Queens Lawamkers On The Move Sept.10, 2018

Queens County City Council News

Avella Rallies with Community Members To Save Specialized High School Admissions Test

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) yesterday stood with advocacy groups, community members, and elected officials at Foley Square in Manhattan, rallying to save the Specialized High School Admissions Test (SHSAT).

Avella and the attendees called for people to vote in the primary this Thursday, Sept. 13 for elected officials that support the SHSAT.

“I will continue fighting to save the Specialized High School Admissions Test and I am totally opposed to the Mayor’s plan to change the SHSAT.  The test is not the problem. We need to improve education for all of our students, which is why I’ve authored legislation to require every grade in every elementary and middle school in the City of New York to have a dedicated class for top performing students.”

Avella previously rallied in front of City Hall this summer with the Chinese American Citizens Alliance, Coalition Edu, and community members to save the SHSAT and oppose Mayor Bill de Blasio’s plan to end the test in three years. Avella has also called on Governor Cuomo to include $10 million in next year’s state budget for test preparation funding to help low-income students prepare for exams.

Schumer Pushes To Fill Veterans Affiars Job Openings

U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer

U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) yesterday unveiled a new plan to fill the most critical of U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) jobs.

Schumer’s plan comes on the heels of a new jaw-dropping report from the VA that revealed more than 45,000 critical VA jobs are unfilled, risking the care of New York’s 800,000 veterans. Schumer said if the government doesn’t deliver new federal dollars to VA health care and then hold the VA accountable to action, vets could be waiting for months to receive both critical and routine care.

“The point is a simple one: our veterans should not have to fight a war with the VA to receive the kind of health care they both need and deserve,” said Schumer.“To know that there are forty-five thousand critical jobs, most in the Veterans Health Administration, unfilled is unacceptable and demands immediate action. That is why when we get back to Washington this week I will be making an all-out push to lock in new federal dollars for the VA so they can use the dollars to fill these jobs before vets’ care really suffers. And I will hold them to this demand, especially if they are to receive this surge in dollars.”

The VA reported a total of 45,239 overall vacancies at the department. Within the overall number of vacancies, 40,456 are in the Veterans Health Administration. New York has more than 1,800 of these vacancies, the majority of which are in New York City and Long Island.

According to reports, the large number of vacancies threaten efforts to combat suicide among veterans, too.

Ulrich Welcomes First-Ever Farmer’s Market to Richmond Hill

City Council Member Eric Ulrich

City Council Member Eric Ulrich (R-Belle Harbor, Breezy Point, Broad Channel, Howard Beach, Lindenwood, Neponsit, Ozone Park, Richmond Hill, Rockaway Park, Roxbury, South Ozone Park, West Hamilton Beach, Woodhaven) this past weekend welcomed the first-ever Farmer’s Market to Richmond Hill.

This new market, which Ulrich funded, will give residents direct access to fresh fruit and vegetables from locally-sourced farmers – right in their backyard.

Additionally, in partnership with GrowNYC, the Farmer’s Market will employ local students from John Adams High School’s Junior ROTC program.

The Farmer’s Market will be open every Saturday through Nov. 17 near the Buddy Monument in Forst Park (near the intersection of Park Lane South and Myrtle Avenue) in Richmond Hill.

Kim Hosts Media Roundtable With Lt. Governor Candidate Jumaane Williams

Assembly Member Ron Kim

Assemblyman Ron Kim (D-Whitestone, Flushing, College Point, Murray Hill) today will host a media rountable with the Lt. Gov Candidate Jumaane Williams and community leaders in his district.

The event is slated for 12 noon, today, Sept. 10 at Mulan Restaurant, 136-17 39th Avenue 2nd Floor in Flushing.

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