Queens Lawmakers On The Move Sept. 12, 2018

Queens County City Council News

Addabbo Applauds Local Businesses, Girl Scouts For Contributions To School Supply Drive

Senator Joseph Addabbo Jr.

State Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr. (D-Whitestone, Flushing, Murray Hill) applauded the help from local Girl Scout troops, neighborhood companies and generous residents in his back-to-school supply drive.

The group was able to collect several boxes filled with school supplies and toiletries including notebooks, pens and pencils, art supplies, book bags, loose leaf paper, toiletries, feminine hygiene products and more that will go to the families that use the Sacred Heart Food Pantry.

Last week, Addabbo alongside some of the Girl Scouts delivered the packages to the pantry.

“What an amazing effort made by these Girl Scouts to help collect school supplies for less fortunate families. I am grateful for the generosity of not only the businesses that set up collection boxes, but by the residents of our community for coming together for this supply drive. I would like to thank everyone who participated and donated, your kindness will go a long way in helping these families,” said Addabbo.

Gillibrand, Sanders Mark 17th Anniversary of 9/11 Terror Attacks

U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand
State Sen. James Sanders Jr.

Rep. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and State Senator James Sanders Jr. (D-Richmond Hill, South Ozone Park, Jamaica, Rochdale Village, Rosedale, parts of Far Rockaway), commemorated the 17th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, yesterday.

The attack killed just under 3,000 people including 343 heroic New York City firefighters and New York City police members, many of whom selflessly entered the burning buildings to fight the fire and save lives of civilians. Since the devastating tragedy, many first responders have gone onto experience severe illnesses like cancer and other deadly diseases due to the toxins at Ground Zero.

According to scientists, many cancers can lie dormant for more than 20 years before turning deadly. The number of cancer certifications by the World Trade Center Health Program reached over 10,000 cases in 2018 – more than double the 4,781 certifications just three years ago in 2015. Already, the Victim Compensation Fund (VCF) has approved over 17,000 claims with a mean dollar value of $223,000 for personal injury claims and $717,000 for deceased individuals.

“Seventeen years ago, as the world witnessed a heinous act of barbaric terrorism, we also saw the best of our nation as thousands of firefighters, police officers, federal and local law enforcement officers, medical workers, construction workers, and other heroes selflessly rushed to Ground Zero to answer the call of duty. On the seventeenth commemoration of the attack, we must all recognize the devastating fact that the death toll continues to rise due to 9/11 related illnesses. The scourge of cancer is ruining the lives of first responders, some of whom have been fighting this disease for years, and others who are newly diagnosed every year. The moral obligation of Congress to stand by every one of these heroes who stood up for this nation continues,” said Gillibrand.

“Today, it is with a heavy heart that we look back on the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. It was a day that started out with so much promise and ended in unspeakable tragedy. Although it is said that time heals all wounds, we still as a country bear the scars inflicted on us that day. We will never forget the thousands of innocent people who died senselessly, nor will we forget our first responders, courageous men and women in uniform who risked their lives, and in some cases, gave their lives, to save others,” said Sanders.

Kim Focuses On Tackling NYS Education Debt

Assemblymember Ron Kim/Facebook

Assembly member Ron Kim (D-Whitestone, Flushing, Murray Hill) alongside City Council member Jumaane Williams (D-Brooklyn) held a roundtable to address a number of statewide issues impacting minorities and immigrants on Monday.

Some of the issues discussed as part of the roundtable included access to quality healthcare, helping small businesses and affordable housing. Above all though, Kim focused the majority of the meeting on tackling New York State’s and the nation’s ballooning student debt crisis. In New York, roughly 13% or over $10 billion of $82 billion from 3 million borrowers is delinquent – debtors that are about to default on their loans. At the national level, by the conclusion of this year’s general elections, there will be close to $1.6 trillion dollars of student debt and 45 million education loan borrowers in America.

Kim alongside State Senator Kevin Parker (D-Brooklyn) has sponsored statewide legislation to create a full-time office dedicated to helping more money flow to those in debt instead of being constantly extracted from local communities by large corporations. The Office of Financial Resiliency (A. 11309) will help design local cooperatives and peer-to-peer community economies that will attract, retain and circulate as much revenue as frequently as possible on a local level. The Office of Financial Resiliency will be part of the New York State Department of Financial Services and run by a Chief Cooperative Economist and Chief Financial Resiliency Officer. They will lead a team to help local communities design and sustain resilient economies.

“Our current government financial services and regulations are designed to protect the status quo, perpetuating a debt-driven financial model and society where more than 80% are living paycheck to paycheck. Far too many have also become saddled with massive student debt,” said Kim.

“Simply put, almost every household is one catastrophe away from a major personal and family financial meltdown. By rethinking the way we build the different levels of our economy and designing an entire office to create a more resilient system, I believe we can better prepare for the next inevitable global financial crisis,” added Kim.