Queens Lawmakers On The Move Oct. 15, 2018

Queens County City Council News

Lancman Calls for Arrests and Prosecutions in “Proud Boys” Assaults

City Councilman Rory Lancman.

City Council Member Rory I. Lancman (D-Kew Gardens Hills, Pomonok, Electchester, Fresh Meadows, Hillcrest, Jamaica Estates, Briarwood, Parkway Village, Jamaica Hills, Jamaica), chair of the Committee on the Justice System, yesterday called for arrests and prosecutions of white supremacists Involved in “Proud Boys” assaults over the weekend in full view of the police.

The assaults occurred follow a speech by Gavin McInnes, the founder of the Proud Boys, at the Metropolitan Republican Club in Manhattan. The male-only Proud Boys describe themselves as “western chauvinists.”

Lancman noted the “Proud Boys,” a white supremacist hate group identified by the Southern Poverty Law Center, brutally attacked individuals on the streets of Manhattan while shouting anti-gay slurs and even brandishing a sword, in full view of the police.

“It is revolting to see white supremacists commit a hate crime on the streets of New York City — in full view of the NYPD — and for none of them to be arrested or prosecuted. We have seen this in other cities, but it is shocking to see it here. Hateful and violent behavior has no place in New York City, and those responsible must be arrested and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” said Lancman.

“Additionally, the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice must convene a task force including the NYPD, the District Attorneys, and other relevant agencies and offices, to develop a comprehensive strategy to combat white supremacist violence in our City and ensure that what we saw on the streets of New York last night never happens again,” he added.

Katz, Queens Borough Board Hear MTA Boss Byford Give Presentation

Queens Borough President Melinda Katz

Queens Borough President Melinda Katz (D) and the Queens Borough Board today will hear MTA President Andy Byford give a presentation regarding the agency’s plans to improve the City’s mass transit system.

Byford will provide an update on the progress of “Fast Forward: The Plan to Modernize NYC Transit”, the mass transit turnaround plan that New York City Transit released in May 2018. Byford noted at an August town hall meeting in Jamaica that the Fast Forward plan envisions a 10-year, $37 billion investment.

The meeting is slated for 5:30 p.m., today Oct. 15 at Queens Borough Hall 120-55 Queens Boulevard in Kew Gardens.

Meng Demands Justice Department Investigate Commerce Secretary Ross

U.S. Rep. Grace Meng

U.S. Rep. Grace Meng (D- Bayside, Flushing, Forest Hills, Rego Park, Fresh Meadows, Glendale, Kew Gardens, Maspeth) announced Friday she sent a letter to U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions asking him to investigate U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross for possible crimes related to making false statements with respect to documents required by law to be submitted to Congress.

Meng’s letter comes after the Department of Justice (DOJ) submitted an additional document about the inclusion of a citizenship question to the 2020 Census in the ongoing court case New York Immigration Coalition v. United States Department of Commerce.

DOJ’s additional document reveals that Ross had spoken with Steve Bannon [then working in the White House under President Trump] about adding a citizenship question to the 2020 Census. This contradicts Ross’s earlier statement to Meng during a Congressional budget hearing on March 20, 2018.

“I don’t like being lied to. I’m absolutely incensed that Secretary Ross lied to me when I asked him if he had spoken with anyone in the White House about adding a citizenship question to the 2020 Census,” said Meng. “I’m asking Attorney General Sessions to investigate Secretary Ross. With the 2020 Census only 18 months away, we must have a full accounting of what happened. The entire process around the citizenship question has been mismanaged and rushed.”

The text of Meng’s letter is below and a copy of the correspondence can be viewed here.

Miller Applauds UFT Contract Agreement with City

Council Member I. Daneek Miller

City Council Member I. Daneek Miller (D-Jamaica) Friday applauded the city reaching a labor agreement with the United Federation of Teachers (UFT), representing the non-charter public school teachers.

The 43-month contract is worth $2.1B through Fiscal Year 2022.

“This agreement demonstrates that good faith negotiations yield positive and equitable gains for all parties. I commend Mayor de Blasio, UFT President Mulgrew, Commissioner Linn, and Chancellor Carranza in pioneering a labor contract that both preserves the financial stability of our City’s educators and advances measures that will provide struggling schools with the qualified personnel they require to meet the academic and social needs of our children,” said Miller.