Queens Lawmakers On The Move Oct. 24, 2018

Queens County City Council News

Meng Provisions Assisting Vets Signed Into Law

U.S. Rep. Grace Meng

U.S. Rep. Grace Meng (D- Bayside, Flushing, Forest Hills, Rego Park, Fresh Meadows, Glendale, Kew Gardens, Maspeth), a member of the House Appropriations Committee, announced yesterday that she has passed several important measures into law to assist veterans.

These items include provisions that Meng attached to the Energy and Water, Legislative Branch, and Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Act, which President Trump recently signed into law. The measures include the following:

  • Requiring the VA to investigate easing the burden of filing disability claims for veterans who participated in nuclear clean-up activities in Palomares, Spain and on Enewetak Atoll in the Marshall Islands. Currently, these veterans are not presumed to have been previously exposed to radiation when filing claims for disability and medical assistance. Meng introduced the Mark Takai Atomic Veterans Healthcare Parity Act which would provide healthcare benefits to veterans who participated in the nuclear cleanup of Enewetak Atoll in the Marshall Islands during the late 1970s.
  • Requiring the VA to research the prevalence of cholangiocarcinoma, a rare cancer that can be caused by exposure to parasites in undercooked fish in Vietnam, in veterans and report to Congress on current research efforts to combat the cancer. Meng believes efforts to understand and combat cholangiocarcinoma should be accelerated to help Vietnam veterans who may have the rare cancer.
  • Requiring the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) to submit a formal report to Congress containing data pertaining to the number of female health care professionals hired in each of the past five years, their job types, and their job locations. This information will allow Congress to pursue measures in the coming year that will better serve the growing number of female veterans seeking medical care. Meng believes that the VHA should be able to ensure female veterans have the flexibility to choose the gender of their health care provider.

In addition to these wins, Meng was proud to work with her Democratic and Republican colleagues to ensure that the VA has the funds that are necessary to care for our veterans. Meng proudly supported efforts that secured $86.5 billion in funding for the VA for fiscal year 2019, which is $5 billion more than the 2018 enacted level. Of the total amount funded for the VA, $2 billion will improve the VA’s infrastructure and $348 million will expand opioid treatment and prevention programs for veterans. Meng also worked with her colleagues across the aisle to provide $8.6 billion for mental health and suicide prevention programs at the VA.

“Our veterans have answered the call of a nation and served honorably at home and abroad, sometimes being far away from family and loved ones for long periods of time,” said Meng. “That’s why I’m thrilled that my provisions to assist our veterans were included in this spending bill that was recently signed into law. We must ensure that our veterans have the care and resources they need and deserve to thrive in their communities. Caring for our veterans’ wellbeing is a top priority of mine and I look forward to continuing my work on the Appropriations Committee to assist veterans in the next fiscal year.”

Dromm, Johnson Announce $4 Million Allocation For Adult Literacy Education Programs

City Council Member Daniel Dromm

City Council Member Daniel Dromm (D-Jackson Heights, Elmhurst) along with Speaker Corey Johnson (D-Manhattan) and City Council Member Carlos Menchaca (D-Brooklyn) yesterday announced a $4 million Council allocation in this year’s budget to fund Adult Literacy Education initiatives across the City.

The lawmakers made the announcement this afternoon at the Chinese-American Planning Council, Inc. (CPC). Working alongside the Administration, the City Council secured a total of $12 million for fiscal year 2019 to continue funding for Adult Literacy Education programs. The allocation will support 47 community-based organizations, libraries and CUNY colleges that offer approximately 3,200 adult literacy class seats. This is part of the Council’s commitment to maintaining and increasing English language proficiency, basic literacy and high school equivalency classes for New Yorkers.

According to a 2011 survey, about 50% of the foreign-born population in the city were not proficient in English, and need access to programs that offer basic education, including English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) and High School Equivalency preparation (HSE).

“This multi-million dollar allocation will open doors for thousands of New Yorkers across the five boroughs,” said Dromm, chair of the Council’s Finance Committee. “These dollars will improve the lives of low-income residents and recent immigrants by putting them on a pathway to better employment, higher education and many other opportunities.  Because of this funding, organizations like CPC can continue to provide the instruction and other quality services needed to achieve these goals.”

Katz Hails High School Participation In College Application Week

Queens Borough President Melinda Katz

Queens Borough President Melinda Katz (D), yesterday lauded Schools Chancellor Richard A. Carranza announcement that a record-high 467 high schools are participating in College Application Week, a coordinated statewide week-long effort to support students in planning for, and applying to, college.

The 467 schools will offer a range of activities, including college application sessions, college tours, and workshops to help students complete their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Through a new partnership, seniors at 51 schools are receiving on-site support from CUNY admissions staff.

The 467 schools include 83 in Queens, and chancellor announced the record participation in College Application Week, and the new partnerships with CUNY and other colleges, at Queens Metropolitan High School, where seniors are working on their CUNY applications over the course of the week.

College Access for All is now reaching every middle and high school in New York City. Starting this school year, every high school will have the resources and supports for students to graduate with a college and career plan. More students will be equipped in knowing how to apply to college, pay for college, prepare for the SATs, as well as in exploring and selecting college and career pathways. The initiative has eliminated the CUNY college application fee for low-income students and made the SAT exam available free of charge during the school day for all high school juniors – increasing the number of juniors who took the SAT by 51 percent.

At the middle school level, starting this school year, every 7th-grader in New York City has an opportunity to visit a college campus. Approximately 70,000 7th-graders will be able to visit college campuses during the school year, and all 517 middle schools are engaging students and families in a schoolwide college and career culture.

“The college application process can be overwhelming for both students and parents alike. But the variety of resources offered during College Application Week can help provide much-needed guidance and support for students and their families,”said Katz. “More than 80 Queens schools are taking part in this week’s initiative, giving countless Queens students the help they need to find their dream school and pursue higher education.”

College Application Week runs from October 22 to October 26.

Addabbo Brings Mobile Office Hours To Kew Gardens Hills Library

Senator Joseph Addabbo Jr.

State Sen. Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr. (D-Howard Beach, Ozone Park, Woodhaven, Glendale, Middle Village, Maspeth, parts of South Ozone Park, Ridgewood, Woodside, The Rockaways )is bringing his Mobile Office Hours to the Kew Gardens Hills Library on Thursday.

Addabbo hosts his Mobile Office Hours at libraries across his district after 5 p.m. to give working people who may not have the chance to visit one of his three district offices during normal business hours the chance to be heard.

“Ever since being elected to the State Senate, I have made it a priority to make myself available for my people,” Addabbo said. “That is why I love hosting these Mobile Office Hours right in the communities I serve. They give people the chance to meet with me and let me know what is affecting their lives. I encourage everyone to visit me during my Mobile Office Hours throughout the year.”

The mobile office hours are slated for between 5:30 -7 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 25 at the Kew Gardens Hills Library, 72-33 Vleigh Place in Flushing.

Queens Lawmakers Go Purple For Outreach To Domestic Violence Survivors

Queens City Council Members, domestic and gender based violence survivors and advocates today will distribute information and spread awareness about domestic and gender based violence at various transportation hubs this morning.

Council Members will reach constituents by sharing statistics about domestic and gender based violence as well as resources for survivors of senseless violence.

Below is a list of members who have confirmed participation in the Day of Action and details about where they or their staff members will be distributing flyers. All will participate from 8-9 a.m., unless otherwise noted.


Peter Koo Corner of Main Street and Roosevelt Avenue (5pm)
Barry Grodenchik 188th Street and Horace Harding Expressway
I. Daneek Miller & Adrienne Adams  

Jamaica Center–Parsons/Archer (E/J/Z) (3:30-4:30pm)

Karen Koslowitz Queens Blvd. 71st Avenue–Forest Hills (E/F/M/R) (8:30am)
Robert Holden Fresh Pond Road, Ridgewood (M)