Queens Lawmakers On The Move Oct. 31, 2018

Queens County City Council News

Meng Questions Proposed Jail In Kew Gardens

U.S. Rep. Grace Meng

U.S. Rep. Grace Meng (D-Bayside, Flushing, Forest Hills, Rego Park, Fresh Meadows, Glendale, Kew Gardens, Maspeth) yesterday expressed skepticism of the city plan to close Rikers Island and put a jail in Kew Gardens.

“Residents of Kew Gardens and those who live in the surrounding area have expressed reservations about the city’s proposal to redevelop the Queens Detention Complex. As a strong supporter of long overdue criminal justice reform, I believe the city must listen to the concerns of Kew Gardens residents and those residing in neighboring communities, particularly the concerns pertaining to the area’s infrastructure, traffic and congestion,” said Meng.

“City officials must also address concerns about the size and scope of the proposed facility and the lack of community input that went into developing this plan. A new jail cannot adversely impact communities, especially in an already overburdened neighborhood such as Kew Gardens,” she added.

Vallone, Avella, Rosenthal Rally Against Proposed College Point Homeless Shelter

City Council Member Paul Vallone
State Sen. Tony Avella.

Electeds representing College Point including City Council Member Paul Vallone (D), State Sen. Tony Avella (D) and Assemblyman Daniel Rosenthal (D) on Monday rallied with Community Board 7 representatives, the College Point Civic Taxpayers Association, civic leaders and community members against a proposed homeless shelter in College Point.

Last week Vallone confirmed with the Mayor’s Administration that the Department of Homeless Services (DHS) has an ongoing open request for proposal (OERFP) throughout the city to build homeless shelters, and the rumor was the city was looking at the building located at 127-03 20th Avenue in College Point.

Vallone immediately condemned this proposal at the rally stating, “As we’ve seen time and time again, the DHS is acting with a complete lack of community involvement, foregoing any input or dialogue with our civic leaders and elected officials. What’s worse, the city’s policy for siting shelters allows greedy developers to profit from the homelessness crisis while displaying wanton disregard for the effect on our community.

“Not only does College Point lack the infrastructure, transportation options and medical facilities to support this type of facility, it already has more than its fair share of municipal facilities that have been dumped here with almost no consideration for the community. College Point has taken on the burden of a new NYPD Police Academy, a Department of Sanitation (DSNY) Garage, a DSNY Marine Waste Transfer Station, an MTA Bus Garage and an NYPD Tow and Retrieval Vehicle Station. Also, this proposed shelter would be within walking distance of three public schools, the St. Agnes Academic Academy and over 2,000 students,” he added.

Assembly Member Daniel Rosenthal

Avella said besides College Point already having its fair share of municipal services, there is limited parking for taxpaying residents, constant traffic, illegal conversions, and general overdevelopment.

“No one knows their neighborhood better than the people who live there, and it is time the City of New York listens to residents prior to any final decisions made regarding any homeless shelters being placed in their community. The residents are the ones who will be affected by this decision on a daily basis, and they have spoken. I fully support their decision to reject a homeless shelter,” said Avella.

Rosenthal said College Point is increasingly overdeveloped while it is constantly overlooked for investment by the City.

“The community lacks the resources, infrastructure and ability to support a proposed shelter. It would be a great disservice to our vulnerable populations to be placed in a location without ample public transportation, which denies access to opportunity resources or proper medical care facilities. I call on the City to reject this proposal and do the right thing for both our residents and homeless population,” he said.

Sanders Offers Assistance With Housing Issues

State Sen. James Sanders Jr.

State Sen. James Sanders Jr. (D-Richmond Hill, South Ozone Park, Jamaica, Rochdale Village, Rosedale, parts of Far Rockaway) announced this week that there will be someone in his Far Rockaway district office dedicated to helping people with housing issues.

In order to get that help, Sanders said constituents must make an appointment by emailing sanders@nysenate.gov. Please be sure to include your full name, address and phone number.

The help will be available from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., every Friday starting this Friday, Nov. 2 at his district office 1931 Mott Avenue, Suite 305 in Far Rockaway.

Van Bramer Directly Helps Over 30,000 Constituents

City Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer

City Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside, Woodside, Long Island City, Astoria) announced this week that he has now helped over 30,000 residents with constituent services over the course of his nine years in the city council.

“I love my job, which is to work hard every day and to deliver results for the people of the 26th District. My staff works just as hard and cares deeply about the people we serve,” said Van Bramer in his newsletter.

“Constituent services have always been at the heart of our operation and we are all proud to have helped thousands of constituents on cases ranging from immigration and education issues to potholes and tax refunds—improving countless lives and bettering our community in the process,” he added.

Constituents in need of help with an issue or would like to learn more about city services, please feel free to stop by Van Bramer’s office at 47-01 Queens Boulevard, Suite 205 in Sunnyside or call (718) 383-9076.