Queens Lawmakers On The Move Oct. 1, 2018

Queens County City Council News

Meng Marches To Senate Judiciary Committee To Protest Kavanagh Vote

U.S. Rep. Grace Meng

U.S. Rep. Grace Meng (D-Bayside, Flushing, Forest Hills, Rego Park, Fresh Meadows, Glendale, Kew Gardens, Maspeth) on Friday marched from the steps of the U.S. Capitol to the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing room to protest the panel’s vote on Judge Brett Kavanaugh.

Meng marched with other female Democrats including fellow Queens U.S. Reps. Carolyn Maloney and Nydia Velázquez. 

“It is unconscionable that the Judiciary Committee scheduled this vote without a full and thorough investigation,” said Meng. “For nearly two weeks, I have called on the Senate Judiciary Committee to postpone the confirmation process so that the FBI could investigate the serious allegations of sexual assault and misconduct against Judge Kavanaugh. It is a travesty that Republicans on the panel rejected these calls, and instead rushed to confirm Judge Kavanaugh ahead of the midterm elections. The committee’s rush to vote without an investigation, and without hearing from all the witnesses, will go down as a dark and shameful day in our nation’s history. In addition, the behavior and partisanship that Judge Kavanaugh displayed during his testimony was unbecoming of a judge and beneath the conduct of a Supreme Court Justice nominee. This was a job interview and I would never hire somebody who acted and spoke like he did, even if they had a pristine history.”

In addition to marching, Meng sat in the hearing room today as the Judiciary Committee debated the vote, and she stood in protest outside the hearing room with Democratic senators from the panel.

Lancman Introduces Bill Bringing Transparency & Accountability To NYPD Body Camera

City Councilman Rory I. Lancman

City Council Member Rory I. Lancman (D-Kew Gardens Hills, Pomonok, Electchester, Fresh Meadows, Hillcrest, Jamaica Estates, Briarwood, Parkway Village, Jamaica Hills, Jamaica) along with Council Member Jumaane D. Williams (D-Brooklyn) last week introduced legislation aimed at bringing transparency and accountability to the usage of body-worn cameras by the NYPD.

The legislation, Intro 1136, would require public reporting on the number of officers utilizing body-worn cameras, and the activities captured on video as a result. It would also mandate disclosure of whether those videos were used in any internal investigations of officer conduct.

Specifically, the legislation  says that the “department shall submit to the speaker of the council, and make publicly available on the department’s website, a report related to the department’s use of body-worn cameras.” That report would lay out the number of officers equipped with cameras, the incidents  captured by those cameras, any use of force incidents recorded, as well as whether the footage lead to any internal affairs reviews.

The information required for reporting under Intro. 1136 would also include the race, gender, and age of parties who were subject to any law enforcement activity captured by body-worn cameras.

“Body cameras can only improve trust between police and the communities they serve if the NYPD is fully committed to transparency and accountability. I am proud to support this legislation, which would ensure the NYPD provides the public with basic information in order to fully analyze the effectiveness of the body camera program,” said Lancman

Lancman and Williams have led on law enforcement reform bills throughout their time in the Council. They are currently co-sponsors of a bill that would establish a misdemeanor for applying a chokehold in the course of effecting or attempting to effectuate an arrest.

Kim Calls For More Oversight Of Postpartum Childcare Facilities

Assembly Member Ron Kim

Assemblyman Ron Kim (D-Whitestone, Flushing, College Point, and Murray Hill) on Friday called for more oversight on Postpartum Childcare facilities one week after the tragic incident involving the stabbing of three infants and two adults in an unlicensed facility in Flushing.

According to police and published reports, the 52-year-old woman, who works at the facility, stabbed a 63-year-old female coworker multiple times in the torso with a kitchen knife. She allegedly then turned the sharp instrument on three infants — all of them girls, one as young as 3 days old — and attacked them.

“There is clearly a disconnect between state and city agencies in how these postpartum child care facilities are overseen,” said Kim. “We are in the process of sitting down with the Mayor’s office and various government agencies to close the gaps and loopholes relating to all facilities in the business of taking care of infants and children. Regardless of the background and status of families using such facilities, it is our duty as a state to provide a safe environment for all.

“However, we can’t provide such protection to those who use unlicensed and uninsured facilities. We encourage the public to work with us in reporting any suspicious and potentially unsafe facilities to the authorities,” he added.

Koo, Rozic, Stavisky Hail Opening Of PS240Q Andrew Jackson School Expansion

City Council Member Peter Koo
State Sen. Toby Ann Stavisky

City Council Member Peter Koo (D), Assembly Member Nily Rozic (D) and State Sen. Toby Stavisky (D), all of whom represent Flushing, last week joined the school leadership from School District 25 to cut the ribbon on the new state-of-the-art expansion at PS 24Q Andrew Jackson School.

The new expansion at the Flushing school includes a wide array of improvements for the entire school including:

  • 488 new seats for every grade
  • 28 new classrooms
  • Rooftop playground
  • Dance studio
  • Science lab
  • Technology lab
  • Music room
  • Art studio with kiln
  • Pre-K program

While the expansion is currently in use, construction is underway to provide two additional classrooms, lobby renovations, bathrooms, and offices for the special education team, parent coordinator and after school program.

“This new expansion will provide critical overcrowding relief and instructional space to one of our area’s flagship elementary schools. Flushing is undergoing a period of rapid growth, and it is imperative that the infrastructure of our schools keeps pace with the population. Many thanks to the leadership at PS 24, the SCA, and School District 25 who pushed for and prioritized this needed expansion,” said Koo.

Assembly Member Nily Rozic

“With a new school year, I am thrilled to celebrate the newly constructed addition to P.S. 24 and to see the remarkable benefits it will provide for our Flushing families. I also want to recognize the tireless efforts by so many stakeholders—particularly School District 25, the School Construction Authority, and the P.S. 24 administration—to make this project a reality,” said Rozic.

“Families often choose the neighborhoods where they want to live because of excellent schools. Community School District 25 is one of the best in the City. This must needed expansion at PS 24 will serve many hundreds more of additional children. I had the opportunity to tour this site and know it will be a wonderful and fun environment that fosters our childrens’ growth,” said Stavisky.