calls on DOT To Change Select Bus Service Lane Hours On Woodhaven & Cross Bay Blvds

Senator Joseph Addabbo Jr.

State Sen. Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr. (D-Howard Beach, Ozone Park, Woodhaven, Glendale, Middle Village, Maspeth and parts of South Ozone Park, Ridgewood, Woodside and The Rockaways) yesterday, in an attempt to properly share the existing Select Bus Service (SBS) lanes, has requested the city’s Department of Transportation (DOT) reconsider the current 24-hour restrictions for bus use only and alter the SBS active times along Woodhaven and Cross Bay Boulevards.

On July 9, Addabbo penned a letter to DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg asking that the agency reevaluate the 24-hour operation of the SBS lanes along these active corridors.

Instead of being active for 24 hours, Addabbo suggests having the Woodhaven/Cross Bay SBS lanes active only during the weekday morning and afternoon rush hours — effectively from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. and then from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.

“I drive along Woodhaven and Cross Bay Boulevards every day and I believe that these modified hours for the active bus-only lane could benefit more local drivers,” Addabbo said. “As I stated in the letter to Commissioner Trottenberg, I believe these proposed new set of hours would fit with the volume of vehicles and bus traffic along those roadways. I believe my suggested hours would protect the efficiency of the SBS service and allow vehicles to use the empty bus lanes during non-peak hours. The DOT has been open to ideas from the community and elected officials, and they have made changes to the SBS route and times when a need arose. I am hopeful that we can keep this positive exchange going and make the SBS lanes better for everyone.”

Koo Sponsors Back-To-School Backpack Giveaway

City Council Member Peter Koo

City Council Member Peter Koo (D-Downtown Flushing, Murray Hill, Queensboro Hill) and the Hotel Chinese Association USA is holding their 6th Annual back-to-school giveaway tomorrow.

This year they are giving away 500 school bags and school supplies to school age children. All our welcome. Co-sponsors include Twin Marquis, Po Wing Hong Food Market, White on White Cleaning and Mrs. Anna Yee.

The event is slated for between 11 a.m.-1 p.m., tomorrow, Aug. 17 at the Ebenezer Baptist Church, 36-12 Prince Street in Flushing.